Archive - November 2020

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SWEET TARTS FOR MY SWEETHEARTS — Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)
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New list of RPCV writers who have published 2 or more books — November 2020
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BOTSWANA WILDLIFE & WATERWAYS by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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Dr. Fauci sends words of encouragement to the NPCA’s new Emergency Response
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Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010–2012) — Peace Corps Whistleblower
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“Famous People” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Biden with PCVs
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“Conflict in Ethiopia extends the greater Middle East’s arc of crisis”
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“Redesigning U.S. Assistance to Africa in the Post-Pandemic Era” — Mark Wentling (Togo)
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Review — 101 ARABIAN TALES: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya

SWEET TARTS FOR MY SWEETHEARTS — Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)

  For Bonnie Lee Black, writing and cooking have always been analogous. Both involve the thoughtful and loving preparation of something good for another’s consumption. This cookbook is a compilation of some of the author’s favorite, tried-and-true sweet tart recipes, along with related stories, drawn from her twenty-year culinary career. Her message to readers is simple: “I hope that Sweet Tarts will inspire you to make one or two–or more—of these recipes from time to time, especially on special occasions and enjoy them with your own sweethearts.” As Bonnie writes… This is the slimmest of my five published books, but it’s also the sweetest and the one that will likely always be the “baby of the family.” As any woman who has given birth to both a baby and a book might tell you, there are distinct similarities. There is the growing anticipation before the birth, and then the overwhelming . . .

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New list of RPCV writers who have published 2 or more books — November 2020

Here is our new list — as of November 2020 — 321 RPCV & staff authors who have published two or more books (of any type). If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email me at: jcoyneone@gmail.com. I know I don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 59 years. Thank you. Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1962-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65) Peggy . . .

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BOTSWANA WILDLIFE & WATERWAYS by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

  Botswana is one of Africa’s great showplaces. It has the continent’s largest concentration of wildlife and the largest elephant population. It also has a network of strikingly beautiful waterways and scenic landscapes. The country has benefited from sustained political stability and an economic policy that has balanced growth and development with environmental sensitivity. Author and explorer Steve Kaffen takes readers to two Botswana highlights, Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, with revealing photographs of animal and birdlife in natural surroundings, pristine waterways, varied landscapes, and local lifestyles. Steve writes in his introductory note: “Africa is exhilarating. I feel a rush of energy upon arrival. I soon encounter the first African smile–huge, warm, and genuine–welcoming me back. I love the feeling of freedom, the open spaces, the unfiltered conversations and hospitality, and the naturally beautiful places. The entire experience is enveloping.” Amazon.com will be offering the book free Friday . . .

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Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010–2012) — Peace Corps Whistleblower

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Nancy Tongue (Chile 1980-82)   by Jane Turner November 9, 2020 Sara Thompson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she moved with her parents to Omaha, Nebraska, when she was nine months old. She also lived around Memphis, Tennessee, for an extended period but considered herself a Midwesterner and a “nomad,” traveling and living in many different places. Her mother was a computer programmer, and her father was an insurance claims examiner. Both parents were “super smart, and good role models.” They were Catholic and had principles and values that Thompson was exposed to and impacted by. Her father was a fan of Sir Thomas More (venerated as Saint Thomas More), and he loved More’s sense of integrity. Growing up with her parents, Thompson said there was always a strong “sense of right and wrong.” “My parents are really to blame for my adventures, for . . .

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“Famous People” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Delmarva Review November 2020 • Author’s Note: My stories fall into modes. Some are set in rural Virginia, others in countries overseas where I lived and worked. Some seek their setting in Western New York, where I grew up. Some, like “Famous People,” are lighthearted and come out of a sense of play. Contrary to the view that a writer needs to know where a story is going, I had no idea where this one would wind up. • I’M NOT A NEUTRAL PARTY. I HAVE MY POINT OF VIEW. But for what it’s worth, I believe that a goodly percentage of the hell that Aunt Elodie kicked up was intended to rectify a problem. You might agree with her, if you agree that a lack of any famous people where you grew up is a problem. For the sake of argument, let’s say you . . .

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Biden with PCVs

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombias 1964-66)   The PCVs returned to Colombia in September 2010, after a 29-year hiatus. Then Vice-President Biden attended and celebrated the reentry in Bogota. Jason Cochran (PTO-DPT)–on the far left–took 3 PCVs to meet the Vice President at a Meet and Greet with Embassy Personal. At the time Colombia reopened with 9 PCVs. Cochran was a PCV in Panama (1997-2000) and later on the staff in Panama, Paraguay, and Colombia. Since 2010, Peace Corps Colombia has supported approximately 90 communities along the Caribbean coast through the work of 250 traditional and Response Volunteers.

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“Conflict in Ethiopia extends the greater Middle East’s arc of crisis”

Thanks for the “heads up” from Jack Allison (Malawi 1966-69) By James M. Dorsey and Alessandro Arduino The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer   Ethiopia, an African darling of the international community, is sliding towards civil war as the coronavirus pandemic hardens ethnic fault lines. The consequences of prolonged hostilities could echo across East Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Fighting between the government of Nobel Peace Prize winning Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigrayan nationalists in the north could extend an evolving arc of crisis that stretches from the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in the Caucasus, civil wars in Syria and Libya, and mounting tension in the Eastern Mediterranean into the strategic Horn of Africa. It would also cast a long shadow over hopes that a two-year old peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea that earned Mr. Ahmed the Nobel prize would allow Ethiopia to tackle its economic problems and ethnic divisions. . . .

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“Redesigning U.S. Assistance to Africa in the Post-Pandemic Era” — Mark Wentling (Togo)

November 2020 by Mark Wentling (Togo 1970-73) Key Points It is my opinion that the interest of the United States is best served in most African countries by improving the basic welfare of their people. The effectiveness of U.S. aid in Africa can be enhanced by focusing on the least developed countries. Helping address basic human needs, notably in the areas of education and health, should be top priority, especially the education of girls. Increasing agricultural production to improve nutritional health also deserves greater attention. Assistance funding needs to be stable and independent of political and diplomatic considerations. The composition of U.S. overseas missions and cumbersome bureaucratic processes must be revised to permit the effective and timely implementation of this new strategy. These changes are necessary to raise hopes for a better future for millions of Africans and to strengthen the role of the U.S. in Africa. _____________________________________________________________ As someone . . .

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Review — 101 ARABIAN TALES: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya

  101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya By Randolph W. Hobler (Libya 1968-69) Self-Published 444 pages August 2020 $22.99 (Paperback) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • I’m always drawn to reviewing memoirs from Peace Corps volunteers. What makes this one unique is that it is a collective memoir garnered from interviews of over 100 Libyan Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I can’t imagine what it must have taken to accumulate this information from so many fifty years after the fact, so I asked him. He sent me a bibliography with lists of people he contacted, books he’s read, interviews he’d made and emails he’d sent. He kept a diary as did his editor (a 76 pager) not to mention close to 60 letters containing information and some of the stories he brought to life in his book. The opening quote alludes to the interesting . . .

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