Archive - December 2013

1
Peace Corps Writers publishes Jon Thiem’s Letters from Ghana 1968–1970
2
Review of William G. Spain's The African Adventures of James Johnson
3
Go See Gaudi in Barcelona

Peace Corps Writers publishes Jon Thiem’s Letters from Ghana 1968–1970

Several years back, author/editor Jon Thiem mentioned to a young woman (with a Ph.D.) that in the late 1960s he had served in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. She thought he was talking about a United Nations Peace Keeping operation! Taken by surprise, he laughed and thanked her for the alternative biography she had bestowed on him. Then he told her about Peace Corps. The incident was what initially inspired him to compile this collection Letters from Ghana 1968-1970: A Peace Corps Chronicle A combination of historical forces in the 1960s induced tens of thousands of (mainly) young U.S. volunteers to live in countries other than their own and engage in humanitarian activities. The body of letters that resulted from this great Peace Corps diaspora is a rich yet neglected legacy. From August 1968 to June 1970, Thiem was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village in the . . .

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Review of William G. Spain's The African Adventures of James Johnson

Bubba: The African Adventures of James Johnson by William G. Spain (Malawi 1966–68) ZIWA Books $25.00 (paperback) 400 pages 2013 Reviewed by Walter Morris Baker, Ph.D. (Ethiopia 1966-68) Reading novels for pleasure is not a usual practice for me. Since leaving Peace Corps service almost fifty years ago, my reading has been primarily directed toward reading professional articles and books related to my career as a Psychologist and government regulations related to other occupational activities. For that reason, my reading is usually conducted very slowly in search of details and nuances. With that in mind, I accepted the task of reading Bubba: A Novel for the purpose of writing a review. “This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.” It is a . . .

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Go See Gaudi in Barcelona

Barcelona is worth a visit just to see the works of Catalonia’s Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí   (1852-1926). Gaudí was born close to Barcelona and was sent there at seventeen to study  architecture. His teachers found him ‘difficult’ because of his ‘strange’ ways of treating structural shapes. That didn’t stop him. Gaudí is noted for his reflection of nature in his designs, from curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and brightly colored tiles arranged in mosaic patterns. Among the 14 keys works of Gaudí in Barcelona, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, is the most famous. It is, in fact, the No.1 most visited attraction in Barcelona. This giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1883 and it’s not expected to be completed for another 30 to 80 years. Consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2010, it is a synthesis of Gaudí’s architectural theory and practice. Gaudí worked . . .

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