Archive - January 2020

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The Peace Corps isn’t doing its job
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Peace Corps’ China withdrawal highlights fight for independence
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Review — IT ATE ONE HUNDRED by Bill Sugrue (Ethiopia )
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A Writer Writes–Development is Down This Road (Cameroon)
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Bill Sugrue’s Memoir–“it Ate One Hundred” (Ethiopia)
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PCVs Out of China by June 2020
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John Rothchild, 74, Dies; Wrote About Personal Finance With Wit (Ecuador)
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Mary Ann Tirone Smith–Justice for Pidgie
9
Arnold Zeitlin –Author of the First Peace Corps Memoir (Ghana)
10
Mark Wentling: AFRICAN MEMOIR, 50 YEARS, 54 COUNTRIES, ONE AMERICAN LIFE

The Peace Corps isn’t doing its job

Is the Peace Corps a Failure? That’s the title on the cover of a front-page story in the January 1, 1966 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. It was written by RPCVs Arnold Zeitlin and Marian Zeitlin. It was written after his book To the Peace Corps With Love was published in 1965. Marian and Arnold were from Pittsburgh. They met in Peace Corps Training and were married in Ghana. They served with the first Peace Corps project–teachers–in Ghana from 1961 to 1963. This two-page article for the Saturday Evening Post appeared in the Post’s “Speaking Out”column where readers could have their say on issues of their own. It was entitled: The Peace Corps isn’t doing its job Arnold and Marian wrote in the second paragraph of their article: We believe that the Corps has sold the public a bill of goods. We believe that it is failing to fulfill its . . .

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Peace Corps’ China withdrawal highlights fight for independence

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-91) Peace Corps’ China withdrawal highlights fight for independence By Michael Igoe from Devex News  22 January 2020 WASHINGTON — On Friday, U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in China awoke to learn that their country program will be closing, after the agency made a formal notification to Congress that it would begin withdrawing volunteers in June. “We are ending a program that provides an essential human link between these two countries and offers a unique space for mutual understanding and positive cooperation.” — Steve Hess (China 2006-08) Among the first to break the news was Republican Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida, who voiced his support for the decision in a statement. “Today’s decision by the Peace Corps to withdraw its volunteers from China confirms what we all know — China is no longer a developing country,” Rubio wrote Thursday, adding that “Beijing has fooled organizations such as the World . . .

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Review — IT ATE ONE HUNDRED by Bill Sugrue (Ethiopia )

    It Ate One Hundred By Bill Sugrue (Ethiopia 1969-73) Self-Published 223 pages May 2019 $8.99 (paperback) Reviewed by Phillip LeBel (Ethiopia 1965-67) • Bill Sugrue, a career Foreign Service Officer with USAID, has written a memoir of his four-year experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the village of Wajifo, in southern Ethiopia. Covering the 1969-1973 years, his account displays the enthusiasm and frustrations of rural life in Ethiopia at a time when elsewhere in the U.S. the Vietnam war and racial conflicts were dividing the country. His account evokes the emotional attachment that so many experienced when confronting their sense of personal identity in a developing country context. It is an engaging account, full of humor, sadness, and joy that unfold through a series of events that are recounted in discrete anecdotes. The title itself suggests the humor found in a cross-cultural experience. Local villagers, whose farming . . .

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A Writer Writes–Development is Down This Road (Cameroon)

Development Is Down This Road by Abigail Calkins Aguirre (Cameroon 1987-90) In July 1992 we published this essay by Abigail. It remains one of my favorite essays by an RPCV writer. Note: JC  FEW RECOGNIZE ME without my trademark Suzuki. Now I have this red Yamaha DT they gave me to replace it. I’m still white, though, or so they keep insisting as I pass by the shouting voices trying to get me to stop to do a favor, chat, or taste the latest in palm wine. I know I have a bike, but how do you say “I’m not a taxi” in the local language? I’m late, I’m in a hurry, I’ve got to help a women’s group plant rows of plantains and pineapple in their community farm. This road could jostle my insides right out of me. My thighs are sore from being abused as non-stop shock absorbers. . . .

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Bill Sugrue’s Memoir–“it Ate One Hundred” (Ethiopia)

It Ate One Hundred By Bill Sugrue (Ethiopia 1969-73) Self-Published 223 pages May 2019 $8.99 (paperback)       My first night in Wajifo, a snake killed my next-door neighbor. Four years later, when I left Wajifo, a village in Ethiopia, I’d had some close calls with snakes myself. Also with lions, baboons, hippos and a very possessive leopard. But my most meaningful interactions were with the people of Wajifo, farmers for the most part. From them I’d learned a lot about poverty, bravery, honor, loyalty and humor in the face of profound adversity. Lessons I’ve carried with me ever since. Many believed that cars were powered by Satan, that reading was a trick, that the Emperor ruled the world, and that rabies could be cured by drinking tea made from powdered bat. I saw these deeply held beliefs challenged by the advent of cars, mirrors, matches and other technologies . . .

