Archive - July 2012

1
The Barrios of Manta by Earl & Rhoda Brooks (Ecuador 1962-64) Now an ebook
2
RPCV Jason Boog To Speakon "How To Build A Social Media Platform for Your Book"
3
A Writer Writes: Principles vs. Principal:Is There Room for "Pay to Play" in Volunteerism? by Brian Holler Turkmenistan 2010-12
4
Legacy Publisher Buys Self-Publishing Firm
5
Review of David Koren’s Far Away in the Sky
6
Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2000-02) Publishes: The Springs of Namje
7
A Great Review of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver
8
Final Menorca–Problems for the Beautiful Island
9
More on Ghana Killing
10
More On Menorca, Part III

The Barrios of Manta by Earl & Rhoda Brooks (Ecuador 1962-64) Now an ebook

In February 1962, Earle and Rhoda Brooks (Ecuador 1962-64) left home in Illinois to become PCVs in  Manta, Ecuador. Their book  The Barrios of Manta: A Personal Account of the Peace Corps in Ecuador was published by New American Library in 1965. It was one of the first two books written by Peace Corps Volunteers. The other was To The Peace Corps, With Love by Arnold Zeitlin (Ghana 1961-62) published by Doubleday also in 1965. Earle and Rhoda begin their story with their decision to enlist as PCVs. They were assigned to a community development project in Manta, a fishing village on the coast of Ecuador. The jacket of their first edition (a photo of Rhoda embracing an Ecuadorian woman,) was on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in September, 1964 (Vol. 126, No. 3). That issue featured the Peace Corps, Sarge Shriver, Earle and Rhoda Brooks, as well as PCVs in Bolivia, Tanganyika (as it was . . .

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RPCV Jason Boog To Speakon "How To Build A Social Media Platform for Your Book"

As editor of Mediabistro Publishing, Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) curates publishing events, and shapes the digital publishing curriculum at MediaBistro.com. He also edits the GalleyCat blog, and hosts the daily Morning Media Menu podcast. Before MediaBistro.com, Jason was an investigative reporter at Judicial Reports, and a publishing blogger for Know More Media. His work has appeared in The Believer, Granta, Salon.com, The Revealer, and Peace Corps Writers. As part of Mediabistro Literary Festival & Workshops, Jason will be leading a conference session via on How To Build A Social Media Platform for Your Book. Unfortunately registration for the workshop is closed.

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A Writer Writes: Principles vs. Principal:Is There Room for "Pay to Play" in Volunteerism? by Brian Holler Turkmenistan 2010-12

Principles vs. Principal: Is There Room for “Pay to Play” in Volunteerism  by Brian Holler (Turkmenistan 2010-12) If I had one piece of advice for incoming Volunteers, it would be to focus on the “What is Peace Corps?” section of language training. Like most of my brethren, I’ve spent my fair share of time explaining what an American is doing here. In Turkmenistan, a country that values hospitality above all else, where people will feed and shelter a stranger, the practices of volunteerism and charity are still foreign concepts. People will do anything for their neighbor, but are skeptical of the intentions of someone that has come from another country only to assist their community. In the developed world, formal acts of philanthropy require little tangible reciprocity. Different countries have different cultural norms though; transaction costs may be different. The question is: when faced with more “concrete” operational requirements, how . . .

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Legacy Publisher Buys Self-Publishing Firm

Last week Penguin Group took over Authors Solutions, one of the biggest print-on-demand publishers, with imprints iUniverse and AuthorHouse. This is the first time a traditional book company (now increasing referred to as a legacy publisher) has purchased a self-publishing company. According to an article on Friday, July 20, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal, the deal is worth $116 million and the self-publishing company will be folded into Penguin and operate as a separate unit. The article quotes Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Co. a New York-based publishing consultancy, as saying this “constitutes tacit recognition that the legacy publishing model is severely challenged and may not work sometimes in the foreseeable future.” The article in WSJ goes onto point out that publishing houses once had limited access to their customers’ buying and reading habits. But e-book sales have created a trove of data that-if harvested well-can show . . .

