Archive - February 2019

1
Earl Carlton Huband (Oman) wins Longleaf Press 2018 Poetry Chapbook Contest
2
“The Man Who Defined National Service” by Steven Waldman
3
Review – SECRETS OF THE MOON by Tema Encarnacion (Dominican Republic)
4
PCVs in Colombian Film–But Not Our Story (Colombia)
5
PC/HQ Celebrates Black History Month—But Where’s Franklin Williams?
6
A Writer Writes “Dervishes” by Steve Horowitz (Iran)
7
Washington Post review and comments on Larry Leamer’s (Nepal) book MAR-A-LAGO
8
NPCA wants to hear from RPCVs with knowledge of Central America
9
RSVP Harris Wofford Memorial
10
Review — THE HERETIC OF GRANADA by David C. Edmonds (Chile)

Earl Carlton Huband (Oman) wins Longleaf Press 2018 Poetry Chapbook Contest

  Earl Carlton Huband (Oman 1975-78) poetry chapbook The Innocence of Education based on his experiences in the Sultanate of Oman is the winner of the Longleaf Press 2018 Poetry Award sponsored by Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. The Innocence of Education features twenty-seven syllabic and autobiographical poems based on the author’s experience as a PCV. Earl was a teacher in a remote fishing village located in a then-restricted military zone near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Earl, who is from Wilmington, North Carolina, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a resident of Durham. His poems have appeared in America, The Lyric, The Main Street Rag, The Road Not Taken, and Visions International; in anthologies such as Earth and Soul, Heron Clan, Kakalak, and Pinesong; and in the textbook Unlocking the Poem. • TODAY – Thursday 2/14, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (informal get-together next door at The Root Cellar, 6 p.m.) Flyleaf Second Thursday Poetry Series & Open . . .

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“The Man Who Defined National Service” by Steven Waldman

    The Man Who Defined National Service by Steven Waldman, Washington Monthly contributing editor January 23, 2019 • When I went to work for Harris Wofford in 1995, I knew him only as a legend. By that point, he had already achieved more in his career than all but a tiny fraction of senators or governors in the last century. Wofford, who died over the weekend, had mentored Martin Luther King on the art of non-violent civil disobedience; he marched in Selma; he prodded John F. Kennedy to call Coretta Scott King when the civil rights leader had been imprisoned, probably tipping the election to JFK; he helped create the Peace Corps and ran its Africa program; he was elected senator from Pennsylvania in a campaign that convinced the Democrats, for the first time in decades, that universal health care was a winning issue; and as a senator, he was a . . .

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Review – SECRETS OF THE MOON by Tema Encarnacion (Dominican Republic)

    Secrets of the Moon: A Novel by Tema Encarnacion (Dominican Republic 2000–01) CreateSpace September 2018 186 pages $9.99 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) • Author Tema Encarnacion couldn’t have chosen a timelier theme for her debut novel, than the circumstances that force families to flee violence from Central America and embark on a perilous journey across the border into the U.S., as the immigration crisis continues unresolved. Alternating narratives from the daughter, Luz, and her mother, Esperanza, help the reader appreciate how the experience will traumatize everyone in the family from Luz’s grandmother, who has been bringing Luz up in El Salvador alone for six years, to Luz’s crossing the border where she’s raped and mistreated upon her eventual arrival in Maryland. The rape scene of a 12-year-old while crossing the desert was especially heart wrenching, but well written, and the symbolism of the . . .

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PCVs in Colombian Film–But Not Our Story (Colombia)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66) Review: “Birds of Passage,” the Tragic Story of an Indigenous Colombian Family’s Involvement in the Drug War By Richard Brody New Yorker February 11, 2019 The cultural richness of “Birds of Passage” is overwhelming, its sense of detail piercingly perceptive, and its sense of drama rigorously yet organically integrated with its documentary elements. Photograph Courtesy The Orchard The Colombian film “Birds of Passage,” directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, is an ethnographic thriller—a drama set in rural northern Colombia, centered on one indigenous group, the Wayuu, and based on the true story of a drug war that, from the late nineteen-sixties through the early nineteen-eighties, inflamed the region and engulfed a Wayuu family. It’s a movie involving a wide spectrum of experience, but its elements are nonetheless profoundly integrated. It’s not a thriller with some local color adorning the action or . . .

