Archive - 2019

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The Colombia Project TCP GLOBAL (Colombia)
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New novel — UNORTHODOXY by Joshua A. N. Harris (Mali)
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RPCV Response Volunteer Killed in Philippines
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A Writer Writes — “Up On The Mountain” by Michael Beede
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A Writer Writes — “When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong”
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Paulette Perhach (Paraguay) joins ‘Faculty’ of September’s Writers Workshop
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New books by Peace Corps writers — June 2019
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LEGACY IN STONE: SYRIA BEFORE WAR by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal)
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Per memo dated in early April 2019, Peace Corps Guatemala apparently would not be impacted by the elimination of US foreign aid
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Peter Hessler’s The Buried Reviewed in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Section (Egypt)

The Colombia Project TCP GLOBAL (Colombia)

More than 20 years after Jocelyn Farrington served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Babangatu, Niger she continues to serve her village through NANEY, a non-profit she established to promote sustainable development.  Jocelyn and her board hope that NANEY provides an opportunity for other returned Niger Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to reconnect with the communities where they carried out their volunteer service in a lasting and meaningful way. In 2018, NANEY invited TCP Global to partner with them to support micro-loans for women peanut farmers. Friends of Nigeria (FON) has partnered with Fantsuam in Kafanchan for almost ten years. In 2019, FON introduced TCP Global to Fantsuam, which now partners with TCP Global to provide affordable micro-loans in Kafanchan. Would YOUR Peace Corps site benefit from a sustainable loan program ?? While Colombia remains our largest program with eight sites, in the last five years TCP Global expanded its zero-overhead, sustainable micro-loan model to underserved communities in Guatemala, . . .

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New novel — UNORTHODOXY by Joshua A. N. Harris (Mali)

    Unorthodoxy by Joshua A H. Harris (Mali 1996-98) Atmosphere Press 294 pages (paperback) $15.95; (ebook) $9.95 November 2019   The surviving son of a germophobic mother, Cecil Reitmeister embraces all forms of bacteria and formulates an elaborate plan to lead humanity out of the Anthropocene and into a new era of interspecies harmony. His idiosyncratic plan requires years of experimentation and precise manipulation of his microbiome, the totality of microorganisms present in or on the human body. His mad-scientist mission leads to extreme social isolation, with the memory of his dead mother becoming his most frequent visitor. Cecil’s quest to save the world comes to a screeching halt when his social worker and the police show up to condemn the only home he has ever known. Thrown in jail for assaulting the police, Cecil soon finds himself homeless and struggles to adjust to life on the streets. When . . .

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RPCV Response Volunteer Killed in Philippines

    The Peace Corps mourns the loss of Alan Hale   WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Response Volunteer Alan Hale, 80, of Bellingham, Wash., died in a bicycling accident in his site in the Philippines on July 11. Hale arrived in Southern Leyte province in October 2018 and worked with local officials to improve solid waste management. He delivered training to more than 2,000 people with a focus on eliminating trash burning and littering. Hale was on his second tour as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer Peace Corps as a training officer with Anita Hale in Puerto Rico for three years in the 1960s. A longtime resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Hale was a life member of Kiwanis International and a member of Toastmasters International. He volunteered on many boards, including the Logan County Art League. He was also an avid swimmer who had a great appreciation for nature. After graduating from . . .

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A Writer Writes — “Up On The Mountain” by Michael Beede

    Up On The Mountain by Michael Beede (Peru 1963-65) and (Venezuela 1968-70)   From March of 1963 to February of 1965, my good friend, Ron Arias, and I served as Peace Corps volunteers in the high Sierra town of Sicuani in the Departamento de Cuzco, Peru. I was 20 years old, and Ron was a year older. We had been assigned to the PNAE, Peru’s National School Lunch Program, and we were having the time of our lives. School holidays and vacations provided the time and opportunity to explore in the  Andean Cordillera surrounding Sicuani. There were backcountry regions in those mountains where few foreigners, if any, had ever ventured.  The march of civilization was rapidly changing the environment forever. The time to visit these isolated places while they were still in a relatively untouched  state was fast ebbing away. The opportunity to do so was now. We were young and . . .

