Archive - February 2014

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College Student Studies 'High Risk/High Gain'
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Robert T. K. Scully (Kenya 1965-67) Novel: The King History Forgot
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Collin Tong (Thailand 1968-69) edits Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer's
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Check out Joanne Roll’s blog:Applications to the Peace Corps are down
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Applications to the Peace Corps are down
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Maureen Orth's (Colombia 1964-66) VF Story Has Legs
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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Remembers Shirley Temple Black
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The Peace Corps Announces the 2014 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities
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Review of John Coyne's (Ethiopia 1962-64) How to Write a Novel in 100 Days
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The Peace Corps "Google Hangout" with Peace Corps Response Volunteers

College Student Studies 'High Risk/High Gain'

Kathleen Kanne, a senior in the American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, is doing a research project on the “deselection” process in the early days of Peace Corps training (primarily through the 1960s and 70s). She is looking to interview RPCVs from this era who had colleagues who were deselected or who were deselected themselves. I wrote her about her study (one of my hopes is that we can get more and more academic studies done about the Peace Corps at the college and university levels) and Kathy wrote back, “My project is in its early stages, but it is tentatively focused on PCVs as representatives of American culture abroad and specifically the role deselection played in creating that image in the early days of the movement. “Because it seems to be more prevalent in the 60s and early 70s, that is the time frame I have been focusing on, . . .

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Robert T. K. Scully (Kenya 1965-67) Novel: The King History Forgot

The King History Forgot: Makikele, The 19th Century Legend of Phalaborwa, South Africa (Novel) Robert T.K. Scully (Kenya 1965-66) Two Harbors Press $16.95 (paperback), $5.99 (Kindle) 380 pages 2013 Reviewed by Robert E. Hamilton (Ethiopia:  1965-67) This is not your conventional African historical, political, biographical novel.  (Try saying that tongue-twister rapidly three times.)  Dr. Robert T. K. Scully has drawn extensively upon his own collection of oral history and oral tradition in the 1970s among “the people of” (Ba-) Phalaborwa (pronounced “Palaborwa)-North Sotho-speaking residents of the Lowveld of Northeastern South Africa.  Much of this area of Limpopo Province was incorporated in 1926 into the present Kruger National Park. Many readers-like this one-personally unfamiliar with this area of South Africa will benefit from reading the “Author’s Notes” at the end of the novel (pages 361-372) for a description of the larger historical context. The book “is the story of a talented . . .

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Collin Tong (Thailand 1968-69) edits Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer's

Last Sunday  The Seattle Times ran an ad about Collin’s new book Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s in the Arts [Books] section. It will run again on February 23rd in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. The Christian Century, a biweekly national journal, will run a half-page color ad in its March 19th edition. KPLU, 88.5 FM, one of Seattle’s local NPR affiliates is doing an interview with Collin, as well as The Stranger. The University of Washington, Washington State University, Seattle University, and University of Redlands alumni magazines are doing announcements and/or feature stories.  Crosscut News,  The International Examiner, and Peace Corps Writers are coming out with reviews. Collin will do a reading and have a book signing at Elliott Bay Book Co., on Sunday, 3:00 pm, March 16.

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Check out Joanne Roll’s blog:Applications to the Peace Corps are down

Applications to the Peace Corps are down Posted by Joanne Roll on Thursday, February 13th 2014 This information is copied from the 2013 Peace Corps Annual Performance and Accountability Report, page 21.   Here is the text to link to: http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/annrept2013.pdf “Reduction in the percentage of Volunteer positions that were filled byapplicants for service (Indicator 4.1.1.b): Over the past three years, the agency has experienced difficulties in providing the number of Volunteers that have been requested by overseas posts. The number of Volunteers requested by a post represents the number of funded Volunteer positions that the post can fully support for 27 months of service. When Volunteer requests are not fully met, it represents a missed opportunity for the communities expecting Volunteers and for the talented and motivated Americans who could have served as Volunteers. The primary challenge in providing skilled Volunteers at the levels requested by posts   is the decrease in the number of applications for Peace Corps service over the last . . .