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PC/HQ Celebrates Black History Month—But Where’s Franklin Williams?

WASHINGTON– In honor of Black History Month, today the Peace Corps recognizes the important contributions African-American Volunteers and staff have made to the agency’s mission and promoting cross-cultural understanding around the globe with a Press Release. The news release published today, February 11, 2019, honors African-American Volunteers and a number of noted staff members, including, of course, Carolyn R. Payton, the first female Director of Peace Corps, as well as the first African-American Director, and writes about a few other African-American staff members. (By the way, the Peace Corps Press Release  has a type with Carolyn’s first name under her photograph.) However, the Press Release never mentions the most recognized African-Americans on the first Peace Corps staff, Franklin Williams, who began his ‘international’ career at the Peace Corps in 1961, and was at HQ as Chief of the Division of Private Organizations, and then head of the African Region. In 1965 . . .

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A Writer Writes “Dervishes” by Steve Horowitz (Iran)

DERVISHES By Steve Horowitz  (Iran 1968-71) It was a long walk from the Workman’s house to this other part of town, where the monthly meetings and rituals took place.  Early evening but already dark , through the maze of winding high-walled alleys; few people were outside and all the mud walls seemed to look the same. Three of us -John, myself and Mustapha, John’s friend who had set everything up for us- made our way slowly with Mustapha following the directions someone had provided him. What they did at these ritual gatherings was private, secretive and pretty bizarre to outsiders, so there was no interest in encouraging visitors- especially foreigners- to attend, but if there was an intermediary to make contact and the patience to wait for permission to be granted, it could be arranged John and his wife were English teachers in this Kurdish city not far from the . . .

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Washington Post review and comments on Larry Leamer’s (Nepal) book MAR-A-LAGO

    Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) Article and review of Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1965-67) Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace. • How Mar-a-Lago’s denizens nurtured Donald Trump’s ego By Robin Givhan Washington Post February 7   Palm Beach is a horrible place. According to Laurence Leamer “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” the Florida enclave is populated by snooty old-timers and egotistical arrivistes, social climbers and brown-nosers — all of whom are willing to tolerate and even reward the most egregious behavior if it means basking in the nuclear glow of the latest buzzy power player. It’s a town where wealthy husbands fight petty battles in court and middle-aged wives fight wrinkles and weight gain as if their marriages depend on it, because they so often do. It’s a wretched village filled with grotesque anti-Semitism . . .

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NPCA wants to hear from RPCVs with knowledge of Central America

    From the National Peace Corps Association Website: Central America Reporting for WorldView “We’re accepting article proposals for the Summer issue of NPCA’s WorldView magazine on the Central American migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border. The deadline for brief proposals is Friday, February 22.We’re looking for writing that gives WorldView readers a better picture of life’s challenges in these countries. If you are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who has a first-person story, let us know. WorldView will try to explain: what drove thousands of people from Central America to walk four or five thousand miles to our U.S. border? Who are they and which countries do they come from? Why did they leave their homes? Could U.S. foreign policy and international assistance have served these countries better? Please submit a brief proposal and your background on the subject.” Click on the following link to read more on . . .

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RSVP Harris Wofford Memorial

Harris Wofford Memorial Please join us to celebrate the remarkable life of Harris Wofford. Saturday, March 2, 2019 2:00pm Cramton Auditorium – Howard University 2455 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059   RSVP at: https://voicesforservice.org/rsvp-harris-wofford-memorial/

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Review — THE HERETIC OF GRANADA by David C. Edmonds (Chile)

    The Heretic of Granada David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963–65) Southern Yellow Pine April 2018 358 pages $18.95 (paperback), $4.95 (Kindle)   Review by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • The Heretic of Granada is a surprisingly quick read for 63 chapters and 345 pages. The chapters are short and there is plenty of action to hold your interest. Father Antonio, an excommunicated Spanish priest, is an unlikely action hero. But when friends help him narrowly escape being burned at the stake, he is determined not just to survive, but to bring down the corrupt administration that destroyed his family. This is an adventure on a par with Treasure Island, but with adult situations and content I would not generally recommend for young readers. The book is a historical novel set in colonial Nicaragua and the Caribbean. It is so fast-paced and entertaining that I had to . . .

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