Archive - November 2018

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“I’ll be a little late, darling. I ran into an old Peace Corps buddy.”
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Review–Everywhere Stories Edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea)
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Bill Moyers, First Associate Director for Public Affairs
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NEVER FORGET
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Fiction that matters — An Interview with Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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December 2, 1961 New Yorker Cartoon on the Peace Corps Post Card (Nigeria)
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The Peace Corps ‘Madman’ Behind Trump’s Trade Theory (Thailand)
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Cyprus’ First (and only) Peace Corps Staff
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More Reps Around the World
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Reps Around the World

Review–Everywhere Stories Edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea)

Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume III Edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea 1976-77) Press 53 Publisher October 2018 196 pages $19.95 (paperback)   Reviewed by Peter Van Deekle (Iran, 1968-70) During my Peace Corps in-country training I always remember that one of my expatriate guides distinguished between visiting (short-term travel) and living (extended immersion including residency and employment) in a foreign culture.  Despite what some erroneously called a “junket,” Peace Corps service represented an intensive cultural immersion that travel could not provide. Much of the short fiction in Volume III of  Everywhere Stories, edited by Clifford Garstang, is informed by that intensive immersion that only living in a society can supply.  This collection’s short story authors individually reflect that unique awareness particular to each tradition and circumstance associated with a country. The short fiction in Volume III is organized by five major geographic regions and countries within . . .

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Bill Moyers, First Associate Director for Public Affairs

The turning in the road for Bill Moyers came when he took a summer internship in the office of Lyndon Johnson, then Democratic leader of the Senate. The inside glimpse into national politics that this experience gave him—as well as the relationship Moyers formed with the man who became president—set in motion a chain of events which brought him finally to the Peace Corps. If he hadn’t come to Washington in that summer of 1954, Moyers would probably become a professor of ethics at Baylor University. “I was all signed up at Baylor when an offer came from Mr. Johnson to join his staff as a special assistant working for the Majority Leader in his relations with the Senate,” Moyers said. “To me, the offer was irresistible.” The young special assistant became Johnson’s executive assistant during the Senator’s 1960 campaign for the Vice Presidency. In this capacity, he lived in the . . .

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Fiction that matters — An Interview with Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  Fiction that matters—An Interview with Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) Interviewed by Kurt Baumeister, The Oddville Press http://arthousemedia.com/oddville/interview-jacobs.html (Mark Jacobs (MJ) and Kurt Baumeister (KGB) KGB— You’ve published quite a bit of short fiction, some of it in hallowed literary venues like The Atlantic, Shenandoah, and The Kenyon Review. And you’ve won several prizes for this work. But you’ve also published a few straight spy thrillers. Talk about the impulse to work in different subgenres of fiction—I’ve always hesitated to refer to literary or serious fiction as a genre, but many do so let’s go with it—do you get different satisfactions out of writing serious fiction as opposed to what we think of as “popular” work? MJ— It’s good to connect with you, Kurt. I appreciate the question. A few years ago, I was disappointed to get a turn-down on a story from the editor of one of the prestigious literary magazines. He seemed to like the story I’d sent . . .

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December 2, 1961 New Yorker Cartoon on the Peace Corps Post Card (Nigeria)

“Do you think it would be all right on a postcard to mention frozen foods, dirty streets, crowded tenements, TV commercials, and things like that?” This is the original cartoon that Ellen Kennedy, wife of Padraic Kennedy, Chief of the Division of Volunteer Field Support –1961-65–purchased from The New Yorker cartoonist. Ellen and Pat Kennedy kindly gave the cartoon to me and I am turning it over to the NPCA when they open their RPCV museum at their offices in Washington, D.C. next spring. The “post card” incident in Nigeria involving the lost postcard sent home by a PCV was a signature event of the first year and because the Volunteers and Staff in Nigeria “held it together” the Peace Corps was kept together. It could have caused the death knell for the agency. The New Yorker, as only they would, found humor in the situation and published this cartoon.

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The Peace Corps ‘Madman’ Behind Trump’s Trade Theory (Thailand)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04) Peter Navarro—a business-school professor, a get-rich guru, a former Peace Corps member, and a former Democrat—is among the most important generals in Trump’s trade war. MATTHIEU BOUREL by ANNIE LOWREY DECEMBER 2018 ISSUE of The Atlantic “No one’s more careful about what they buy,” Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) told me recently. The director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy was explaining that he reads labels closely and avoids products made in China. “People need to be mindful of the high cost of low prices,” he said. In Navarro’s telling, those cheap flip-flops are supporting an authoritarian state, and that cut-rate washing machine might be mortgaging America’s future. Such wariness of foreign goods is not just one man’s consumer preference—it’s United States policy. In the past year, the Trump administration has embarked on a trade war with sweeping geopolitical aims: . . .

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Cyprus’ First (and only) Peace Corps Staff

When newly independent Cyprus showed an interest in inviting the Peace Corps, the Near East-South Asia regional office sent Patricia Sullivan to Nicosia, the island’s capital city. Miss Sullivan, who later became operations officer for Nepal and Afghanistan as well as Cyprus, arrived in Nicosia on January 9, 1962, and remained until early April. Toward the end of April, Associate General Counsel Roger Kuhn, then discussing a program in Turkey, flew over from Ankara for three days to assist with a few technical points in the program note. When Miss Sullivan flew back to Washington, the first Cyprus program, which called for geologists, teachers and agricultural extension workers, was ready to go. The 23 Volunteers who were sent to the island went into training nine weeks later at Howard University. Meridan Bennett, the Representative in Cyprus, shared part of the training with them. Born in Minneapolis, “Med” Bennett was raised . . .

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