Archive - November 5, 2015

1
NPCA Goes To Cuba! Part VIII (Final Blog) Cuba Today
2
Another Book Beating Up on the Peace Corps (But just the Recent Directors & of course, the Agency's Lawyers)
3
John S. Noffsinger and the Global Impact of the Thomasite Experience
4
One Last Word on Hemingway

NPCA Goes To Cuba! Part VIII (Final Blog) Cuba Today

Cuba Today The conditions of Cuba today are obvious from first sight. This is a land that stopped progress decades ago when the Soviet Union turned its back on the island. The topic that is on everyone’s list of concerns when meeting Cubans is housing. Their housing. There is nowhere to live, though the neighborhoods in greater Havana, and other cities, are full of abandoned and crumbling architecture, beautiful pre-revolutionary housing crying out to be saved. After the revolution of 1959, and the U.S. embargo, most of Havana fell into a dilapidated state. By 1968, all privately owned businesses were nationalized. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba lost billions of dollars in aid from Russia. And the U.S., 90 miles away, wasn’t helping them. Now, after fifty plus years, Cuba is turning to tourism to right this socialist country where an estimated 15% of all Cubans . . .

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Another Book Beating Up on the Peace Corps (But just the Recent Directors & of course, the Agency's Lawyers)

Peace Corps: The Icon and the Reality is a 54 page ebook that you can get free off of Amazon. It was published in 2014. Take a look. Here is the copy of text from the Amazon page on what the book is about. Basically it looks at recent (since about 2000) changes at the agency and the deaths within the corps of PCVs. It is not kind to the Peace Corps administrations, at least not kind to former PCVs who became Peace Corps Directors, i.e. Aaron Williams (DR 1967-70), Ron Tschetter (India 1966-68). Mark Schneider (El Salvador 1966-68) comes off better, but, of course, Gaddi Vasquez (not a PCV) get beat up as usual. Here’s what the flap copy says: The body of literature critical of the Peace Corps is disturbing. The first real criticism of the Peace Corps in mainstream media came from the Dayton Daily News in . . .

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John S. Noffsinger and the Global Impact of the Thomasite Experience

John Coyne has been posting a series on early Peace Corps history. One of the articles referenced the early staffer, John Noffsinger.  The link to this article was rendered inactive because Peace Corps/Washington is transitioning to a new all inclusive website.  However, Elizabeth Karr, RPCV and current librarian has generously offered to help all RPCVs who wish to view the digitalized  text documents, such as this one, during this transition period. Elizabeth asks that requests be sent to the email: library@peacecorps.gov As we wait for Mary-Ann Tirone Smith’s review of Peace Corps Fantasies, John’s history becomes even more important.  Here is the link to his posting that included John S. Noffsinger.  Following the link is the article by Paul A. Rodell, RPCV. http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/ivs/ John S. Noffsinger & the Global Impact of the Thomasite Experience* By Paul A. Rodell Peace Corps/Philippines 68-71 Introduction This paper explores the life of a remarkable . . .

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One Last Word on Hemingway

At the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City now there is the first major museum exhibition devoted to Hemingway and his work. Most of Hemingway’s papers are at the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. After Hemingway’s death in 1961, JFK, a reader of Hemingway, helped Mary Welsh get into Cuba and retrieve many of his belongings. She later donated Hemingway’s archive to the new presidential library partly in gratitude to JFK. This exhibition is entitled, “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars.” I remember clearly hearing the news that Hemingway had killed himself. I was still in graduate school, still in the Air National Guard, and I had come home from being a weekend warrior and my girlfriend at the time stopped by to see me and in the late afternoon and mentioned off highhandedly that Hemingway had killed himself, as if it was of little importance. Once before I . . .

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