Archive - 2012

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RPCV Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) on Gallery Cat Quotes Literary Agent on Self Publishing
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Excerpts From RPCV Internet Dialogs About Being Medically Displaced
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Review of Africa Lite? Boomers in Botswana
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Peace Corps Annual Report for FY 2012
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The Peace Corps Finally Takes Action on Health Issues
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Susan Rice Didn't Deserve State Post, Let Alone Her U.N. Role
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Joining The Peace Corps? Don't Get Sick, Whatever You Do From Mother Jones Magazine
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RPCVs Write: U.S. Must Step Forward To Stabilize Congo
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An African Market in Grand Central Station, NYC
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Susan Rice's Personality Disorder

RPCV Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) on Gallery Cat Quotes Literary Agent on Self Publishing

What Self-Publishing Can Not Accomplish By Jason Boog on October 25, 2012 3:07 PM Literary agent Janet Reid offered some self-publishing advice on her popular blog, ( http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com)  urging aspiring writers to take a realistic view of the indie route. Jason writes: 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, setting daunting odds new writers. What do you think? Check it out: “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 a 100 copies. . . .

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Excerpts From RPCV Internet Dialogs About Being Medically Displaced

My condition left me jobless, homeless, physically disabled, and in pain. I’m sure there are many more of you out there. Luckily I didn’t have kids or other family responsibilities, so I’ve had TIME to waste on the system, but what about the others? I would love to be asked to give my personal case history… that I lived on $100 a month, got sick and repeatedly asked for my PCMO’s (Peace Corps Medical Officers) help to do more tests and was told there was nothing more to do, when there was and now I get to live with a (…) disease for the rest of my life. So, the OIG (Office of Inspector General during GAO of RPCVs) wants to know if it is spending the PC is spending its money appropriately? The answer is an obvious NO! I don’t get responses from the DOL anymore. My case has . . .

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Review of Africa Lite? Boomers in Botswana

Africa Lite? Boomers in Botswana Christopher M. Doran (Botswana 2009-11) Author House  (amazon.com $16.95 paperback) 269 pages 2012 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) Warning from the author:  “Do not read this book unless you want to spend the day laughing out loud while being inspired by Africa and the Peace Corps.”   Dr. Christopher Doran and his wife, Maureen, joined Peace Corps in Botswana in their early sixties.  Their accomplishments were many.  They taught 86 medical students the basics of Mental Health, co-authored a book about discussing HIV/AIDS, Power Parents – Our Children and Sex, mentored 40 young adults on issues of leadership, health and HIV, photography and public speaking, and also guided younger Peace Corps Volunteers. Maureen taught reading and writing to “Bee Girls,” culminating in essays that were sent to the author of The Secret Life of Bees.  They gave over 40 workshops, lectures, and presentations . . .

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Peace Corps Annual Report for FY 2012

The problem documented in the Mother Jones article began in the Spring of 2009, more than three years ago. This was one of the danger transition times at Peace Corps when the administration was in flux because of the political changes brought about by the election. There was rapid staff turnover. In 2009, the Director resigned on January 20th and the permanent Director was not sworn in until August. This period in 2009 also saw the murder in Benin of Kate Puzey in March. During this time also, RPCV J. Larry Brown documents the chaotic administrative directives from  Washington to his Country Director post in Uganda in his memoir, Peasants Come Last. Since that time, there have been changes in the support Volunteers receive who are medically evacuated.  From page 91 of the current Annual Report: • Analysis of medical evacuations: Volunteers are medically evacuated from their country of service . . .

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The Peace Corps Finally Takes Action on Health Issues

[Nancy Tongue (Chile 1980-82) emailed the following statement to FairWarning about the article on the US Department of Labor and medical assistance to RPCV. Nancy started Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteer. You can read about it at: http://www.healthjusticeforpeacecorpsvolunteers.org/ This is their mission statement: Mission Statement To ensure that Peace Corps Volunteers who become sick and injured due to their overseas service obtain the support and benefits to which they are legally entitled.  Strategy To obtain as many stories as we can from Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to better understand the nature of their struggles so that we can bring their needs to public light. To constructively use these stories to approach media sources and to pressure the government to make necessary positive changes. Core Values To lobby for and support other Peace Corps volunteers with integrity, commitment and compassion. This is Nancy’s statement to Fair Warning on their article:   Health Justice for . . .

