Archive - January 2020

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Review–Race across America by Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles)
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Review — I HAD SERVANTS ONCE by Kristina Engstrom (Philippines)
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Chicago RPCVs Survey For Better Health Support
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Letter From Former Peace Corps Directors to the Senate–NPCA DAYS OF ACTION
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#1 Next Generation of PCVs
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#2 Next Generation of PCVs
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#3 Next Generation of PCVs
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Next Generation of PCVs Start Training
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Stephen Gottlieb (Iran) — “What’s Wrong With Trump’s Approach To Iran?”
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New books by Peace Corps writers — November and December 2019

Review–Race across America by Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles)

Race across America Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies By Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles 1980-82) Syracuse University Press 329 pages December 2012 $75.00 (hardcover); paper ($29.95) Reviewed by Thomas E. Coyne This is a book worth reading!  And well-illustrated, besides! Actually, it is three books in one, drawing on Charles Kastner’s previous histories of the, now largely forgotten, 1928 and 1929 C. C. Pyle’s International-Trans-Continental Foot Races.  The two races are covered but this is, equally, a focused look at race relations in the United States in the 1920s and the efforts of African Americans to achieve full integration into white America. Author Kastner uses the story of Edward  “Eddie” Gardner to tell his tale.  Gardner, born in Alabama, was a respected African American distance runner in the greater Seattle, Washington community. In 1928 he participated in the trans-continental race planned by the Route 66 Highway Association to draw . . .

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Review — I HAD SERVANTS ONCE by Kristina Engstrom (Philippines)

    I Had Servants Once: Peace Corps Volunteer Tell All by Kristina Engstrom (Philippines 1962-64) Levellers Press 219 pages October 2019 $25.00 (paperback) Order from the publisher.   Review by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76 and Costa Rica 1976–77 • First of all, this is a great memoir because Kristina Engstrom has led a very interesting life involving traveling to many countries and working for and with many different organizations doing very useful work, primarily in the public health field. From her Peace Corps service as a teacher in the Philippines from 1962 to 1964, to her work as a trainer of female PCVs who would vaccinate Afghan women and girls against smallpox in 1968, to her extensive work as an international consultant in various public health related gigs from 1984 onward, Engstrom has had a highly productive career. And she describes her experiences with impressive honesty and candor. As . . .

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Chicago RPCVs Survey For Better Health Support

My name is Griffin Marie Francis Smith, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda from 2011-2013, currently serve on the board of the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association and am a proud member of the RPCV Health Crusade!  RPCV Health Crusade is a newly formed volunteer group of RPCVs who came together to focus on the health and well-being of PCVs and RPCVs. In the spirit that drew us to service, we came together to see how we can make a difference within our own RPCV community.  We believe that there are volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps that could have better health experiences and also believe there is very little in place to support the health of RPCVs after service. We created a health survey (https://surveys.rpcvhealthcrusade.org/682425) with the following goals in mind: to give the PCV and RPCV community a voice in identifying our own health needs; . . .

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Letter From Former Peace Corps Directors to the Senate–NPCA DAYS OF ACTION

A bi-partisan group of ten former Peace Corps directors are unified in their opposition to Senate legislation that would place #PeaceCorps operations under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State, ending the agency’s independent status. Their letter, addressed to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, aims to keep the #international perception of Peace Corps’ independence and ensure the agency’s non-political status in order for its continued success. As part of NPCA’s upcoming National Days of Action, advocates will meet with lawmakers to take action on this legislation. Learn more and read the full letter: January 7, 2020 Chairman James Risch Senate Foreign Relations Committee 423 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Ranking Member Bob Menendez Senate Foreign Relations Committee 423 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Dear Chairman Risch and Ranking Member Menendez, As former directors of Peace Corps, we are writing to respectfully request that . . .

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Stephen Gottlieb (Iran) — “What’s Wrong With Trump’s Approach To Iran?”

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974–77)     What’s Wrong With Trump’s Approach To Iran? by Stephen Gottlieb (Iran 1965-67) WAMC Northeast Report • What’s wrong with Trump’s approach to Iran? Let me count the ways. First, Trump’s claims about stopping Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s plans make little sense. What had been planned can take place with or without him. Iranian strikes are more, not less, likely now.  This is too similar to the prelude to the war in Iraq except that Trump isn’t taking the time to try to convince anyone. We just have unsubstantiable and probably false claims as a basis for very costly decisions. Second, the timing is suspicious. War threats blew impeachment out of the news. In other words, everything is PR. Third, Trump’s stated policy is tit for tat. But where does it end? If we need the last strike, why don’t they? Most . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — November and December 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. • Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia: Peace Corps Volunteers’ Accounts of Their Adventures, Challenges and Achievements Editors: Gene L. Bartley (Ethiopia 1970–72), John Scott Porterfield (1971–73), Alan Schnur (Ethiopia 1971–73), James W. Skelton, Jr. (1970–72) November 2019 486 pages $19.95 (paperback), . . .

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