Archive - 2014

1
Millennial RPCVs Unable to Find Work in Washington
2
Posh Corps Shorts
3
Dry Days
4
The Peace Corps Ranks Third in Best Places to Work in the Federal Government
5
Remembering U.S. Open Champion Johnny McDermott
6
Another Obit on Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)
7
Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) publishes a new story in Superstition Review
8
Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Dies at 71
9
Bob Shacochs (Eastern Carbbean 1975-76) Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction
10
Review: 100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay before You Die by Kristen Hare (Guyana 2000-02)

Millennial RPCVs Unable to Find Work in Washington

This news article appeared today in the Washington Post. Results are not surprising as even the Peace Corps doesn’t recruit RPCVs to work at HQ. The article cites two RPCVs from Ghana, Cheri Baker and Anthony Cotton, both highly skilled and laden with degrees plus their Peace Corps service, both having given up and/or working part-time to find a federal job. ……Ask not what your government can do for you…. Millennials exit the federal workforce as government jobs lose their allure By Lisa Rein December 15 at 9:30 PM Six years after candidate Barack Obama vowed to make working for government “cool again,” federal hiring of young people is instead tailing off and many millennials are heading for the door. The share of the federal workforce under the age of 30 dropped to 7 percent this year, the lowest figure in nearly a decade, government figures show. With agencies starved for . . .

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Posh Corps Shorts

Alan Toth (South Africa 2010-12) started Posh Corps Shorts as a companion series for his feature film Posh Corps. He was inspired to create the companion series based on his conversations with RPCVs from countries like Morocco and Cambodia. Despite the fact that they did not serve in South Africa, Alan said, “they understood immediately that the film was intended to demonstrate that the availability of first-world amenities does not make Peace Corps service posh. I wanted to help these fellow posh corps volunteers tell their stories.” Posh Corps Shorts was also an opportunity for Alan to achieve, in some degree, his original vision for Posh Corps. When he first started pre-production for the film he was finishing up his Peace Corps service. His vision for the film was to interview Volunteers in posh corps countries around the world. He even traveled to Cambodia for his COS trip to research the . . .

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Dry Days

A line of water trickles along the gutter of our sidewalk. I follow it down the street. I can’t identify from which house it came. I do this often – this sleuthing to identify which neighbor is wasting water. I’ve seen a neighbor washing his car on the street with the hose running; gardens being watered mid-day and malfunctioning sprinklers; people hosing off a driveway and sidewalk rather than sweeping. I don’t want to earn the reputation of a busy body with too much time on her hands, so I don’t say, “Do you realize that Chile is in its fifth year of drought? Shouldn’t we be conserving water?” Few city dwellers consider where our water comes from. We’re too far from its source. Captured from wild rivers, it’s channeled into wide underground tubes and then into smaller pipes to buildings and homes and gardens and golf courses and fountains . . .

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The Peace Corps Ranks Third in Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

TO:                  Peace Corps Global FROM:            Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director SUBJECT:      Peace Corps Ranks Third in Best Places to Work in the Federal Government I’m thrilled to share with you that the results of the annual survey of 2014 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government are in. The Peace Corps is ranked third among 30 small agencies-up from fourth place last year. Our employee satisfaction and commitment score is 82.8 out of 100, placing the Peace Corps in the very top of all small agencies. This is the fifth year in a row that the Peace Corps ranked in the top five agencies and we’ve only been participating for five years. Our employee satisfaction and commitment score improved by 4.6 points since last year. The government-wide satisfaction and commitment score is 56.9, down 0.9 points from last year. That places our 2014 score 25.9 points higher than the government-wide score. . . .

