Archive - April 1, 2021

1
Review — TALES OF TOGO by Meredith Pike-Baky
2
Talking with Carl Murry (Pakistan) about THE G-K PROJECT
3
The Volunteer Who Became a Ten-term Congressman — Sam Farr (Colombia)
4
Peace Corps Volunteers will Aid FEMA with COVID Response

Review — TALES OF TOGO by Meredith Pike-Baky

  Tales of Togo: A Young Woman’s Search for Home in West Africa Meredith Pike-Baky (Togo, 1971-73) A Peace Corps Writers Book September, 2020 280 pages $14.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Bill Preston (Thailand 1977–80) • In the Preface to this candid and heartfelt memoir, Meredith Pike-Baky writes, “The tales in this collection are like the beads of a necklace, les perles d’un collier, whole in themselves, and at the same time integral parts of a longer story when threaded on a string.” A spot-on metaphor (or simile, to be precise) which, together with the many-colored beaded necklace cover image, illustrates the twists and turns, the ups and downs and sometimes sideways arc of her time living and teaching English in Togo. Former Peace Corps volunteers will easily identify with many aspects of these tales — including, (in no special order), the challenge of learning new language(s), the heightened self-consciousness of feeling . . .

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Talking with Carl Murry (Pakistan) about THE G-K PROJECT

Carl talks about his new book • Carl, where and when did you serve in the Peace Corps? I served in East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh, from 1962 to 1964. I also served as Associate Peace Corps Director for agriculture, education and appropriate technology in Swaziland from 1978 to 1981, and served as a trainer for CAST, CREST, and pre service training in the 1980s. What was your Peace Corps project assignment? Training agriculture extension agents in the Ganges-Kobadak Irrigation project. The assignment evolved into developing farmer Clubs to support new and improved agriculture practices in their areas, starting a technical library, publishing a monthly newsletter, Recognizing “Master” farmers and being the team leader. What kind of work did you do? Initially we set up irrigation committees to distribute water from the tertiary canals to small, highly fragmented fields. This required a high level of cooperation. Each committee discussed . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became a Ten-term Congressman — Sam Farr (Colombia)

  by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Sam Farr joined the Peace Corps in 1964 and served for two years as a Volunteer in Colombia. He was assigned to a poor mountain barrio near Medellin, teaching residents basic rural community development skills. Once back home, his public service began in the California Assembly where he worked as a staffer on budget issues for a decade. In 1975, he ran for and won a seat on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. In 1980, he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he became a champion for the organics industry and wrote one of the country’s strictest oil spill liability laws. He served in the Assembly until his election to the Congress in 1993. It was a Special Election when former Congressman Leon Panetta resigned to become then-President Clinton’s budget director. Sam was then re-elected to his first full term . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers will Aid FEMA with COVID Response

News Release from Peace Corps. https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-volunteers-aid-us-covid-19-response-deploying-fema-supported-community-vaccination-centers/ March 31, 2021 The partnership marks second time in Peace Corps’ 60-year history that the agency has deployed volunteers in U.S., the first following Hurricane Katrina. WASHINGTON – Today, the Peace Corps and FEMA announced they have struck a historic partnership to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. For the second time in the agency’s history, Peace Corps volunteers will serve a domestic deployment, at FEMA’s request – the first following Hurricane Katrina and now at federally supported Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) across the country. “The Peace Corps works hand-in-hand with communities on their most pressing challenges, and right now the U.S. faces some of the biggest challenges in our country’s history,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “The volunteers who contribute to this effort will bring valuable cross-cultural experience, language skills and adaptability fostered during their time overseas as they contribute to an equitable . . .

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