Archive - December 2015

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This article about Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) Written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)
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Harris Wofford & George Stephanopoulos: A Conversation
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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Interviewed on SUVUDU.com
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Peace Corps Seeking a RPCV Portal
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Mark Wentling(Honduras 1967-69) Comments on Steven Radelet's (Western Samoa 1981-83) The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World
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Your Novel Needs a Structure; You Need a Structure
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REVIEW: The Keys to the Congo by Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988-90; Malawi 2011-12)
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New books by Peace Corps writers — November 2015
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More on the "Less" Medical Help for RPCVs
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Annual Report of the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council

This article about Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) Written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker emailed this morning, December 20,2015, about The Business of Giving and remarks in his Introduction to a series of articles on ‘giving’ about Peter Hessler’s article on the Peace Corps, writing, “a volunteer in an eastern part of Nepal later becomes an expert fund-raiser for the organization, and within ten minutes at a dinner on Long Island raises eighteen thousand dollars.” That ‘volunteer’ was Rajeen Goyal (Nepal 2001-03). He then publishes (again) “Village Voice” an article written by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) about Rajeen that appeared in the December 20, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Here it is again, if you missed it the first time the piece was published. A Reporter at Large DECEMBER 20, 2010 ISSUE Village Voice The Peace Corps’s brightest hope. BY PETER HESSLER Rajeev Goyal in Namje, Nepal. Instead of introducing American values abroad, Goyal aims at the reverse. . . .

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Harris Wofford & George Stephanopoulos: A Conversation

Support the upcoming documentary film on Harris Wofford and join George Stephanopoulos as he interviews Senator Wofford live at the New York Public Library. The evening will feature an exclusive preview of the upcoming documentary on Harris Wofford, including interviews with Senator Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, James Carville, Bill Moyers, and others. George Stephanopoulos will interview Harris about the stories of eight decades, including advancing Civil Rights with Martin Luther King and President Kennedy, helping to start the Peace Corps, fighting for national health care in the U.S. Senate, and growing national service. Wednesday, January 13, 2016 NYPL: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street Sponsored by Corporation for Civic Documentaries As a special web offer, a very limited number of tickets at $50 (normally $150) to enjoy the event and the reception afterwards, hosted by New York Public Library CEO Anthony Marx. Go to:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/george-stephanopoulos-and-harris-wofford-a-conversation-tickets-19997099864

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Interviewed on SUVUDU.com

John Coyne interviewed by Matt Staggs on December 16, 2015 Sometimes you read a book and you just know it’s going to be a part of your life forever. John Coyne’s 1981 horror fantasy Hobgoblin was one of those books for me. It’s the story of Scott Gardiner, a teenager obsessed with “Hobgoblin”: a fantasy role-playing game inspired by Irish mythology. Scott already has a shaky grasp on reality, and after an unexpected tragedy strikes his family he begins to believe that the horrors of the game are real. I read Hobgoblin at just the right age: I was maybe 12 years-old and quite obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons. Like Scott, my home life wasn’t perfect and school was a complete nightmare. I didn’t have trouble distinguishing between reality and fantasy, but there were times when I would have given anything to slip away into a world of sorcerers and dragons. I saw some . . .

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Peace Corps Seeking a RPCV Portal

The Office of the Third Goal at the agency has requested of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create a “Portal” that will allow RPCVs to update their contact information, share stories, request official documentation, view their service history, and enroll in outreach and marketing campaigns. The official title will be: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Portal (RPCV Portal). They say the general description of collection would be “To build a robust alumni network it is essential that Peace Corps maintains accurate and up-to-date contact information for RPCVs. By logging into the RPCV Portal, RPVCs access their record in the database directly, and are able to make changes and submit requests at their convenience. The updated contact information collected in the RPCV Portal will be used for outreach and support purposes, along with managing subscriptions for Peace Corps newsletters.”  (Do we even have a newsletter from the agency?) RPCVs . . .

