Archive - March 2012

1
A Peace Corps Love Story Film: "I am the Water, You are the Sea"
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Patrick Chura (Lithuania 1992-94) Wins Award for his Thoreau Book
3
A Writer Writes "A Song From Shlomo"
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Review of Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family
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Review of Brazil: Heads and Tales 1965–1967, Peace Corps
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RPCV Writer at the Washington Monthly Takes on the Peace Corps
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A Peace Corps Film "The Whole of the Moon" Needs Funding
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Story on Apple Factory Broken by China RPCV Rob Schmitz
9
Maureen Orth (Colombia 1965-67) Speaks at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, NY
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Review of Reilly Ridgell's The Isla Vista Crucible

A Peace Corps Love Story Film: "I am the Water, You are the Sea"

Another Peace Corps Film!  I am the Water, You are the Sea A Documentary project by Malachi Leopold · THE STORY In 1977, a young Peace Corps volunteer named Alex stared out the dusty back window of a silver BMW.  As the car pulled away, he watched his secret Iranian lover, Ali, stand in the middle of the street, waving goodbye.  The car picked up speed, turned a corner, and Ali disappeared from sight.  Alex turned around, blinked, and stared at his hands, which had just moments before embraced the love of his life as they said goodbye.  When would their hands touch again?  Would they ever?  Through tears, he stared out the window, watching the city of Tehran speed by.  The Iranian revolution was drawing near, and he had no choice but to leave.  To leave the only man who had ever truly loved him.  His heart was breaking. . . .

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Patrick Chura (Lithuania 1992-94) Wins Award for his Thoreau Book

RPCV writer Patrick Chura (Lithuania 1992-94), has won the College English Association of Ohio’s Nancy Dasher Award, given to the outstanding publication in literary scholarship and criticism by an Ohio resident from 2009 to 2011.  The award is for Thoreau the Land Surveyor, Chura’s book about how Henry David Thoreau’s career as a land surveyor shaped his environmental outlook and literary works.  Here is Mike Tidwell’s review from Peace Corps Writers: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/review-4/ Congratulations Patrick!  

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A Writer Writes "A Song From Shlomo"

On Sunday afternoon, March 18, 2012, a memorial service was held in Washington, D.C., for Shlomo Bachrach (Ethiopia PC/Staff 1965-67) who died of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles on December 8, 2011. Shlomo was a famous figure in Ethiopian/American life who recently published the East Africa Forum online that concentrated on news out of the Horn of Africa. He also had two blog on this site. In addition to this, he was actively involved in dozens of other activities that promoted understanding between the US and Ethiopia, including working to start the North American-Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. He was the author of an Ethiopian folktale book published by Oxford University Press, and for many years ran training workshops for PCV TESL teachers in Ethiopia. In recent years his major focus was his work with a local NGO and the Ethiopian government to develop and implement coffee trademark concept on the country’s major export. At the service . . .

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Review of Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family

Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family by Frances L. Stone (Philippines 1971-73) Peace Corps Writers 172 pages $12.99 (paperback) January 2012 Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000–03) THE STONES WERE AMONG THE FIRST to sign up when the Peace Corps began sending whole families overseas, and the six of them went to the Philippines in 1971. Frances Stone’s book, Through the Eyes of My Children: The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family, told mainly in the voices of her four children and aimed at young readers, helps document the history of this little-known, short-lived experiment. I knew two families, each with two children, who served in Costa Rica at that same time. Both they and the Stones have touted the lasting benefits of the program for themselves and their kids, and the positive impact on the communities where they served. . . .

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Review of Brazil: Heads and Tales 1965–1967, Peace Corps

Brazil: Heads and Tales 1965–1967, Peace Corps by Tomas Belsky (Brazil 1965–67) Peace Corps Writers 2012 116 pages $20.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77) THERE ARE THOSE AMONGST US who long to outlaw art as a waste of energy. These are usually the same folks who talk about money and practicality. Strange, but when we review human history — the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Mayas, Incans — nobody cared enough about merchants to even jot down their names. We remember statesmen, military leaders, builders and most of all, artists. In many cases, the artists were also royalty who supervised statesmen, military leaders and builders. Tomas Belsky understands the power of art. He created a book filled with poetry, colored plates of paintings and personal experience essays about Brazil’s Northeast between 1965 and 1967. In a humorous, free verse poem titled “Finding Tomas,” Belsky explains how he lost . . .

