Archive - September 2020

1
LIVING BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE by Marty Feess (Jordan)
2
The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)
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“WHAT WE’RE READING” — MATING by Norm Rush (Botswana)
4
“Tiffany Trump, Don’t Join the Peace Corps!”
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RPCV Alexandra Bell (Jamaica) Senior Policy Director
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2020 Peace Corps Writers’ Marian Haley Beil Award for Best Book Review to Marnie Mueller (Ecuador) for YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS by Kristen Roupenian
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RPCV Dennis Briskin “The Face of Iran Before…”
8
The Fourth Goal of Former Peace Corps Volunteers
9
RPVC Peter Navarro (Thailand) pisses off the White House staff (and everyone else)
10
RPCV Gerry Krzic “We left Korea, but Korea never left us”

LIVING BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE by Marty Feess (Jordan)

  IRAQ IS A WAR TORN COUNTRY, and the US is mainly responsible for such a state in the Arab country – but Martin Feess had a different experience in Jordan, and the experience is immortalized in Living Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan, 2005-2007. Marty Feess terms his Jordanian experience a real-life twenty-first-century adventure. In the two years, Marty and his wife Karen Louise (Coote) Feess (Jordan 2005-07) have basked and submerged in the Arab-Muslim culture, embracing the attributes of Jordanian culture and gaining enough experience of a lifetime that’s inscribed in the memoir. Marty Feess narrates how he and his significant other imbibed backwater Jordanian life and forged friendships that grew near and dear while witnessing the turmoil and tumult in which the Middle East is embroiled. Marty Feess writes how his thought process evolved in lieu with all the various issues plaguing . . .

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The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)

  Reed Hastings Had Us All Staying Home Before We Had To Netflix started with sending DVDs — remember them? — through the mail, but now the streaming pioneer sits atop a Hollywood it has thoroughly upended. By Maureen Dowd New York Times Sept. 4, 2020 Does it feel good to be the man who killed Hollywood? “No,” said Reed Hastings, who nurtured Netflix into the Godzilla of the entertainment world. “But, of course, we haven’t killed Hollywood.” At 59, the slender, gray-haired Mr. Hastings remains a mystery in the industry he dominates. “He’s a complete cipher here,” one Hollywood macher said. You won’t find Mr. Hastings hanging with the stars at the San Vicente Bungalows. He doesn’t bellow at the pool at the Hotel du Cap or swan around at premieres. He may show up in line at Sundance, but he’s not cutting the line. He started a delivery system for . . .

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“WHAT WE’RE READING” — MATING by Norm Rush (Botswana)

  The Sunday, September 6, 2020 issue of the New York Times Book Review section has a column in the front of the magazine entitled: What We’re Reading. It is there every Sunday. Today’s column is focused on Norman Rush (Staff: Botswana 1978-83). It was written by Noor Qasim, a Book Editor Fellow at the magazine. Qasim writes: I picked up Mating because it’s long. I’d been craving something immersive, to draw me in and force me to sit still. Norman Rush’s unnamed narrator — an American anthropologist in Botswana, whose failed thesis propels her to a series of romantic encounters — provides it. Witty and incisive, she drops Latin at every turn, and examines the practice of mating with precision. Mating was published in 1991. It was Rush’s novel set in Botswana ( Whites, his collection of short stories set in Botswana, was published in 1986). Mating won the . . .

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“Tiffany Trump, Don’t Join the Peace Corps!”

 Newsweek – 4 Jun 19 Tiffany Trump’s child support payments would have been ended by Donald if she joined the Peace Corps. “President Donald Trump’s newly revealed prenuptial agreement with his second wife Marla Maples contains rules regarding their daughter Tiffany Trump — specifically on circumstances under which his child support payments for her would end early. The 1993 prenup, obtained and reported by Vanity Fair on Tuesday, established that Donald Trump would halt $100,000 child support payments for Tiffany Trump when she turned 21 years old, or earlier if she joined the military, the Peace Corps., or landed a full-time job.”

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RPCV Alexandra Bell (Jamaica) Senior Policy Director

Senior Policy Director (202) 546-0795 x 2502 abell@armscontrolcenter.org Alexandra Bell is the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation. Her areas of focus include bilateral and multilateral arms control and non-proliferation, Euro-Atlantic security, and Congressional affairs. Previously, Bell served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Before joining the Department of State in 2010, she worked on nuclear policy issues at the Ploughshares Fund and the Center for American Progress. Bell received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the New School and a Bachelor’s degree in Peace, War and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2001-2003, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica. Bell is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Member of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) Board of . . .

