Archive - January 2013

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Legendary Early Peace Corps Trainer Is Remembered by His Volunteers
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Talking With Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) about her new book In the Valley of Atibon
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Review of Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) Book on Haiti
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Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10) in the New York Times, Writing from Diabaly, Mali
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RPCVs at the Inauguration
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Eye on the Sixties has its Premiere!
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Scott Skinner (Nepal 1964-66) in Nepal, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
8
Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000) Book of Poems
9
Remembering Hemingway
10
Our RPCV Reporting From Mali Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10)

Legendary Early Peace Corps Trainer Is Remembered by His Volunteers

[Ken Hill ( Turkey 1965-67) later joined the Peace Corps staff in Washington.  In 2001 he was Chief of Staff at Peace Corps Headquarters before which he was Chief of Operations for Europe and Asia after serving as Country Director in the Russian Far East, Bulgaria and Macedonia.  He was also Chairman of the Board of the National Peace Corps Association for three years. Ken was kind enough to send me his remembrance of  Bill Whitman that I am pleased to publish for the Peace Corps Community.] Our colleague and friend, Willard “Bill” Whitman passed away on December 19 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. Bill was 95 and suffered from heart ailments.  He is survived by Doris Clark Whitman, his wife of 67 years and his two daughters, Jean Heimer, and Doreen McGill; a sister; and five grandchildren. Many of us will remember Bill as the director of training for . . .

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Talking With Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) about her new book In the Valley of Atibon

LEITA KALDI (Senegal 1993-96) worked at the United Nations in New York, UNESCO in Paris, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University. She then joined Peace Corps and went to Senegal and wrote a memoir about two years entitled, Roller Skating in the Desert. In 1997, she  became Administrator of Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti and retired from the hospital in 2002. Leita has now written In the Valley of Atibon. It is her story of Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, where she went as a middle-aged white woman, and filled with good intentions had to deal with young revolutionaires and vagabonds who threatened her life, while also dealing with a hospital and community development program which she tried to manage. In Haiti Leita would delve into the mysteries of Voudou, and learns first-hand about the undercurrent of terror that drives rural Haitians. Also, she was inspired by Haitians . . .

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Review of Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) Book on Haiti

In the Valley of Atibon By Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) A Peace Corps Writers Book, $20 257 pages 2012 Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000-03) In 2010, Leita Kaldi’s memoir of her Peace Corps service in Senegal, Roller Skating in the Desert, came out. Now she is back again, writing about her subsequent years, 1997-2002, as administrator of Hospital Albert Schweitzer located in Haiti’s Eden-like Artibonite Valley.  It was founded by Larimer Mellon and his wife Gwen who chose to devote their portion of the Mellon family fortune to building a hospital there honoring Dr. Schweitzer’s work in Africa. Author Kaldi , who had served as a business development volunteer in Senegal, returned to the States only briefly before, at age 58, undertaking her new duties in Haiti. As with many former Peace Corps volunteers, overseas service had gotten into her blood. She exemplifies how Peace Corps can open . . .

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Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10) in the New York Times, Writing from Diabaly, Mali

[Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10) is a freelance journalist, writer and analyst based in Bamako, Mali. He writes and reports on issues pertaining to politics, culture and security in West Africa. He has lived and worked in the region since 2008, first as a PCV in Gao, northern Mali.] Thiss is from January 22, 2013 As Troops Advance in Mali, U.S. Begins Airlift By LYDIA POLGREEN, PETER TINTI and ALAN COWELL SÉGOU, Mali – Malian and French forces were reported to be in control of two important central Malian towns on Tuesday after the French Defense Ministry said they recaptured them on Monday, pushing back an advance by Islamist militants who have overrun the country’s northern half. At the same time, the United States military said on Tuesday that it had begun airlifting French troops and equipment from a base in southern France to Bamako, the capital of Mali, aboard giant . . .

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RPCVs at the Inauguration

The Peace Corps RPCVs wasn’t allowed to march down Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday in the Inaugural Parade–even though Volunteering was the theme of Sunday’s events. However, a few Peace Corps VIPs grabbed choice seats to hear the President’s address. Photographed below, from right to left, are RPCVs Steve Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83), his wife, Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) Acting Director of the Peace Corps, Yue Sai Kan, who Time magazine proclaimed “Queen of the Middle Kingdom, RPCV and Vanity Fair’s Special Correspondent Maureen Orth (Colombia 1965-67), with Anne Finucane head of Bank of America Marketing and Foundation who, I understand, reserved the seats for the Peace Corps folks. They were all close enough to wave at the the President and VP as they left their cars for the Swearing In.

