Archive - March 2014

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Getting Into The Peace Corps: It Ain't Easy
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The Peace Corps Announces 2014 Top Volunteer-Producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities
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John Slattery (Morocco 1994-96) A Mick in Morocco
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Peace Corps Strategic Plan – Fiscal 2014 -2018
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JFK's Vision of Enduring World Peace — That 50 Years Later Almost Everyone Missed
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Alana (Horrigan) deJoseph (Mali 1992-94) Making a Film on the Peace Corps
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George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Takes A Look At Amazon
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Tony D'Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) finalist for 2014 City & Regional Magazine Award for the Essay/Commentary
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January & February 2014 Books by Peace Corps writers
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Talking with Fran and Will Irwin about their book: The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan: A Promising Time

Getting Into The Peace Corps: It Ain't Easy

I heard from a friend in D.C. about a close neighbor, a young woman studying at New York University, who applied to the Peace Corps, via the Peace Corps Recruiter, a grad student, working on the NYU campus. The woman writes: “My neighbor’s daughter applied to the Peace Corps. She waited for months to get a response from her NYU PC recruiter. Then she found out that the campus recruiter had left campus months earlier and no one had given her a ‘heads up.’” The young woman was seeking a slot in the Ukraine program last year and it was so mishandled by the New York Peace Corps Recruitment Office, and the NYU campus based Recruiter that she didn’t get appointed. She asked to be considered for the next Ukraine program, as she speaks Russian fluently, and the Peace Corps Placement person at PC/HQ in D.C. told her to ‘take another . . .

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Peace Corps Announces 2014 Top Volunteer-Producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities Howard University earns top spot after becoming first-ever HBCU to appear on Peace Corps’ national college rankings WASHINGTON, D.C., March 18, 2014 – The Peace Corps today announced its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). For the third consecutive year, Howard University in Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot among HBCUs with 18 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Howard made Peace Corps history earlier this year as the first-ever HBCU to appear on the agency’s national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, ranking No. 16 among medium-sized undergraduate schools. Since 1961, 213 Howard alumni have served with the Peace Corps. For the first time, Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., made this year’s list, ranking No. 3 among HBCUs with five alumni currently . . .

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John Slattery (Morocco 1994-96) A Mick in Morocco

John Slattery (Morocco 1994-96) began work in television writing and hosting a pilot for a social-issue TV series at the Moroccan National Institute of Television. While at UCLA he received the Macgowan Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, the Drown Award for Motion Picture Production as well as the Edgar Brokaw Scholarship in Film Production-and even worked as an assistant to the French actress Isabelle Huppert. John also worked in the UCLA Dept. of Film, Television as a teaching assistant to Marina Goldovskaya, one of Russia’s best known documentary filmmakers, in her year long Advanced Documentary Workshop. While living in the “big, ugly and often misunderstood” city of Los Angeles he realized the many connections to the “big, ugly and often misunderstood” city of Casablanca. This U.S./Morocco connection – and more are explored in his first film. John’s feature directing debut, Casablanca Mon Amour had its world premiere at the . . .

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Peace Corps Strategic Plan – Fiscal 2014 -2018

The Strategic Plan for Peace Corps – Fiscal 2014 -2018 has been published. Here is the link: http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/pc_strategic_plan_2014-2018.pdf Written bureaucratically, it is still worth reading. Although, a translation from the early years would be so helpful. I found the following  goals or steps or bulletin points or targets of particular interest: The goal for applications for 2014 is 22,000. That is more than double the number of applications for 2013 and exceeds any number in the last seven years. The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 is still a goal to be reached, not a law  implemented. There will be two competitive internships to be offered to returning PCVs. Nothing about a policy of hiring RPCVs. There are no plans for a library nor a librarian. There is a statement that  program descriptions and other documents are only available to some carefully screened staff. This is done . . .

