Archive - July 2014

1
Coyne Calls It Quits
2
Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Book
3
Review of Raven Moore's (Cote d'Ivoire 2000-02) Padre!
4
Applications are Down, but is Peace Corps “Coming or Going”?
5
From Forbes Website: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps

Coyne Calls It Quits

The first panel discussion I had for and about Peace Corps Writers was held in September 1986 under a huge tent on the Mall in Washington, D.C. at the 25th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  That was twenty-eight years ago. At the time we had several dozen RPCV writers who had established international reputations with their writings. Among them were Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) who by that summer of ’86 had already published 20 books, including Great Railway Bazaar, published in 1975. This book “reinvented” travel writing. In 1986 Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) published Soldiers in Hiding, winner of that year’s PEN/Faulkner Award; Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the ’86 National Book Award for First Fiction. His second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the Academy of Arts and Letters; Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67) won . . .

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Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Book

It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2013 for the Peace Corps Writers annual awards. Make your nomination(s) in the comment section following this announcement so people can see what books have been recognized. You may nominate your own book; books written by friends; books written by total strangers. The books can be about the Peace Corps or on any topic. The books must have been published in 2013. The awards will be announced in August. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. A framed certificate and money are given to the winners. Email your nominations to jpcoyne@optonline.net. Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in . . .

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Review of Raven Moore's (Cote d'Ivoire 2000-02) Padre!

Padre! A Place Whose Rules Rearrange Your Own By Raven Moore (Cote d’Ivoire 2000-02) Books by Raven, $19.99 (paper); $9.99 (Kindle) 338 pages 2013 Reviewed by Deidre Swesnik (Mali 1996-98) “The Ivoirien children who you see me living with on the cover of this book are poor, but poverty is not a permanent condition, nor does it have a recognizable face.  Color was and is not often the reason for our mistreatment of one another.  The Egyptians, the Moors, the Mongolians, the Romans, the Jews, the British, the Ottomans, the Dutch, the Americans, the Mandinka, the Mayans, and more; the list of conquerors is as diverse as those conquered.  Ivoiriens in the Ivory Coast – La Cote d’Ivoire as it is called in West Africa – have it badly, but I’m not here to make you feel sorry for Ivoiriens.  Feel sorry for me that it took me so long . . .

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Applications are Down, but is Peace Corps “Coming or Going”?

Applications for the traditional Peace Corps, twenty-seven month tour, have been declining. This is happening at the same time that Peace Corps is undergoing a major reorganization. Peace Corps Response, the program of short-term assignments, is now open to qualified applicants who are not Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and appears to be attracting many applicants. Also, in addition to the graduate degree programs Universities are offering to RPCVs, Peace Corps is now in partnership with universities who are combining Peace Corps service with ongoing degree programs.So the questions may be: Are applicants choosing these new programs rather than the traditional programs? I don’t have the answer. But I will share some data on applications for the traditional program and Peace Corps Response that I obtained through Freedom of Information request (FOIA 14-213), as well as information in the Peace Corps Accountability Report of 2013. http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/annrept2013.pdf The numbers for comparison will be . . .

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From Forbes Website: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps

Forbes: No More Coffee Runs: Two Years Of Service With The Peace Corps Created in 1961 by former President John F. Kennedy, the United States Peace Corps holds an allure for many. While some might balk at the concept of making a two-year commitment, others consider it as one of the coolest things about being an American. And for anyone who is interested in development, the Peace Corps offers an entre into the highly-competitive world of international aid work. Something of a catch-22, most international NGOs require applicants to have experience in the field. Luckily for Americans, we have the Peace Corps. “My exposure to this life and this world was extremely limited until college,” says Wendy MacClinchy, Head of Resident Coordinator Office at the United Nations in Lebanon. “There wasn’t a lot of knowledge about what I felt was a kind of calling. When I had heard of the . . .

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