Archive - March 2013

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More on Pope Francis
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'Peace comes from Marine Corps, not Peace Corps' says former Congressman Allen West at CPAC 2013:
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The Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa Happy Hour and Book Party in Washington, DC
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Habemus Papam! "We Have a Pope!"Francis Is The First Jesuit
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The Peace Corps Faces Sequester Cuts of $19 million
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Secret Freelancer Knowledge from Neil Gaiman
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Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Publishes Fifth Novel on Holt, Colorado
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Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67)
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American University's New Peace Corps Archive Holds Opening Symposium
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A Writer Writes–Dr. Jack Allison (Malawi 1966-69)

More on Pope Francis

A cousin of mine, a Catholic priest, sent me the following email when I asked him about the selection of Pope Francis. His reply: When I spoke with fellow Jesuits from other countries about Bergoglio’s prospects for becoming pope, I was taken aback by their dislike. He was harsh and disciplinarian, they said, and never went to visit his Jesuit brothers in the curia in Rome. According to Marcó, the alienation between Bergoglio and the Jesuits was a thorn in his side that he bore with silent patience. Because of issues like this, and his confrontations with the Argentinian government on questions such as same-sex marriage, he has been classed as a conservative. But a different picture has been painted by one of Bergoglio’s friends, a radical feminist and Catholic called Clelia Luro, who is about as far to the left on the ecclesial spectrum as you can go. She married a prominent and respected bishop, Jerónimo Podestá – one of . . .

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'Peace comes from Marine Corps, not Peace Corps' says former Congressman Allen West at CPAC 2013:

[Thanks to Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964 & 67; PC/W 1968-73 & 1990-93) we have this item from the Bizpac Review written by Michael Dorstewitz on March 14, 2013.] • Beginning at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday morning, former congressman Allen West of Florida was the alarm clock for the enthusiastic Conservative Political Action Conference-2013 attendees. “There is no shortage of people telling us what conservatism cannot accomplish, what we can’t do, how we cannot connect, how we must change our values to fit the times,” he began. “Well ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that is truly a bunch of malarky.” “The last time I checked, a bended knee is not, nor shall it ever be, a conservative tradition.” He then steered the address to his own personal experience as a black conservative. “I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that there is nothing on this green earth that . . .

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The Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa Happy Hour and Book Party in Washington, DC

Book Party in D.C. The Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa Happy Hour and Book Party in Washington, DC is set for  Friday, March 22, 2013 at  The Dirty Martini, 1223 Connecticut Ave. NW (mezzanine level) www.dirtymartinidc.com. The time: 5-7 pm If you haven’t done so yet…please check out the trailer for the book… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SoqmUIHuRw Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984–87) Indie House Press $14.95 (paperback), $7.49 (Kindle) 258 pages 2013

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Habemus Papam! "We Have a Pope!"Francis Is The First Jesuit

Tino Calabia (Peru 1963-65) was kind enough to email me this item for today’s blog, knowing perhaps that I was a student of the Jesuits years ago at St. Louis University.  Tony writes about our new Pope being a Jesuit and how Jesuit schools are famous for their volunteer work. • Many of you may know the Jesuits started the international Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 1956, five years before the first PCVs arrived in Ghana (and Colombia). Like PCVs everywhere, these Jesuit Volunteers manifest the Jesuit spirit of serving others, especially the poor. It was my experience in the Peace Corps, and being associated with the agency from a distance, is that Jews and Catholics make up the majority of PCVs in terms of percentages.  When the Peace Corps recently released its list of the top 25 schools fielding PCVs in Fiscal Year 2012, Jesuit schools were prominently listed. The first of three categories was limited . . .

