Archive - 2019

1
Full-Time Freedom To Write (Paraguay 2008-10)
2
58 Years after Congressional Authorization, The Peace Corps Continues to build better Americans
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Review — STRANGE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD: POEMS by Bill Preston (Thailand)
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A Full Moon Night on Friday the 13th was not the only auspicious convergence for Denver’s RPCV community.
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Towering Task screening — Sunday September 22nd — Kennedy Center
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THE HONOLULU DRAGON, fourth in the Robert Louis Stevenson Series by Joseph Theroux (Samoa)
7
About schooling kids in NYC by George Packer (Togo)
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NPR takes a critical look at the overseas short term Volunteering industry
9
Face to Face With the Global Economy by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)
10
West Virginia RPCVs to interview RPCVs to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps

Full-Time Freedom To Write (Paraguay 2008-10)

Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008-10) has an online coaching course for writers. A 12 weeks course begins this week on September 26th. Check it out and/or contact Paulette. Full-time to Freedom to Write 12 weeks starting Sept. 26 Meeting Thursdays at 8 EST/5 PST. Outside, it was a rare sunny day in Seattle. I pressed my face against the glass window of my boss’s office, and realized I wasn’t allowed to leave the building. I realized I wasn’t allowed to shift my work day to Saturday, when the rain would roll back in. I realized I wanted to be a freelancer. How do you think you would feel if you got to create the life you want as a full-time writer? You wake up at the time that’s right for your body, wear whatever you feel comfortable in, and work with people you like and respect. When you need to be around . . .

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58 Years after Congressional Authorization, The Peace Corps Continues to build better Americans

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Rich Buxton (Congo 1977-79) Published in THE HILL BY REPS. JOE KENNEDY III (D-MASS.) AND JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CALIF.) © Getty Images On Sept. 22, 1961, Congress approved legislation signed into law by President John F. Kennedy creating an organization whose goal was to promote world peace and friendship. The Peace Corps has been doing that and more ever since. Nearly six decades later, more than 230,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 141 countries. We are proud to count ourselves among them and to serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus. Every year, Peace Corps volunteers arrive in communities around the globe where our presence has rarely been felt. As soon as they step on that soil, they begin to build homes, trust and relationships that will help us make the world a safer and better place. This is something we learned firsthand . . .

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Review — STRANGE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD: POEMS by Bill Preston (Thailand)

    Strange Beauty of the World: Poems Bill Preston (Thailand 1977–80) Peace Corps Writers 148 pages August 2018 $14.00 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Peter V. Deekle (Iran 1968–70) • Bill Preston (Thailand, 1977-1980) began his professional encounter with his native language, English, during his Peace Corps TEFL assignment, as did this reviewer. But Bill continued his formal engagement with English well beyond Peace Corps. This engagement has strengthened his expertise as a writer and poet. Strange Beauty of the Worldis a collection both personal and universal in its appeal, organized in broad sections of Bill’s experience and recollections. The universality of each poem enables the reader to find a unique voice and vision of the expressed sentiments and events. Regardless of style and form (mostly extended narrative forms, but a few, often playful, rhyming) the poems seem to this reviewer both appropriate to the themes and evocative of each . . .

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A Full Moon Night on Friday the 13th was not the only auspicious convergence for Denver’s RPCV community.

Former Peace Corps Carrie Hessler Radelet happened to be  in town.  She joined Former Peace Corps Director Nick Craw (1973-1974), and Former Peace Corps Director Richard Celeste (1979-1981) in an informal panel. Over 90 RPCVs listened  to the trio discuss their time as Directors and their hopes for the future of Peace Corps.  Peace Corps had lost its independent status in 1971 when Nixon placed  all Volunteer agencies under one umbrella agency, ACTION. Peace Corps lost its logo and its formal name and became officially  Division of Overseas Operations. Nick Craw was Director during this regime.  However, he reported, during the intense Watergate affair, 1973 -74, Washington was so occupied with the scandal on the Hill that Peace Corps was basically left alone.  Nick named the Country Management Plans as his best achievement. He wanted to give In-Country staff more say-so in planning and budgeting.  Carrie said the plan was . . .

