Archive - February 2021

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“Ernesto” in Pamplona by Ron Arias (Peru)
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Identities Abroad | LGBTQ+ in the Peace Corps
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The Future of the Peace Corps in Guatemala
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Dear Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers —
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Peace Corps milestone to feature historic gathering
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Review — THE TIN CAN CRUCIBLE by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea)
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FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT — poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
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In The Peace Corps — They Dated Every Sunday Night on the Phone. Here’s How They Got to Marriage.
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WAITING FOR THE SNOW by Tom Scanlon (Chile)
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Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) wins 2021 Children’s Literature Legacy Award

“Ernesto” in Pamplona by Ron Arias (Peru)

  NOTE: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s HEMINGWAY will premiere April 5, 2021 on PBS. The three-part, six-hour film series explores the life and work of Ernest Hemingway. Voice actors include Jeff Daniels as Hemingway and  Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson as Hemingway’s Four Wives. The Peace Corps has its own Hemingway Connection. Read artist and writer Ron Arias’s own story “Ernesto.”   Ernesto By Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64)   The English couple who picked me up outside Zaragoza said they were going to Pamplona to find Ernest Hemingway.“He brought us to Spain,” the woman said. “We’re here because of him.” “Bullfights she means,” the man said. “Hemingway’s the master on bullfights. We heard he was going to be in Pamplona for the fiesta, so we came on over.” “From Barcelona,”the woman explained. “We want to thank him for — ” “The corridas,” the man cut . . .

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Identities Abroad | LGBTQ+ in the Peace Corps

  Identities Abroad: Serving as an LGBTQ+ Volunteer February 25, 2021 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm   During this session, RPCVs identifying as LGBTQ+ will share stories of their lived experienced serving in the Peace Corps as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. By attending this webinar, you can learn how identities play a role in being abroad and in the Peace Corps service and connect with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers! Click here to register for the session: sessions.studentlife.umich.edu/track/event/session/38409 Livestream Available (Visible After Registration) Meet our Panelists: Katie Browne is a PhD candidate in the School for Environment and Sustainability. She served in the Peace Corps in Madagascar from 2009-2012, working with Madagascar National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Society on environmental education programs. She recently returned to Madagascar to conduct dissertation research on climate adaptation with the support of a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. M.C. Moritz served in Peace Corps Panama from 2014-2016 as a Health . . .

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The Future of the Peace Corps in Guatemala

  by Mark Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) Revue Magazine, February 3, 2021 • Anna Zauner received the evacuation notice at 10 p.m. on March 15th, 2020: Have all of your things packed and ready in an hour. “I was 30 minutes from home with nothing packed,” according to Anna, “home” being the highlands of Guatemala where Anna was one of 165 Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) serving in the “Land of Eternal Spring.” Due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, over 7,300 PCVs were being evacuated from sixty-one countries. Departure for Anna was chaotic with many “stops and starts.” After saying goodbye to as many friends as possible in Santa Lucía Utatlán, Sololá, Anna headed to a hotel near the airport in Guatemala City to await a chartered flight that was to depart the next morning. After a sleepless night, Anna and her fellow Volunteers found out that the flight had been canceled . . .

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Dear Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers —

On March 15th, 2020 your plans, your service, your connection to another culture were interrupted. That comes with challenges that all of you had to face and may continue to face as the pandemic has kept us all in limbo. My name is Shana Horrigan, and while I am not an RPCV (my sister is!) I am a coach who supports people who are dedicated to the change they wish to see in the world. I would like to help you carry that energy forward while you navigate this difficult transition. Click here to contact me for a free exploratory session to address topics such as reverse culture shock, finding vision upon evacuation, making the most of the ‘limbo’ experience, keeping your goals and dreams on track in these uncertain times, using limited resources effectively and anything else that emerges as a result of our conversation. As part of the . . .

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Peace Corps milestone to feature historic gathering

  UW-Madison will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps with a panel discussion featuring former directors of the global organization on March 1. On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order that established the Peace Corps. That order has led to more than 240,000 Americans serving worldwide, including over 6,400 Wisconsinites, nearly 3,300 of which attended UW–Madison. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps, UW–Madison will be hosting a gathering of past directors in a live panel discussion. The event, which will take place online on March 1 at 6 p.m. Central, will include heads of Peace Corps, from the 1970s to 2021. Participating former directors include: Jody Olsen, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Aaron Williams, Ron Tschetter, Gaddi Vasquez, Mark Schneider, Mark Gearan, Carol Bellamy, Elaine Chao, and Dick Celeste. Former UW–Madison Chancellor Donna Shalala, one of the first to serve in Peace Corps (Iran, . . .