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The Peace Corps Faces Sequester Cuts of $19 million

The Peace Corps will need to reduce the total number of PCVs by approximately 300 Volunteers when the full force of the sequester takes hold. The Volunteers will go first, than the overseas staff, and, of course, no one in D.C. will be laid off. When the hammer of the sequester falls the total number of Peace Corps Volunteers will drop. We all know that regardless of who is in the White House or on the Hill, the Peace Corps is expendable. We are a token agency on the foreign aid front. The budget in 2012 was $375 million. The budget for the agency in 2013 is set at $377.295 million before the cuts begin. At the moment, we have 8,073 PCVs overseas. Of course, we don’t know who just ETed in the last ten minutes. We are currently in 76 countries, more or less. The high point for the agency in terms of . . .

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Secret Freelancer Knowledge from Neil Gaiman

Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) editor of Gallery Cat published this funny and true piece this afternoon, a commencement address by Neil Gaimen. Read the introduction by Jason and then watch the short video, do so if you are interested in writing, the arts, or just doing good for the world. In May, HarperCollins will publish Make Good Art, a Chip Kidd-designed book version of a Neil Gaiman commencement address. Gaiman’s speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia went viral last year, sharing “secret freelancer knowledge” that all kinds of writers, editors and freelance workers can use. We’ve embedded a video of his speech above-it also contains the best advice he ever received, delivered by the great novelist Stephen King. Here is Gaiman’s secret freelancer knowledge: You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is . . .

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Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Publishes Fifth Novel on Holt, Colorado

Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) is out with the fifth book in his cycle of novels set in the high plains of Colorado. Knopf has just published Benediction, and it is reviewed in the Sunday March 10, 2013, Book Section of The New York Times. Kent’s earlier, best-selling novels about this close-knit community–Holt, Colorado–are The Tie That Binds, Where You Once Belonged, Plainsong and Eventide. The plot is summed up this way: When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hastens back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank, but this cannot be willed away and remains a palpable presence for all three of them. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the . . .

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Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67)

This is from “Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie” an online journal about memoir. Melissa Shook is the editor. Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) Interview by Melissa Shook I’ve read Mary-Ann Tirone Smith’s ambitious and skillfully crafted memoir, Girls of Tender Age, three times. Forty-seven chapters of varying lengths, 275 pages, crammed with divergent, interweaving stories located  in a neighborhood where “you eat guinea food, drink harp beer, ostracize the frogs (since, as the most recent immigrants, they are at the bottom of the pecking order)” in a city, Hartford, Connecticut, where each Catholic church serves a distinctly separate ethnic group. Undoubtedly different readers will find specific threads of particular interest. Mine is in the family, with emphasis on the daughter/author capable of transmitting so much information, including the foibles of her mother, who is given to assigning blame and on the verge of a nervous breakdown until she starts working and . . .

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American University's New Peace Corps Archive Holds Opening Symposium

Bender Library Establishes Peace Corps Community Archive The Bender Library is pleased to announce the newly established Peace Corps Community Archive (PCCA) an exciting new joint initiative with the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of International Service. The PCCA will collect and exhibit materials documenting the experiences and impact of individuals who have served in the Peace Corps. The archive will serve as a research level collection for use by students and scholars studying peace diplomacy. The archive also aims to increase awareness of the history of the Peace Corps and interest in serving today. Bender Library is reaching out to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the DC area to donate their personal memorabilia. For more information about this exciting new archive or to make donation inquiries, please contact University Archivist Susan McElrath at archives@american.edu <mailto:archives@american.edu> or 202-885-3197. American University recently ranked second in the country for . . .

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A Writer Writes–Dr. Jack Allison (Malawi 1966-69)

Although Dr. Jack Allison retired from clinical medical practice in 2007 after a 30-year career in academic emergency medicine, he responded to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, where he treated hundreds of quake victims, and hundreds more who were without medical care.  Prior to retirement, he served as Chief of Staff of the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina  Before that, Dr. Allison was Chief of Staff at the VAMC in Syracuse, New York, a position he had held since 1999. Jack presently serves as Professor of Emergency Medical Care, College of Health & Human Sciences, Western Carolina University, where he teaches, performs research, and spearheads faculty development. In 2012 he volunteered during the month of February with Medical Teams International in Kenya and Somalia where he provided both emergency medical care and public health education to Somali refugees; and in October he volunteered with . . .

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