Archive - November 11, 2013

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Rowland Scherman's (HQ Staff 1961-63) film Eye on the '60s
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Where Were You When John F. Kennedy was Shot? Roger Landrum (Nigeria 1961-63) Remembers
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Review of Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997-99)The Ravenala
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Draft Strategic Plan 2015-2018 – Continuation of Service

Rowland Scherman's (HQ Staff 1961-63) film Eye on the '60s

I saw this film last night. It is great! I had the opportunity to relive my Twenties. A large section of it is film from the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary, events as well as the March to Arlington. Rowland Scherman went around the world for the Peace Corps in the fall of ’62 and there are photographs from that era, as well as great images and stories about Bob Dylon, The Beatles, Arthur Ashe, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, all the Kennedys and Shrivers, and maybe you! Check it out. Thursday Night Nov. 14. 7:30pm Cape Ann Community Cinema 21 Main Street Gloucester, MA http://vimeo.com/ondemand/eyeonthe60s/66046480

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Where Were You When John F. Kennedy was Shot? Roger Landrum (Nigeria 1961-63) Remembers

I was on a Peace Corps recruiting blitz at University of Pennsylvania sitting at a table in the student union handing out brochures for “the toughest job you’ll ever love,” jawboning students to take the plunge, having just returned from two years as a PCV in Nigeria. Word of JFK’s assassination circulated through the union with a shocked buzz. The sudden death of our young president seemed unreal. The recruiting team immediately headed back to DC by van. At the recruiting table with us was a relative of LBJ, who had been foisted on the PC staff. I thought she was going to break a leg in her rush to get back to Washington. Peace Corps headquarters, then across Lafayette Park from the White House, was a stricken place. Everyone, including me, felt like royalty had been assassinated. Many early PCVs shared the feeling that JFK had personally empowered us, . . .

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Review of Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997-99)The Ravenala

The Ravenala by Jackie Zollo Brooks (Madagascar 1997-99) A Peace Corps Writers Book $16.00 (paperback) 286 pages 2013 Review by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) The Ravenala is a palm tree found in Madagascar, whose fanning branches point east and west, so it is also called the “travelers’ tree.” It serves as a metaphor for the novel, especially its main character, Vivian, who seeks direction and freedom as a Peace Corps Volunteer in her early sixties. The Malagasy people who are her English students, and those who work for her domestically teach her lessons in humility, goodness and courage. When her gas stove blows up in the face of Merlah, her warrior guard, she takes care of him, treating his burns, and realizes how deeply she cares about him, his family and the brave island people. Vivian walks past prisoners of a crumbling fort who are free to go have . . .

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Draft Strategic Plan 2015-2018 – Continuation of Service

Third Goal Activities and the role of RPCVs are part of the Draft Strategic Plan. I have underlined the two items that caught my attention. Rather than the all RPCV run agency that Dr. Robert Textor envisioned with his “In, Up and Out” policy”, the Peace Corps agency will “Establish a competitive internship program where exceptional RPCVs compete for year-long positions within the agency and its strategic partners.” The other interesting item is the plan to engage RPCVs in a network “similar to a college alumni model”. I found the reference to college illuminating. I am beginning to think that the institutional model that best describes the Peace Corps best is that of a university. The “traditional” Peace Corps Volunteer is the undergraduate. The RPCVs in the lower level positions are the graduate assistants, soon to be replaced by the proposed “interns.” The other employees are the adjunct professors, on . . .

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