Archive - June 2016

1
Poetry Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Writers Book Awards
2
Travel Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Book Awards
3
Early Termination Rates of Response Volunteers Compared – RPCVs to Non-RPCVs
4
Review — WAVELAND by Simone Zelitch (Hungary)
5
“Make Love, Not War,” a poem by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)
6
Talking with Frank Rothman, author of BROOKLYN NY TO BOCAIUVA, BRAZIL
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RPCV NYC Announces 5th Annual Story Slam Returned Peace Corps Volunteers take the stage to share true stories of service abroad
8
Palma de Mallorca inspires another poem by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
9
Stephen Mustoe (Kenya) publishes BREVITÉ
10
THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES by Ron Arias (Peru) due out in September

Travel Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Book Awards

The Keys to the Congo: and Further Travels: Memoir of a 2x Peace Corps Volunteer Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988–90; Malawi 2011–12) October 2015 A House in Trausse Leita  Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) December 2015 Ethiopian Vignettes: Seeing is Believing James Murren (Honduras 1997-99) November 2015 Travel Tales of a Feisty Fifty-something: All Roads Lead Home Joanne  Nussbaum (Mongolia 2010–12) January 2015 Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads Paul Thexoux (Malawi 1963-65) September 2015 Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998–2000) December 2015 Circling Sicily Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) December 2015

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Early Termination Rates of Response Volunteers Compared – RPCVs to Non-RPCVs

One of the major changes made by Peace Corps in 2010 was to include non-RPCVs in the Peace Corps Response Program. The decision to include non-RPCVs was announced in the 2010 Peace Corps Comprehensive Agency Assessment Report. (https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/opengov/PC_Comprehensive_Agency_Assessment.pdf) Peace Corps Response had begun in 1995 as the Crisis Corps. It was designed to utilize the unique experience of RPCVs by deploying them to help in emergencies, almost always in foreign countries. Later, the name was changed to Peace Corps Response and the mandate was expanded to send RPCVS  on short term technical or professional  assignments. Today, Peace Corps Response is open to returned Volunteers or those with significant professional and technical experience willing to serve usually three to twelve months in host countries. The Response Volunteers do not receive the extensive 12 week cultural and language training that “traditional” Volunteers have received. The Responsive program has a week’s orientation program.  It . . .

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Review — WAVELAND by Simone Zelitch (Hungary)

  Waveland: One Woman’s Story of Freedom Summer (Fiction) Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991–93) The Head & The Hand Press 2015 224 pages $18.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Linda Mather • “Once there was a girl who did everything wrong.” Waveland by Simone Zelitch starts with this sentence, which then sets the tone for the book. Most of the novel is set around events in the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s including efforts to register black voters in Mississippi, to gain seats at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, to establish grass roots mobilization in Chicago. And much of that is common to most movements — the clash between the whites and blacks both in the organization of the movement as well as in the towns, the motivation of the volunteers (Beth notes that she didn’t join to type letters), to the philosophies of the organizers themselves (short term goals vs. . . .

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“Make Love, Not War,” a poem by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)

  • Make Love, Not War by Ada Jo Mann (Chad 1967–69) We joined the Peace Corps to keep my new husband From going to War. We flew to the heart of darkest Africa And changed our lives. We learned the language of the village And wrote it down. We made love under a gauzy net And changed our lives. We drew our water from the police yard spigot And kept it cold. We took drugs against Malaria and for amusement And changed our lives. We taught about clean water and latrines To children and chiefs. We wrote letters and made tapes and changed our lives. We made good friends from around the globe And shared their joy. We packed our bags with memories that Had changed our lives. • In her retirement, RPCV Ada Jo Mann is writing poetry and participates in a Poetry Circle at Politics and Prose . . .

