Archive - July 17, 2012

1
The Man Who First Said 'Peace Corps'
2
More on PCVs in Ghana
3
My Menorca, Part II

The Man Who First Said 'Peace Corps'

John Peter Grothe died on Saturday, June 16th in Los Altos, California from brain injury caused by a fall. He was 81. Peter was an early and important person in the world of the Peace Corps. He lived a long life, and had made accomplishments, but what he was most proud of was a memo he wrote back in early 1960s that gave the Peace Corps its name. At the time, he told me, he was just a kid working for Senator Hubert H. Humphrey and drafted a memo for the senator that included the name Peace Corps in an idea floating around Official Washington, the idea of sending young people overseas, not to fight, but to help others. A lot of people disliked the term: Peace Corps, thinking it was too military, but Humphrey ran with it, and when he lost to Kennedy, he gave the idea to Kennedy who introduced the concept to . . .

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More on PCVs in Ghana

Despite initial reports from Ghana that the pair was arrested, a State Department official said Ghanaian police did not detain the PCVs. “We are closely monitoring the situation and are providing consular assistance,” State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell told a news briefing, adding that the incident was under investigation by Ghanaian officials. A police officer in the northern town of Wa said the incident happened over the weekend when the volunteers were attacked by two robbers. Maureen Knightly, the director of communications for the Peace Corps, said both volunteers had been released and picked up by the organization’s staff. “They voluntarily reported the incident to the local authorities later that morning, were interviewed by local police and released later that day,” Knightly said. The U.S. embassy in the capital Accra confirmed that police were investigating an incident. Nearly 5,000 Peace Corps volunteers have worked in Ghana since 1961.

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My Menorca, Part II

She was an enchanted island, lost in the midst of the sea. Her people lived their lives wedded to their tasks, knowing nothing of other lands or other skies or other seas. Because for them there was no other world beyond their own. From A Menorcan Romance by Gumersindo Riera From the air, Menorca lies open like one’s palm, smooth and pink, and crisscrossed with twisting and narrow roads that appear like so many lifelines. The island, one also sees from the air, crowds its coasts. High-rises hotel complexes and sprawling urbanizations hem in rocky coves and patches of Mediterranean sand, leaving the interior landscape to a few towns, miles of low, rock walls, and isolated whitewashed farmhouses. What is new to me, arriving this summer after three decades away, are the dozens of  the tall, thin white wind generators. As I mentioned, when I first arrived in ’67 Menorca was . . .

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