Archive - September 2014

1
New Book On Golf's Ryder Cup by Neil Sagebiel Published Today
2
John Coyne's novel Child of Shadows reissued as e-book
3
Tom Miller on Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)
4
RPCVs in Congress form the Peace Corps Caucus
5
Michael Varga (Chad 1977-79) wins Glimmer Train Fiction Award for June
6
WSJ Article on a Peace Corps Mom In Thailand
7
Nick Castle’s parents file a claim against Peace Corps
8
New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2014
9
President Mahama of Ghana speaks about Peace Corps
10
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) Publishes Civil War Novel

New Book On Golf's Ryder Cup by Neil Sagebiel Published Today

The United States had dominated the Ryder Cup since the beginning in 1927, but in 1969, the English team, led by Tony Jacklin, fought to a historic draw.  The outcome was not decided until the last two men on the golf course arrived at the final green encircled by their 22 teammates, two captains and thousands of excited spectators. It was then that Jack Nicklaus conceded a short but miss-able putt to Tony Jacklin that resulted in the first tie in the 42-year history of the event. Draw In The Dunes is the complete untold story of a thrilling Ryder Cup and why a conceded putt became a part of golf and sports lore. Draw In The Dunes was written by golf writer Neil Sagebiel. Neil is the founder and editor of Armchair Golf Blog, one of top golf blogs on the internet.  A former copywriter for a Seattle advertising agency and . . .

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John Coyne's novel Child of Shadows reissued as e-book

Social worker Melissa Vaughn is frustrated by the soullessness of urban life and the bureaucratic hoops she has to jump through to make a difference in the lives of the needy and downtrodden. Her only desire is to make a difference in one life and not have to follow rules laid out by people who know nothing about her job or how to help the indigent. Then a boy comes along. A boy found living in the dark, rat infested subways of New York City. A mute boy devoid of hair, without a family or a history. The only clue to his past is a name sewn into his underwear: Adam. Determined to help Adam, Melissa takes him to a remote section of the Blue Ridge Mountains to connect with him and possibly unravel the mystery of his past. She soon discovers his artistic genius and his ability to depict . . .

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Tom Miller on Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)

Tom Miller has been writing about Latin America and the American Southwest for more than thirty years, bringing us extraordinary stories of ordinary people. His highly acclaimed adventure books include “The Panama Hat Trail” about South America, “On the Border,” an account of his travels along the U.S.-Mexico frontier, “Trading With the Enemy,” which takes readers on his journeys through Cuba, and, about the American Southwest, “Revenge of the Saguaro” (formerly “Jack Ruby’s Kitchen Sink” — which won the coveted Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book of the Year in 2001). He has edited three compilations, “Travelers’ Tales Cuba,” “Writing on the Edge: A Borderlands Reader,” and “How I Learned English.” Additionally, he was a major contributor to the four-volume “Encyclopedia Latina.” This following piece on Moritz Thomsen ran in the Washington Post Book Section in October 2008. Recently the article way expanded and republished in Spanish and English . . .

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RPCVs in Congress form the Peace Corps Caucus

The voice for Peace Corps in Washington has become louder because now there is a Peace Corps Caucus. The dictionary definition for caucus is: A group of people who share concerns within a political party or larger organization. The larger organization is the US House of Representatives and the group of people who initiated the Peace Corps Caucus are the five Returned Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in the House of Representatives – California Democratic Congressman Sam Farr (Colombia 1964-66) California Democratic Congressman Mike Honda (El Salvador 1965-67) California Democratic Congressman John Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68) Wisconsin Republican Congressman Tom Petri (Somalia 1966-67) and Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy (Dominican Republic 2004-06). Representative Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and the grand nephew of both President Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. The National Peace Corps Association describes in excellent detail the function of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus; lists the . . .

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Michael Varga (Chad 1977-79) wins Glimmer Train Fiction Award for June

Glimmer Train June 2014 Fiction Open 1st Place Michael Varga receives $2,500 for short story “Chad Erupts in Strife.” After his tour in Chad, Michael Varga became a Foreign Service Officer serving primarily in the Middle East. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Rider University. Michael is also playwright and actor. Three of his plays have been produced. “Collapsing into Zimbabwe,” a short story, earned him first prize in the competition sponsored by the Toronto Star. His columns have appeared in various newspapers and journals. This will be his first off-campus fiction in print. www.michaelvarga.com. Here’s what Mike has to say about his writing and himself, and the Peace Corps. I went to Chad in 1977 as a 21-year-old freshly minted college grad in the Peace Corps. Chad has been very much a part of my personal narrative . . .

