Archive - 2021

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Multi-genre writer RPCV Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)
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Nominations Open for Peace Corps Prestigious John F. Kennedy Service Awards
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A Writer Writes: Value of Life by Susan E. Greisen (Liberia)
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The Volunteer Exemplar for the Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal — Pat Wand (Colombia)
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Travel Writer RPCV Andy Trincia (Romania)
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Textile Artist Hollis Chatelain (Togo)
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Kennesaw State professor’s research validates value of Peace Corps
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Peter Hessler (China) in The New Yorker, June 21, 2021
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The Volunteer Who Became “One of the Most Influential Observers of American Politics”*— Chris Matthews (Swaziland)
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Mary-Ann Tirone Smith’s memoir (Cameroon) inspires Connecticut Congress to help young woman

Multi-genre writer RPCV Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.   Recently, we interviewed  Carolyn V. Hamilton Proctor (Suriname 1999-01) a multi-genre author, with books published in mystery, romance, memoir, and non-fiction as well as adult coloring books about her writing, and recently released, Elisabeth Samson, Forbidden Bride, a poignant and powerful historical drama.     Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and a graduate of Antioch University Seattle, she spent over 30 years in the real world of “Mad Men.” She is also a Success Coach for memoir writers, and manages the FB group, Aspiring Memoir Writers. She currently lives way up in the Andes in the World Heritage City of Cuenca, Ecuador. Besides writing and mentoring, Border Collies, chocolate-covered raisins, art journaling and painting in watercolor are favorite activities. Carolyn V. Hamilton is proud to have served 2 years in the Peace Corps (which inspired her first novel) and, . . .

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Nominations Open for Peace Corps Prestigious John F. Kennedy Service Awards

July 20, 2021 From July 19 to August 13, the Peace Corps will accept nominations for awards to honor exceptional returned volunteers and staff WASHINGTON – Today, nominations for the Peace Corps’ John F. Kennedy Service Awards will open and be accepted until 11:59 p.m., Friday, August 13, 2021. The award, presented every five years, honors President John F. Kennedy’s vision, leadership, and commitment to public service by recognizing members of the Peace Corps community who have made exceptional contributions toward realizing the mission and goals of the agency. “The Peace Corps community is made up of incredibly dedicated people who share a passion for service above self,” said Acting Director Carol Spahn. “I am inspired every day by the fierce commitment of our staff and volunteers and it will certainly be a challenge to select the winners.” John F. Kennedy Service Award candidates must demonstrate outstanding service and leadership . . .

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A Writer Writes: Value of Life by Susan E. Greisen (Liberia)

A Writer Writes    Value of Life by Susan E. Greisen (Liberia 1971-73; Tonga 1973-74)   Scaling a thirty-foot tree for palm nuts with bare feet, using a belt fashioned out of a vine, could lead to disaster. The men and boys who managed the task were quite skilled, and equipment failure was rare. But I cringed at the news when I learned of a farmer who had fallen out of a palm tree and sustained a severe injury. Peter, the health assistant from our small clinic, and I, a Peace Corps health volunteer, were summoned to his home. Walking thirty minutes to his village, we found Abdou lying flat in his round thatched hut. This soft-spoken father of four — ages two, three, five, and seven — had two wives, one pregnant. His supportive family was willing to do whatever was necessary to help him. After quickly assessing the . . .

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The Volunteer Exemplar for the Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal — Pat Wand (Colombia)

  by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Patricia A. Wand, Pat to her hosts of friends and associates across planet earth, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia from 1963 to 1965 after graduating cum laude in history from Seattle University’s Honors Program. As a rural community development and health education volunteer she taught nutrition, sewing, knitting, and public health and worked with local juntas to build three schools and a bridge. In 1969, she was on Peace Corps staff in the Eastern Caribbean. Thereafter, writing about and detailing her professional career at home and abroad is an exhausting task—as Pat somehow discovered how to get more than 24 hours out of a work day and seven days out of a week! In Pat’s own words, this is how she described her Peace Corps experience. A half century ago, service as a Peace Corps Volunteer introduced me to a . . .

