Archive - May 2019

1
Call Me by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
2
“Somali Moon” by Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia)
3
A Writer Writes — “ERITREA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY – MAY 29” by John C. Rude (Ethiopia)
4
Transport Secretary & former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao still owns road-paving company stock she promised to get rid of
5
Poet & Prose Writer Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands)
6
Jeffrey Tayler’s(Morocco) IN PUTIN’S FOOTSTEPS
7
Peace Corps’ Bill Moyers takes on Climate Crisis
8
“The Eye Man” by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala)
9
New books by Peace Corps writers — March-April-May 2019
10
Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS

Call Me by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

John Coyne will be one of the five published writers to lead panel discussions at the September RPCV Writing Workshop in Maryland. Read his short story below. Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, Editor Call Me by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) It was not easy keeping in touch. There were so many demands and hundreds of ways that I was requested. The telephone and mail certainly, but also telegrams, meetings, and midnight visits. At all hours the doorbell rang and I asked through the keyhole: who are you and what do you want? “My name is Michael. I’m a friend of Sherri’s. She said to see you. That you could help.” I unlocked the lock and opened the door. I have been robbed and mugged this way but what else could I do? I only wanted to help. I had one wall of filing cabinets: steel, cardboard, makeshift files in boxes. . . .

Read More

“Somali Moon” by Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia)

    Jeanne D’Haem will be one of the five published writers to lead panel discussions at the September RPCV Writing Workshop in Maryland. Read her Peace Corps essay below. — John Coyne   • Somali Moon By Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70)   There was a night, fifty years ago, when people all over the world watched the sky.  They were not concerned with yet another tragedy of war or weather.  No one had blown up the world trade center or machine gunned hundreds of people at a park. On one special night in August 1969, they were watching the moon with wonder. Any baby boomer you know can tell you exactly what they were doing on August 20, 1969. Most will report they were watching the TV.  Riveted by a black and white, 15 inch screen.  There was plenty of parking in New York City and Grand Rapids; everyone . . .

Read More

A Writer Writes — “ERITREA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY – MAY 29” by John C. Rude (Ethiopia)

    ERITREA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY – MAY 29 by John C. Rude (Ethiopia 1962-64) This week, on May 29, Eritrea celebrates its 28th anniversary as an independent nation. It will be the first independence celebration since Ethiopia’s reform-minded Prime Minister, Abiy Mohammed, announced a unilateral cessation of hostilities, less than a year ago, on July 9, 2018. This independence celebration may also mark the end of Eritrea’s long search for legitimacy. I happened to visit the country in 1992, shortly after Eritrea marked its first independence day. I shared the sadness of the people around me who mourned the war’s heavy sacrifices. Even so, I remember the first anniversary as a time of hoped-for new beginnings. I imagined the atmosphere in Eritrea to be comparable to the years after America won its independence from England in 1780. Then I realized that Eritrea came into being (as a colony, not a . . .

Read More

Transport Secretary & former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao still owns road-paving company stock she promised to get rid of

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-66) • Transport Secretary Elaine Chao could be in for a bumpy ride after The Wall Street Journal reported that she still owns stock in a road-paving company, more than a year after she promised to get rid of it. Chao’s holdings are in Vulcan Materials, which is the largest U.S. supplier of stone, sand, and gravel used in road-paving and building. The stock price has risen nearly 13 percent since April 2018, the month Chao said she would ditch the shares, meaning she’s gained more $40,000 since the promise was made. Shares valued at nearly $400,000 and were paid out to Chao in April 2018. They were given in compensation for her time on Vulcan’s board, before she was confirmed as secretary of transportation. Chao’s 2017 ethics agreement said she would receive a cash payout in April 2018 in exchange for . . .

