Archive - September 2012

1
Mary E. Trimble (Gambia 1979-81) Memoir of West Africa
2
Review of Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Memoir
3
The New Yorker's RPCV Writers In Print and On-Line
4
Review of Michael Thomsen's (China & Madagascar 2002-05) Levitate the Primate: Handjobs, Internet Dating, and Other Issues for Men
5
Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy 
Washington, D.C. 
January 20, 1961
6
Help on Writing Your Peace Corps Memoir
7
Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad
8
The Last Word on Ayn Rand–From the Peace Corps Itself
9
More on Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan
10
Ambassador Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) Killed in Libya

Mary E. Trimble (Gambia 1979-81) Memoir of West Africa

Tubob: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps by Mary E. Trimble (Gambia 1979-81) ShelterGraphics $15.95 320 pages 2012 Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000-03) Just what does “Tubob” in this book’s title mean? Author Mary Trimble and her husband Bruce, Volunteers sent to The Gambia in 1979, discovered it means stranger or white person. But they didn’t remain strangers for long, though pregnant women shielded their eyes from them to prevent the birth of albino babies. The two were soon given Gambian names; Mary’s was Mariama. They quickly became valued members of their community, she working in health, he in digging wells. By planting a garden and raising chickens themselves, they showed local people how to augment their diet, also debunking a belief that eating eggs causes stupidity. Reportedly newlyweds, I first envisioned them as a young couple, only later learning they were already in their . . .

Read More

Review of Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Memoir

I Was a Peace Corps Volunteer: Lost and Found in Micronesia By Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Create Space, $12 286 pages 2012 Reviewed by David H. Day (Kenya 1965-66; India 1967-69) Age 25 and fresh out of college in Washington State, and newly-accepted in the Peace Corps, Heather Kaschmitter found herself in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, a vast string of islands and coral atolls sprawled across tens of thousands of  miles of Pacific ocean. The islands stretch in an arc from Palau in the west, southeast to Kiribati north of Fiji. Today, largely on the margins of our consciousness, it’s an area well-known to the U.S. military, to artists and writers like Melville and Gaugin, and to a slew of anthropologists beginning with the pioneering visits of Bronislaw Malinowski, Margaret Mead and numerous others who have documented island cultures. When offered a chance to review Kaschmitter’s book, I jumped . . .

Read More

The New Yorker's RPCV Writers In Print and On-Line

George Packer (Togo 1982-83) dissects the Republican and Democratic Conventions in “The Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker, September 17, 2012, issue. Packer writes: “In Charlotte, the Democrats embraced the production values that the Republicans once monopolized: message disciple, clock management, and ego subordination (former Presidents excepted). They staged repetitious, unembarrassed salutes to the military. The Republicans’ allowing Clint Eastwood to improvise like an also-ran at a talent show, on their Convention’s most important night, only heightened the contrast.”  Later, he sums up what struck all of us who endured the events by noting, “In Tampa, the faces were overwhelming white, not young, and surprising impassive. In Charlotte, there was color, youth, and tears.” And this Friday, on The New Yorker Website, Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) now living and writing from Cairo, posted a report on the recent demonstrations against the U.S. government over the anti-Muslim film . . .

Read More

Review of Michael Thomsen's (China & Madagascar 2002-05) Levitate the Primate: Handjobs, Internet Dating, and Other Issues for Men

Levitate the Primate Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05) Zero Books 255 pages Paperback $24.95 August 2012 Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) I’m prefacing this review of Michael Thomsen’s collection of essays on dating and sex, Levitate the Primate, with the warning that if one is offended, made squeamish, or in any way turned off or hoping to avoid base, explicit, detailed, unguarded, gratuitous, and sometimes simply gross discussions of sex, sexual desire, sexual body parts, sexual love, blowjobs, handjobs, footjobs, rimjobs, assjobs, fucking, sucking, fisting, Matures, creampies, BBWs, married, cuckold, MILFs, trannies, hentai, and bukkake, please do not read this review. Now that you are all reading along! When this slender, slick, pink book came across my reviewing desk earlier this week, it rose directly to the top of my long to-do list, and I ended up banging through it in a couple of hurried . . .

