Archive - 2011

1
John Givens' (Korea 1967-60) famous novel now available as E-book
2
Obama Signs Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act
3
RPCV Writer Paul Eggers on Pepper-Spray at Davis
4
Jane Albritton Editor of Recent Peace Corps Books at the Tattered Cover in Denver
5
Maya Lau from Senegal on Huffington Post
6
From the White House…..p.s. I don't think we were invited!
7
Review of Thomas and Peter Weck's The Lima Bear Stories
8
RPCV Writers–Hessler and Erdman–on Wisconsin Public Radio
9
National Public Service Museum and Student Center planned with a spot for the Public Service Volunteer Experience
10
The Peace Corps and USAID in Bed Together!

John Givens' (Korea 1967-60) famous novel now available as E-book

Concord ePress has republished John Givens (Korea 1967–69) novel,  A Friend in the Police. Originally published in 1980 by Harcourt, Brace, you can now buy the ebook version at Concord ePress: http://www.concordepress.com/a-friend-in-the-police/  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WOG6DE  The plot goes something like this: A middle-aged American businessman arrives in an unnamed Southeast Asian country to retrieve his wayward son. George Bates finds himself confronted by a climate and culture more bizarre than he could have anticipated, and by the mysterious Detective Sergeant Xlong, whose own background is even more tangled than the Americans and whose fecund language reflects the lush ambiguity of the tropical rain forest. Bates is soon lost in a complex, hallucinatory world that resembles a rewrite of The Heart of Darkness by Franz Kafka. A Friend in the Police is often spoken of by veteran authors as the book they wish they had written. Newly revised by the author, this . . .

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Obama Signs Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act

By ANGELA M. HILL and RANDY KREIDER–ABC NEWS Nov. 21, 2011 – President Obama signed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act today, less than a year after an ABC News investigation into the murder of the 24-year-old volunteer in Africa. The act, which passed earlier this month in Congress, is designed to protect Peace Corps whistleblowers and improve the treatment of victims of violence and sexual assault. The law is named for 24-year-old Kate Puzey of Georgia, who was murdered in Benin in 2009 after telling superiors she believed a fellow Peace Corps employee was molesting female students. In an investigation that aired on “20/20,” ABC News told the story of Kate’s murder and examined what critics say has been a “blame-the-victim” culture within the Peace Corps when volunteers are assaulted or attempt to report problems. “It’s such a wonderful thing. We’re really, really happy this is happening,” . . .

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RPCV Writer Paul Eggers on Pepper-Spray at Davis

[Paul Eggers (Malaysia 1976-78) teaches creative writing at Chico State in California. He has a PhD from the University of Nebraska and is the author of two books (Saviors, a novel; and How the Water Feels, a collection of short stories). Besides the Peace Corps, Paul was also a UN relief worker and his fiction is focus mostly on first-world/third-world interactions. On Sunday, Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) made the wise suggestion that I reach out to Paul and ask him for his take–as a California academic–about the pepper spraying last Friday at the University of Davis. Paul emailed me earlier today and this is some of what he had to say.] “I’m outraged by the thuggery shown by the police, as well as by the mealy-mouthed initial response from the Davis chancellor, as well as by the ludicrous claim by the police administration that they were “surrounded” by students and felt threatened.  There . . .

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Jane Albritton Editor of Recent Peace Corps Books at the Tattered Cover in Denver

Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) who conceived and also edited with other RPCVs four volumes of Peace Corps literature will be at the  Tattered Cover Book Store on Friday, December 2, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. She will be signing books. The Tattered Cover is at  2526 East Colfax in Denver. It is famous as an independent bookstore that has survived much chain competition. In the ‘days of e-books’ this is an amazing store with millions of real books! Jane, who earned a master’s degree in English, taught freshman composition at Southern Methodist University, then served as the writing specialist for the SMU School of Law created in 1980 Tiger Enterprises, a company for writing, editing, and instruction. Several years ago, she came up with the idea of publishing stories from the Peace Corps. All the books are published by Travelers’ Tales, an Imprint of Solas House, Inc. in Palo Alto, California. They are: Africa-One Hand Does Not Catch A Buffalo edited by . . .

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Maya Lau from Senegal on Huffington Post

Maya Lau [After college at Vassar, Maya Lau went to Kolda, Senegal (2009-11) as a PCV and worked in urban agriculture. Coming home, she began working in journalism in New York City. And that is what she’s doing today! Here’s a post she put up on Huff Post the other day titled: “What The Peace Corps Taught Me About Failure.” Ain’t that the truth! (It is published with her permission.] Posted: 11/17/11 09:10 Volunteer life bursts with cultural faux pas, fruitless projects and second guesses. For two years, I felt like the joke was on me. Even on my best days in Senegal, the sudden scream of “toubab,” a taunting word for foreigners, reminded me that my cheerfulness was jinxed, my presence perhaps unwelcome. In West Africa, I confronted the toubab version of myself, a self previously foreign to me that was lethargic, cynical and at home with failure. For a long time I . . .

