Archive - October 2012

1
Review of Matthew A.Hamilton’s (Armenia 2006-08; Philippines 2008-10) The Land of the Four Rivers
2
The Unofficial View of How and Why of the Puerto Rico Camps
3
With a Little Help From Our Friends!
4
Ethiopia Coffee Table Book–Kickstarter Project to Support
5
Self-Published RPCV Writers to Join the Authors Guild
6
South African RPCV Jesse Osmun Gets 15 Years for Abusing Girls in-country
7
Where Community Developed Worked in Latin America
8
Accion Comunal: PCVs in Community Development
9
Harper Voyager Reading Unagented Manuscripts For Two Weeks Only
10
Remembering Chris Stevens: My Journey to Ouaouizerth

Review of Matthew A.Hamilton’s (Armenia 2006-08; Philippines 2008-10) The Land of the Four Rivers

The Land of the Four Rivers: My Experience as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia (2006-2008) by Matthew A. Hamilton (Armenia 2006-08; Philippines 2008-10) Červená Barva Press $7.00 42 pages 2012 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) • As Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, we all, I feel confident saying, have at least a couple of photographs documenting our service.  (Some of us doubtless have crates-or iPhones-full of them.) Because we were there, because we know the people and the settings in the photographs, we have a particular attachment to them. They call up full and rich and even complicated memories and associations. To us, each photograph is worth more than a thousand words. Each is a mini-novella, a long poem. But anyone who didn’t have the experiences we had and is seeing the photographs cold knows only what is in front of their eyes. A photo of the family we . . .

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The Unofficial View of How and Why of the Puerto Rico Camps

The ‘back story’ the Puerto Rico camp(s) comes mostly from Coates Redmon’s 1984 book, Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story. Her author’s note at the opening of her history begins with a line that sums up Redmon’s personality and lifestyle as I knew it back in the early ’60s: “I decided to write this book over poached salmon and a glass of white win at the Jean-Pierre restaurant on K Street in Washington, D.C., April 1975.” Coates was feature editor of Glamour magazine in the late 1950s. (In full disclosure, my wife, a Non-Peace Corps Volunteer (NPCV), was the Executive Editor of Glamour for over a decade, in years after Coates tenure.) At the Peace Corps, Coates lists herself a ‘senior writer’ but my recollection was that she was attached to Charlie Peters Evaluation Division and in the early Sixties, as I recall, she spent a lot of time riding up and . . .

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With a Little Help From Our Friends!

From its first days the Peace Corps knew that it needed help from international organizations to get the agency off the ground. And it received tremendous help from private groups in the way of contacts, experience and support in planning, recruiting, selection, training and overseas project administration. In June of 1961, there were only two projects administered for the Peace Corps by private agencies, CARE in Colombia, and Heifer Project, Inc., on the island of St. Lucia in the West Indies. Within another year there were 17 projects administered by private organizations under contracts with the Peace Corps. Also 30 % of Volunteers were working with other organizations–national and international.  PCVs were in addition getting administration help from 13 colleges and universities in 16 programs in 13 countries. Besides that, some PCVs got help from past association with a university in a particular county. For example, the University of Kansas and Costa . . .

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Ethiopia Coffee Table Book–Kickstarter Project to Support

Elias Wondimu is the Publisher & Editorial Director of Tsehai Publishers that is located independently within Loyola Marymount University in Southern California. This is a wonderful publishing company and he is launching an Ethiopia Coffee Table Book. It is a project you might want to support. Elias writes: The book is an attempt to change global perception of Ethiopia by focusing on the many accomplishments of successful younger Ethiopians living throughout North America and Ethiopia today. These individuals are the sons and daughters, and younger siblings of those who lived through the 1970s Ethiopian political turmoil. By focusing on these individuals, we want to tell their parents’ story of resilience and share with the world the proud heritage that they commonly inherit as Ethiopians. This book presents the life stories of dynamic achievers from all walks of life. Some are scholars, scientists, artists, chefs, singers, models, and executives. Few you’ll . . .

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Self-Published RPCV Writers to Join the Authors Guild

The president of the Authors Guild, Scott Turow, writes in the Summer 2012 Authors Guild Bulletin that the Authors Guild is now welcoming self-published author as members of the Guild. However, they have to be self-published authors who have earned at least $500 in writing income in the 18 months prior to applying for membership to qualify to be associate members; those earning at least $5,000 qualify to be regular, voting members. Now, any writer published by a traditional American book publisher continues to quality for membership, as do freelance writers who publish three articles, stories, or poems in broadly distributed periodicals in 18 months. The Authors Guild marks its 100th anniversary this year.

