Archive - 2020

1
Pompeo aims to cut funds for honoring RPCV Chris Stevens (Morocco)
2
CBS Morning News: A Peace Corps Reunion — RPCV & Former Student (Iran) on Valentine’s Day
3
50 States, 50 Love Stories The New York Times (Valentine’s Day)
4
Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback
5
Number of Current PCVs Per State and Total Number of PCVS Per State
6
Women Were No Part of the “Mad Men” in the Early Peace Corps
7
“Who wants to be the one tenth of a Volunteer?”
8
Peace Corps Is Vigilant In Monitoring Coronavirus
9
Review — BE STEADFAST by Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone)
10
RPCV Charles Kastner (Seychelles) at New York RunCenter

Pompeo aims to cut funds for honoring RPCV Chris Stevens (Morocco)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Tino Calabia (Peru 1963-65)     Pompeo Aims to Cut Funds for Program Honoring Envoy Killed in Benghazi The secretary of state rose to prominence investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack. Now he’s on board with an administration plan to eliminate funding for a program honoring Chris Stevens (Morocco 1983-85). BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER Foreign Policy Magazine FEBRUARY 14, 2020     As a little-known congressman from Kansas, Mike Pompeo once said his top priority was getting to the bottom of the killing of J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, calling them heroes who had been let down by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders who put politics above the safety of their own people. But as U.S. secretary of state, Pompeo is now pressing Congress to eliminate a $5 million contribution to a charity dedicated to Stevens’s memory. . . .

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50 States, 50 Love Stories The New York Times (Valentine’s Day)

Thanks to Marnie Mueller for the ‘heads up’ (Ecuador 1963-65)    50 States, 50 Love Stories New York Times, Valentine’s Day From sea to shining sea, here’s a tour of unforgettable fiction that explores matters of the heart. In the list of ‘love story’ by novelists from all of our states, Colorado comes up with a real winner, RPCV Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Colorado Kent Haruf, “Our Souls at Night” Kent Haruf’s final novel opens with an evening visit between neighbors in their 70s. Our reviewer wrote: “Both are widowed — Addie is 70, Louis about the same — and Addie makes the surprising proposal that they begin sleeping together, without sex, just to talk in the dark and provide the sleep-easing comfort of physical company. … We get to watch these two, night by night, pass through phases of awkwardness, intimacy and alliance.” In the summer of 2014 Haruf . . .

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Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Michael Varga (Chad 1977-79) Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback BY REBECCA BEITSCH – 02/12/20 06:00 AM EST 123 The Peace Corps’ abrupt decision to end its program in China has spurred confusion, including from lawmakers who question whether the agency is caving to political pressure from Florida’s two Republican senators. Congress was informed of the decision on Jan. 16, when the agency sent a note to the appropriations committees that it would be withdrawing from China, ending a program where volunteers teach English to university students in some of the nation’s poorest interior provinces. The drumbeat to get the Peace Corps out of China was led by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has pressed to strip it of independent status under the White House while blocking it from placing volunteers in any “hostile nations.” Scott has introduced legislation to place the Peace Corps under . . .

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Number of Current PCVs Per State and Total Number of PCVS Per State

Thank you to the Peace Corps Freedom of Information Office for excerpting this graph from a large document which I could not open.  This information is in response to FOIA 20-0042. The numbers are for the annual census  done in September of 2019.  Marian Haley Beil’s 3 by 5 cards are probably no longer in Peace Corps archives.  But, her legacy of maintaining accuracy  in data remains!     C  

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Women Were No Part of the “Mad Men” in the Early Peace Corps

Contrary to some myths, Peace Corps Washington was not a government version of “Mad Men.” writes Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) yesterday in her blog item. Sorry Joanne. I have to disagree. The Peace Corps (like other government agencies at the time was made up of  “mad men”.) In the third year of the Peace Corps–1963–a booklet was published by the agency entitled “Who’s Who in the Peace Corps Washington.” Here is a photo in those early years of a Senior Staff Meeting with Shriver at the head of the table. A list of the top 40 employees were profiled in this booklet. Only three profiles were of women: Alice Gilbert (Director of the Division of United Nations and International Agency Programs); Ruth Olson (Special Assistant to the Chief of the Division of Volunteer Field Support); Dorothy Mead Jacobsen (Chief of the Division of Personnel). There was also a list of  . . .

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“Who wants to be the one tenth of a Volunteer?”

     “A Towering Task” producter Alana de Joseph asked that question as we tried to decipher how many actual Volunteers were serving from Colorado when Peace Corps did its annual count September 2019. Was this the simplest of requests?  Not exactly.  Only the top 20 states with serving Volunteers were listed on the Peace Corps home page. And then, only certain of these states were awarded an actual number. Colorado was not among them. Instead, Colorado was listed as having 4.1 Volunteers for each 100,000 in population, prompting Alana’s question. (https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-announces-2019-top-volunteer-producing-states/)   If I could have decoded that statistic, I would have majored in Physics and not Political Science. Using my Poli Sci degree, I realized we could just ask our Senator.  Within a day, Senator Gardner’s office reported Colorado had 192 serving Volunteers as of September 2019.  But all of this  reminded me of Peace Corps Worldwide’s publisher, Marian . . .

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Peace Corps Is Vigilant In Monitoring Coronavirus

Peace Corps describes  efforts to make sure all serving Volunteers and Staff are safe as the Coronavirus Outbreak continues.  Here is the latest press release: “https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-monitoring-coronavirus-outbreak/ “WASHINGTON – Since the outbreak was first reported in early January, the Peace Corps has been closely monitoring the coronavirus with the State Department Bureaus of Medical Affairs and Diplomatic Security, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, to safeguard volunteers and staff at Peace Corps posts around the world. Peace Corps medical officers are communicating with volunteers on how to mitigate the risks of exposure, and an interdisciplinary working group is working closely with overseas posts to track and analyze the impact on the agency and to ensure an effective and timely response. Each Peace Corps program has developed specific protocols for the coronavirus that have been included in their Emergency Action Plans. Volunteers are thoroughly trained in . . .

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Review — BE STEADFAST by Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone)

    Be Steadfast: A Peace Corps Volunteer Journey in Sierra Leone By Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone 2011-13) 361 pages CreateSpace March 2019 $9.99 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • Where to begin? Bryan Meeker has written a wonderful memoir of his Peace Corps service in Sierra Leone. I’ll start with a synopsis from the back cover: “Be Steadfast” is a deeply personal memoir of a Peace Corps volunteer’s service in Sierra Leone. Absent during the decade-long devastating conflict, the Peace Corps returned in 2010 as a symbol of unity and progress. While the Peace Corps had worked in Sierra Leone for decades before the war, many of the traditions and cultural norms changed, leaving these new volunteers to forge brave new paths. Being a volunteer is a transformative experience, expressed in this work with honesty and with an immense amount of love. Not . . .

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RPCV Charles Kastner (Seychelles) at New York RunCenter

  Join author Charles B. Kastner to discuss the history of African-American runners through the lens of his new book, Race Across America. About this Event Join author Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles 1980-82) to discuss the history of African-American runners through the lens of Charles’ new book, Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies. A book selling and signing will be held after the discussion. About Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies Anyone who roots for the underdog — the guy trying to do something in spite of impossible odds — should read Race Across America. It shows that human limitations are there to be broken and speaks to the untapped potential for human achievement that rests within each of us. It also puts a spotlight on the heroism of one of Seattle’s greatest endurance athletes, Eddie “the Sheik” Gardner. In the late 1920s, Gardner competed in two . . .

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