Archive - March 2021

1
Peace Corps at 60: “Service changed lives of midstate volunteers”
2
The Volunteer Who Adopted Her Host Country — Margarita Sorock (Colombia)
3
Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Writers Book of 2020
4
The Legacy of Dr. Robert Textor (DC staff)
5
New List of Peace Corps writers who have published 2 or more books — March 2021
6
Review — LEARNING PEACE: Stories from My Time in Peace Corps Ethiopia by Krista Jolivette
7
Who should be the next Peace Corps Director?
8
Gifts Peace Corps Gave Me (Turkey)
9
Review — HUNTING TEDDY ROOSEVELT by James A. Ross
10
To Review and Recommend Polices for the Peace Corps of the Future.

Peace Corps at 60: “Service changed lives of midstate volunteers”

    “I joined Peace Corps in 1988 to immerse in meaningful work providing basic needs at the village level, as well as an opportunity for an out-of-the-box experience and time to reevaluate my life.” By Rick Dandes/The Sunbury PA Daily March 6, 2021 | 1:29 PM • At a time when the Peace Corps has suspended all operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recalled 7,300 volunteers from 60 countries — a first for the six-decade-old program — six former volunteers with Central Pennsylvania connections recall the value of their “life-changing” experiences and praised the virtues of the far-off locations where they served. Whether assigned to primitive villages in Africa in the 1980s, emerging democracies in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, or more recently to South America, they all joined the Peace Corps out of a desire to serve their country and to help people in need, using skills . . .

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The Volunteer Who Adopted Her Host Country — Margarita Sorock (Colombia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • In her own words, a woman then named Margery, lived in New York City, mainly in Brooklyn, for the first 21 years of her life. Her three most frequent sentiments were boredom, frustration, and anger, although she was undoubtedly considered ”normal and well-adjusted.”  She was a good student.  School, far from great, was a welcome escape from home— which was a welcome escape from school. She attended Barnard College, a long subway ride from Brooklyn and an even longer journey from the sameness of her childhood to the discovery, albeit theoretical, of multiple universes — past and present. It was a glimpse into the “escapes” she longed for. Margery was strong on imagination and weak on finance.  Then, President Kennedy read her mind and felt the beat of her heart. The Peace Corps was already in operation, so after . . .

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Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Writers Book of 2020

  The awards are: The Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award The Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award The Maria Thomas Fiction Award The Award for Best Peace Corps Memoir The Award for Best Book of Poetry The Award for Best Short Story Collection The Award for Best Travel Book The Rowland Scherman Award for Best Photography Book The Marian Haley Beil Award for the Best Book Review The Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country Submit your favorite book(s) published in 2020. Send your selection(s) to John Coyne: jcoyneone@gmail.com List what award your selection should be given. The awards will be announced in August 2021. Thank you.

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The Legacy of Dr. Robert Textor (DC staff)

  This was originally posted on Peace Corps Worldwide on February 2, 2014.  Dr. Textor believed that RPCVs should ultimately be the ones staffing Peace Corps administration.  Perhaps in this time of proposing improvement to Peace Corps, it would be good to revisit his ideas. • This is a good time to remember how very much Robert Textor contributed to the Peace Corps. He was one of the original Peace Corps staffers. He believed passionately in the Volunteer and just as importantly, the RPCV. Textor was the  author of the “In, Up, and Out” policy or as it is more commonly known, “the five year rule.” But, he insisted that tenure should be eight years, not five. He envisioned a Peace Corps agency staffed 90% by RPCVs, arguing that the cross-cultural experience of the Volunteer was transformative and should be incorporated into every function of the Peace Corps agency. In the months before his passing, . . .

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New List of Peace Corps writers who have published 2 or more books — March 2021

    Here is our new list — as of March 2021 — 333 RPCV & staff authors who have published two or more books (of any type). If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email me at: jcoyneone@gmail.com. I know I don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 59 years. Thank you. Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1962-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria . . .

