Archive - 2021

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Edward Mazria winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal (Peru)
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The Peace Corps more than a Cold War Artifact
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“From Faux Pas To Total Forgiveness” — Marc Van Hala (India)
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12 new books by Peace Corps writers: January – February 2021
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In a post-pandemic world, the U.S. Peace Corps will be more important than ever (South Africa)
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Elaine Chao Does It Again!
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Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act
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Volunteer Couple: Model for the 3rd Goal
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Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary
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My Peace Corps Story — Frank H. Tainter (Chile)

Edward Mazria winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal (Peru)

Architect Edward Mazria (Peru 1963-65) founder of Architecture 2030, will be presented with the top award assigned annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Edward Mazria is one of the world’s greatest experts in sustainable architecture and the role of architecture as both a cause and a remedy of climate change. The gold medal is the top award presented annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Since the gold medal was established in 1947, the AIA has honored the work of important architects from all over the world with the award, from such historic masters of the Modernist movement as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier to such well-known and . . .

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The Peace Corps more than a Cold War Artifact

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   Now 60 years old, the Peace Corps can be more than a Cold War artifact, By investing in engagement and exchange with other people, a better world is possible. By Lacy Feigh (Ethiopia 2012-14) Washington Post March 5, 2021 • In his inaugural address, President Biden called on Americans to not draw inward to their own political camps at home, and internationally to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” It was both a call for healing and a recognition of our brokenness in this moment. It also echoes a call made 60 years ago when political and social pushback threatened to block the civil rights movement domestically, and the Cold War divided the world. Then President John F. Kennedy offered Americans his own inaugural challenge: “Ask not what your country can do for you — . . .

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“From Faux Pas To Total Forgiveness” — Marc Van Hala (India)

  by Marc Van Hala (India 1965-68)   When my decision to join the Peace Corps started to become reality, I had the feeling of swimming in a river, then suddenly being swept out to sea. Everything happened so quickly, even three months of training stateside, followed by a two-month delay brought about by a threat of war with a neighboring country, and I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. The Peace Corps recruited me to join a project called “Poultry / Rural Community Action.” They said I would be teaching farmers in India how to raise chickens and learn to build an income based on the sale of eggs. My project would not be the first, but the 16th to work in the country, and all 15 previous projects had shown great success. Purely by chance, the site I was assigned to had been developed as . . .

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12 new books by Peace Corps writers: January – February 2021

  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  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a 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 marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Creative Types and Other Stories By Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) Pantheon 225 pages March 2021 $12.99 (Kindle); $25.95 (hardback), $14.70 (Audible) If you like to think, if you adore language and excellent, if weird and navel gazing writing, Bissell is your guy. He’s irreverent and funny, . . .

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In a post-pandemic world, the U.S. Peace Corps will be more important than ever (South Africa)

    By Jeff Walsh (South Africa 2016–18) “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela • March 1st, 1961 marks the 60 year anniversary of the United States Peace Corps. Over two generations ago, U.S. President John F. Kennedy asked idealistic young Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” On that historic day in March, Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, sending 750 volunteers on a historic journey to 13 countries. Ghana and the African Continent were the very first to receive U.S. volunteers. Northwestern has certainly done its part as one of the top volunteer-producing universities in the U.S.. Since the Peace Corps’ inception, Northwestern has sent nearly 1,000 volunteers to serve overseas in the Peace Corps. I was sworn into the Peace Corps with my cohort of 37 in . . .

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Elaine Chao Does It Again!

  Elaine Chao was briefly the Peace Corps Director, from October 1991 to November 1992. She was appointed by George H. W. Bush and held the position for about 13 months. She is famous for saying, when visiting a PCV in West Africa in the woman’s village, and seeing her mud hut, “Does your mother know how you’re living?” Chao was also well known for scheduling daily hair appointments when overseas, and for breaking down in tears when describing the conditions that PCVs lived in as Volunteers. It got so embarrassing for RPCVs listening to her laments, that they began laughing at her when she started crying. As Trump supporters would say, “Lock her up!” • Justice Department Declined to Pursue Ethics Inquiry Against Elaine Chao Final report by inspector general shows that investigators found no wrongdoing in some of the former transportation secretary’s actions. Elaine Chao ran the Transportation . . .

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Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act

  WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ethiopia 1966-1968) and co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, reintroduced the “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act.” The reintroduction coincides with the  60th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ founding by President John F. Kennedy, and the start of National Peace Corps Week. The bill’s original cosponsors include Representative Garret Graves (R-LA)—co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus with Congressman Garamendi—and Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Ed Case (D-HI), and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The bill is endorsed by the National Peace Corps Association and the National Whistleblower Center. Representative Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-1968) is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and Representative Aumua Amata was a former Peace Corps staffer (Northern Mariana Islands 1967-1968). The “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021” would provide additional federal funding and resources to advance the Peace Corps’ mission around the . . .

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Volunteer Couple: Model for the 3rd Goal

  By Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)  • Marty and Evelyn Ganzglass served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Somalia from 1966-68: she was a primary school English teacher and assistant director of the National Museum, and he was a legal advisor to the Somali National Police Force. In that role, he wrote a case book, titled: The Penal Code of the Somali Democratic Republic: Cases, Commentary and Examples. Published by Rutgers University Press in 1971. They joined the Peace Corps having worked several years after Evelyn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Marty from Harvard Law School. Upon returning home in 1968, Evelyn renewed her professional career in workforce development and education policy and Marty in labor law. She returned to the US Department of Labor and then moved on to increasingly senior positions in the non-profit sector promoting policies to help low-income youth, adults, and families advance out of . . .

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Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary

  The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60 an interview by Ryan Warner for ”Colorado Matters” of CPR News March 1, 2021 On March 1, 2021, Colorado Public Radio interviewed  RPCVs about their Peace Corps experiences. RPCV Hunter Herold, RPCV Dylon Evans and Calvin Brophy were evacuated last March and discussed the work they did, the friends they made, and the difficulty of  being evacuated  abruptly due to COVID-19. Then, RPCV Alana deJoseph, producer director of  the Peace Corps documentary “A Towering Task”, was interviewed about her service and how she sees the future of the Peace Corps. CLICK  to go to “The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60,” then click on the “LISTEN NOW” orange rectangle in the upper right of the page to hear the program.    

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My Peace Corps Story — Frank H. Tainter (Chile)

  by Frank H. Tainter (Chile 1964-66) • My Peace Corps experience was the most profound event of my life and I still spend much time musing over that experience. As I approach 80 years of age, those two years have become even more sharply into focus. I was raised in the Midwest, primarily in a German/Polish cultural environment with a large splash of Scandinavian thrown in. Neither of my parents graduated from high school, and based on their life experiences, both constantly insisted that I go to college and get an education. I wanted to study forestry but was told that it was one of the most difficult majors as one had to take not just courses relating to forestry but in many other disciplines such as sociology, economics, and psychology. Eventually I left home and worked for a forestry degree at the University of Montana, earning a forestry . . .

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