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Eye on the Sixties has its Premiere!

 The recent advanced screening “premiere” at the Cape Cod Cinema was a stunning success, the result of many things coming together.  Not only was it a fabulous experience to show the film in the great Cape Cinema with Eric Hart at the helm of this extraordinary community resource, but they also had a nice party afterward at the Dennis Inn in Dennis, MA.  . A few days ago, Cape Cod Times columnist Sean Gonsalves stopped by to interview Rowland and Chris Szwedeo who made “Eye on the Sixties” which I’m happy to share here.   By Sean Gonsalves January 20, 2013 End credits roll down the screen. A capacity crowd at the Cape Cinema in Dennis last Sunday stands and applauds for a minute-and-a-half. They’d just seen “Eye on the Sixties,” a 90-minute documentary based on the photos of Rowland Scherman, a photojournalist from Orleans who captured some of the most striking images ofthat . . .

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Scott Skinner (Nepal 1964-66) in Nepal, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

This interview with Scott Skinner (Nepal 1964-66) was published the other day on www.mercantile.com.np and online Nepal news service. There primary objective is to bring “news as it happens,” quality news which is impartial, timely and independent. They also want to make this a web community for all people around the globe who have any interest, or need any information about Nepal. So, we thank them for this great piece about Scott who lives in Vermont and is a major public figure in that state. Skinner has been a lawyer in Vermont for some thirty years. He was also Director of the Vermont American Civil Liberties Union, and worked at Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). For the past few years he had worked with his law partner, Pat Biggam, to raise money to build three primary schools in eastern Nepal. The article was brought to my attention by Don . . .

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Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000) Book of Poems

Several times a week I get books in the mail from RPCV writers….mostly I know they are coming as I have been forewarned by the author. The other day I got one via Amazon.com that came to me without notice, no fanfare, I didn’t request it. It was a collection of poems from a guy named Ben Berman. I never heard of him. The jacket cover suggested Africa. When I looked closer I saw that it was an image entitled, The Unnamed by Petros of Harare, Zimbabwe. On the author page, sure enough there was black-and-white photo of young Ben Berman, and a short biographical paragraph saying that he grew up in Maine and served in Zimbabwe. Now, for some reason we don’t have many writers who were PCVs in Zimbabwe (is it because of the water?) Nor, for that matter, do we have many RPCV poets. This collection of poems . . .

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Remembering Hemingway

            Sunday Morning July 2, 1961 The road home was flat. Miss Mary drove. The old hunter, watching The distant hills, Small breasts against the plains, Thought of Kenya, the rugged Mountains, where death was Close as brush, Gentler than the Slow defacing of flesh. He wrote of sin as no small town Methodist ever had, Carving his prose with a new King of tool; Honed in the woods of Michigan, Sharpened by a fascist war, And tempered for an old man of Cuba. Fragile as the light birds he Picked from the sky Decades and miles away, He no longer heard the call. Pencils now were hollow in his hands, The juice that flowed so ready Had yellowed in his veins. He was what Gertrude had proclaimed. Sunday he woke to our tragedy, Sought in the library of his exile His own Kilimanjaro. Feeling . . .

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Our RPCV Reporting From Mali Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10)

[Peter Tinti (Mali 2008-10) is a freelance journalist, writer and analyst splitting time between Bamako, Mali and Dakar, Senegal. He writes and reports on issues pertaining to politics, culture and security in West Africa and the Maghreb. He has lived and worked in the region since 2008, first as a PCV in Gao, northern Mali. He holds an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College London as well as degrees in Political Science and Peace War & Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among other outlets, Tinti’s writing, reporting and analysis has appeared in Think Africa Press, World Politics Review, Christian Science Monitor, BBC, and Voice of America. This is from CS Monitor, published on January 13, 2013. With French airstrikes, has the war to retake northern Mali begun? Today’s expansion of the French air campaign beyond central Mali has left many wondering if . . .

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