Read More

Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy 
Washington, D.C. 
January 20, 1961

After reading John Coyne’s article, I was inspired to find the  famous Kennedy quote “… pay any price”.  But as I read the Inaugural Address, I was so struck by how very pertinent all of it is today.  Here it is: Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy 
Washington, D.C. 
January 20, 1961 Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens: 

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago. The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the . . .

Read More

Help on Writing Your Peace Corps Memoir

Our RPCV Self-Publishing Guru, Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975-77), author of Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir a How-To book published by iUniverse, has interviewed other Peace Corps writers about “how they did it” and given us a wealth of material here. Read on! HIRE A PAID CONSULTANT? Ninety percent of Peace Corps writers are self-published. There is an incredible array of companies that offer support services to self-publishing writers for a price. Paid consultants offer to edit, format, design and even market. Some of our own Peace Corps writers have commented on their experiences. PLEASED TO USE THEM! Will Lutwick (Fiji, 1968-70) author of Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji, a memoir published by Peace Corps Writers, utilizing CreateSpace services. Developmental editor: I contracted a woman before signing with Peace Corps Writers. She did a very good job, particularly . . .

Read More

Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad

Diplomats, armed with handshakes and briefcases, face uncertainty abroad 5:50 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |   Written by Robert Marchant  JOURNAL NEWS (Westchester, NY)       In this photo taken Monday, April 11, 2011, then U.S. envoy Chris Stevens takes a coffee before attending meetings at the Tibesty Hotel where an African Union delegation was meeting with opposition leaders in Benghazi, Libya. Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) / AP They carry briefcases, not weapons, and seek to make peace, not war. But dangers from terrorism and other hazards can make the job that diplomats, United Nations personnel, Peace Corps volunteers and other foreign affairs professionals a dangerous one. Ambassador Chris Stevens, a former Peace Corps . . .

Read More

The Last Word on Ayn Rand–From the Peace Corps Itself

Back in 1964-65, in those golden years of the agency when PCVs were all given book lockers, Jack Prebis (Ethiopia 1962-64) was responsible for complying several editions of  the books selected for the lockers. Jack worked at HQ from the fall of 1964 to the late summer of 1965 so he would have been in charge of, I think, the third and fourth versions. After reading the blogs about Rand and Ryan on the site today, Jack emailed me with this small piece of early Peace Corps trivia. Atlas Shrugged was included in the first booklocker given to PCVs but then the Peace Corps banned it from future collections after a Volunteer read the novel and invoking Rand message decided to ET.   “I was specifically told not to include Rand in any future lockers,” Jack writes. “And I got the message.” The Peace Corps had the last word. p.s. I wonder…. Do you think that young PCV who ETed was Paul Ryan?  Nah!

Read More

More on Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan

[Below is an article published on informationclearinghouse.info that an RPCV was kind enough to forward to me. It is written by Uri Avnery leader of Israeli peace movement-Gush Shalom. The article is interesting and informative about Ayn Rand and her early years!] The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan by Uri Avnery I was not interested in Paul Ryan, the man about to be nominated by the Republican party for the office of vice-president, until the name Ayn Rand popped up. Ayn Rand, it was said, was one of the main inspirations for his particular philosophy. Since Ryan is being represented not as an ordinary, run-of-the-mill politician, like Mitt Romney, but as a profound political and economic thinker, the inspiration deserves some scrutiny. Like most people in this country, Ayn Rand first entered my life as the author of The Fountainhead, a novel that came out four years before the birth . . .

Read More

Ambassador Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) Killed in Libya

J. Christopher Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) our Ambassador to Libya, was killed yesterday during an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Stevens, who had been in  Libya only since May, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate in Eastern Libya to try to evacuate staff. Stevens, a career diplomat, was 52 years old. Secretary of State Clinton said this morning, “I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.