Archive - May 8, 2013

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Former Morocco Country Director David Burgess Remembers Chris Stevens
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Review of Burgess Needle's (Thailand 1967-69) Thai Comic Books

Former Morocco Country Director David Burgess Remembers Chris Stevens

A Salaam Alaykum. We’re here today to remember Chris Stevens – particularly his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1983 to 1985.  In some respects that’s a bit of an oxymoron:  In three decades, I haven’t come across anyone who met Chris Stevens who didn’t remember him quite well.  He was truly a remarkable person and made a profound impression on people he met. So we do remember him. Thirty years ago next month, Chris Stevens had his first encounter with North Africa when he arrived for Peace Corps training in Azrou, a predominantly Berber town in Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains.  And North Africa had its first encounter with Chris Stevens. It was evidently love at first sight, for North Africa and the Middle East kept calling him back; and Chris spent the better part of his life either working there, or moving the necessary levers so . . .

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Review of Burgess Needle's (Thailand 1967-69) Thai Comic Books

Thai Comic Books Poems from my life in Thailand With the Peace Corps by Burgess Needle (Thailand 1967-69) Big Table Publishing, $14.00 60 pages 2013 Reviewed by Tony Zurlo(Nigeria 1964-66) In the Tucson Weekly, Author/Critic Jarret Keene wrote that in the poem “Who Collects the Eggs” Burgess Needle is exposing how the “teacher inevitably becomes a student, and how a child’s perspective is often more realistic and more enlightening than any so-called grown-up’s.” I concur absolutely; indeed, Needle’s collection Thai Comic Books is about this maturation, a process that perhaps most volunteers experience. An experience that seems to validate why the Peace Corps in the 1960s and still today is worthy of expansion  (Congress please take notice). Postcard photos of ducks in Boston intrigue his Thai school children. They ask who owns the ducks . He answers that nobody owns them: PUBLIC ducks. What does that MEAN? Why do children . . .

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