Archive - July 31, 2012

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The Pros and Cons of the Five Year Rule
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Richard Lipez WP Review of Paul Theroux's The Lower River
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Talking with Will Lutwick, Author of Dodging Machetes.

The Pros and Cons of the Five Year Rule

The Inspector General of the Peace Corps has reviewed the unique Five Year Rule and made recommendations to Director Williams.  Sometime in August, Williams will announce policy changes and proposed legislative changes.  I would urge the RPCV community to be knowledgeable about the review. Here are the Pros and Cons of the Five Year Rule according to the Inspector General of the Peace Corps PRO:  The Executive Summary listed the advantages of the Five Year Rule (FYR). The following is quoted from that summary. Peace Corps’ staff asserted that the FYR results in a mission-driven, energetic, and optimistic workforce attracted to the Peace Corps in spite of the time-limited appointment. The high rate of staff turnover driven by the FYR has allowed the agency to hire extensively from the returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) population–one of the stated goals behind the establishment of the FYR. Just over 50 percent of all USDHs employed by Peace . . .

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Richard Lipez WP Review of Paul Theroux's The Lower River

This review by Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)  appeared today, July 31, 2012, in The Washington Post. • Book review: ‘The Lower River,’ by Paul Theroux By Richard Lipez Former Peace Corps volunteers sometimes like to take sentimental journeys back to the towns and villages where they spent a couple of years expanding their world views and doing useful work. I’ve gone on such a visit myself, and it’s gratifying. But Ellis Hock isn’t so lucky. He’s the protagonist in “The Lower River,” a grim-spirited and rattlingly suspenseful new novel by Paul Theroux, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1960s. When Hock returns to Malawi after 40 years, instead of enjoying a happy reunion he is taken captive by his erstwhile hosts and treated to a long, hideous look at Africa at its phantasmagoric worst. The strengths of this novel, Theroux’s 29th work of fiction, are numerous. For deep-in-the-bush . . .

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Talking with Will Lutwick, Author of Dodging Machetes.

An interview with Will Lutwick (Fiji 1968–70) about his book Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji that was published in May of this year by Peace Corps Writers. • Will, where did you go to college? I got my BA from Duke in ’67, then an MBA from the University Michigan in 1968. What was your job in the Peace Corps, Will? For the first six months credit union co-op, wholesale food co-op. Last 14 months: working for the Fiji government doing marketing: pushing passion fruit and handicrafts (tapa cloth, cannibal forks, war clubs et. al.) to the American market, and internal marketing of oranges from the most remote island  (Rotuma) to the largest, most populous island (Viti Levu). My language training was in Hindi as 51% of the population then was Indian (mostly descendants of indentured servants who opted to . . .

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