Archive - January 2021

1
Review — ANDEAN ADVENTURES by Allan Wind (Ecuador)
2
RPCV Navarro (Thailand) leaves the White House with his loot (Thailand)
3
Trump to freeze Peace Corps budget before leaving office
4
13 Things About US Capitol RPCV rioter Thomas Baranyi (Albania)
5
Ex-PCV (Albania) who saw deadly Capitol breach shooting charged in riot
6
Review — FEVER! AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE LAND OF MOBUTU
7
RPCV USAID official describes Capitol riot as largely peaceful, led by ‘a few violent people’ (Lesotho)
8
Carol Spahn — New Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer — i.e. temporary director
9
Carol Spahn, former Country Director in Malawi, PCV in Romania, will be Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer
10
Our Woman in Havana — A Profile of Citizenship

Review — ANDEAN ADVENTURES by Allan Wind (Ecuador)

  Andean Adventures: An Unexpected Search for Meaning, Purpose and Discovery Across Three Countries Allan “Alonzo” J. Wind (Ecuador 1980–82) Self-published August 2020 270 pages $14.99 (paperback), $4.19 (Kindle Reviewed byD.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • Allan Wind knew he wanted to join the Peace Corps from pretty early in his life. But he expected that he would serve two years abroad and then return to the US and continue his career. He became a Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) and served for two years in Ecuador but after that he did not return home. He stayed on in Ecuador, working in development, later working in Bolivia and Peru as well. This is a memoir of the early years of Wind’s lifelong career in development. He begins his journey after college in 1980. From the beginning he is an agitator, always trying to go beyond his job description to . . .

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RPCV Navarro (Thailand) leaves the White House with his loot (Thailand)

Peace Corps Thailand 1972-75 Jim McCaffery (Ethiopia 1966-68) told me that this photo (below) is the real one Peter Navarro was taking out of the White House. It was (we think) hanging in the Oval Office.

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Trump to freeze Peace Corps budget before leaving office

  President Trump on Thursday moved to freeze $27.4 billion worth of government programs in the last week of his presidency using a budget maneuver called rescission. Under the 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act, the president can request that Congress rescind, or wind back budget authority over certain programs. While Congress considers the request, the programs can be frozen for up to 45 days, at which point the request expires if Congress does not act. In a letter to congressional leadership, Trump specifically requested 73 cutbacks to the 2021 federal budget. The 73 proposed rescissions largely align with the annual budget proposal Trump has set out, which proposed extreme cuts to domestic programs. Congress roundly rejected the cuts each year. The letter asked leaders in the House and Senate to impound funds from almost every Cabinet-level agency including the Environmental Protection Agency. The request also included cuts from the National Endowments for the Arts and . . .

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13 Things About US Capitol RPCV rioter Thomas Baranyi (Albania)

  ConanDaily.com JANUARY 14, 2021 BY Marky O’Brien   Thomas Baranyi (Albania 2018-20) is a white man from New Jersey, United States. Here are 13 things about him: He lives in Ewing, New Jersey. (a) He graduated from The College of New Jersey in Ewing. (b) He went into basic training for the U.S. Marine Corps but he was discharged. (b) He is the eldest son of Drake Baranyi, who is from Kathmandu, Nepal. (c) On December 9, 2017, he proposed to his girlfriend Rachel Fury, according to his father. (c) From 2018 to 2020, he served in the Peace Corps in Albania. (b) On December 22, 2020, his father took to Facebook to say they have not seen each other in person since 2017. (c) Wearing a blue New York Giants sweatshirt and a navy blue baseball hat while carrying a blue backpack on January 6, 2021, he entered the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., USA on the side where scaffolding was erected for Joe Biden‘s inauguration on January 20, 2021. That . . .

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Ex-PCV (Albania) who saw deadly Capitol breach shooting charged in riot

  January 13, 2021 11:15 AM TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who said he was standing next to a woman when she was fatally shot during the U.S. Capitol riot is now charged in connection with last week’s breach. Thomas Baranyi, 28, was arrested Tuesday night by the FBI and charged with disorderly or disruptive conduct. He made his initial court appearance later that night via video conference, where bail was set at $100,000, but he was later released on an unsecured bond. Baranyi, who formerly served in the Peace Corps, gained attention on the day of the riots when he told a TV reporter that he was standing next to Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot inside the building, and held up his right hand to show blood that was still there. In a criminal affidavit, FBI Special Agent Cassidy Vreeland wrote that Baranyi’s identity . . .