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2020 Peace Corps Writers’ Marian Haley Beil Award for Best Book Review to Marnie Mueller (Ecuador) for YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS by Kristen Roupenian

  The new Peace Corps Writers’ Best Book Review Award is named in honor of Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64), co-founder and publisher since 1989 of the Peace Corps Writers newsletter, website, and book imprint. Following her tour of service, Marian worked for 4 years in the Office of Reports and Special Studies at Peace Corps Headquarters. She founded the Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCV group in 1991, and later co-founded Rochester RPCVs.   Our first Peace Corps Writers’ Best Book Review Award goes to Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) who has authored three novels: Green Fires, The Climate of the Country, and My Mother’s Island, published by Curbstone Press, and currently in-print with Northwestern University Press. She is a winner of the Maria Thomas Prize for Fiction, an American Book Award, The New York Times  New and Noteworthy in Paperback, and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers, among many awards.  She is on the steering . . .

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RPCV Dennis Briskin “The Face of Iran Before…”

Palo Alto photographer publishes images of pre-revolution Iran by Karla Kane / Palo Alto Weekly September 3, 2020 Palo Alto resident Dennis Briskin (Iran 1967-69) has published two books of photographs he took while serving in the Peace Corps in pre-revolution Iran. Courtesy Dennis Briskin. When Dennis Briskin was preparing to move to Iran for a few years in the late 1960s, he had a thought: “Maybe I should get a camera.” Though he didn’t have any prior photography experience, he read up a bit, got a basic camera and, fresh out of college and inspired by Life and Look magazines, was on his way. “The best advice I got was, ‘Film is cheap; take lots of photos,’” he recalled. The Palo Alto resident has now compiled many of his favorite photos and published two books: “Iran Before” (released in 2019) and “The Face of Iran Before” (focused on portraits, released this . . .

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The Fourth Goal of Former Peace Corps Volunteers

• What Have You Done (Lately) For Your Host Country? As you have read on this site, there are numerous RPCVs who have never forgotten the people of their Peace Corps countries. Recently we wrote about what several Ethiopia RPCVs have done, and are still doing today, for where they once served. We know there are many similar stories that can be told by all of you. We call this generous effort the Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps. A term suggested By David Arnold (Ethiopia 1963-65). It is how being a PCV does not end with the close of service conference. We ask you now — What have you done for your Peace Corps country since you came home? How have you helped one or more of your former students? What have you done for the family that adopted you, gave you a new name and all their love, . . .

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RPVC Peter Navarro (Thailand) pisses off the White House staff (and everyone else)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Jim McCaffery (Ethiopia 1966-68   Tactics of fiery White House trade adviser draw new scrutiny as some of his pandemic moves unravel Peter Navarro has faced an internal investigation into his treatment of colleagues, and now two of his coronavirus-related actions are under internal scrutiny. by David J. Lynch, Carol D. Leonnig, Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey The Washington Post, September 2, 2020   Amid the Trump administration’s troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior White House aide Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) has refashioned himself as a powerful government purchasing chief, operating far beyond his original role as an adviser on trade policy. But U.S. officials say the abrasive figure’s shortcomings as a manager could influence how well prepared the United States is for a second wave of coronavirus infections expected this fall. Navarro’s harsh manner and disregard for protocol have alienated numerous colleagues, corporate executives and . . .

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RPCV Gerry Krzic “We left Korea, but Korea never left us”

  By Gerry Krzic who teaches at Ohio University and serves as the president of Friends of Korea. He was a PCV in Korea from 1977 to 1980.  Gerry Krzic teaches at Daechang Middle School in Yecheon County, North Gyeongsang Province, in 1977. / Courtesy of Gerry Krzic   Anyone who has spent time in Korea has probably heard of “jeong,” a concept characterized as a collective emotion of caring, love, attachment ― an unspoken bond difficult to define but evident when seen in action. Jeong is usually described in different forms such as jeong between friends (woojeong) and between mother and child (mojeong). I would like to offer another form of jeong ― Peace Corps jeong ― permeating in a subset of American society. That is, Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Korea from 1966 to 1981. I returned in 2013 for a one-week Revisit Korea Program sponsored by . . .

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