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Talking with Frank Rothman, author of BROOKLYN NY TO BOCAIUVA, BRAZIL

  In May Franklin D. Rothman (Brazil 1967–69) published his memoir Brooklyn, NY to Bocaiúva, Brazil: A Peace Corps Love Story with the Peace Corps Writers imprint. Here Frank talks about his Peace Corps days, life after Peace Corps and the writing of his memoir. • What was your Peace Corps project assignment in Brazil? Clubes Agricolas/Rural Community Action in Minas Gerais State (MG). The statewide project in selected municipalities in the interior of the state was conducted in coordination with State Secretaries of Agriculture and Education. Following a pre-assignment drop-off in the municipality of Carandaí, I expressed my desire to be assigned there, to join Lavonne Birdsall, who would be extending for her third year. Tell us about where you lived and worked. In the town of Carandai, I lived in a rented room known locally as the Palácio do Urubu (Vulture’s Palace). The property owner and his family lived . . .

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RPCV NYC Announces 5th Annual Story Slam Returned Peace Corps Volunteers take the stage to share true stories of service abroad

Join the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New York City (RPCV NYC) on Saturday, June 25, 2016 when returned volunteers take the stage to tell stories of mischief, mayhem, and misadventure around the world. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 7:30 pm at Hostelling International ­ NY located at 891 Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper Westside in Manhattan. Entry is donation based (suggested $5)  with refreshments also available by donation. Proceeds from the event will go towards an underfunded project through the Peace Corps Partnership Program which allows current volunteers  to fundraise for community led projects where they   serve. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have the unique experience of having lived and served  abroad for 27 months while integrating into the culture of their host communities. Far from the comforts and convenience of their lives in the U.S. and established family and friends they work at . . .

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Palma de Mallorca inspires another poem by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  More than twice the size of my small island of Minorca is the island of  Majorca or Mallorca, the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago that also includes Ibiza and Formentera. I have been to all of them, and you should travel there as well. Here’s a poem that came out of one of my visits to the big island. Palma De Mallorca The woman in the hotel pool swam in steady lengths, mindless of the Mediterranean, the yellow sun on harbor walls, the dance of docked white yachts. Mindless as well of my gin and tonic, or Robert Graves, buried in the thick crust of Deya. Her blond hair combed the turquoise water. Beyond the high tips of palm trees, Palma de Mallorca rushed by, while she kept pace in her wet world. Swimmers know nothing but their breath, the pull of muscles, and coolness of flesh. She did not know us, watching her slight body, tan limbs . . .

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Stephen Mustoe (Kenya) publishes BREVITÉ

  About Brevité by Stephen Mustoe (Kenya 1983–84) • Brevité is a collection of concise, imaginative stories that range widely in focus and spirit, from poignant to upbeat, unsettling to comical. In Acceptance a son struggles to deal with his mentally ill mother’s impending death. In Dogfish Blues and Blind Faith a young boy, later a teenager, survives hilarious yet terrifying adventures in the company of his outrageous uncle. Parallel Lives has an ailing man considering a series of malaria-induced recollections that might or might not be real. A young woman tries to make sense of a quirky accident that spared her life in Encounter. Each of my brief stories has its basis in either personal experience or an event related by a friend or acquaintance. Nevertheless they are all fictional works, which gave me liberty to make things up as I went along. And that was the truly enjoyable part. . . .

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THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES by Ron Arias (Peru) due out in September

In the title story of The Wetback and Other Stories by Ron Arias (Peru 1963–65), Mrs. Rentería shouts, “David is mine!” as she and her neighbors gather about the dead but handsome young man found in the dry riverbed next to their homes in a Los Angeles barrio. “Since when is his name David?” someone asks, and soon everyone is arguing about the mysterious corpse’s name, throwing out suggestions: Luis, Roberto, Antonio, Henry, Enrique, Miguel, Roy, Rafael. Many of the pieces in this collection take place in a Los Angeles neighborhood that used to be called Frog Town, now known as Elysian Valley. Ron Arias reveals the lives of his Mexican-American community: there’s Eddie Vera, who goes from school yard enforcer to jail bird and finally commando fighting in Central America; a boy named Tom, who chews his nails so incessantly that it leads to painful jalapeño chili treatments, banishment . . .

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