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WSJ Article on a Peace Corps Mom In Thailand

The weekend edition of the WSJ has an amusing Peace Corps story entitled, “My Mom the Adventurer. Myself, Not So Much” written by novelist Dina Nayer, who’s debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, was released last year. The article is about how Dina went to visit her mother, who at the age 56 was a PCV in a rural Thailand village outside of Chiang Mai back in 2012. Anyone who has had parents or friends, etc., visit their site knows what happens next. While Dina grew up in America from the age of 10, her mother had been a doctor, a volunteer health-care worker, a radio personality, a pastry chef, had served time in a Iranian jail, and then  reaching the U.S. she became a PCV. Daughter Dina went to Harvard. Well, Dina comes to visit to stay for a month in her mother’s thatch-roofed hut (she lasted . . .

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Nick Castle’s parents file a claim against Peace Corps

Updated 9.5.14 From the ktvu website: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/2-investigates-berkeley-family-files-15m-claim-pea/nhCkC/ “The parents of a University of California Berkeley graduate have filed a $15 million claim with the U.S. Peace Corps after their son died while stationed in China.” Nick Castle was the Peace Corps Volunteer who died in China during his service.  The story of his illness and death was chronicled in the recent NYTimes article, Trail of Medical Missteps in Peace Corps Death, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/world/asia/peace-corps-death-china-medical-missteps.html?_r=0 The TV station, ktvu, website link  includes a video in which   summarizes the known information about the death and has an interview with the parents. That article and accompanying comments and further interviews with RPCVs were posted on Peace Corps Worldwide. Here is that link: https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/“trail-of-medical-missteps-in-a-peace-corps-death”-–-nytimes-july-25-2014/ At the time of the New York Times article, the Office of Inspector General of the Peace Corps had not completed its evaluation of the facts in the death of Nick Castle.  It is not . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2014

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards. • A Hitch at the Fairmont (Mystery for children 8–12) by Jim Averbeck (Cameroon 1990–94), illustrated by Nick Bertozzi Atheneum Books for Young Readers June 2014 416 pages $16.99 (hardcover), $9.78 (Kindle) • Dancing with Gogos: A Peace Corps Memoir (Memoir) by Gary P. Cornelius (South Africa 2012–13) A Peace Corps Writers Book July 2014 282 pages $13.00 (paperback) • Crashing Through the Underbrush by Gary P. Cornelius (South Africa 2012–13) Lulu 2011 280 pages $15.00 (paperback) • The Harder Right: Stories of Conscience and Choice (Ethics) by Arthur B. Dobrin (Kenya 1965–67) Argo Navis 2013 204 pages $19.95 (paperback), $7.69 (Kindle) • The Consolations . . .

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President Mahama of Ghana speaks about Peace Corps

President Mahama of Ghana was recently in Washington DC to attend the African Summit. He spoke about his experience being taught by a Peace Corps Volunteer. Ghana was the first country to have Peace Corps Volunteers actually arrive in country in August of 1961. I believe it is the country with the longest continuing presence of Peace Corps. The interview is on YouTube. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9q77GmH-V0&feature=youtu.be&a

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Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) Publishes Civil War Novel

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith wrote the first novel by a PCV, Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman, published by Morrow in 1987. She is also the author of a half dozen other novels, including The Book of Phoebe (1985) and a series of mystery novels. She has also written a Memoir, Girls of Tender Age which recounts a bittersweet portrait of growing up in 1950s Hartford, Connecticut when a serial pedophile kills her best friends. Mixed with that story, is her own young life story, including living with an autistic brother at a time before anyone knew what that meant. Now Mary-Ann has turned her talents as a novelist in a new direction with the publication is this novel The Honoured Guest: Anne Alger Craven, Witness to Sumter, in Her Words. Here’s a quick summary of that story: It is November, 1860. Anne Alger Craven leaves her home at Abingdon Square, Manhattan, . . .

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