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Review — FEVER! AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE LAND OF MOBUTU

  Fever! and other stories from The Land of Mobutu Peter Loan (Staff— CD Zaire 1976–79; Washington) Peace Corps Writers August 2020 100 pages $9.99 (paperback), $5.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Larry Trouba (Togo 1988–90; staff/APCD Benin 1997–2000) • Ebola, insanity and physical insecurity are just a few of the themes that Peter Loan explores in Fever! and Other Stories from the Land of Mobutu. In his debut short story collection, Loan gives the reader a glimpse of life in 1970s Zaire for Peace Corps Volunteers and staff living in a county which perhaps more than any other typified the kleptocracy that was omnipresent in sub-Saharan Africa, but also a land that nevertheless engendered a fond affection for those dedicated enough to face the challenge. This collection illustrates some of the issues faced by Peace Corps administrators in overseeing a large program in a vast African country, third the size of the . . .

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RPCV USAID official describes Capitol riot as largely peaceful, led by ‘a few violent people’ (Lesotho)

Yeganeh Torbati, The Washington Post Jan. 12, 2021 • WASHINGTON – An outgoing Trump administration political appointee at the nation’s leading foreign aid agency told staff on Tuesday that the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol was the work of “a few violent people,” and added that “several million” others there were protesting peacefully for electoral reform, according to audio recordings of a staff meeting obtained by The Washington Post. Tim Meisburger (Lesotho 1988-90) is a Trump appointee and an outgoing deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s bureau for development, democracy and innovation. Meisburger made the comments on a video call with approximately 70 to 80 USAID workers, according to one USAID official who was granted anonymity to describe internal communications at the agency. “What I saw was several million people demonstrating in the Capitol, peaceful protesters in the Capitol,” said Meisburger, according to an audio recording . . .

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Carol Spahn — New Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer — i.e. temporary director

  Editors note: Before her recent years with the Peace Corps in DC and Malawi, Carol Spahn was Executive Director of Accordia Global Health Foundation (Accordia) responsible for implementing new strategies and forging new partnerships to expand the impact of healthcare capacity building efforts in Africa undertaken by the organization. Carol previously served Accordia as its Director of Finance and Administration. Prior to joining Accordia, she was Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, a non-profit private equity fund manager that invests in small and medium-sized companies in developing countries. Carol was a PCV as a Small Business Advisor in Romania shortly after the fall of communism and has also held several positions with financial service institutions, including GE Capital and KPMG Peat Marwick. She holds an M.A. in International Development from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and was an undergraduate in . . .

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Carol Spahn, former Country Director in Malawi, PCV in Romania, will be Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer

  I wrote to Director Olsen about the transition planning and who would be “in charge” at Peace Corps until the new Director is confirmed.  Here is her response: Thank you for reaching out. The transition from one Executive branch administration to the next is a hallmark of our constitutional democracy. We have a succession plan in place to ensure a smooth and effective transition for the incoming administration. Our plan was shared previously with the General Services Administration (GSA), in accordance with government-wide guidance, and members of our Agency Review Team (ART). I can now share with you the name of the staff member who will be stepping in as our Acting Director pending an appointment by the new Administration. I am pleased to say that our ART members have been working effectively and diligently to identify new appointees and I am very confident that new leadership will begin . . .

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Our Woman in Havana — A Profile of Citizenship

By Jeremiah Norris Colombia (1963-65)  • The author of Our Woman in Havana, Vicki Huddleston, was raised in Hungry Horse, Montana. She graduated from the University of Montana, entered the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in Peru, 1964-65. After Peace Corps, she attended graduate school at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, followed by becoming a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Afterward, she went on to a distinguished career with the Department of State, serving as Ambassador to Madagascar, then under Presidents Bush and Clinton, as the Chief of the U. S. Interests Section in Havana, finally as Ambassador in Mali. In her book, Vicki chronicles several compelling memories of her official interventions with Fidel Castro, as well as some risky initiatives she undertook to allow Cubans an opportunity to bridge the differences between what their government was telling them and external events in the outside world. All . . .

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