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JFK's Vision of Enduring World Peace — That 50 Years Later Almost Everyone Missed

[This piece that appeared on 3/15/14 on the Huff Post was written by one of the founders of the Peace Corps. Former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford served as President Kennedy’s Special Assistant for Civil Rights and Special Representative of the Peace Corps to Africa. While in the Army Air Corps in World War Two, he wrote It’s Up to Us: Federal World Government in Our Time (Harcourt Brace 1946) Harris is also the author of Of Kennedys & Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties (Farrar. Straus.Giroux 1980). Co-author Tad Daley, who directs the Project on Abolishing War at the Center for War/Peace Studies, is the author of Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World (Rutgers Press 2012). He served as a policy analyst and speechwriter for both former Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the late U.S. Senator Alan Cranston. Thanks to Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) publisher of . . .

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Alana (Horrigan) deJoseph (Mali 1992-94) Making a Film on the Peace Corps

Alana (Horrigan) deJoseph (Mali 1992-94) was involved in rural small enterprise development as a PCV and today she makes films. She has worked in video and film production for over 20 years and has worn many hats as producer, director, videographer, and editor. Her latest involvement was in the production of The Greatest Good, a documentary about the US Forest Service. Now she wants to do an in-depth, comprehensive documentary on the Peace Corps. As she says on her website:  “In a time when the American public either has a very antiquated notion of Peace Corps, informed by an almost mythological awe of the 60s, or is not even aware that the agency still exists, it is high time to bring this unique organization back into the public discourse, to raise the level of the discussion from quaint to crucial.” Alana goes onto say, “Many books have been written and . . .

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George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Takes A Look At Amazon

[If you write books. If you read books. You might want to take a look at this long New Yorker piece by George Packer (Togo 1982-83)] CHEAP WORDS Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books? BY George Packer February 17,2014 Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. Sam Walton wanted merely to be the world’s biggest retailer. After Apple launched the . . .

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Tony D'Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) finalist for 2014 City & Regional Magazine Award for the Essay/Commentary

Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) is a finalist for the 2014 City & Regional Magazine Award for the Essay/Commentary. The piece is “Heritage on the Half Shell”, about growing up eating oysters with his dad. It ran in Sarasota Magazine. The other finalists are from Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle and the Washingtonian. Link to press release of the finalists. Link to the story. Here is Tony’s article. • Heritage on the Half Shell By Tony D’Souza I FIRST CAME TO FLORIDA the way I imagine many Midwesterners did: as a kid, uncomfortably strapped into the back seat of my parents’ car. We traveled to Longboat Key during the mid-’80s, and I remember those trips as a 10-, 11-, and 12-year-old being filled with mental and physical tests along the lines of what the first monkeys shot into space must have suffered. I’d stare forlornly out my window at the . . .

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January & February 2014 Books by Peace Corps writers

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover or the bold book title — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards. • Paradise in Front of Me: Realizing Life’s Beauty in An Unexpected Place by Kevin G. Finch (Honduras 2004–06) Peace Corps Writers $12.95 (paperback) 260 pages January 2014 • Letters Home: A Young Peace Corps Volunteer’s Account of Personal, Cultural, and Bureaucratic Struggles in the ’60s by Carol Sue Bock Gonzalez (Colombia 1960s) CreateSpace $11.95 (paperback) 338 pages April 2013 • Only Bees Die: Peace Corps Eastern Europe (Peace Corps novel) by Robert Keller (Albania 2008–09) Self-Published $10.95 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) 206 pages 2010 • Iran: Stories from the Peace Corps by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) Lulu Publisher $20.00 (paperback) 296 pages 2013 • Mr. McSnipper and Other Verses (poetry for . . .

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Talking with Fran and Will Irwin about their book: The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan: A Promising Time

What happens with two young kids who meet, say, in a place like Kabul, Afghanistan, when they are 23 or 24, as Volunteers in the Peace Corps? Let’s say they’re PCVs helping to develop a city newspaper; let’s call it the Kabul Times, and then they fall in love. (Sounds like a movie, right?) They finish their tour and marry, and have long and productive years together, one with a career as an NGO environmental policy analyst (that’s the girl), and the boy, well, he becomes a lawyer (don’t they all?), and then (of course) next he is a judge. (With every sentence this sounds more like a movie, or better yet, a Netflix film.) They retire and are living happily ever after in leisure. Then they happen to go to a Peace Corps Conference, let’s say the 50th Anniversary of the agency.  They hear PC/Afghanistan’s first director Bob Steiner . . .

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