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Remembering U.S. Open Champion Johnny McDermott

FOLLOWING HIS TWO U.S. OPEN WINS, Johnny McDermott, our first “homebred” U. S. Open winner, entered the 1914 British Open, but because of travel delays he arrived too late to tee off. Returning home to the States his ship, the Kaiser Wilhelm II, collided with an English ship and sank. He drifted in a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic for over 24 hours before being rescued. When he did reach America, he learned he had been wiped out financially because of bad Wall Street investments and needed to take a job as the golf pro at the Atlantic City Country Club. He was then 23 years old and he quit playing tournament golf. Within a few years players couldn’t even recall his name or what he had won. Still a young man, McDermott began to suffer mental breakdowns and his family had him committed to the Norristown Hospital . . .

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Another Obit on Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)

Kent Haruf dies at 71; novelist illuminated small-town life By Elaine Wood Los Angeles Times Kent Haruf, who found acclaim in midlife with a trilogy of sparely written novels, including the 1999 bestseller “Plainsong” that illuminated the rhythms and dramas of small-town life in America’s High Plains, died Sunday in Salida, Colo. He was 71 and had cancer, according to a spokesman for his publisher, Knopf Doubleday. Haruf (pronounced like sheriff) rooted his novels in the fictional small town of Holt, a composite of the three Colorado towns where he grew up. His creation inspired him in the same way that the apocryphal Yoknapatawpha County served one of his idols, William Faulkner. Haruf “has learned from Faulkner the wisdom of knowing something very well, of being at home there, that the more something is specific, the more it is universal,” novelist Richard Russo told the New York Times after “Plainsong” . . .

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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) publishes a new story in Superstition Review

Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) is the winner of the Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Award for his novel Stone Cowboy. A former Foreign Service officer, he has published more than 100 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, The Southern Humanities Review, The Idaho Review, The Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His story How Birds Communicate won The Iowa Review fiction prize. In March 2015 Playboy magazine will publish  “The Bull You See, The Bull You Don’t.” Set in Madrid, it is the story of a young American woman breaking free of her deadbeat husband. This story, “A Lonely Man Talks to His Pig” was recently published at the online publication Superstition Review. • A Lonely Man Talks to His Pig The property was happily situated, wandering downhill to the raggedy terminus of a gravel road the county would not soon get around to paving. Thanks to a screen of ancestral . . .

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Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Dies at 71

from The Denver Post Kent Haruf, 1943-2014: An astute observer of rural life in the West By Lisa Kennedy With the death of novelist Kent Haruf, Colorado has lost one if its celebrated native sons, its astute and wise observer of rural life and community on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. The prize-winning author of the acclaimed trilogy “Plainsong,” “Eventide” and 2013’s “Benediction” – all set in the fictional town of Holt, Colo. – died Sunday at the age of 71. The cause was interstitial lung disease. He is survived by his wife, Cathy, and three daughters. Additional survivors are three stepdaughters and two stepsons. “He really was a giant,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said Monday of the writer, who was born in Pueblo in 1943. Among Haruf’s many literary honors were the prestigious Whiting Foundation Award for his first novel, “The Tie That Binds“; the Center of the American West’s Wallace Stegner Award, . . .

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Bob Shacochs (Eastern Carbbean 1975-76) Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it has already established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors, and is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view. Additionally, the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize’s mission; previous honorees include Wendell Berry, Taylor Branch, Geraldine Brooks, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Tim O’Brien, Studs Terkel, and Elie Wiesel. “The Woman . . .

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Review: 100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay before You Die by Kristen Hare (Guyana 2000-02)

100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay before You Die by Kristen Hare (Guyana 2000–02) St. Louis: Reedy Press June 2014 140 pages $16.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) Kristen Hare describes her Peace Corps experience in Guyana as “sweaty, wonderful, sad and hard, and I’d do it again in a second.” Kristen married a Guyanese man and, in 2012, they moved to Tampa with their children. Kristen has the soul of a reporter. Presently a reporter for The Poynter Institute, she previously worked as a staff writer with the St. Louis Beacon and as a features writer with the St. Joseph News-Press. Her stories have earned national honors, including the Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism from the University of Missouri and first place wins from the Society for Features Journalism. I loved her blog, Hard Corps, a collection of hilarious, horrible Peace Corps stories. So, . . .

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