Archive - November 2012

1
Here's What Happened to Edward Lee Howard, RPCV & CIA Defector to the Soviet Union
2
Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Writes About Her Host Country in Departures Magazine
3
Death of a CIA Agent–No, He Wasn't in the Peace Corps
4
Review of Robert Hamilton's (Ethiopia 1965-67) Dr. Dark
5
Writer Finds New Life in his Hands- Potter Ron Arias (Peru 1963-65)
6
A Peace Corps for Doctors and Nurses
7
Ann Stevens Interviewed on CNN
8
Matthew Westfall's (Philippines 1983-85) The Devil's Causeway
9
Peace Corps Acting Director Gives An Update on Plans to Honor Ambassador
10
New York Times Reporter Jonathan Weisman (Guinea Bissau/Philippines 1988-90)

Here's What Happened to Edward Lee Howard, RPCV & CIA Defector to the Soviet Union

Howard joined the Peace Corps in 1973, right after he graduated from the University of Texas in Austin. He went to Costa Rica for Training for the Dominican Republic, then in February ’73 was reassigned to Colombia.  His site in Colombia was Bucaramanga and in June of that year he met another new PCV, Mary Cedarleaf, the woman he would marry. In October Howard was sent to Cali, a major sugar and manufacturing center in the tropical Cauca River valley, fifty miles from the Pacific. He COSed on August 31, 1974 and then worked for a few months as a  Peace Corps recruiter out of the Dallas office. He would have another brief Peace Corps recruitment job in St. Paul, met up again with Mary Cedarleaf, dated, and when he returned to graduate school in business administration at America University they would get married in D.C. Now, as Paul Harvard would say . . .

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Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Writes About Her Host Country in Departures Magazine

Departures Magazine, the premium publication of American Express that goes to holders of platinum cards, has a travel piece in its November/December 2012 thick Christmas issue written Vanity Fair Special Correspondent by Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) entitled, “Colombia: A Brave New World.” In her piece Maureen is able to make a pitch for her Marina Orth Foundation that works with three schools and 1,200 children in Colombia, teaching English and technology, and give a plug to the new NPCA Next Step Travel program which organizes two-week trips combining travel, service and education to places like Dominican Republic and Guatemala.  She also tells rich card holders what to see and where to go in this “now-thriving South American country” that has “emerged as a full-fledged tourist destination ready for its moment.” Maureen sums up her connection to Colombia this way, “My journey to the country began more than four decades ago . . .

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Death of a CIA Agent–No, He Wasn't in the Peace Corps

All of the recent talk about inappropriate emails from General John Allen and the end of CIA Director David Petraeus’s career because of his affair with Paula Broadwell brought back to mind a short item I read recently in the back pages of the Washington Post, there was an obit on Eric H. Biddle, Jr. noting that he was a CIA during the early Cold War days who later became an outspoken critic of the discrimination he said he faced in later employment because of his espionage career. He died at the age of 84. Briddle was with the CIA from 1952-60, specializing in Soviet intelligence. In 1960, he became involved with a Greek woman while working in Greece, but CIA employees are prohibited from marrying foreign nationals, and while he did not marry the woman, he quit the agency. He returned to the U.S. and thought about joining the Peace . . .

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Review of Robert Hamilton's (Ethiopia 1965-67) Dr. Dark

Dr. Dark by Robert E. Hamilton (Ethiopia 1965–67) Amazon Digital, $.99 356 pages October, 2012 Reviewed by R J Huddy (Morocco 1981-83) The set-up for Robert Hamilton’s novel Dr. Dark is an event that many of us might have encountered at one time or another. One day you’re tooling along, minding your own business, when, without warning, some startling event occurs, and suddenly someone needs your immediate assistance. Sometimes it even means life or death. Maybe someone needs a Heimlich maneuver, or CPR. Or maybe, as in Dr. Dark, it’s a car accident. You may find-as did Hamilton’s Dr. Barbara Kelly-that someone else, a total stranger, has appeared at your side, and for a few moments you are irrevocably linked with this stranger in the immense effort to save the life of another stranger. Perhaps, like Dr. Kelly, you are more calm and rational in that tense effort than you’d . . .

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Writer Finds New Life in his Hands- Potter Ron Arias (Peru 1963-65)

[When I first met Ron Arias (Peru 1963-65)  he worked for People Magazine. I asked him what he wrote about and he smiled and said that he covered the Third World for People! Indeed he did. Ron’s first book was The Road to Tamazunchale, published by Bilingual Press in 1992. He then wrote Five Against the Sea, which grew out of an article that he wrote for People. He co-authored, Healing from the Heartwith the famous Dr. Mehmet Oz, published by Dutton in 1998. With Paul D. White Ron wrote White’s Rules: Saving Our Youth One Kid at a Time, a story of a Canoga Park teacher’s response to killing of a student , published in 2007 by Random House. His memoir of his father, published by Bilingual Review Press, was entitled, Moving Target. It came out in 2002. By then, he had left People and returned to his home in Southern California. Rob’s brother, Bob, also . . .