Read More

Poet & Prose Writer Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands)

    Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands 2014-19) will be one of the five published writers to lead panel discussions at the September RPCV Writing Workshop in Maryland. Read her short poem below.— John Coyne      Sombre Hummingbird  Capão Valley, Brazil The Batista waterfall is half- erased, disappears before it hits the ground. Dona Aúrea loves to talk about how the world is ending. At my ear, this drab throb, the canyon swallowing the sun. I hold a glass of cachaça up to the sinking light: a cloudy eye. Once when we were young and unyoked we watched oxen mill the sugar cane to terrifying proof. Dona Aúrea, it’s true, the world is ending: in the cataract’s obliterating mist. In the kiss of the hummingbird’s fringed tongue. •   Eleanor Stanford is the author of three books of poetry, The Imaginal Marriage, Bartram’s Garden, and The Book of Sleep, . . .

Read More

Jeffrey Tayler’s(Morocco) IN PUTIN’S FOOTSTEPS

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ of Marian Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64)     IN PUTIN’S FOOTSTEPS: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones St. Martin’s Press By Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler (Morocco 1988-90) 320 pages February 19, 2019 $18.89 (hardback); $14.99 (Kindle); $24.60 (Audio CD)     From the Book Section of The New York Times Summer Travel Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler’s fascinating account of their travels in 2017 between Kamchatka and Kaliningrad. In its pages, you’ll learn that you can see China quite clearly from Russia in the harbor city of Blagoveshchensk, six time zones east of Moscow and 500 yards across the Amur River from the Chinese city of Heihe. Ferries transport Chinese and Russian traders back and forth daily. Khrushcheva made that shuttle trip and does not recommend it — the pushing and shoving and rude border control brought her to . . .

Read More

Peace Corps’ Bill Moyers takes on Climate Crisis

    Today marks the official launch of “Covering Climate Now”, a project co-sponsored by The Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation. Joined by The Guardian and others partners to be announced, “Covering Climate Now” will bring journalists and news outlets together to dramatically improve how the media as a whole covers the climate crisis and its solutions. The following is an abridged version of the conference keynote speech by iconic TV newsman Bill Moyers, as prepared for delivery.  • What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of the second world war? by Bill Moyers Wed 22 May 2019 11.10 EDT   I have been asked to bring this gathering to a close by summing up how we can do better at covering the possible “collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world,” to quote the noted environmentalist David Attenborough, speaking . . .

Read More

“The Eye Man” by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala)

Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) will be one of the five published writers to lead panel discussions at the September RPCV Writing Workshop in Maryland. Read his Peace Corps short story below. — John Coyne     The Eye Man by Mark Brazaitis The eye man came to town with doctors and nurses who carried suitcases full of medicine and Bibles. They were accompanied by boys and girls who dressed up like daisies and frogs and sang religious songs in English in the park. The eye man wasn’t a doctor or nurse. And neither the doctors nor the nurses nor the boys and girls who dressed up like daisies and frogs knew, or would tell me, what he was. He was simply “the eye man.” He made eyes. I translated for the group of doctors and nurses during their two-day clinic in the Church of God, one of several Evangelical churches . . .

Read More

New books by Peace Corps writers — March-April-May 2019

  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 from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Honorable Exit: How a Few Brave Americans Risked All to Save Our Vietnamese Allies at the End of the War Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968) Doubleday Publisher 448 pages May 2019 $ 19.49 (Hardback), $14.99 (Kindle) A groundbreaking revisionist history of . . .

Read More

Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS

    Buses are transforming European travel, cruising its highways, country roads, and coastlines, and connecting its cities and towns. They offer comfortable seating, wide windows, immediate boarding, value pricing, and modern technology along intercity routes spanning the European continent. Using descriptive text of 50 bus trips and destination city visits over a two-year period, author/explorer Steve Kaffen weaves together a fascinating travel story while providing experiential guidance on how to take advantage of this exciting way to explore Europe. Some 600 photos of all the bus trips, cities, sights and local color complement the story. An excerpt from the book’s Foreword: “‘Europe by Bus’ is informative, joyous, and lots of fun, with wonderful photographs and valuable tips. Its broad coverage, in text and photos, of some of Europe’s most interesting places makes the book a fascinating story and an excellent planning tool.” An excerpt from the Introduction: “Steve Kaffen . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.