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South African RPCV Jesse Osmun Gets 15 Years for Abusing Girls in-country

from  ctpost.com by Michael P. Mayko Jesse Osmun, a former Peace Corps volunteer from Milford, CT. charged with abusing several young girls in a South African HIV/AID encampment preschool, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. HARTFORD — A former Peace Corps volunteer from Milford admitted Wednesday he “tarnished” his country and the organization by sexually molesting young girls between the ages of 3 and 6 years old while working in a preschool at an HIV/AIDS camp in South Africa. “The victims in South Africa did nothing, absolutely nothing to deserve the conduct that came upon them,” a contrite Jesse Osmun told Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson moments before he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by 10 years of U.S. Probation Department supervision. “They were completely innocent but they will live with the scars for the rest of their lives.” Osmun, . . .

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Where Community Developed Worked in Latin America

While many, many PCVs involved in Community Development felt they were failure, and some were, still projects on the whole were working. “The Community Development Program in Peru is healthy,” wrote Herb Wegner in a 1963 Peace Corps Evaluation Report on Peru, “The question in Peru is not so much of going from bad to good—but from good to better.” The large program in Colombia was also basically sound. By January 1964, over six hundred PCVS were working various projects and despite the site, it was successful. Meridan Bennett in his Evaluation Report summed up, “the Peace Corps’ ability to work in Community Development has been proven in Colombia.” And both of these early Evaluators in Charlie Peters office were hard edged reporters. The reason for the ‘success’ was because most of the projects in-country were ‘undefined.’ PCVs were free to tackle everything, and they did!  Volunteers in Latin America . . .

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Accion Comunal: PCVs in Community Development

As Gerald T. Rice points out in his comprehensive study of the origins of the agency, The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps, published in 1985 by Notre Dame Press. (This was Rice’s doctoral dissertation as the University of Glasgow) “While Shriver actively encouraged Peace Corps teachers to go beyond their classroom duties and mix with their host societies in many different ways, the philosophy of “participation” found its fullest expression in the other major activity of the Peace Corps: Community Development.” Key to the development of “Peace Corps Community Development” at the agency, especially and nearly exclusively, in Latin America was the first Peace Corps Country Director in Peru and later regional head for all Latin American programs, one of the original Mad Men of the agency, Frank Mankiewicz. I have written elsewhere on this blog about Mankiewicz who would later go onto work as Robert Kennedy’s press aide, and . . .

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Harper Voyager Reading Unagented Manuscripts For Two Weeks Only

Our RPCV Publishing Guru Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) reports on  Galleycat: The First Word on the Book Publishing Industry  that Harper Voyager, HarperCollins’ science fiction and fantasy imprint, is now accepting complete and unagented manuscripts for two weeks. From October 1 until October 14, authors from around the world can send their manuscripts through special submission portal. You can find all the submission details at: http://harpervoyagerbooks.com/harper-voyager-submission-form/. Here’s more from the publisher: The manuscripts will then be read and those most suited to the global Harper Voyager list will be selected jointly by editors in the USA, UK and Australia.  Accepted submissions will benefit from the full publishing process: accepted manuscripts will be edited; and the finished titles will receive online marketing and sales support in World English markets. Voyager will be seeking an array of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly novels written in the epic fantasy, science . . .

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Remembering Chris Stevens: My Journey to Ouaouizerth

Melanie Kondrat (Morocco 2012-14) is working in Youth Development in Morocco. From Tacoma, Washington, she graduated from Gonzaga University in 2011. She blogs about her Peace Corps tour at www.postgradmel.com. Melanie gave me permission to reprint her touching account of her trip back to Ouaouizerth where Chris was a PCV. Remembering Chris Stevens: My Journey to Ouaouizerth by Malanie Kodrat (Morocco 2012-14) I like to think that if I had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the early 80’s Chris Stevens and I might have been friends. Maybe we would’ve bonded over our mutual love for the Tadla-Azilal province. For the mountains that surround us. For the red dirt that threatens to stain our clothes every day. For the generous culture of the Amazigh people who’ve inhabited this region for ages. Or maybe we would’ve bonded over a love for the West Coast (Best Coast). We might’ve compared . . .

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