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A Peace Corps for Doctors and Nurses

[Today’s Chronicle of Higher Educationhas an article by Katherine Mangran entitled “Would-Be Doctors Will Get More Opportunities to Study and Teach Abroad.” It is about  the Association of American Medical Colleges new Global Health Learning Opportunities,  directed by Dr. Janette Samaan. In the large world of the Peace Corps connections, Dr. Samaan is the older sister Laurette Bennhold-Samaan  the Peace Corps’ first Cross-Cultural Specialist (1996-2001). Janette is also married to an RPCV. Another session at the recent San Francisco meeting featured a new Peace Corps for doctors and nurses program which will send its first participants to teach in medical schools in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda next summer, 2013. Here is the full article by Katherine Mangan] Fourth-year medical students would find it easier to spend a year abroad, and recent graduates could have student loans forgiven while training medical faculty in developing countries, under two new programs highlighted here at the annual meeting of the Association of American . . .

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Ann Stevens Interviewed on CNN

Ann Stevens was interviewed on CNN’s “Out Front” last night. Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) one of our bloggers on this site captured the link to the “Out Front” program. Ann mentions the Peace Corps towards the end of the interview. Briefly, she said that the Peace Corps Community, Volunteers, staff and RPCVs are looking for the best way to honor her brother by increasing cross-cultural awareness and appreciation.  That is not a direct quote; but the efforts of the Peace Corps Community were acknowledged by her. She said this in the context of a conversation she had with a high ranking official in the State Department. Here is the link: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2012/11/09/erin-bts-anne-stevens-intv.cnn  

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Matthew Westfall's (Philippines 1983-85) The Devil's Causeway

The Devil’s Causeway The True Story of America’s First Prisoners of War in Philippines, and the Heroic Expedition Sent to Their Rescue by Matthew Westfall (Philippines 1983-85) Lyons Press $26.95 (hardcover); $12.90 (Kindle) 417 pages 2012 Reviewed by P. David Searles (CD Philippines 1971–74) TO THE EXTENT THAT AMERICANS KNOW anything about the Philippines, they tend to know that the United States played a key role in liberating the country from its 300-year-long Spanish occupation.  They would probably know enough to say that this event took place during the Spanish American War at the end of the nineteenth century.  What they have little or no knowledge about is the fierce, bloody and barbaric war that the United States and the Philippines fought immediately following the dispatch of the Spanish. Even to this day, the United States refuses to give the struggle legitimacy by calling it a ‘War.’  Instead, we insist . . .

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Peace Corps Acting Director Gives An Update on Plans to Honor Ambassador

Dear Members of the Peace Corps family: Given your continued outpouring of support and concern for honoring U.S. Ambassador and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Chris Stevens, I would like to reiterate the essence of my earlier message to those who have written more recently and to update everyone on our plans for honoring and remembering Ambassador Stevens. Through your support and concern for Ambassador Stevens, you have made evident that his tragic death was keenly felt within the  Peace Corps community, and you have reminded me of how close a family we are at the Peace Corps.  You have also heartened the Stevens family by your outpouring of support. As I mentioned in my earlier email message to you, the Peace Corps has been in touch with the Stevens family since just after Ambassador Stevens’ tragic death.  With them, we have begun a conversation on the most appropriate manner . . .

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New York Times Reporter Jonathan Weisman (Guinea Bissau/Philippines 1988-90)

You may have read the A1 story above the fold, left side, in the New York Times this morning. It was written by journalist and RPCV Jonathan Weisman (Guinea Bissau/Philippines 1988-90.) Jonathan is one of two RPCV reporters at the NYTIMES. The other is Maya Lau (Senegal 2009-11). Maya is in New York; Jonathan works out of the Washington office. We have had other RPCVs working for the TIMES, (our blogger Karen DeWitt (Ethiopia 1964-66) was one.) Jonathan says he had a strange Peace Corps career. “My wife and I went to Guinea Bissau in July 88 to train for Peace Corps 1 in Cape Verde. But the Cape Verdean government shrunk the program and we were left in the cold. We were then transferred to the Philippines where we served until July 1990, when the program was evacuated. With two years in and lots of evacuations due to the invasion . . .

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