Archive - June 2013

1
Review of Jeffrey Vollmer (Estonia 1997-99) Faded Gray
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Volunteers of America by Jim Graham (Nicaragua 1970-71)
3
Review of Robert F. Nicholas (Philippines 1968-70) Hey Joe
4
New Archives for Peace Corps Books at American University Library
5
LINK AND READ THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN PEACE CORPS AND KRAFT FOODS
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Review of Meredith W. Cornett (Panama 1991-93) Peace Corps in Panama: Fifty Years, Many Voices
7
Remembering Andy Oerke (Malawi CD 1966-69)

Review of Jeffrey Vollmer (Estonia 1997-99) Faded Gray

Faded Gray by Jeffrey Vollmer (Estonia 1997-99) Self Published, $15; ebook $8.00 391 pages March 2013 Reviewed by Darcy Munson Meijer (in Gabon from 1982-1984. Faded Gray by Jeffrey Vollmer is the only Peace Corps Worldwide book I’ve reviewed that involves a corrupt Peace Corps. This and the development of the main character make this work of fiction quite interesting. However, before Vollmer pens additional books, he should take a course in syntax and punctuation or pay an editor to help him with his stories. Faded Gray follows Grayson Palmer, a PCV posted in Estonia, part of the “former Soviet Union’s wild east.” Palmer’s assignment is to author grant proposals for the Tartu Industrial Park and Science Incubator, or TIPSI. Grayson quickly learns that he can make additional money by writing grants for goods and services already funded. As he settles in, he comes to see this not as corruption . . .

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Volunteers of America by Jim Graham (Nicaragua 1970-71)

[Jim writes that this ‘incident’ is the opening of his memoir of Nicaragua. The ‘basic incident is true, the particulars are mine’ he writes. The latrine project in part 2 of the story is one of the projects he was involved with. The photo is of Jim working the warehouse he mentions in the story.] • Volunteers of America By Jim Graham (Nicaragua 1970-71) They crossed the Rio Coco at its lowest point.  At this time of year, the river was shallow. Their horse’s hooves threw up muddy water as the bandits splashed toward the other shore, into another country. Northeast Nicaragua, the Mosquito Coast on the Gulf of Mexico, didn’t seem different from Honduras. Both were poor and oppressively hot at midday, siesta time.  The bandits liked to move during siesta, when all of Latin America is sleeping.  This strategy had succeeded many times before. Once across the river, . . .

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Review of Robert F. Nicholas (Philippines 1968-70) Hey Joe

Hey Joe: Poems and Stories from the Peace Corps by Robert F. Nicholas (the Philippines 1968-70) Self Published $9.99 (paperback); $1.99 (ebook) from Barnes and Noble 146 pages October, 2012 Reviewed by P. David Searles (Staff 1971-76) Every American who has been to the Philippines will be captivated by the title of this book: ‘Hey Joe.‘  My guess is that this phrase is among the most remembered aspects of living in the country, especially for those who lived in the barrios.  All Filipinos – young, old, male, female, educated or not – used ‘Hey Joe’ to greet any and all Americans at every turn.  Once, needing to pass through a raucous demonstration to enter the American Embassy, dozens of Filipinos stopped what they were doing to hail me with ‘Hey Joe’ dozens of times, all with good humor and affection.  For Americans in the Philippines ‘Hey Joe’ is a perfect . . .

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New Archives for Peace Corps Books at American University Library

Thanks to a suggestion made by Pat Wand (Colombia 1963-65) I have been in touch with a new Peace Corps Archives at American University in Washington, D.C. and made arrangements, with the cooperation of Susan McElrath and Erica Bogese of the Archives, to have the university take our’Peace Corps Memoirs.  As Susan wrote me recently, “we would be interested in receiving copies of all of the Peace Corps memoirs.” The one requirement is that the writers contact the Archives before sending anything to them. The contact is: Erica Bogese Bender Library American University 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8046 Erica’s contact information: Phone (202) 885-3242 Email bogese@american.edu The information you need to know about what material to send the Archives  is outlined below or you can go directly to: http://bender.library.american.edu/pcca/?page_id=16 Thank you Susan and Erica and everyone connected with this American University Peace Corps Archives project. This is a wonderful opportunity . . .

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LINK AND READ THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN PEACE CORPS AND KRAFT FOODS

This MOU represents a collaborative relationship between Kraft Foods and the Peace Corps. In the  section, III Mission, the MOU states “The purpose of Kraft Foods is to be a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivalled portfolio of brands people love. In the same section, the MOU states “The purpose of the Peace Corps is to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; to help promote a a better understanding of  Americans on the part of the peoples served; and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Here is the link:                                 mou_peace_corps_mondelez Read and comment.

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Review of Meredith W. Cornett (Panama 1991-93) Peace Corps in Panama: Fifty Years, Many Voices

Peace Corps in Panama: Fifty Years, Many Voices Edited by Meredith W. Cornett (Panama 1991–93) Peace Corps Writers $10.00 182 pages 2013 Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000–03) This slender volume is a delight, providing stories from the earliest days of Peace Corps Panama right up to 2013. First envisioned during a reunion of Panama RPCVs during the 50th anniversary, the project grew as vignettes, poems, and letters written by those who served through the years were gathered together. They appear in chronological order, with a 20-year break beginning in 1971 when General Omar Torrijos ousted the Peace Corps amid rumors that volunteers were CIA spies.  After the signing of the treaty returning the canal to Panama, followed by Torrijos’ death in a plane crash and Manuel Noriega’s arrest, volunteers were invited back again. Editor Cornett, also a contributor, obviously undertook her task as a labor of love, offering . . .

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Remembering Andy Oerke (Malawi CD 1966-69)

In feature articles The New York Times and International Herald Tribune have said that here is a poet “whose muse is a world traveler.” Andrew Oerke has lived many lives.  After suggesting, he told me,  the idea of the Peace Corps to Jerry Clark, Kennedy’s campaign manager in Wisconsin, he went on to become a Peace Corps Director in Africa and the Caribbean, and for many years president of a private and voluntary organization working in developing countries. Oerke worked and visited in more than 160 countries, is a Golden Gloves champ, football player, university professor and Poet-in-Residence, dean of administration at one of the largest community colleges, U.S. Korean War veteran, World Bank consultant, and consultant to the United Nations on the Gulf War, on financial services, and on the environment. Mr. Oerke was also the first Director of the International Folk Festival on the Mall for the Smithsonian, . . .

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