Archive - August 2014

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The Daily Beast writes of the dispute between Peace Corps and its Inspector General in “The Peace Corps Awful Secret”
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A Writer Writes: How I Was Bombed Out of Sri Lanka And Other Career Changes
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Heard on the radio
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Gordon Radley ( 1968-70) Op-Ed in San Francisco Chronicle
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Story
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2014 Peace Corps Writers Publisher's Special Book Award
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2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Book
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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Award For Best Book of Photography
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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Award For Best Book for Children
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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award

The Daily Beast writes of the dispute between Peace Corps and its Inspector General in “The Peace Corps Awful Secret”

Tim Mak writes in the Daily Beast’s Politics section, 8.16.14,  a comprehensive review of the continuing conflict between the Peace Corps and the Inspector General of the Peace Corps over the release of records pertaining to sexual assault victims. Mak gives a timeline detailing the attempt to resolve the issues. He also reports on his interviews with both Kathy Buller, the Inspector General of the Peace Corps and also an unnamed spokesperson for the Peace Corps.  Read the complete article at this link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/16/the-peace-corps-awful-secret.html The following is an excerpt from Mak’s article” “The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 includes a process for volunteers to submit a confidential report of sexual assault. Disagreement over this process-the default method by which volunteers may file sexual assault allegations-is at the heart of the dispute between the Peace Corps and its inspector general. The law says that a volunteer can submit a . . .

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A Writer Writes: How I Was Bombed Out of Sri Lanka And Other Career Changes

A Writer Writes How I Was Bombed Out of Sri Lanka And Other Career Changes Sri Lanka: The author and his students (Spring 1998). I spent a year as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Kandy, Sri Lanka. While there, a suicide bomber blew himself up close to my home, which led to the evacuation of the Volunteers from the country. Well, evacuation may be too strong a word, but a security officer flew over from Washington, DC to evaluate the situation and he determined that the best thing to do was send the Volunteers home. I returned home to New York in April 1998, after a three-day layover in Bangkok, just in time to re-enroll in the summer semester at Fordham University, from which I had taken a leave of absence to teach overseas. I only had one course left before having to take my comprehensive exams and graduating . . .

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Heard on the radio

Peace Corps writer Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96) wrote: I haven’t seen anything about Ismael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, who I was listening to while was driving. He was being interviewed on NPR last week about the Africa Summit in Washington DC. He had very astute things to say about American investment vs. exploitation in Africa. And then he added that the best foreign policy the U.S. ever had was Peace Corps! The first white person he’d ever seen appeared in his village and taught him English. I was so proud I nearly ran off the road. That would have been last Wednesday on, I think “The Take Away” or “The World.” I kind of expected it to be reported by somebody else, because we’re all such avid NPR listeners.

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Gordon Radley ( 1968-70) Op-Ed in San Francisco Chronicle

Peace Corps service is a risk worth taking Gordon Radley July 30, 2014 | Updated: July 30, 2014 10:57pm Max Whittaker, New York Times Nicholas Castle, a UC Berkeley graduate from Brentwood, was honored in April for his service as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in rural China, where he died from a sudden illness last year. Peace Corps service is not without risk. I know that firsthand because my only brother was the first Peace Corps volunteer to die in service. He was killed in an airplane crash in 1962 along with another volunteer and 36 Colombians on a remote mountaintop in the jungles of Colombia. His remains lie there today along with those of all of the other passengers. The death from a sudden illness last year of Nick Castle of Brentwood, a Peace Corps volunteer in rural China, reminds us that even after the service of nearly 215,000 . . .

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Story

“Tan linda tu historia,” he said. I leaned in closer to hear him over the strident, pounding racket. On the dance floor, dozens of young people jumped and shouted, flinging arms in the air. “What story?” I asked. “How you gave up everything – family and country – for love. To come here and live at the other end of the world. How were you able to make such a decision?” His words wafted on waves of wine-scented breath. I doubted he’d remember our conversation tomorrow. How much effort did I want to invest to answer these heady questions? Besides, I was tired after sitting at this wedding banquet for over nine hours, carrying on small talk in Spanish with the other guests at our table. Once the loud dance music started, I caught only words and phrases in the din, smiling and nodding as if in agreement with whatever . . .

