Archive - July 2015

1
Clay Man A Life After Writing: Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Turns to Ceramics
2
Is Peace Corps Lying? UPDATE 7.30.15
3
Great Peace Corps Writers! A List from March 2009
4
Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Finalist for Indiana Authors Award
5
Peace Corps sending trained people overseas or sending people overseas to be trained?
6
Talking to Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67)
7
Urban Legends by Chris Honore’ (Colombia 1967-69)
8
No Pillow Talk for Peace Corps
9
Looking For A Book Editor? Here's One I'd Recommend
10
….And the Winners Are….

Clay Man A Life After Writing: Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Turns to Ceramics

A former English teacher and newspaper and magazine journalist, most recently for 22 years at People Ron Arias has published the following books: The Road To Tamazunchale, a novel nominated for a National Book Award; Five Against the Sea, a true survival saga; Healing from the Heart, with Dr. Mehmet Oz; Moving Target: A Memoir of Pursuit, and White’s Rules:Saving Our Youth, One Kid At A Time, with Paul D. White. Most recently he publish a memoir entitled, My Life as a Pencil. An amateur potter, he now lives with his wife Joan in Hermosa Beach, California. This  article appeared recently in Southbay Magazine. Southbay Magazine by Kelly Dawson A soft melody of classical music is playing when Ron Arias enters his studio, lifting a curtain that divides the workspace from the rest of the dark garage. A single light shines above the small area and casts a warm glow on the clay-crusted potter’s wheel, desk and . . .

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Is Peace Corps Lying? UPDATE 7.30.15

UPDATE:  I requested and did receive a telephone call from the FOIA Officer. She said that the reply I had received  was confusing and she hoped to correct the confusion and send a more comprehensive response to my request for information about the new faith initiative.  Evidently, the program is only in the very early stages of development. I will post the amended response when it is received.  I do appreciate the communication. Original post: Last February, Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet spoke at Calvin University.  To read her comments, here is the link: http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2015/02/12/peace-corps-director-opens-up-on-faith-development-and-changes-in-the-peace-corps/ The article reports Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet saying: ““Peace Corps does not mind at all if people practice their faith; in fact, we welcome it,” she continued. “We do discourage proselytizing because we are a government agency. But I think individual Christians are able to live their faith and are able to participate in local faith communities as members.” . . .

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Great Peace Corps Writers! A List from March 2009

Posted by John Coyne on Monday, March 2nd 2009 I was struck the other day when I got an email from an RPCV who wanted to know if I was the “most famous” of all the Peace Corps writer. Hello? “Hardly,” I wrote back. I’m not even on that list of writers. So, just in case people don’t know the many, many fine, award-winning writers who served in the Peace Corps, here is a list of the talented and best known of the corps of writer — and one of their books — who once served as Volunteers. And last but not least — Besides RPCVs, a number of members of the staff of the Peace Corps have written major novels and works of non-fiction. Among them: The writers from the Peace Corps also have won almost every major prize of literature, including the National Book Award (Norm Rush & Bob . . .

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Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Finalist for Indiana Authors Award

Clifford Garstang (Korea  1976-77 ) has been selected by The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation as an Emerging Author finalist for the 2015 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. The goal of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award is to elevate the written arts in Indiana, inspiring Hoosiers’ love of reading and attracting greater attention to “home-grown” literary greats. The Award celebrates authors whose quality work has made, or has the potential to make, a lasting public impact. Clifford Garstang is the author of What the Zhang Boys Know, which won the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and the prize-winning short story collection In an Uncharted Country. He is the editor of an anthology, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, a finalist for the International Book Award, and Prime Number Magazine, an online quarterly. He is also the author of the popular literary blog Perpetual . . .

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Peace Corps sending trained people overseas or sending people overseas to be trained?

Every PCV and RPCV knows the Three Goals by heart.  The First: To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women In 2013, Peace Corps reported the lowest number of applicants in recent history. By far, the largest number of unfilled requests from “interested countries” was “Secondary Education – TEFL/English Teaching — 114 Volunteers teach conversational English, TEFL, or content-based English in middle and high schools. In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers share resources, develop teaching materials with local teachers and become involved in community- and school-based projects.” To read the entire list: here is the text: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/positions-peace-corps-could-not-fill-as-of-93013/ So what did Peace Corps do? Did Peace Corps adopt the Teach for America’s model and  revise its training schedule so that selected trainees exited training with a certificate in TEFL?  No. Did Peace Corps adopt the Global Health Volunteers model and  negotiate a partnership . . .

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Talking to Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67)

Talking to Phillip Margolin Among famous and successful RPCV writers no one has a wider readership and has been more financially successful than mystery writer Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67) who came home from Africa to attend New York University School of Law, then found his way to Portland, Oregon where from 1972 to 1996 he was in private practice specializing in criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels. Since 1996, however, Margolin has been writing full-time. The majority of his novels have been New York Times bestsellers. In addition to all this, his daughter grew up to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. After turning this site’s spotlight on Phillip Margolin recently, I spoke to him about his career and his bestselling novels, how he writes, and why. • Phillip, tell us something about yourself. Well, I grew up in New York City and Levittown, New York.  I graduated from . . .

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Urban Legends by Chris Honore’ (Colombia 1967-69)

Chris Honore’ was born in occupied Denmark, during WWII. After the war, he immigrated to America. He went to public schools and then attended San Jose State University and the University of California, at Berkeley, where he earned a teaching credential, an M.A. and a Ph.D. After teaching high school English for two years, he joined the Peace Corps. He’s a freelance journalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His wife owns a bookstore on Main Street. His son is a cinematographer, living in Southern California. Urban Legends by Chris Honore’ PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS were known, at least within the ranks, for telling stories, urban legends of a sort, passed along over a meal or coffee. Many were humorous, some anecdotal, often embellished to make a point, others so improbable as to require a suspension of disbelief, many possessing a dark edge of frustration and cynicism and resignation. One popular story that . . .

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No Pillow Talk for Peace Corps

For those of you who are as word weary, as I, of the blathering of a bombastic billionaire, here is a welcome column by Nicholas Kristof about benevolent billionaires, Bill and Melinda Gates. In this New York Times discussion, Kristof recounts interviews with Bill and Melinda as they reflect on their 15 years work in the developing world. Here is the text to link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-bill-and-melinda-gatess-pillow-talk.html?_r=0 The Gates talk about what they have learned and how they have adjusted their thinking about what works and what is problematic. Their efforts are tremendous and valuable. From the article: “So what mistakes did they make in their philanthropy? They say they started out too tech-focused. Now some of the measures they promote are distinctly low-tech — like breast-feeding, which could save the lives of more than 800,000 children worldwide each year. Likewise, they say, they didn’t appreciate how hard it was to translate . . .

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Looking For A Book Editor? Here's One I'd Recommend

FIRST PERSON EDITING SERVICE Now that book editors no longer actually edit, emerging writers need more help than ever. First Person Editing Service offers proofreading, fact checking, and all other editing services. Our two-person team — published author Chris Belden (Shriver) and copy editor Melissa DeMeo (Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, etc.) — will whip your fiction or creative nonfiction manuscript into shape. Please visit www.firstpersonediting.com for details about our services and fees.

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