Archive - February 17, 2015

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Mike Meyer (China 1995-97) The Star of the Night
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Talking with Susanne Aspley (Thailand 1989–91), author of Ladyboy and the Volunteer
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Does Peace Corps Know RPCV Talent is a Resource and a Legacy?

Mike Meyer (China 1995-97) The Star of the Night

Mike Meyer (China 1995-07) just published In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China (don’t let the title frightened you away) and he just did himself, the Peace Corps, and everyone a great favor at the New York Public Library by giving an absolutely wonderful informative and honest presentation of his experiences in China as a PCV, and afterwards as a teacher living in Manchuria. If you can catch any of his readings and book signings that are coming up, please do, and read his new book, his first since his amazing book on the end of old Beijing. Yesterday, Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) sent me the link to the NPR interview with Leonard Lopate where he talked about his book and his experiences as a PCV  in China. You can listen to it here:http://www.wnyc.org/story/privatization-transforms-rural-chinas-landscape Really, do yourself a favor and try and catch Mike when . . .

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Talking with Susanne Aspley (Thailand 1989–91), author of Ladyboy and the Volunteer

Susanne Aspley (Thailand 1989–91) published her Peace Corps novel Ladyboy and the Volunteer with Peace Corps Writers this past November.  In her responses for this “Talking with . . . ” piece she chose to eschew  incorporating my usual author-interview questions  — and it all turned out quite well! Thanks Susanne.— Marian • I served with the Peace Corps in Nakorn Sri Thammarat, Thailand, from 1989 to 1991 as a Community Development Volunteer in a small fishing village on the Gulf of Siam. I taught English classes and began several duck farms. I also discovered the cure for cancer, slayed dragons and brought peace to the Middle East but no one believes me. I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Film. My English degree was very helpful for my teaching. I feel good about accomplishing the second and third goal of the Peace Corps, but failed miserably with the . . .

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Does Peace Corps Know RPCV Talent is a Resource and a Legacy?

Does Peace Corps use the work being done by RPCVs in the field of international development and intercultural studies? This question is not rhetorical. My answer would be “No”.  In the Performance and Accountability Report FY 2014 (PAR-FY 2014), Peace Corps stated the following, page 25: “Outdate Intercultural training materials and practices: The academic field of intercultural studies has made great strides in recent years; however, the agency’ training materials and practices do not yet reflect the latest research and findings around creating, assessing, placing, training, and supporting Volunteers and staff to ensure they have the intercultural competence to successfully live and work in local communities. The agency is in the process of incorporating best practices from the intercultural field, but significant work remains for the agency to be a leader in the field.” If Peace Corps indicated in this report that the tremendous work being done by RPCVs would . . .

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