Archive - November 2012

1
New RPCV in Congress!
2
George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Tells It Like It Is!
3
Armenia RPCVs Still Making A Difference
4
Going For 1,000 Signatures on Honor Chris Stevens' Petition
5
Cancer Finally Kills The Gringo!
6
Craig Carrozzi Reading in San Francisco this Saturday
7
What Self-Publishing Can Not Accomplish

New RPCV in Congress!

Joe Kennedy III won the race to replace retiring Representative Barney Frank in the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts. Kennedy, a Democrat (of course!), is the great-nephew of JFK and Senator Edward Kennedy. He went to Harvard Law School and was in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Most recently he was an assistant district attorney in Massachusetts’ Middlesex County. Kennedy, 32, is among the youngest members of Congress. He won easily. Kennedy joins two term Congressman, John Garamendi (Ethiopia 1965-67) of California third District, who also won by more than 10 points. RPCV Sam Farr (Colombia 1964-66) won in California, as did Mike Honda (El Salvador 1965-67), also of California, and Republican Tom Petri (Somalia 1966-67) won in Wisconsin. It is possible that I missed an RPCV in the house and senate, if so, let me know.

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George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Tells It Like It Is!

George Packer (Togo 1982-83) has a long and fascinating profile piece entitled, “Washington Man” in the October 29 & November 5, 2012 issue of The New Yorker. The profile is on Jeff Connaughton who came to Washington from Alabama in 1994 and was swept up into the political cycle, where, as George writes, he went “from public servant to rich lobbyist.” At the end of his “political career, (and near the end of his article,) Packer writes: “Outside, he [Connaughton] stood at the corner of Nassau and Wall Streets, exhilarated. He had just blown himself up in the heart of American finance. He would never again be a member of the permanent class. Connaughton’s Senate job ended in the middle of the month. He flew to Costa Rica and went on an eight-hour hike. When he returned to his hotel room, he took a long shower, letting the water soak him . . .

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Armenia RPCVs Still Making A Difference

[Thanks to Ken Hill (Turkey 1965-67) I heard about  a short video done by a group of RPCVs who still are making a difference.  They are a perfect example of how RPCVs continue to serve their countries, years after their tours.] Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri (Armenia 2003-05) is the Founder and Executive Director of Friends of Warm Hearth, Inc. It is a special group home for orphans with disabilities in Armenia, set up by Natalie and other RPCV. Natalie wrote me recently how all of this came about. “Near the close of my service,” she said, “I found out that the children with disabilities were going to be sent to a psychiatric institution.  I thought I could find another alternative for them — but was unable to do so.  I spent the last few months of my service feverishly trying to come up with something.  In the end, friends and family (worldwide) . . .

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Going For 1,000 Signatures on Honor Chris Stevens' Petition

Tino Calabia (Peru, 1963-65) who rallied all of us RPCVs in support of Ambassador Christopher Stevens sent me a note about our collective efforts to reach 1000 signatures. He also noticed that the most recent signer–number 883–is Mary Pendleton who was a PCV in Tunisia and later became the first U.S Ambassador to Moldova. Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) established a petition at SignOn.org that we hope you will sign. This is what Tino had to say: Over 880, Going for 1,000 Signatures on ‘Honor Chris Stevens’ Petition The elections finally end tomorrow, yet RPCV/Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death in Libya may still come up in some post-election partisan gamesmanship.  So it remains up to RPCVs to try to illuminate Stevens’ service as a remarkable Peace Corps Volunteer, charismatic diplomat, and our fallen US Ambassador to Libya. Honoring Stevens by dedicating prominent space in his name at Peace Corps HQ may . . .

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Cancer Finally Kills The Gringo!

The New York Times obituary notice reads:”Jack Hood Vaughn, who led the Peace Corps at the height of its volunteer enrollment in the late 1960s, died on Monday at his home in Tucson. The cause was cancer.” The notice included this photograph of Vaughn taken in 1966 with President Johnson and Shriver. It’s a lengthy obituary, but does not tell the story of Vaughn at the Peace Corps. Only a novel could do Jack Hood Vaughn’s life full justice. Born and raised in Columbus, Montana, where the Yellowstone River pours out of the Rocky Mountains, Johnny Hood, as he called himself back then, felt an early attraction toward Mexico. “I was bumming around Mexico,” he told me later in his life, “and I ran out of money.  I decided I would take my boxing skills and turn pro, but I didn’t know enough Spanish at the time to tell whether . . .

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Craig Carrozzi Reading in San Francisco this Saturday

Craig Carrozzi (Colombia 1978-80) will be signing books this Saturday, November 3rd, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Green Arcade Bookstore at 1680 Market Street at the corner of Gough in San Francisco. The Green Arcade is a very eclectic and original bookstore. Craig will be featuring readings from The Curse of Chief Tenaya, an historic novel about the Gold Rush and Yosemite and, City ‘Scapes, the nostalgic book about the San Francisco Giants who just won the World Series. Both of these books are available as E-books from Amazon, but there are only a precious few copies in original book form and they are sold exclusively at the Green Arcade.  Craig will also will be selling his trilogy of South American adventure travel books, Wedding of the Waters, The Road to El Dorado, and Festival of Conception.

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What Self-Publishing Can Not Accomplish

From Galley Cat, the blog of  Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) on October 25, 2012 3:07 PM Literary agent Janet Reid offered some self-publishing advice on her popular blog, urging aspiring writers to take a realistic view of the indie route. According to her post, self-published writers need to sell “more than 20,000 copies” to get the attention of traditional publishers these days. These are tough numbers for any kind of author, and set daunting odds new writers. What do you think? Check it out Janet concludes: This post is not to dissuade you from self-publishing. Have at it with all your might. BUT be realistic about what self-publishing is, and what it can accomplish. And more important what it can NOT accomplish. First among the list for what it can’t is launch a mystery series.  Publishers are not keen on picking up Book #2 if Book #1 sold fewer than . . .

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