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Mark Wentling(Honduras 1967-69) Comments on Steven Radelet's (Western Samoa 1981-83) The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World

Comments about The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet (Samoa 1981–83) by Mark Wentling, December 15, 2015 • “Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Radelet’s ‘surge’ viewed from an African angle.” I enjoyed reading Dr. Radelet’s new book, The Great Surge. I applaud the efforts he and his team deployed to produce such an acclaimed book. I’m dazzled and enriched by all the information contained in this book to support his convincing argument that the number of poor people in the world today is less than at any previous time in history. It is difficult to review a book that quotes all pertinent sources and leaves no stone unturned. It appears that he has contacted everyone of any importance in academia about this critically important subject. Almost every sentence cites a key statistic or reference. His book is so chock full of facts and citations . . .

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Your Novel Needs a Structure; You Need a Structure

Your Novel Needs a Structure You Need a Structure The hardest part about writing a novel is writing a novel. Now there’s a declarative sentence! But it’s so true. To write a novel you need a structure: a beginning and middle and end. Characters. Plot. Scenes. Events. But more importantly you need a frame for the length of your book on which you can hang your story: the action, characters, metaphors, plot twists, and drama. Think of your novel as a room you have to measure with a long industrial ruler, one of those big, fat ones carpenters carry and whip out of their pockets like an old fashioned six shooter. That’s your plan. Your focus. Your design. That is how you will tell your tale. You will measure the scenes and incidents, the drama and the dialogue and make sure everything fits. That’s your plan for writing your novel. . . .

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REVIEW: The Keys to the Congo by Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988-90; Malawi 2011-12)

The Keys to the Congo: and Further Travels: Memoir of a 2x Peace Corps Volunteer by Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988-90; Malawi 2011-12) Self-published October 2015 207 pages $30.00 (hardcover), $8.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) • Irene Brammertz has written a diary type memoir, drawing on journals and letters she wrote and subsequently edited intermittently for ten years after her first service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire. When Irene was 70-years-old she returned to Africa as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer for nine months in Malawi. Then she participated in a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in 2013, when she revisited the people and places she had left behind in 1990. In her memoir, Irene recalls all the tribulations of culture shock that every PCV experiences: It’s a wonder that anybody gets anything done to earn a living since it . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — November 2015

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.   • The Keys to the Congo: and Further Travels: Memoir of a 2x Peace Corps Volunteer Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988–90; Malawi 2011–12) Self-published October 2015 207 pages $30.00 (hardcover), $8.99 (Kindle) . • One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging (historical fiction) Beth M. Caruso (Thailand 1989–91); editor: Susanne Aspley (Thailand 1989–91) Lady Slipper Press October 2015 386 pages $17.95 (paperback); $9.99 (Kindle) • A Stone House in Pokhara and Other Tales (Peace Corps letters) Mike  Frame (Nepal 1962-66) Larchill Press 2011 250 pages $25.00 from Larchhill Press . • Mike’s Breakfast Cooking in Nepal . . .

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More on the "Less" Medical Help for RPCVs

(Thanks to Nancy Tongue(Chile 1980-82) founder of Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers (HJPCV) for Leading this fight for better health for RPCV.) CBS NEWS December 14, 2015, 7:43 AM Ex-volunteers accuse Peace Corps of health care neglect The Peace Corps says 91 percent of volunteers are satisfied with their medical care, but government reports as far as 1991 found problems with that care. Some returned volunteers tell CBS News they’ve fallen through the cracks both during and after their service — in some cases, for decades, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. In 1965, Nancy Minadeo Flanigan was a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia. She was raped by local men and impregnated with a daughter, who died at birth. “I started having depression and nightmares and flashbacks,” Flanigan said. In 2012 she got word she would be reimbursed for 50 years of medical bills, but she needed receipts. “Well, . . .

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Annual Report of the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council

The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 mandated that a Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council be created to evaluate the progress the agency was making on implementing that legislation.The report is made to the President, the Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Report was delivered on October 28, 2015. It covers the period Fiscal 2014 to Fiscal 2015. The report addresses many issues that were publicized recently. It is now available online at the Peace Corps’s official website. The Executive Summary is copied below. http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/PCAC_Annual_Report_2015.pdf “EXECUTIVE SUMMARYIn the years since the Kate Puzey Act was passed, the Peace Corps has worked diligently and meticulously to implement a new Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response Program (SARRR) that raises the bar on support and services that are provided to Volunteer victims. The Peace Corps recognized the need for change . . .

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