Archive - March 2015

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Review: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67)
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Free Enrollment For Class: How To Write A Novel in 100 Days:
3
Culture Change at the Peace Corps….Empowering Volunteers
4
Review — Mort(e) by Robert Repino (Grenada 2000-2002)
5
First Lady Meets PCVs and Let Girls Learn Students in Cambodia
6
Put Your Peace Corps Skills And Knowledge To Use
7
Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) Interview in Chestnut Hill Local
8
First Lady Michelle Obama in Japan Promoting Peace Corps "Let Girls Learn"
9
Review of Mouse and Magic by Allan R. Gall (Turkey 1962-64)
10
“Let Girls Learn” has the support of the Commander in Chief of the World’s Most Powerful Military

Review: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67)

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67) Knopf May 2015 192 pages $24.00 (hardcover), $9.99 (Kindle), $25.00 (audio CD) Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000–02, Madagascar 2002–03) • KENT HARUF DIED IN November at age 71; he achieved what most writers hope to, but nearly none will: he wrote beautiful, engaging, readable literary novels. Though he never realized the copious output or mass audience of the genre types, he was far superior a writer. In terms of the contemporary novel, very few could call him a peer; the short list might include Cormac McCarthy and Alice Munro. Among Peace Corps alumni literary writers, Haruf was arguably our best. His passing was noted widely in literary circles and the national press, and his achievements were commended by Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, where Haruf set his books. Haruf’s short novel, Our Souls at Night, releasing posthumously in May, . . .

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Free Enrollment For Class: How To Write A Novel in 100 Days:

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR SKILLSHARE CLASS Hello. I want to mention that I’ve recorded a video class at Skillshare.com entitled How To Write A Novel in 100 Days. The class is about one hour long broken into 10 short videos. You can check out the site free and see if you want to take the class. The class is based on my book How To Write A Novel In 100 Days. Skillshare is a fascinating site. You might want to take other classes, or teach a course yourself. But if you are thinking of writing a novel-or know someone who might be interested–go to Skillshare and check out my course. You can do it for free, but you do have to look at my face and hear what I have to say. Well, nothing is totally without hardship. Thanks. Here is a link for free enrollment into the class:My Skillshare class “How to Write a . . .

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Culture Change at the Peace Corps….Empowering Volunteers

Culture Change at the Peace Corps Empowering Volunteers to Report Sexual Assault 10:00AM-11:30AM (EDT) Thursday April 2, 2015 2nd Floor Conference Room Center for Strategic and International Studies 1616 Rhode Island Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20036 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. Following the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, Peace Corps’ global Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response program is working to create an environment in which volunteers feel protected when reporting the crime and empowered to come forward and seek support. Please join us on April 2 for a panel discussion on the impact of these efforts and progress made by the Peace Corps since the program’s full implementation in September 2013. Our panel will include Carrie . . .

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Review — Mort(e) by Robert Repino (Grenada 2000-2002)

Mort(e) by Robert Repino (Grenada 2000-2002) Soho Press January 2015 357 pages $26.95 (hardcover) Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) • IN HIS DEBUT NOVEL Mort(e) — the parenthetical in the title is clue prima facie that we are in the realm of experimental fiction — Robert Repino offers a sweeping, apocalyptic war story in which animals undergo “The Change” and rise up against their human masters. Behind the scenes and deep underground, a mutant queen ant a la James Cameron’s Aliens has produced a hormone that enters the world’s water systems; it changes animals on contact, giving them mental capacities and self-awareness equal to humans, and also morphs them physically. Just one drop and dogs and cats grow to human size, become bipedal, and their paws mutate into hands. A neutered housecat turned ragged frontline fighter, Sebastian, joins a unit of strays led by a violent . . .

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First Lady Meets PCVs and Let Girls Learn Students in Cambodia

First Lady  Michelle Obama, center right in the back, holds a round table discussion with Peace Corps Volunteers, Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In the photo to the right is also Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet who went with Mrs. Obama to Japan and Cambodia. The First Lady also met with students who are in the first Peace Corps Training for Let Girls Learn.

