Archive - March 31, 2015

1
The Peace Corps Poetry Contest
2
Culture Change at the Peace Corps Webcast: April 2 at 10:00 a.m.
3
Vaccinations, Small pox, Measles, Dona Ermelinda and me.

The Peace Corps Poetry Contest

In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, Peace Corps announces its first annual poetry contest, to run from April 1-30.All current and returned Volunteers are invited to submit poems for consideration by April 30. Submission requirements:* Up to three original works of written poetry that highlight one’s volunteer experience and promotes the Third Goal of Peace Corps.* Poems must be less than 300 words and free of inappropriate content or copyrighted material. * Poems must be written primarily in English, with footnotes explaining non-English words. Poems will be reviewed by a panel of judges and the winners will be announced in May. Visit our website for more information and submission guidance. Prizes:1st place: Winning poems will be printed on a custom poster that will be distributed to the winners and will be proudly displayed at Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C and regional offices across the United States. Winners . . .

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Culture Change at the Peace Corps Webcast: April 2 at 10:00 a.m.

Over the last few years, the Peace Corps has implemented a series of new policies and procedures aimed at reducing risks for volunteers and providing support and guidance to volunteers who experience, witness, or report sexual assault. The following discussion will be streamed live on the website (http://csis.org/events/event/culture-change-peace-corps) of the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington DC: Culture Change at the Peace Corps APRIL 2, 2015 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

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Vaccinations, Small pox, Measles, Dona Ermelinda and me.

Dona Ermelinda was a midwife in Colombia with whom I worked. If this had been Appalachia, she would be called a granny midwife; in Benin, a “Sage Femme”, a wise woman. In Colombia where we lived, she was a Partera, technically a woman who delivered babies. But she was far more than that; certainly a wise woman, a keen observer, an empirical scientist, the most trusted and important practitioner in our community. She was the gatekeeper. No new practices would be successful without her approval. I struggled to make her my partner.Instead, I became her apprentice. As we walked the hills of Cauca, she would grab my hand, and pound her fingers in it, Anne Sullivan to my ignorance. “Juanita”, she would demand, “Ponga se de atencion!” Pay attention. She explained to me why it was important to massage expectant mothers so that their babies would be in the best position . . .

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