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Travel Writer RPCV Andy Trincia (Romania)

  Interviewed by Rolf Potts, International Known Travel Writer   Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04) is an American freelance writer and editor based in Romania. Having visited nearly 60 countries, he writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Eastern Europe. He recently edited three European history books, and a travel guide focused on Jewish history in Romania. Before embarking on a lengthy career in corporate communications and public affairs, he was a newspaper reporter in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Kansas. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, doing economic development in Timisoara, Romania. More than a decade later he moved back to Romania — he and his family now divide their time between Timisoara (2021 European Capital of Culture) and the Transylvania countryside. How did you get started traveling? I grew up moving around – mostly in suburban Philadelphia but with stints in Houston, Tampa and Charlotte – . . .

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Textile Artist Hollis Chatelain (Togo)

  The Large-Scale Textile Portraits of Hollis Chatelain Orange County Arts Commission July 16, 2021 • Meet Hillsborough textile artist Hollis Chatelain  (Togo 1980-81). She creates large-scale, colorfully saturated textile portraits through a process called textile painting. To create the artworks, she draws out enlarged depictions of scenes that appear to her in monochromatic dreams, frequently using surrealist imagery. She then translates the design onto fabric, dyes the fabric in monochromatic shades, then adds all vibrant color through thread with quilting. Her textile art is internationally exhibited — held in the permanent collections of The Discovery Channel, The American Embassy in Mali, and the Durham Public Library, amongst others — and she currently has a 30 year retrospective of her work on exhibit at the Quilters Hall of Fame in [Marion] Indiana. As the subjects for her textiles, Hollis often draws upon the 12 years she spent working for humanitarian organizations . . .

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Kennesaw State professor’s research validates value of Peace Corps

  KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 16, 2021) — Kennesaw State University’s Thomas Nisley (Dominican Republic 1989-91)) has delved deeply into the Peace Corps, first as a volunteer worker helping communities in need and then as an academic researcher. His study indicates that the international assistance program is a significant and cost-effective component of the United States’ foreign affairs. That finding is particularly significant, Nisley contends, since last year the Peace Corps withdrew all its volunteers worldwide from their host sites — nearly 7,000 people serving in 60 countries — due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress has authorized federal funding throughout the Peace Corps’ six-decade history, Nisley is concerned that the ongoing volunteer hiatus potentially could threaten further financial support for the Peace Corps and hinder its long-term future. “We have lost a year of what I often refer to as field-deployed public diplomacy,” said Nisley, a political science professor in KSU’s School of . . .

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Peter Hessler (China) in The New Yorker, June 21, 2021

  Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) has a long, long essay in the issue entitled “Year of the Bunny Hill” As China prepares to host the Winter Olympics, the country gets on skis The article is on a trip Peter and his family took to Wanlong, site of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Peter, who is teaching in Chengdu, will be leaving China soon, I’m told. His visa wasn’t renewed. Peter who has been in China with his wife and twin daughters for several years might have ‘run-up against’ the government because of his New Yorkers articles. Peter began to write for the magazine in 2000. His most recent book, based on his years in Egypt is entitled, The Buried. Peter and his family, I presume, will be returning to Colorado where they own a home in a small town an hour from Telluride. While Peter’s wife Leslie and their two girls . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became “One of the Most Influential Observers of American Politics”*— Chris Matthews (Swaziland)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris — Colombia, 1963-65 •   Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968–70) recently published a book entitled: This Country: My Life in Politics and History (2021) As one reviewer commented: Chris “shares the many stories that show us the greatness of our nation and her people.” And another stating: “. . . a must read for all, no matter where you self-identify on the current political spectrum.”. So, who is this former Volunteer that was so instrumental in green-lighting Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal while providing ‘friend and foe’ alike some great insights into the cultural values that have informed his public commentary and world view”? After graduating from Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, Chris pursued a Ph. D. in Economics at the University of North Carolina. Then, after completing his graduate studies, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland. There his two years of service as a . . .

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Mary-Ann Tirone Smith’s memoir (Cameroon) inspires Connecticut Congress to help young woman

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64).   The following is an interview with Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-66) on NBC-CT, after the bill passed the House with a unanimous vote. • Bill Passes That Could Give Hartford Woman a Reward She Was Denied in 1953 A 2008 memoir Girls of Tender Age written by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith documenting the murder of an 11-year old girl and efforts to arrest her killer inspired the bill passed by the Connecticut Congress. Lawmakers in the House recently voted to approve a bill to provide a reward to a woman in her 80s, who as a teen, helped get a murderer and sexual predator off the streets of Hartford. Connecticut’s General Assembly unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that could give a woman a reward she earned nearly 70 years ago. House Bill 5088 was introduced to recognize and compensate Ms. Patricia . . .

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