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Towering Task screening — Sunday September 22nd — Kennedy Center

    Media Advisory Contact: Documentary Team Joe Shaffner, Communications Director Alana DeJoseph, Director & Producer info@peacecorpsdocumentary.com National Peace Corps Association and In the Cause of Peace Productions host screenings of new documentary on the Peace Corps On September 22nd, 2019, the National Peace Corps Association and In the Cause of Peace Productions are premiering a new documentary on the Peace Corps. The film will be screened at The Kennedy Center’s new living theater, The REACH, in Washington, DC. Following the September 22nd premiere of the documentary on the history of the agency, the production team will be hosting screenings of A Towering Task around the country. A Towering Task is the first documentary to chronicle the remarkable history of the agency. After initial widespread support, the agency struggled to remain relevant as the world changed. With government agency budgets under fire and increased nationalistic tendencies in America, the agency is . . .

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THE HONOLULU DRAGON, fourth in the Robert Louis Stevenson Series by Joseph Theroux (Samoa)

    The Honolulu Dragon by Joseph Theroux (Samoa 1975-78) 346 pages Kilauea Publications August 2019 $2.99 (Kindle), $12.00 (paperback)   Following the success of their detective work in the cases of The Devil’s Throat and The White Kahuna, Lloyd Osbourne and his step-father Robert Louis Stevenson find themselves in a world of murder and intrigue in Hawaii. Osbourne discovers a coded message, hinting at the survival of his father, Samuel Osbourne, who has been thought long dead. Once deciphered, it leads him and Stevenson on a dangerous adventure involving torture, murder, opium smuggling, a scandal involving the late King Kalakaua, baseball gambling, and uncover assassination threats against President Sanford Dole – set to occur on July 4, 1894 — the day Dole is to announce the new Republic of Hawaii. There are snipers on the rooftops of the Iolani Palace and the Opera House, and several men have already . . .

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About schooling kids in NYC by George Packer (Togo)

    The October issue of The Atlantic has a true and fascinating article by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) entitled “When the Culture War Comes for the Kids” with the subtitle of “Caught between a brutal meritocracy and a radical new progressivism, a parent tries to do right by his children while navigating New York City’s schools.” Having raised a son in the Big Apple, and having experienced the same system that George and his wife are now enduring, I feel their pain. It all begins this way, Packer writes, “places at the preschool were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. At the front of the line, parents were lying in sleeping bags. They had spent the night outside.” And it continues through middle school and high school. It is no wonder young parents flee Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx for the suburbs. Read George’s tale of terror of the public . . .

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NPR takes a critical look at the overseas short term Volunteering industry

Thank you to RPCV Alan Toth  for highlighting on his Facebook page, Posh Corps : A Peace Corps Documentary, NPR’s Opinion piece about overseas volunteering. The focus is on the industry in which people pay to volunteer overseas on a short term basis. Peace Corps in not included in the critique.  Here should be the link for the article: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/09/12/754347433/volunteering-abroad-is-popular-and-problematic-lets-fix-it   OPINION: Volunteering Abroad Is Popular And Problematic. Let’s Fix It Have you ever volunteered abroad? From students and young professionals to retirees, nowadays everyone seems to be trying to make a difference in communities around the world. But what are these efforts really achieving? Do they help — and if so, who benefits?And if they cause harm, what can we do to make things better? All important questions, as volunteering abroad has grown tremendously. Estimates suggest the industry is now worth at least $173 billion. The industry is also . . .

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Face to Face With the Global Economy by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)

Face to Face with the Global Economy Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962–64) Self-published September 2019 137 pages $5.00 (Kindle)     Leo writes: My book, Face To Face With The Global Economy, is published.  You can buy it at Amazon for $5. Only in ebook form for now. I take the reader on an insider’s tour of the global economy through a collection of personal experiences, tales if you will, often whimsical, covering the various facets of the subject.  Reading it will give one a better understanding of this phenomenon that touches every soul on the planet. The global economy, a phrase that conjures up an image of a one world, albeit in economic terms. We all are intrigued by this structure that touches every person on the planet. What is it and how does it work? This collection of my personal experiences, tales if you will, offers a direct insight . . .

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West Virginia RPCVs to interview RPCVs to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77)   The West Virginia Returned Peace Corps Volunteers has received a grant from the WV Humanities Council to fund recording of interviews with former Peace Corps Volunteers and staff. WVRPCV, an affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association, will work with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps through these interviews. The interviews will be stored, cataloged and made available via the Kennedy Library (part of the National Archives and Records Administration). The West Virginia interviews will also become part of the collection at the state Department of Archives and History. Former Volunteers and staff interested in being part of this project should send contact information, along with basic information about their service, in an email to  westvirginiarpcv@gmail.com, with “Interviews” in the subject line. Since 1961, more than 700 West . . .

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