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A Writer Writes — “When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong”

 A Writer Writes     When I tried learning a second language while traveling, I realized I was doing it all wrong By Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008-10)  Published on Matador Network April 8, 2016 BEFORE WORKING IN THE PEACE CORPS in Paraguay for two years, I had never even heard of Guaraní. Guaraní is not in the Latin linguistic family tree I was familiar with. In fact, to my ears, this language sounded like it was from another planet. “Hello” is “mba’éichapa.” “Goodbye” is “jajotopata.” There are nasal harmonies and glottal stops. The “Yes” sounds like saying “he” for a long time, while holding your nose. Water is just spelled “y,” but it’s pronounced like the last sound of a drowning man. There’s just one word for “he” and “she,” but two words for “we.” And, oh yeah, by the way, nouns change depending on who owns them. “House” is just . . .

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Paulette Perhach (Paraguay) joins ‘Faculty’ of September’s Writers Workshop

    Paulette Perhach’s (Paraguay 2008-10) writings has been published in the New York Times, ELLE, Vice, Marie Claire, Yoga Journal, NPR, and Cosmopolitan. In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, an online course for writers that includes a 55,000-word workbook. Hugo House licenses and sells the course. Her book, which sprang from the course, was published in August 2018 by Sasquatch Books, part of the Penguin Random House publishing family. Welcome to the Writer’s Life was selected as one of Poets & Writers’ Best Books for Writers. She blogs about writing, business, personal finance and joy at welcometothewriterslife.com Paulette worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. Hugo House, a nationally recognized writing center in Seattle, awarded her the Made at Hugo House fellowship in 2013. In 2016, she was nominated for the BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “Fuck Off Fund,” which is anthologized in The Future is Feminist from Chronicle Books, along with work by Roxane Gay, . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — June 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. • Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War (photography) by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78) PowerHouse Books 164 pages January 2019 $50.00 (hard cover) • The Biloxi Connection (The Crescent Beach Series — Book 3) David J. Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps . . .

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LEGACY IN STONE: SYRIA BEFORE WAR by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal)

    Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964–66) • Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78) powerHouse Books 164 pages January 2019 $50.00 (hard cover)   Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War is a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs immortalizing the ancient monuments of Syria. Kevin Bubriski was on assignment in Syria in 2003, during the infancy of the U.S. war in neighboring Iraq. He was photographing the country’s ancient monuments, as well as documenting the daily lives and ordinary human stories of its citizens. Unbeknownst to him, within the decade, a war would break out in Syria, and destroy or damage much of what he had photographed. Until the Syrian civil war in 2010, the Suq in Aleppo was considered to be the longest continuously inhabited place of commerce in the world, existing for well over two millennia. Bubriski photographed the Suq . . .

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Per memo dated in early April 2019, Peace Corps Guatemala apparently would not be impacted by the elimination of US foreign aid

On March 31, 2019, President Trump announced the United States was cutting aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador because of the migrant crisis.  The Peace Corps website only listed Guatemala as a current Peace Corps site in that group. On April 15, I made a FOIA request for: “the documents which describe how this decision will impact existing  and future Peace Corps programs and Volunteers in Guatemala.” The FOIA was assigned 19-0065.  It took an appeal before I finally received a response on June 20th.  The response was an internal memo, most names  appropriately redacted. The memo was in response to a  serving PCV in Guatemala who had made the same request about the impact on Peace Corps Guatamala.  Here is the important statement from that memo, dated, I believe, April 3, from Joel Frushone, Associate Director Office of External Affairs, RPCV Lesotho  1995-97.   “Hello. Our social media team received . . .

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Peter Hessler’s The Buried Reviewed in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Section (Egypt)

Egyptian writer Yasmine El Rashidi, who lives in Cairo, and is the author of several books about Egypt, as well as an editor of the Middle East arts and culture quarterly Bidoun, did a full page review of Peter Hessler’s The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review Section. Yesmine goes beyond Hessler’s book to point out elements of archaeological history of The Buried—from the Arabic al-madfuna—an elevated stretch of desert near Abydos. She also shares her own personal writer struggles of trying to write about Egypt, admitting, “The challenge, in my case, was that everything felt too close—too personal or intimate either to me, or to people I knew.” In summing up her careful–but positive–review of Peter’s book, she admits, “In reading The Buried, which I admit is the kind of book I might have criticized in the past, I find . . .

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