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Review — LEARNING PEACE: Stories from My Time in Peace Corps Ethiopia by Krista Jolivette

  Learning Peace: Stories from my Time in Peace Corps Ethiopia by Krista Jolivette (Ethiopia 2018-20) Self-published 316 pages August 2020 $4.99 (Kindle); $9.99 (Paperback) Reviewed by Janet Lee (Ethiopia 1974-76) • What Returned Peace Corps Volunteer has not answered that inevitable question upon their return, “What was it like?  It must have been interesting.”?  And then waited for the listeners’ eyes to glaze over as the Volunteer describes what may have been the most transformative experience of their lives. Interesting?  How do you describe a bond that you have with a country and a people that will likely last a lifetime?  How do you describe an experience that will affect your future relationships, job choices, lifestyle, and attitudes and beliefs? How do you say that you are not the person you were before? Krista Jolivette (Ethiopia 2018-20) provides a glimpse into her life as a Volunteer in the Tigray . . .

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Who should be the next Peace Corps Director?

  The answer is simple . . . this woman! Why? Because . . . She is a woman—63% of all PCVs are women She is a close relative of the President—just like Shriver was to JFK A PH.D in Education—most PCVs are teachers An author (most RPCVs are writers) A person of compassion and understanding, just like all PCVs Who is it? Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden She has a bachelor’s degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware, as well as master’s degrees from West Chester University and Villanova University. She taught English and reading in high schools for thirteen years and instructed adolescents with emotional disabilities at a psychiatric hospital. From 1993 to 2008, she was an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College. Since 2009, she has been a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College. She is also . . . founder of the Biden Breast . . .

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Gifts Peace Corps Gave Me (Turkey)

    by Stephen Franklin (Turkey 1968-70)   I entered the world literally in Peace Corps in the 1960s. Suzanne and I lived in a small, somewhat isolated village in the middle of  Turkey, a place at the end of a long dry plain and a muddy road up a mountain. We had running water one day a week, and sometimes electricity, and the village was closed to the world in the winter when the snow brought the wolves down from the higher places, and if a bus tried to get to the next biggest city, it rode over the fields because they were easier to maneuver than the roads. Later we moved to Istanbul and ran an orphanage for 40 boys by ourselves. We learned about kindness, humanity and compassion for others. We learned about the tremendous power of hope and the great downward pressure of poverty and the cruelty . . .

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Review — HUNTING TEDDY ROOSEVELT by James A. Ross

  Hunting Teddy Roosevelt by James A. Ross (Congo 1975-77) Regal Publishing House 242 pages 2020 $9.49 (Kindle); $16.49 (Paperback) Reviewed by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-67) • Ah, political machinations, financial shenanigans, international arm-twisting for war or peace, a plot to kill former president Teddy Roosevelt while he’s on an African safari. Crack open James A. Ross’s novel, Hunting Teddy Roosevelt, kick back, and settle down into a romp through a blend of history, true facts, fictional facts, and an ill-fated romance. J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and William Randolph Hearst plot to keep the ex-president in faraway Africa for a year. Morgan wants TR off the political stage, permanently, so he can undo Roosevelt’s trust-busting laws that are a thorn in Morgan’s wallet. Carnegie wants to harness for world peace TR’s passion for anti-crime and anti-corruption, but without Teddy “Rough Rider” Roosevelt, who enjoys killing animals and fighting wars. Hearst . . .

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To Review and Recommend Polices for the Peace Corps of the Future.

  The Tributes to John and Marian, also, continue. John has been the heart of the RPCV community and Marian’s support of RPCV books and their authors will support that legacy.  I am one of so many RPCVs who have benefited from their generosity  and support.  I will be forever grateful. I appreciate the opportunity to post these thoughts that were written before I knew of the John’s decision. • There are no Peace Corps Volunteers serving now and no dates certain forreturning to host countries. However, there is much interest in looking towards to how the Peace Corps can improve in the future. Representative Garmandi  introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act. (https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/congressman-john-garamendi-introduces-peace-corps-reauthorization-act/) Peace Corps responded to President Biden’s Executive order on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities.( https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/the-peace-corps-responds-to-president-bidens-executive-order-on-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/). The NPCA held Town Halls through the summer with RPCVs and has published “Time for a Change” (https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/now-is-the-time-for-historic-changes-that-includes-the-peace-corps) I think . . .

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