Archive - 2020

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Volunteer recounts being part of global Peace Corps evacuation (Peru)
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RPCV Community Outreach to Evacuated Volunteers, EPCVs
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Jack Allison Sings To Stop The Coronavirus (Malawi)
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Huff Post — “Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality”
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Stories from PCVs coming home early
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“Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus” – Clintandra Thompson (Senegal) and other articles
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The Death of Idealism and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps
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YouTube from The New Yorker: Coronavirus Evacuates Peace Corps Volunteers
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Review: ¿ERES TU? by Frank Tainter (Chile)
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From today’s NY Times (3/25)

Volunteer recounts being part of global Peace Corps evacuation (Peru)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Matt Losak (Lesothe 1985-88) Volunteer recounts being part of global Peace Corps evacuation by Dennis Webb, The Daily Sentinel 3/29/2020   Steve Vanderleest was serving in the Peace Corps in Peru when he was sent back home to Colorado because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Vanderleest worked in water systems, sanitation and hygiene during his time in the Peace Corps. In this picture, he’s shown helping demonstrate how to shake hands dry after hand-washing. Up until this month, Steve Vanderleest was reveling in his experience in the Peace Corps, helping people in the high-country town of Cajabamba, in Peru, and taking in the Peruvian scenery and culture. All of that changed this month thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. Before he knew it, he found himself in Grand Junction, where he’s been spending two weeks in self-quarantine, as part of the first- ever total evacuation by . . .

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RPCV Community Outreach to Evacuated Volunteers, EPCVs

The RPCV Community immediately reached out to the Volunteers as the evacuation was announced and begun.  RPCV Joshua Johnson (2009-2011) generated a Face Bookpage which is the “go-to” site for EPCVs. It is a private group and  now has over 8000 members.  This is what it offers: Fellow RPCVs share their concern and their support for the EPCVs, establishing that the EPCVs are not alone. Fellow RPCVs are offering support via leads on jobs, obtaining health care, and places to “self-quarantine”. ( EPCVs have been ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Peace Corps should reimburse for expenses associated with this as some EPCVs can not go home because relatives may be at high risk.  Finding places immediately upon re-entry can be a problem.) The Facebook page organizes these offers. EPCVs are posting specific requests for help in specific locations. Any RPCV can offer help  by becoming a member of the . . .

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Jack Allison Sings To Stop The Coronavirus (Malawi)

    Jack Allison (Malawi 1966-69) presently serves as Professor Emeritus of Emergency Medical Care, College of Health & Human Sciences, Western Carolina University, where he teaches, performs research, and spearheads faculty development. In 2012 he volunteered during the month of February with Medical Teams International in Kenya and Somalia where he provided both emergency medical care and public health education to Somali refugees; and in October he volunteered with Marion Medical Mission on a public health project in Malawi and Zambia where he helped to install 112 shallow water wells. Allison’s avocation is singing/songwriting. He has written over 100 songs and jingles, and recorded over 80 of those. Since 1967 he has raised $150,000.00 with his music, and he & his wife, Sue Wilson, have given away all of these monies to various charitable organizations, including $30,000.00 to help feed Malawian children who have been orphaned because their parents have . . .

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Huff Post — “Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality”

    Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality The 7,300 volunteers face lost stipends, housing and health benefits amid a pandemic and economic crisis.   By Alex Leeds Matthews   Reporter Alex Leeds Matthews served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from January 2014 to October 2015.    

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“Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus” – Clintandra Thompson (Senegal) and other articles

Click on photos for more articles.   Clintandra Thompson is a web manager at the Atlantic Council and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Senegal from 2012-2014. Here is her article. Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus “On March 1, over 240,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) marked the fifty-ninth anniversary of the volunteer service organization by sharing their unique experiences on social media, in classrooms, or during other special events. Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps sends thousands of Volunteers every year to interested communities across the world to build mutual understanding and provide technical assistance for economic and social development. Glenn Blumhorst, who served in Guatemala and is president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), used the anniversary to connect RPCVs with lawmakers to “share their experiences with elected officials on Capitol Hill…who decide the fate of Peace Corps’ future.” According to . . .

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The Death of Idealism and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps

The Death of Idealism Development and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps by Meghan Elizabeth Kallman Columbia University Press 320 pages $24.48 (Kindle), $110.00 (Hardback), $28.00 (paperback) April 21, 2020     Meghan Elizabeth Kallman is an assistant professor at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is coauthor of The Third Sector: Community Organizations, NGOs, and Nonprofits (2016) and an elected official in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. A case study of the conflict between professionalization and idealism in the Peace Corps. Shows how organizational practices affect people’s ideas and values in ways that have long lasting consequences for their lives and careers. Based on interviews with over 140 current and returned Peace Corps volunteers, brings a new perspective on how people lose their idealism and why that matters. Peace Corps volunteers seem to exemplify the desire to make the world a better place. Yet . . .

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Review: ¿ERES TU? by Frank Tainter (Chile)

    ¿Eres tú?: A History of Lonquimay Frank Tainter (Chile 1964–66) Go to Publish December 2019 328 pages $17.80 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by David Mather (Chile 1968-70)   There are several reasons why I was eager to read “?Eres Tu?.”  The author and I were both forestry volunteers (different groups) in the mid to late ’60s in Chile. According to the jacket of the book, his time there, like mine, was “the most significant experience of his life.” We both ended up writing “novels” about ‘our’ Chile and both books have a young American fall in love with a campesina who was taller than most, had long black hair, and, of course, beautiful eyes. Even the consummations of the two love affairs are similar in that his takes place in a canelo(tree) grove whereas mine was in an alerce grove.  Finally, both of us used the love stories as the vehicle to demonstrate our . . .

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From today’s NY Times (3/25)

Go to the New York Times site for the article with pictures –     ‘None of Us Saw It Ending This Way’: Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuate Abruptly By Mariel Padilla for the New York Times March 25, 2020 Updated 2:12 p.m. ET • When the agency suspended all operations for the first time in its history, more than 7,000 volunteers in about 60 countries packed their bags, said their goodbyes and rushed to get home. The urgent update from the Peace Corps landed abruptly in the email inboxes of volunteers on March 15: It was time to evacuate. Miguel Garcia, a 27-year-old volunteer leader for the corps in the Dominican Republic, had just reassured someone that the corps would be staying on the job. With a sinking heart, he read the detailed instructions three times. The tears would come later. Now he had a job to do. He had 24 . . .

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