Archive - November 2019

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“Mexico” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) in The Oddville Press, Fall 2019
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WAGING PEACE — A film by Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone)
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MINSK AND THE EUROPEAN GAMES by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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Special Limited edition of A Towering Task available
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NPCA signs a MOU with the International Rescue Committee
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Review — BOYHOOD IN BAYFIELD by Poet Andrew Oerke (staff – Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Jamaica)
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Review — AS WE THINK . . . SO WE AGE by Geri Marr Burdman (Bolivia)
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HOBGOBLIN by John Coyne (Ethiopia) coming to the movies!
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Review — QUEEN OF HEARTS edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal)
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New books by Peace Corps writers — September & October 2019

“Mexico” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) in The Oddville Press, Fall 2019

    The opening paragraph of “Mexico” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978–80)   IT WAS A CHAIN OF EVENTS, some of them taking place in Foster Raines’ mind and some in the world at large, none more real than another. It started with the death of Methuselah’s baby sister, whose name Foster never could remember. He happened to be sitting in the game room at Loblolly Village when she crossed the threshold on her walker and crashed to the floor dead as a bag of cats. A hundred and seven, people believed her to be, reserved but not unfriendly to the end. Nurses and orderlies rushed to revive her. No luck, unless you considered lucky the feat of expiring in a flash after a healthy century. Watching the commotion from his wheelchair, blanket tucked around his knees, Foster was obliged to look his own death in the face. The outcome . . .

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WAGING PEACE — A film by Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone)

    KERA TV presents WAGING PEACE: The Peace Corps Experience a film by Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone 1963-65), a Media Projects, Inc. production “We wanted to make a difference and change the world. And the world changed us.” — Allen Mondell • In 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked a generation of Americans to volunteer and make a difference on a global scale. Since then, more than 200,000 volunteers have answered his call. WAGING PEACE: The Peace Corps Experience weaves  personal letters, journals, emails and blogs written by Peace Corps Volunteers with profiles of four returned volunteers showing the enduring impact of these experiences on their own lives and the lives of others. “I’ve recounted our stories that capture the seemingly insurmountable challenges of ordinary Americans who were willing to endure vast cultural isolation, poverty, suspicion and, at times, antagonism–all in the hopes of making a small difference.” — Allen Mondell   Celebrating  the power of volunteerism . . .

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MINSK AND THE EUROPEAN GAMES by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

    The European athletic games took place in Minsk, Belarus, in June 2019. About 3,600 athletes competed in 15 sports, many of which were qualifying opportunities for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Join Steve Kaffen at the European Games, and experience the people, sights, and local color of historic and picturesque Minsk. Using over 200 original photographs and descriptions, the author showcases the host city and the Games’ exciting activities including four final events and the spectacular closing ceremony. Steve brings an unusual diversity of life and travel experiences to his writing. He has explored most countries and is a long-time member of the famed Explorer’s Club. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Russia ( 1994-96) and later as the Assistant Inspector General for Auditing at Peace Corps for its worldwide operations. Among interesting experiences, the author has monitored elections for the UN, written the soccer . . .

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Special Limited edition of A Towering Task available

RPCV Alana deJoseph, producer of  “A Towering Task” reports:” Our special limited edition DVDs have arrived. Once these are sold out, DVDs won’t be available until after our theatrical run, because we want to qualify for the Oscars!” Purchase those DVDs here: https://www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com/buydvd. Find information about hosting a screening here: https://www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com/hostascreening

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NPCA signs a MOU with the International Rescue Committee

RPCVs are working with Refugees, individually, with NPCA organizations, and with local communities.  The National Peace Corps Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Rescue Committee to further support this work.  Here is the link to the MOU: https://bit.ly/2CYzyRl  

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Review — BOYHOOD IN BAYFIELD by Poet Andrew Oerke (staff – Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Jamaica)

    Boyhood in Bayfield by Andrew Oerke (PC Staff: Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Jamaica 1966-71) Poets’ Choice Publishing 72 pages $19.95 (paperback) – purchase from publisher Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)   Poems by a Man of Many Talents Andrew Oerke has as diverse a biography as one could imagine. He was a Peace Corps country director in Tanzania and Jamaica. He was also a Golden Gloves boxing champion. He was the CEO of an environmental foundation. He was also the president of a microfinance organization. By one account, noted in his obituary published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oerke was instrumental in the creation of the Peace Corps. The newspaper reports: “At a campaign stop in Milwaukee during John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential bid, Oerke is credited with suggesting to then-U.S. Senator William Proxmire that a global volunteer organization should be developed that would allow young people to . . .

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Review — AS WE THINK . . . SO WE AGE by Geri Marr Burdman (Bolivia)

    As We Think . . . So We Age: Exploring Pathways to Meaningful Aging by Geri Marr Burdman, Ph.D.  (Bolivia 1962-64) GeroWise Books 136 pages July 2015 $14.99 (paperback) Review by Sue Hoyt Aiken (Ethiopia 1962 -64) • The author’s far ranging life combined with her education, career and recognition by peers should give readers comfort as she explores the challenges of aging in today’s world. As one reviewer writes, “A deeply insightful book, offering a message of hope in the midst of challenges, the author reflects upon …”Dr. Vikto Frankl’s exemplary lessons on finding meaning regardless of age or circumstance.”  That sums up the value of this remarkable 117 page guide for anyone looking ahead or is in the process of aging.  She designates entire pages at the end of each chapter for the reader’s reflections, thus encouraging engagement with the content.  The book lends itself to being . . .

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HOBGOBLIN by John Coyne (Ethiopia) coming to the movies!

    Check out what’s happening with my horror novel HOBGOBLIN!! If you’re on Facebook, please join HOBGOBLIN THE FILM GROUP!! • Be sure to watch HOBGOBLIN:THE FILM GROUP TEASER •

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Review — QUEEN OF HEARTS edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal)

    Queen of Hearts: The Story of Anna Sipl Meyers by Anna Sipl Meyers; Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) — Editor CreateSpace July, 2018 248 pages $20.00 (paperback)   Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • This is a life story worthy of a Horatio Alger novel, except that it is autobiographical rather than fiction, and the hero, Anna Sipl Meyers, continues her story after achieving her initial goal of owning a Las Vegas hotel and casino. In fact her ups and downs as a hotel and casino owner are among the most fascinating parts of her life story. The book is based on two years of interviews conducted by Claytee D. White, Director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas) Libraries. RPCV Leita Kaldi Davis organized the interviews and edited them into a book which is conversational, well organized, . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — September & October 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. • As We Think . . . So We Age: Exploring Pathways to Meaningful Aging Geri Marr Burdman, Ph.D. (Bolivia 1962–64) GeroWise Books July 2015 136 pages $14.99 (paperback) Drawing on her professional background as well as years of cross-cultural and global experiences, Geri . . .

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