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2014 Peace Corps Writers Publisher's Special Book Award

The Peace Corps Writers  Publisher’s Special Book Award recognizes outstanding publications from the Peace Corps community, and The Power of Latino Leadership: Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution by Juana Bordas (Chile 1964–66) is such a book. Recently Juana’s book also received The Nautilus Book Award that recognizes “better books for a better world.” The Nautilus Award was established in 1998 and is considered a “major” book award. CONGRATULATIONS to Juana Bordas for winning the  2014 Peace Corps Writers Publisher’s Special Award for the best book published in 2013.  Juana receives a small cash award, and a certificate. A long-time Latina leader, Juana is a founder of Denver’s Mi Casa Resource Center and was the first President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute. In 2009, she was named Colorado Unique Woman of the Year by the Denver Post and the Colorado Women’s Foundation. The book highlights Bordas’ own experiences and includes the voices of 9 . . .

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2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Book

In 1997, the first annual award for an outstanding poetry book by a Peace Corps writer was presented. • CONGRATULATIONS to Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998–2000) for winning the Peace Corps Writers 2014 Best Book of Poetry for his collection  Strange Borderlands published in 2013.  Ben will receive a small cash award and a certificate. John Coyne comments — As editor of Peace Corps Worldwide, several times a week I received books in the mail from RPCV writers — mostly I knew they are coming as I had been forewarned by the author. Then in early 2013 I received one via Amazon.com that came to me without notice — no fanfare, I hadn’t requested it. It was a collection of poems from a guy named Ben Berman. Never heard of him. The jacket cover with its bright colors suggested Africa. When I looked closer I saw that it was an image . . .

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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Award For Best Book of Photography

The Award for Best Book of Photography was first presented in 2009. • CONGRATULATIONS to Douglas Cruickshank (Uganda 2009–12) for winning the Peace Corps Writers 2014 Best Book of Photography for his photography and his essays for Somehow published in 2013.  Douglas will receive a small cash award and a certificate. Douglas Cruickshank has written journalism, travel stories, profiles, essays and opinion pieces for many magazines, newspapers and web sites and has worked in radio, television and film-making. He has been a photographer for more than four decades, a columnist and editor for Salon.com, and has edited numerous books. The following account, drawn from the introduction to Somehow: Living on Uganda Time, tells of how he came to join the Peace Corps, and his first impressions of Uganda. In early 2008 I started doing something. At first, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing or why I was doing . . .

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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Award For Best Book for Children

Peace Corps Writers began presenting awards for Best Children’s Book in 2001. • CONGRATULATIONS to Jim Averbeck for winning the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Best Book for Children award for his charming story The Market Bowl that he both wrote and illustrated. The Market Bowl is set in Cameroon and was published in 2013. Jim will receive a small cash award, and a certificate. Peace Corps Writers asked Jim a few questions about the Peace Corps, Cameroon, and writing books for children (and their parents) that he has agreed to share with us. .Why the Peace Corps? When I graduated from college I felt my life was becoming consumed with chasing money, instead of learning and growing. So when a friend jokingly told me I should join the Peace Corps, I explored the possibility. And the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to do it. It seemed . . .

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Peace Corps Writers 2014 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award

THE PEACE CORPS EXPERIENCE AWARD was initiated in 1992. It is presented annually to a Peace Corps Volunteer or staff member, past or present for the best depiction of life in the Peace Corps. It can be a personal essay, story, novella, poem, letter, cartoon, song or memoir. The subject matter can be any aspect of the Peace Corps experience — daily life, assignment, travel, host country nationals, other Volunteers, readjustment. In 1997, this award was renamed to honor Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965—67) whose Living Poor has been widely cited as an outstanding telling of the essence of the Peace Corps experience. • CONGRATULATIONS to Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998–2000) for winning the  2014 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award for her memoir História, História: Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands. Eleanor will receive a small cash award, and a certificate. This is the second Peace Corps Writers Award . . .

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