Archive - June 2020

1
Op-Ed by Richard Wiley (Korea) — “Drew Brees and the Case Against Staying in Your Lane”
2
Will Newman (Nepal) remembers how Shriver made the Peace Corps happen
3
A Peace Corps writer writes — a new list of writers
4
Interview with Aaron Williams, former Director of the Peace Corps
5
John Coyne (Ethiopia) — “The Big Bad Brown Swiss”
6
How the US government sold the Peace Corps to the American public
7
Many British volunteers were able to remain in their assignments
8
Review — NOT EXACTLY RETIRED by David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)
9
Bill Moyers (As Always) Has the Last & Final Word of Truth
10
Review — 101 ARABIAN TALES by Randolph Hobler (Libya)

Op-Ed by Richard Wiley (Korea) — “Drew Brees and the Case Against Staying in Your Lane”

  Drew Brees and the Case Against Staying in Your Lane by Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) Tacoma News, Jun 14, 2020 • Recently the term “stay in your lane” has been used in identity politics and identity literature to mean something like, “keep to your own culture, don’t usurp my territory.”  Since I have spent 40 years writing about white Americans living in other cultures, learning about other people and other languages, and therefore most emphatically not staying in my lane, I felt the criticism acutely. I grew up as a privileged white kid in Tacoma. I didn’t know jack about anything until I got out of college and joined the Peace Corps. I didn’t know African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, nor native Americans, either, except for a group of Puyallup Indians who performed native dances at the Browns Point Salmon bake every other July. I grew believing that my world was the only world, . . .

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Will Newman (Nepal) remembers how Shriver made the Peace Corps happen

  After 5 years on staff in Nepal and PC/W, I was hired on a short-term personal services contract to form and lead a team to revise the entire Peace Corps Operations Manual.  Don Romine (Ethiopia APCD 1965-67) was with Administration & Finance at the time, and I asked him to join me. Shriver,  Wofford, Wiggins, Josephson and a half dozen others created the Peace Corps in two rooms of the Mayflower Hotel in thirty days in the immediate days after the election. Then Kennedy signed an Executive Order to create the new agency. The next job was selling Congress. Don Romine told how he had been an intern during those days and worked with the task force to sell Congress on the idea of a Peace Corps. Several days a week the task force would invite state congressional delegations to breakfast or lunch at the Capitol.  Shriver would make . . .

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A Peace Corps writer writes — a new list of writers

  Approximately 31 years ago, Marian Haley Beil and I (both Ethiopia 1962-64) began to identify Peace Corps Writers. It was our Third Goal Project to spread the story of the Peace Corps in developing countries by promoting the writings of RPCVs here at home. We did this on our own as two RPCVs, not connected to the Peace Corps agency or the NPCA. We began in April 1989 with a newsletter Peace Corps Writers & Readers and now on a website: www.peacecorpsworldwide.org. We announce new books, have them reviewed, interview authors, and publish writings by RPCVs online. In 2010 we started the imprint Peace Corps Writers and currently have published 92 books by Peace Corps writers. And we have a list of RPCV Peace Corps books with the Library of Congress. Marian Beil is the creative publishing genius behind these projects. Annually we also give cash awards in different . . .

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Interview with Aaron Williams, former Director of the Peace Corps

  Aaron S. Williams, former Director of the Peace Corps, joined Nat Chediak, Coral Gables Art Cinema’s Director of Programming, for a virtual engagement Q&A in conjunction with the documentary A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps.  Watch the June 11th  40-minute interview here: https://youtu.be/iKMF2yfaQXo

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John Coyne (Ethiopia) — “The Big Bad Brown Swiss”

A Writer Writes The Big Bad Brown Swiss By John Coyne I was seven or eight years old when I got so drunk at a family party that I ran out of our farmhouse, down to the barn, and attacked our big brown Swiss cow with a broom. I don’t remember this act of animal cruelty, but the next morning, when I woke from a stupor, my mother—as well as my brothers and sisters—told me in detail how I had impishly sipped booze left in cans and glasses on the dining room table until I was so intoxicated my suppressed rage at one of our milking cows exploded into violence. I was quite a sight, I was told, reeling away from the summer afternoon gathering on our farmhouse front porch and running yelling down the driveway with my brothers and sisters and all the relatives in pursuit, amused by my . . .

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How the US government sold the Peace Corps to the American public

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77)   Academic rigor, journalistic flair by Wendy Melillo, Associate Professor, American University School of Communications         The Peace Corps, a service organization run by the U.S. government that dispatches volunteers to foreign countries, is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, none of its volunteers is stationed anywhere. To many Americans, the Peace Corps represents the best of American generosity abroad. That’s in line with its stated mission to promote world peace and friendship. But having researched the Peace Corps’ backstory while studying the messages in its early advertising, I see this pause as a chance to learn more about how it came to symbolize U.S. goodwill abroad in many Americans’ minds. I’ve learned how American perceptions of the agency were shaped by ads promising heroic adventures to the volunteers who signed up. In 1968, . . .

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Many British volunteers were able to remain in their assignments

  Thank you to RPCV Alana deJoseph for this announcement from the British Volunteer Service.  Here is the statement of intent from the Volunteer Service Overseas in which British Volunteers work. • “Where it is safe to do so, and in line with national government rules, we will continue to work directly with communities. Volunteers who are already based in communities are key to delivering this approach: our volunteers form deep relationships, built on trust, with the people with whom they work. It’s through these strong relationships that we’re working to tackle the crisis together – ensuring that our response plans are driven by the needs of the people we serve, and using our existing networks to share essential messages. Most of our community and national volunteers have been able to continue their work since the crisis began. Almost half of our international volunteers have continued with their placements; in . . .

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Review — NOT EXACTLY RETIRED by David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)

  Not Exactly Retired: A Life-Changing Journey on the Road and in the Peace Corps David  Jarmul (Nepal 1977–79; Moldova 2016–18) Peace Corps Writers March 2020 300 pages $15.00 (paperback); $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Sue Hoyt Aiken (Ethiopia 1962 to 64) •     This journey takes place over many years in the lives of the author and of his wife, Champa. It reflects some of their separate lives prior to meeting in Nepal and finally where their intertwined life led them. It begins where so many Peace Corp Volunteer stories begin: as young adults called to adventure. David traveled to Nepal with a friend and while there committed to be a volunteer. Many years later, after children, careers, and grandchildren, David in his second tour as a volunteer was once again reminded that President Kennedy’s dream was to set the Peace Corps apart from USAID by serving the world’s . . .

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Bill Moyers (As Always) Has the Last & Final Word of Truth

We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes BY BILL MOYERS | JUNE 5, 2020 At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures. Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where . . .

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Review — 101 ARABIAN TALES by Randolph Hobler (Libya)

  101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya by Randolph W. Hobler (Libya 1968–69) Coming to LuLu in August Review by D.W. Jefferson • Randy Hobler has taken on the herculean task of writing a comprehensive history of the Peace Corps in Libya, and a collective memoir of 101 Libya PCVs (102 including the author/editor). He began by interviewing as many Libya RPCVs as he could find, along with asking them for any journals or letters from their Peace Corps years, to go along with his own. He then managed to meld all of that information into an engaging collection of tales covering everything about the Peace Corps involvement in Libya, from the training of Libya I, to the termination of Libya III  before they left their training sites in the U.S. for Libya, when Muammar Ghaddafi kicked out Peace Corps. Mr. Hobler began his project . . .

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