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Applications to the Peace Corps are down

This information is copied from the 2013 Peace Corps Annual Performance and Accountability Report, page 21.   Here is the text to link to: http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/annrept2013.pdf “Reduction in the percentage of Volunteer positions that were filled by applicants for service (Indicator 4.1.1.b): Over the past three years, the agency has experienced difficulties in providing the number of Volunteers that have been requested by overseas posts. The number of Volunteers requested by a post represents the number of funded Volunteer positions that the post can fully support for 27 months of service. When Volunteer requests are not fully met, it represents a missed opportunity for the communities expecting Volunteers and for the talented and motivated Americans who could have served as Volunteers. The primary challenge in providing skilled Volunteers at the levels requested by posts   is the decrease in the number of applications for Peace Corps service over the last few years-from . . .

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Maureen Orth's (Colombia 1964-66) VF Story Has Legs

How a Vanity Fair profile revived 22-year-old allegations of abuse by Woody Allen By Paul Farhi The Washington Post February 13, 2014 Early last year, writer Maureen Orth learned an intriguing bit of trivia: A story she had written for Vanity Fair about Mia Farrow and Woody Allen at the height of their headline-grabbing breakup in 1992 was the fifth-most-read story in the magazine’s archives. Orth also noticed that Farrow and her son Ronan were active on Twitter. Perhaps, she said, it would be “interesting” to revisit Farrow and her family and find out how they’d fared since the tumultuous events of nearly 22 years earlier. The Farrows agreed, and in April, Orth began her reporting, which culminated in an October piece about the family. That simple sequence set in motion a chain of events that ended up propelling a sensational but long-dormant news story back into prominence, as a . . .

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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Remembers Shirley Temple Black

How One Interview with Shirley Temple Black Led to a Years-Long Friendship with the Former Child Star By Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Former People Senior Writer and author of one of the first Peace Corps novels: The Road to Tamazunchale, (1975) as well as other books of non-fiction. This article appeared recently in People Premium (digital) and is used with the permission of the publication and Ron. Celebrities were never my main beat. So in 1998 when I was tapped to interview Shirley Temple Black, then 70, for a lengthy story on her life, I assumed I got the assignment because I was the oldest staffer in People‘s Los Angeles bureau – 57 at the time. I assumed some editor thought I’d relate to her more than one of my under-40 colleagues, who were used to chatting with much younger, current stars. Of course, we all knew the phenomenal, singing-and-dancing . . .

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The Peace Corps Announces the 2014 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities

[This recognition of top producing colleges and universities recruitment was established by Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan (1995-99). This recognition  was the first time since the early years and Blitz Recruiting, created by Bob Gale, that the agency has focused on colleges campuses, the source of the majority of all PCVs.] Peace Corps Press Release WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 11, 2014 – For the first time in eight years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison leads Peace Corps’ 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities with 90 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. The school has long been one of the nation’s greatest recruiters, most recently holding the No. 1 spot from 2001 through 2006, and has been working to reclaim the top spot ever since. Western Washington University and Gonzaga University top the rankings of medium and small schools for the second consecutive year, with 65 and 22 currently serving . . .

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Review of John Coyne's (Ethiopia 1962-64) How to Write a Novel in 100 Days

How to Write a Novel in 100 Days: With Tips about Agents, Editors, Publishers and Self-Publishing by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64). A Peace Corps Writers Book $12.39 (paperback), $6.00 (Kindle) 238 pages 2013 Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) John Coyne knows how to write books. He has published 25 of them, including novels, nonfiction, collections, guide books and others. Several of his novels are award-winners and best-sellers, on sports, historical fiction, mystery, horror and romance. He’s a writing teacher and mentor, and keeps us all up to date on what PCVs and RPCVs are publishing here at peacecorpsworldwide.org/pc-writers. You can read more at johncoynebooks.com. In short, he’s well qualified to write a book about writing a book, and more than one writer will wish they’d had How to Write a Novel in 100 Days before they started their latest masterpiece. Ideally, to review his insightful and informative how-to book, . . .

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The Peace Corps "Google Hangout" with Peace Corps Response Volunteers

Peace Corps is going to do a “google hangout” which will be a chat with Peace Corps  Response Volunteers.  Here is the information from Peace Corps.gov and link: Google+ Hangout February 11 at 1 p.m. EST https://plus.google.com/events/csaun6nbi10mp00ojjocn494g4k Regarding the Hangout you should not have to create a Google account to watch. If you click on to the link https://plus.google.com/events/csaun6nbi10mp00ojjocn494g4k at 1PM EST tomorrow it should all work, providing that technology corporates with the agency. Following the event tomorrow, a recorded version will be available on Peace Corps’ YouTube page.

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