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Susan Rice Didn't Deserve State Post, Let Alone Her U.N. Role

From the Daily Beast by Jacob Heilbrunn Dec 14, 2012 The ambassador built her career on catering to authority, even some of Africa’s most loathsome dictators. Why the Libya fiasco had nothing to do with the Beltway insider’s demise.   With her decision to withdraw from consideraion as secretary of state, Susan Rice-and her greatest champion, President Obama-is finally bowing to the inevitable. Her supporters concocted any number of reasons to promote her ascension to the top floor of Foggy Bottom. She was, they said, being demonized by the right. She was being subjected to racism. She was just trying to please her superiors. And so on. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria in August in New York. (Stephen Chernin/AFP/Getty Images) Don’t believe a word of it. The real problem is not that she bungled Libya. It’s that . . .

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Joining The Peace Corps? Don't Get Sick, Whatever You Do From Mother Jones Magazine

[This article appeared on December 13, 2012 in Mother Jones Magazine. It was originally on www.FairWarning.com. I know that in conversations with the new Acting Director of the Peace Corps that she has been working on solving this problem with the Department of Labor and is dealing with it in ways that previous Peace Corps Directors haven’t. Carrie has spent her life in nonprofit organizations working on health issues, and she has taken major steps to resolve these issues that PCVs and RPCVs have. Years ago, I suggested to the NPCA that they make this their central issue to help RPCVs, but ALL the NPCA Presidents and CEO (and whatever other grand titles they call themselves) were only interested in advancing their own positions with overseas trips, congressional appearances, visits to the Peace Corps office, and fund raising to pay their salaries. This issue for the Peace Corps and all . . .

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RPCVs Write: U.S. Must Step Forward To Stabilize Congo

By: Michael O’Hanlon and Tony Gambino December 11, 2012 [Tony Gambino and Michael O’Hanlon were PCVs in the Congo in the 1970s and ’80s; Tony was also the  USAID mission director there from 2001-04. Today he teaches at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Michael O’Hanlon is senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. This article appeared on December 12, 2012 in Politico. It was entitled “U.S. Must Step Forward in Effort to Stabilize Congo.” Larry Lesser, a PCV in Nigeria, 1963-65, and later served at the Embassy in Kigali 1977-79 drew my attention to it. Larry also commented, “Personally I found the article somewhat idealistic but not persuasive.  I don’t think it is within the power of the U.S. to stabilize Congo — not even in concert with other African nations or other nations globally.  I don’t think Congo can be stabilized.  It isn’t a viable nation-state and eastern Congo historically has . . .

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An African Market in Grand Central Station, NYC

Years ago someone I worked with in D.C. said that RPCVs were like retired FBI agents, and when I asked him why, he remarked, “they take care of their own.” True enough. We especially ‘take care of those PCVs we served with” so let me do that now, and also do you a favor by recommending Bamboula, a craft store that is  owned and operated and everything else by Jasperdean Kobes (Ethiopia 1962-64). Jasperdean is an importer and wholesaler of contemporary gifts handcrafted from six African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda). The company’s mission is to create work and income for African artisans by selling handcrafted products to retailers in the US. Customers include independent gift shops, national mail order catalogs, museums and zoos, and other specialty retailers. In recent years, Jasperdean has also consulted for the West Africa Trade Hub, the East and Central Africa . . .

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Susan Rice's Personality Disorder

by Lloyd Grove The Daily Beast Dec 12, 2012 7:45 AM EST Brusque. Aggressive. Undiplomatic. The adjectives used to describe the ambassador aren’t kind. Lloyd Grove on Susan Rice’s polarizing temperament-and why that may matter more than Benghazi. Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations and President Obama’s most visible candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, is being subjected to an immutable law of the Washington power grid: In the rough and tumble of political combat, personality trumps policy. Government policy, especially foreign policy, is rife with nuance and complication. But personality is easier to grasp and harder to shed. Recent critiques of Rice’s influence on U.S. diplomacy in Rwanda, Sudan, and Eritrea over the past two decades are endlessly debatable among think-tank elites. Republican Sen. John McCain’s threat to block her (hypothetical) confirmation because she relied on faulty intelligence to mischaracterize the Sept. . . .

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