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From the White House…..p.s. I don't think we were invited!

Friends: Please join us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Peace Corps Director, Aaron Williams, USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah, and senior White House Administration officials will participate in this event on Wednesday, November 23rd at 9:30AM EST. If you are able to attend, please rsvp no later than Friday, November 18th at 5PM EST, and fill out the attached Excel sheet with information we will need to clear you into the building. Thank you, Karen Richardson The White House Office of Public Engagement EVENT DETAILS WHAT: White House 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corps and USAID WHEN: Wednesday, November 23rd at 9:30AM EST (Please arrive by 8:45 EST at the south west gate on 17th and State Place NW) WHERE: White House Complex, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Court Auditorium Karen Richardson Associate Director White House . . .

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Review of Thomas and Peter Weck's The Lima Bear Stories

The Lima Bear Stories Thomas Weck (Ethiopia 1965–67) and Peter Weck Illustrated by Len DiSalvo $15.95 (hardcover) • The Megasaurus 40 pages May 2011 • How Back-Back Got His Name 32 pages July 2011 • The Cave Monster 32 pages September 2011 Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) THOMAS AND PETER WECK, along with illustrator Len DiSalvo, have created a series of children’s books for 4–8 year olds called The Lima Bear Stories, three of which, The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name, and The Cave Monster, I have had the pleasure of reading to my two and three-year-olds over the past week. The stories, about a kingdom of lima bean-sized bears and a number of regular-sized animal friends of the bears, are based on stories Thomas told his children. The books are handsome and beautifully illustrated, and knowing what my children would do to the books . . .

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RPCV Writers–Hessler and Erdman–on Wisconsin Public Radio

Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders is a live one-hour weekday global cultural affairs program with a focus on the future. It is broadcast from Wisconsin Public Radio and hosted by Jean Feraca. Its mission is described on the website (http://www.wpr.org/hereonearth/aboutus.cfm). Yesterday’s broadcast focused on Peace Corps writers  Sarah Erdman (Cote d’Ivoire 1998-2000), author of Nine Hills to Nambonkaha,  and Peter Hessler (China  1996-98), who wrote River Town and two other books on China. To listen to the program, go to:http://wpr.org/hereonearth/archive_111115k.cfm This program is an hour long and several RPCVs ‘call in’  so the discussion goes beyond books to the Peace Corps experience, and what has happened to all of us! It is terrific show. Sarah and Peter did a great job talking about their books and their tours. In true Peace Corps spirit, Sarah calls in to the program from Brussels where she is at the moment,  and Peter was on his cell phone from downtown . . .

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National Public Service Museum and Student Center planned with a spot for the Public Service Volunteer Experience

ASPA is the American Society for Public Administration. The organization’s website is: http://www.aspanet.org/scriptcontent/index.cfm The ASPA Board has endorsed the goal of “establishing a National Public Service Museum and Student Center to serve as a place for American Youth to learn about the current challenges and past accomplishments of public servants.” In an article in the August/September 2011 issue of The ASPA Times, Richard Baum, Chair of the ASPA Museum Project Team, describes the project in detail: “The Museum, to be based in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, would present information abut government policies and programs in a dynamic, interactive manner, taking a page from newer museums, such as the journalism focused Washington -based Newseum. It would serve as a place for youth, through class or family visits, to gain a better understanding of what government actually does and how and it does it”… The new Museum will show the government’s . . .

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The Peace Corps and USAID in Bed Together!

USAID, Peace Corps Join Arms in Support of Education The Peace Corps and USAID have signed an agreement entitled the Global Education Framework, a joint venture, they say, “that would implement global initiatives for basic and higher education, and youth and workforce development.” The agreement means more money for the Peace Corps, and more programs for education, gender equality and the youth. “The Global Education Framework agreement demonstrates how we are effectively and efficiently programming every development dollar to deliver meaningful results in education,” says USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “By working together, we strengthen our organizations to better assist the countries and people we serve.” Other activities being supported under the GEF are: Development of new training modules for volunteers and staff. Training teachers and school officials for the two-year Peace Corps Education Assistance Project in Mindanao, Philippines. Volunteers teaching English to judges and court staff under the Millennium Challenge Corp. Rwanda . . .

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