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RPCV Writer at the Washington Monthly Takes on the Peace Corps

[It is truly ironic that the Washington Monthly has let an intern stick a bloody knife into the heart and soul of the Peace Corps. The Washington Monthly (and perhaps young Ryan Cooper doesn’t know this) was founded by Charlie Peters, the first evaluator of the agency, and who many considered the conscience of the Peace Corps in its early days.  What has happened to the Peace Corps? Where have all our saints gone… are they out sinning with all the other development folks? Frankly, I think that Aaron Williams and Peace Corps Washington is working to fix the agency after the years of shameful Republican control, when the Peace Corps was run by a former cops and  yes-women like RPCV Jodi Olson. That said, there is a lot of truth in what Ryan Cooper has to say about his tour in South Africa. My guess is that if the agency hadn’t come down with their big . . .

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A Peace Corps Film "The Whole of the Moon" Needs Funding

This film (they are raising money to produce) is a dramatic thriller about a group of Peace Corps Volunteers working in the Congo in the late 1980’s. These initial funds will be used for the development phase of this project: hire casting agent, location scouts, music supervisor, shoot test footage, legal fees, meetings with potential distributors, begin with props, sets, etc. Any funds raised over this amount will be applied to the shooting and production of the film! Target shoot date is Spring 2013 (but could be earlier if funds are raised). Probable location will be in Hawaii and/or Caribbean with a 2nd unit working out of South Africa. They are in the early in the planning stages, but have, as they say, ” some amazing people  attached to this project” including an Oscar-winning producer and others who worked with  the “Lord of the Rings” films. The plot goes something like this: At is . . .

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Story on Apple Factory Broken by China RPCV Rob Schmitz

[The reporter who ‘broke” this story to the American press is Rob Schmitz, an RPCV from China 1996-98. Several China RPCVs were very suspicious of the detail, I’m told. Peter Hessler, now in Cairo, emailed me that “Many of us former China guys were really suspicious since the details didn’t make sense (like the guns–I knew there was no way that was true.)” According to Peter there has been at least one RPCV working for a major news bureau in China since 1999. These reporters are another example of how the Peace Corps experience is paying off. We’re educating Americans about the world. p.s. Jason Boog, who published this piece, is also a former Latin America Peace Corps Volunteer. We are everywhere!] This American Life Retracts Mike Daisey Episode By Jason Boog on March 16, 2012 3:42 PM This American Life has retracted an episode about Apple factories in China featuring storyteller Mike Daisey. Here is . . .

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Maureen Orth (Colombia 1965-67) Speaks at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, NY

By Harold McNeil News Staff Reporter Published:March 15, 2012 Caring and empathy are the cornerstones of social justice, Maureen Orth, an award-winning journalist and author, told young women Wednesday evening at Nardin Academy. Abundant opportunities await students of the all-girls Catholic high school, but the fruits of their education should not just accrue to them, but to others, Orth said. Orth was the keynote speaker for the school’s annual forum on social justice, which was attended by about 500 people. Orth, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from the University of California-Berkeley in 1964, served for two years in the Peace Corps in Medellin, Colombia, where she helped build Escuela Marina Orth, a school that was named in her honor. “I learned so much there about the way God does not discriminate when he hands out brains or talent, or how happy you could be with . . .

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Review of Reilly Ridgell's The Isla Vista Crucible

The Isla Vista Crucible Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971–73) Savant Books and Publications 268 pages $16. 95 (paperback) 2012 Reviewed by Darcy Munson Meijer (Gabon 1982-84) THE 1960s AND EARLY ’70s were an especially interesting period in U.S. history, a decade of  changes social, political and ideological. In The Isla Vista Crucible, author Reilly Ridgell examines many aspects of the era from the viewpoints of three students sharing a house in Isla Vista, the community next to the UC Santa Barbara campus. He looks at sex, responsibility, friendship and patriotism in a thoughtful, relaxed way which is both informative and enjoyable. Meet the main characters: Reggie, studying for his Master’s degree in political science. He is serious, diligent and horny. He starts the school’s first lacrosse team. Donnie, his undergraduate roommate. A self-styled political radical and C student, he is self-centered and impulsive. He needs to maintain a 2.0 GPA to avoid being . . .

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