Archive - 2020

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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
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The Non-Matrixed Wife by Susan O’Neill (Venezuela)
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Review–Love Began in Laos by Penelope Khounta (Thailand)
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Write About Your Peace Corps Experiences in San Rafael
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Out of the Mouths of RPCV Writers

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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The Non-Matrixed Wife by Susan O’Neill (Venezuela)

When Joseph Blatchford was appointed director of the Peace Corps in May of 1969 he brought with him a set of “New Directions” to improve the agency. Whether these directors were new or not is endlessly argued, but what was clear was this: Blatchford wanted skilled Volunteers, i.e. “blue-collar workers, experienced teachers, businessman and farmers.” While the Peace Corps has always found it difficult to recruit large numbers of such “skilled” Volunteers, Blatchford and his staff came up with the novel idea of recruiting married couples with children. One of the couples would be a Volunteer and the other (usually the wife) would be — in Peace Corps jargon — the “non-matrixed” spouse. The kids would just be kids. It would be in this way, Blatchford thought, that the Peace Corps could recruit older, more mature, experienced, and skilled PCVs. And the Peace Corps would stop being just “BA generalists” . . .

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Review–Love Began in Laos by Penelope Khounta (Thailand)

Love Began in Laos The Story of an Extraordinary Life by Penelope Khounta (Thailand 1989-91) PBK Press 338 pages August 2017 $16.95 (paperback); $5.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Jim Jouppi (Thailand 1971-73) Before the Air Force arrived in Thailand, before the unimproved road to Nakhon Phanom was replaced with a two-lane highway which ran all the way to Bangkok, and before Royal Thai Air Base had been built, two female Peace Corps TEFL volunteers were sent to teach at a boy’s secondary school in town.  They liked their teaching job as far as they went, but there wasn’t much to do for entertainment.  They could have visited volunteers stationed in other provinces of Thailand, but, as author Penelope Khounta writes in Chapter 2 of her memoir Love Began in Laos, the Story of an Extraordinary Life, a chapter she calls “The Starting Point: 1962”, that wasn’t something they really liked . . .

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Write About Your Peace Corps Experiences in San Rafael

Write About Your Peace Corps Experiences! January 18, 2020 • 9 AM-12Noon  Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance 2171 Francisco Blvd. East, Suite I, San Rafael, CA 94901 (west end of Richmond-San Rafael Bridge)  Meredith Pike-Baky, Facilitator Togo, ’71-’73 • Rwanda ‘09 Do you have memories from your time with Peace Corps that are worth sharing? Join us on January 18 from 9-12 to write about some of those memories. We’ll share examples, practice some effective storytelling techniques then conclude with a solid plan for moving forward. Refreshments and materials will be provided. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a writer. As a longtime writing teacher and author of Tales of Togo, I’ll help you get started. Send an RSVP by January 10 to mpikebaky@mac.com. I’ll reply with what you’ll need to know and bring.

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