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Review of David Koren’s Far Away in the Sky

Far Away in the Sky A Memoir of the Biafran Airlift by David L. Koren (1964-66) Createspace, $17.99 Kindle: $8.60 332 pages 2012 Reviewed by Dick Hughes (Nigeria 1962-64) In 1962, when I was in Peace Corps training at UCLA for a teaching job in Nigeria, the official U.S. message was that we were headed for Africa’s “showcase of democracy,” as my Nigeria IV friend Joanne McNeese Mills put it with appropriate irony. How much better the promise of that newly formed nation than that of Ghana, then under the sway of U.S.- educated Kwame Nkrumah, who was flirting with our cold war Soviet and Chinese rivals; and who, god help us, had this crazy idea of forming a unity of African states. Wonder where that idea came from? We all know how that turned out.  Nkrumah was overthrown in a military coup in 1966 that, some have said, was . . .

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Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2000-02) Publishes: The Springs of Namje

Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2000-02) has written, The Springs of Namje. It is being published by Beacon Press this coming September. Rajeev says  the book “took me seven months to write and it spans personal experiences over the last ten years working in rural Nepal, initially as a Peace Corps Volunteer.” The first part of the book is about how he built a two-stage water pumping project in Namje, despite an escalating Maoist war, through the ingenuity of a village carpenter with a ninth grade education. He writes about his twenty visits back to the village while a law student at NYU, and how the water project transformed the community in complex ways none of them expected, and what lessons were learned from that. The second part of the book details his work with (and dealing with!) the NPCA, campaigning in Washington and across the U.S. He writes about driving around the country, meeting . . .

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A Great Review of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver

By Reeve Lindbergh, Published: July 13, Washington Post Mark Shriver’s moving and thoughtful book about his father, Sargent Shriver, who died in 2011, is both an homage and an exploration. In writing it, Mark discovered that the key to his father’s life was not so much the man’s acknowledged greatness as his underlying goodness, sustained by an abiding faith. Sargent Shriver, who married into the Kennedy family, served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. “My life in a famous and often star-crossed American clan,” the younger Shriver writes, “would not be without its trials and disappointments, but I had as my father a man who not only was faith-filled and disciplined, but who also insisted, in large part because of his faith, on the grace and joy in life.” Even those Americans who remember the 1960 presidential campaign may have forgotten how controversial John F. Kennedy’s religion was for a portion . . .

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Final Menorca–Problems for the Beautiful Island

Several changes happened in Menorca over the last three decades that deeply affected the small island and changed it perhaps for the better, but not right now. After Franco finally died. (Do you recall Saturday Night Live? ‘Franco is still dead!’) the middle class developed in Spain, the Spaniards discovered this quaint little place and began to travel to the island. Then with the Euro, and the flow of money, development started in earnest.  Also, immigration to the island began, especially to the Balearic Islands, I’m told, where the laws weren’t as tight. Now there are real problems, I told by Menorcan friends. Historically, Spain has always had higher unemployment rates. But today, one in four people of working age are without work, and that figure is exceeded on the island, and Menorca has the worst unemployment of all. In Menorca, 13,500 are unemployed, and of these 5,600 now no . . .

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More on Ghana Killing

PCV Rachel Ricciardi was walking home early Saturday with another Volunteer, Andrew Kistler, when they were approached by machete-wielding thieves who tried to rob them near their home in the town of Wa in Ghana. One of the assailants slashed at Kistler with a machete, cutting his shoulder and hand but not seriously wounding him. Kistler reportedly stabbed one of the attackers in the chest with a pocket knife he was carrying. The assailant, who ran from the scene, was found dead Saturday morning near where the encounter took place. The two PCVs reported the incident to the local authorities Saturday morning, were interviewed by local police, and released later that day, according to U.S. State Department. “They have not been charged with any crime. The matter is under investigation by Ghanaian officials,” the U.S. State Department said in a message posted online. As a result of the incident, all . . .

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More On Menorca, Part III

  [Here is what’s right about Menorca] 100+ Beaches Within 30 minutes of Mahón are dozens of beautiful rock coves, such as Cala Mitjana, where part of Lina Wertmuller’s Swept Awaywas filmed. For long stretches of sand there’s Santo Tomas or Cala Santo Galdana, which, however, can be crowded, or Son Bou, that has, year after year, the whitest sand. I favor  coves or calas with their small beaches. They are less crowded, and the coves form natural and deep swimming pools. While the larger beaches have bars, it is not difficult to pack a picnic lunch and when you’re tired of swimming just step back into the shadow of pine trees that on the island hover at the water’s edge. People linger till dusk at these beaches, as the Mediterranean summer evenings are long.  Outdoor museum Menorca’s history, like that of all the Balearics, reaches back into prehistory, as . . .

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