Archive - September 2012

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Winner of 2011 Peace Corps Collection Award–Jane Albritton (India 1967-69)
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Winner of 2011 Photography Award — Richard Sitler (Jamaica 2000-02)
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Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) In the Middle of It Again!
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A Website To Promote Your Books Established by RPCV Julie Dargis (Morocco 1984-87)
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Tony D'Souza Writes about the "Mini-Madoff" in Sarasota Magazine
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The First Three Peace Corps 'Incidents'
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RPCV Facing 22-year sentence for drug trafficking in Nicaragua

Winner of 2011 Peace Corps Collection Award–Jane Albritton (India 1967-69)

The winner of the Peace Corps Collection Award is Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) senior editor of four books of essays by RPCVs published by Travelers’ Tales/Solas House. The books are: One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo — Volume One, Africa, Edited by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90) Gather The Fruit One By One — Volume Two, Americas–Edited by Pat Alter (Paraguay 1970-72) and Bernie Alter (India 1967-69) A Small Key Opens Big Doors — Volume Three, The Heart of Eurasia–Edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005-08) Even The Smallest Crab Has Teeth — Volume Four, Asia & The Pacific, Edited by Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Jane Albritton undertook a herculean task: to gather enough Peace Corps personal experience essays to fill a multi-volume anthology. After four years of intense work, she completed the task in 2011 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ inception. The four volumes include more . . .

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Winner of 2011 Photography Award — Richard Sitler (Jamaica 2000-02)

Richard Sitler’s (Jamaica 2000–02) Making Peace with the World: Photographs of Peace Corps Volunteers published by Other Places Publishing has won the Peace Corps Writers’ award for best photography book of 2011. Richard is a photojournalist who grew up in Knightstown, Indiana. He worked at newspapers in Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Most recently Sitler was on staff at The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind. Sitler is a graduate of Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. He also studied at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. From 2000 to 2002 Sitler took a break from his photojournalism career to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica. Sitler was placed in the rural community of Lluidas Vale where he served as an at-risk youth advisor to the Lluidas Vale All Age School. In 2006 Sitler returned to Jamaica as a Crisis Corps Volunteer (now called Peace . . .

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Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) In the Middle of It Again!

Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) is in the “Middle of It” again! Maureen this morning on the TODAY Show defended her October article in Vanity Fair about the Church of  Scientology seeking a bride for Tom Cruise. Maureen told Matt Lauer on the TODAY  Show that “Tom can’t find the Scientology soul mate that he needs to be the No. 2 most important person in the religion, which is what he was called by the head of Scientology.” The church, it seems, wanted Tom to settle on actress Nazanin Boniadi who dated Cruise for a few months in 2004. In VF Maureen wrote that when Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman, the pair “drifted away” from Scientology; the Church then ramped up efforts to get them back by “auditing” (“their kind of confessional”) Cruise once a day for almost a year, and collecting information from spies working in the couple’s home. . . .

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A Website To Promote Your Books Established by RPCV Julie Dargis (Morocco 1984-87)

Poet Julie Dargis (Morocco 1984-87) is the founder of Indie House Press. This non-profit site is working to support independent writers by connecting them to independent publishing platforms, editors, designers, branding specialists, and independent booksellers. Rather than creating a list, like many traditional publishers, she is creating a network. If you are an independent writer, and you would like to list your work on her site, contact Julie at julie.dargis@gmail.com.  Julie lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has worked for international organizations in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia, primarily with populations affected by conflict and natural disaster for twenty-five years. Her first book, Seven Sonnets, was published in June on CreateSpace.com. Her second book, a memoir including sonnets and verse depicting her life and work in eight countries will be out in November 2012. She began writing sonnets when she was a PCV in Morocco. Her website is www.IndieHousePress.org.

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Tony D'Souza Writes about the "Mini-Madoff" in Sarasota Magazine

Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02; Madagascar 2002-03) spent the  summer writing about the $400 million “Mini-Madoff,” and the wife left behind. The 6,000 word piece is the feature of the September Sarasota Magazine. Eyes Wide Shut Peg Nadel-and others who benefited from her husband Art Nadel’s Ponzi scheme-say they never knew what he was doing. But did they just refuse to see the truth? Award-winning journalist Tony D’Souza finds the answer may lie in a mysterious black box at the heart of the crime. On a quiet afternoon in June, Peg Nadel, 76, paces the kitchen of her east Sarasota home, suffering through a debt collection call. “My friend,” she sighs into the phone, “my status has been in the trash. I can’t make any monthly payments. I struggle just to live. Hopefully in a month things will change.” In a month, a judge will decide whether Nadel-who has filed . . .

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The First Three Peace Corps 'Incidents'

We are all aware of the recent tragedies that have resulted in missteps and misadventures for the Peace Corps agency and PCVs. Those missteps got me thinking of what were the first incidents that attracted press attention and had naysayers declaring, “See, I told you so!” I found three such incidents within the first year, 1961. The first involved a Peace Corps Trainee, Charles Kamen, who allegedly applauded the House Un-American Activities film “Operation Abolition” in the wrong place while attending a Rotary Club meeting in Miami, Florida. Extraordinary pressures were brought to bear on the agency to summarily drop Kamen from Training. Shriver, however, decided to keep him in Training and permit him to be evaluated on the basis of all the facts in the same manner as other Trainees. What Shriver was trying to show was that the Peace Corps would not react to pressures or pressure groups in the determination of who should . . .

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RPCV Facing 22-year sentence for drug trafficking in Nicaragua

By Tim Rogers, GlobalPost (Credit: GlobalPost/Tim Rogers) This article originally appeared on GlobalPost. GRANADA, Nicaragua – A US family that has spent the past 23 months on an odyssey through the treacherous terrain of Nicaragua’s legal system hopes the adventure will end soon, with Jason Puracal’s safe return home to Tacoma, Washington. Puracal, 35, a former US Peace Corps volunteer and beachfront realtor in Nicaragua, could be acquitted by an appeals court by the end of this week. That would conclude nearly two years in jail on what his family, friends and international supporters claim are false charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. But if appellate judges uphold the original ruling, the cocktail of crime convictions will keep the American behind bars in Nicaragua for 22 years. Puracal, who has a Nicaraguan wife and a 5-year-old son, was arrested inside his home in the beach town of . . .

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