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Review — THE TIN CAN CRUCIBLE by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea)

  The Tin Can Crucible: A Firsthand Account of Modern-day Sorcery Violence by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea 1994-96) Lume Books 237 pages December 2020 $12.08 (Paperback) Reviewed by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962-64) • The Tin Can Crucible is a fascinating description by a Peace Corps Volunteer of how he is inculcated into the customs, morals, values, and way of life by the inhabitants of a village where he trains for his teaching assignment in Papua New Guinea. The process is so complete he comes to ultimately accept what would be in his previous life a totally reprehensible act, the murder by the villagers of a woman accused of witchcraft. The writer uses his impressive command of the language to carefully build the step by step process that leads him to comply with his new “family” and their customs. In essence, the Peace Corps experience changes him, not the people he . . .

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FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT — poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

  FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Poetry to Ponder by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia I, 1962-64)   About My Book First let me say that this soft cover book of poetry, Fast Food for Thought, has nothing to do with food. The title is meant to suggest that the poems are short, easy to read, and worth mulling over. The poems touch upon a wide range of subjects from identity, choice and change to aging and the environment. I have grouped seventy poems, some written during the Covid pandemic, into six thematic sections with “menu headings” to serve as guides for thinking about some very basic human behaviors: Adapting, Relating, Reflecting, Engaging, Caring, and Opining. Throughout the book, on every other page, I have included an “amuse bouche” —  a “small bite to delight” or “something to chew on,” before the titled poem on the opposite page. In all, this little book . . .

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In The Peace Corps — They Dated Every Sunday Night on the Phone. Here’s How They Got to Marriage.

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)   This couple met as Peace Corps Volunteers, and built their relationship mostly remotely, while working on different islands in Fiji.   By Gabe Cohn NY Times Feb. 12, 2021   On a handful of days in 2017 and 2018, when the humidity was low and the sky was free of smoke from burning sugar cane, Benjamin Hampton Ewing was able to look out from a ridgeline on Viti Levu, the main island in Fiji, and see something special. At 6 a.m., Mr. Ewing would board a bus in the mountains of Viti Levu, where he was living. The bus would lumber toward Suva, Fiji’s capital, zigzagging through switchbacks woven into the mountains. About 15 minutes into the trip, the riders would reach a ridgeline that looked out over peaks and valleys, and into the ocean beyond. Most of the time, . . .

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WAITING FOR THE SNOW by Tom Scanlon (Chile)

  In 1962 Father Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame University, went to Chile to visit the Volunteers who had trained at Notre Dame. One of them was Tom Scanlon, a recent ND graduate. Tom told Father Hesburgh a story about his job so far as a PCV. Hesburgh would write a letter to Sarge Shriver, a good friend, and tell Sarge what Scanlon said.  Shriver would write Hesburgh back and say, “I am delighted to hear it….In fact, all the people here at Peace Corps Headquarters liked it so much we’re using it as the opening section of our presentation to the United States Congress.” Shriver also would pass on what Father Hesburgh told him to his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy. In the early days of the Peace Corps, President Kennedy greeted the first Peace Corps Trainees on the White House lawn and even invited the first Volunteers to Colombia . . .

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Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) wins 2021 Children’s Literature Legacy Award

  CHICAGO – Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67) is the winner of the 2021 Children’s Literature Legacy Award honoring an author or illustrator, published in the United States, whose books have made a significant and lasting contribution to literature for children. Her numerous works include “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” (Dial, 1976) and “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come” (Dial, 2020). The award was announced today, during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, held virtually Jan. 22–26. The award is administered annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA. “Taylor’s storytelling shows how courage, dignity, and family love endure amidst racial injustice and continues to enlighten hearts and minds of readers through the decades.” said Children’s Literature Legacy Award Committee Chair Dr. Junko Yokota. Mildred Taylor was born in Mississippi, grew up in Ohio, and now lives . . .

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