Archive - February 4, 2014

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The Passing of Sal Tedesco (PC Staff Ghana, Somalia, Kenya 1962-65)
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Review of Bryant Wieneke's (Niger 1974-76) A Dry and Thirsty Land

The Passing of Sal Tedesco (PC Staff Ghana, Somalia, Kenya 1962-65)

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 31, 2014 Salvatore Peter Tedesco (PC Staff Ghana, Somalia, Kenya 1962-65) (1928-2014) Sal’s parents, Anthony Tedesco and Marcella Cantalupo, were from Naples Italy. Sal was born in the North Beach area of San Francisco and his parents divorced shortly after. His stories of life and people he knew as a kid were vivid. Victoria Bakery, the old movie theater, St. Peter and Paul’s. . .  His grandmother sang and declaimed poetry during the thirties at Fugazi Hall. She took him regularly to the Cosmopolitan Opera downtown where he once appeared as one of the “ragazzi” in La Bohême. Sal remembered doing calisthenics at Fugazi Hall wearing the white uniform shorts and shirt of Mussolini’s Balilla Youth. In the forties Sal moved to El Cerrito and attended the newly built high school. The Principal and staff took him under their wing and opened up a new . . .

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Review of Bryant Wieneke's (Niger 1974-76) A Dry and Thirsty Land

A Dry and Thirsty Land: The Misadventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa by Bryant Wieneke (Niger 1974–76) PeaceRose Publishing $9.99 (paperback) 208 pages 2013 Reviewed by Ben East (Malawi 1996–98) Mr. Wieneke’s engaging 60,000-word memoir contains all the stuff of Peace Corps legend, from encounters with exotic insects and large snakes to bouts of diarrhea and Malarial fever. It also contains a large dose of the question: why did Peace Corps bring me here? As such it contributes to the body of Peace Corps literature a thoughtful voice that will be especially compelling for prospective Volunteers. His adventure begins 13 years after the birth of the Peace Corps, and his narrative examines the organization as much as it examines his adaptation to Nigerien culture. He repeatedly notes frustration at being assigned to teach agriculture (his degree is in English literature) and at Peace Corps’ orientation program: “It did not make . . .

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