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PCVs Out of China by June 2020

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Arnold Zeitlin (Ghana 1961-63) Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement after the Peace Corps formally notified members of Congress it will be withdrawing its volunteers from China beginning in June 2020: “Today’s decision by the Peace Corps to withdraw its volunteers from China confirms what we all know — China is no longer a developing country. For too long, Beijing has fooled organizations such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization into believing otherwise so it could exploit our global institutions. It is time for these organizations, both U.S. and multilateral, to change the way they deal with China.     *     *     * From the Peace Corps The Peace Corps formally notified members of Congress this week that it will withdraw volunteers from China starting in June, according to a statement from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) . . .

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John Rothchild, 74, Dies; Wrote About Personal Finance With Wit (Ecuador)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-91) John Rothchild, 74, Dies; Wrote About Personal Finance With Wit (Ecuador) By Brian X. Chen New York Times January 10, 2020 John Rothchild (Ecuador 1968-70), a prolific journalist who used humor to turn books about personal finance into engaging reads, including several in collaboration with the successful investor Peter Lynch and one titled A Fool and His Money died on Dec. 27 at a care facility in Virginia Beach. He was 74. His daughter Sascha Rothchild said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Mr. Rothchild began his journalism career in the 1970s as a political editor at Washington Monthly before becoming a freelance writer for outlets like Time, GQ and Outside. He wrote about Florida, where he was raised, as well as mountain climbing and cycling, hobbies he adopted later in life, and personal finance. He picked up the personal . . .

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Mary Ann Tirone Smith–Justice for Pidgie

In the CT weekly, Hartford News, there is an article, also titled, “Justice for Pidgie D’Allessio,” written by Anne Goshdigian. The piece is entirely Goshdigian’s journalistic point of view, describing the travesty that befell Pidgie, and still taunts her almost 70 years later: Goshdigian focuses on the rich, Republican, CT, blue-bloods, two former governors, John Davis Lodge, who offered the reward claimed by Pidgie for information that would lead to the apprehension of the killer of my fifth-grade classmate, Irene Fiederowicz, and Judge Raymond Baldwin, who denied Pidgie the reward in legal terms that Paul Theroux deemed “disgusting.” Ms. Goshdigian includes a sidebar, with contact information for the State Senator and Assemblymen, who represent West Hartford, where Pidgie now lives, and also the Assemblymen who represent the districts where Pidgie was raped, and Irene was raped and murdered, when children, and also contact information for present Governor, Ned Lamont. I . . .

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Arnold Zeitlin –Author of the First Peace Corps Memoir (Ghana)

  Arnold Zeitlin and his wife Karen at the Sandstone Falls on the NewRiver in West Virginia last fall Paul Stevens, a retired former bureau chief for the Associated Press, edits a daily listserv item mostly for AP retirees. Several weeks ago, he sent Arnold Zeitlin (Ghana 1961-63) a list of questions for a profile that he wanted to use in his column. he published the profile Monday,  which happened to be on Arnold’s 88th birthday. What are you doing these days? At age 88, I get up most mornings thrilled to be alive with a loving wife and children who are good friends. We live in Virginia in the Washington DC suburbs, so I get into DC from time to time to attend sessions at think tanks devoted to subjects of my interest, mostly China and South Asia. These meetings give me a chance to lunch with friends at . . .

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Mark Wentling: AFRICAN MEMOIR, 50 YEARS, 54 COUNTRIES, ONE AMERICAN LIFE

    The central purpose of my sixth book, Africa Memoir, 50 Years, 54 Countries, One American Life, 1970-2020, is to share my lifetime of firsthand experiences in Africa. I also attempt to communicate my views about the many facets of the challenges faced by each of Africa’s 54 countries. At the same time, I provide some basic information about each country. This memoir is a reference book that can be read in its entirety or by selecting a chapter on an individual country. I have followed the alphabet in presenting a chapter on each African country. Therefore, I begin with Algeria and end with Zimbabwe. There are also beginning ‘Forward and Overview’ sections, and I end this long book with an ‘Epilogue’ about my dream for Africa. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about Africa and its development progress predicament. Anyone working on global affairs and . . .

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