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Put Your Peace Corps Skills And Knowledge To Use

Anyone Can Be a Teacher in This Online School New York Times By JONAH BROMWICHMARCH 19, 2015 The Skillshare staff at work at the company’s offices in New York. The company allows users to determine the courses they want to teach and take. A thousand courses are available for $10 a month. Susan Orlean was considering giving up teaching. She had taught courses at New York University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College but was finding it difficult to maintain a consistent class schedule while fulfilling her obligations as a staff writer for The New Yorker. “I just started thinking, well, maybe there’s a different way to do this that doesn’t tie me to a physical location,” she said. “And right around that time, Skillshare contacted me.” Skillshare is an online video platform that allows anyone to sign up and teach a class. The company has . . .

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Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) Interview in Chestnut Hill Local

Spiritual crisis recorded in Hiller’s acclaimed new book Eileen Flanagan, a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting for the past 16 years, recounts how she dealt with a mid-life crisis of the spirit in her third book, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness and Hope, which was released March 3 by She Writes Press Publishers. The article appeared in the Chestnut Hill Local, a weekly newspaper serving Chestnut, in Northwest Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding communities. It was written by Len Lear. At the age of 49, a 16-year member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, Eileen Flanagan, had an agonizing feeling that she wasn’t living up to her potential – or her youthful ideals. A former Peace Corps volunteer who had once loved the simplicity of living in a mud hut in Botswana, southern Africa, she now had too many e-mails in her inbox and a basement full of . . .

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First Lady Michelle Obama in Japan Promoting Peace Corps "Let Girls Learn"

by Victor Beattie March 17, 2015 5:06 AM WASHINGTON- First Lady Michelle Obama embarks on a five-day Asia trip Wednesday to launch the Obama Administration’s initiative “Let Girls Learn,” promoting the education of millions of girls worldwide. Ahead of her stops in Japan and Cambodia, Obama and her husband said the inability of an estimated 62 million girls to attend school worldwide should be a foreign policy priority. The first lady wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the fact that tens of millions of girls are not being adequately educated is more than “a tragic waste of human potential. It is also a serious public health challenge, a drag on national economies, as well as global prosperity, and a threat to the security of countries around the world.” Obama said that as of 2012, every developing region had achieved, or was close to achieving, gender parity in primary education. . . .

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Review of Mouse and Magic by Allan R. Gall (Turkey 1962-64)

Of Mouse and Magic (Children) by Allan R. Gall (Turkey 1962–64) Two Harbors Press 278 pages 2011 $12.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965–67) • Of Mouse and Magic is an engaging tale of Manny the Mouse, his family, and many other animals including both friends and predators. Manny is the smallest mouse in a new litter of mice. His parents fear for his survival as he seems very fragile. But Manny does not see it that way. He is born with a jagged white fur mark that, in his eyes, makes him feel like Zeus. And he acts accordingly showing both courage and leadership through his and his sibling’s many trials and tribulations. Admirably, the books does not shy away from addressing ‘survival’ – a daily struggle for these mice as they are hunted by predators on land and from the sky. Young readers will be astonished by . . .

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“Let Girls Learn” has the support of the Commander in Chief of the World’s Most Powerful Military

President Obama promised the world, in his March 7th Saturday address that any “country who wants to be our friend or is our friend” will “Let Girls Learn.” Obama stressed that the barriers to the education of girls and women are not merely the lack of access or the money for uniforms, but can also include the risk of being hurt, kidnapped or worse for girls who want to learn. This is where the prestige and the power of the United States are critical. It is the essential piece to make this campaign successful. Peace Corps can provide the teachers and the advocates, the “boots on the ground.” But, Peace Corps Volunteers cannot intervene politically in a country, nor do they have much power to protect girls. It will take the governments of our host countries, supported by the United States to eliminate these barriers. And Obama has declared: “Let . . .

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