Archive - May 2021

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The Volunteer Who Had a Life-changing Lunch in Thailand — Paul Strasburg (Thailand)
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Murray Frank Died on January 3rd at age 93 (Nigeria staff)
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Pakistan’s First Peace Corps Director, King Berlew
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Talking to Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)
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The Latest News from the Musesum of the Peace Corps Experience
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RPCV David Hibbard (Nigeria) has died
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The Volunteer Who Became the Voice of Peace Corps — John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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Review — STREETS OF GOLFITO by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica)
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THE LIFE OF AN AFRICAN PEACE CORPS CHILD by Chia Tasah (Cameroon)
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To all evacuated RPCVs —

The Volunteer Who Had a Life-changing Lunch in Thailand — Paul Strasburg (Thailand)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–64) A back story to that luncheon Paul Strasburg graduated magna cum laude in History from Stanford University in 1964. He then went on to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand from 1964 to 1966. Upon returning home, he attended Yale Law School before moving on to Princeton University where he earned an MPA in 1969. Afterwards, Paul worked for the Ford Foundation in New York City as a Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean where he monitored grants in Education, Agriculture, and Rural Development, initiating the Foundation’s first program of grants in human nutrition. From 1974 to 1979, he worked with the Vera Institute of Justice in NYC, establishing a job development program for ex-addicts and ex-offenders. He also directed Vera’s Paris office, coordinating research in conjunction with the French Ministry of Justice and was awarded the . . .

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Murray Frank Died on January 3rd at age 93 (Nigeria staff)

  FRANK, Murray Walter Age 93, died peacefully at his home in Jamaica Plain on January 3. Murray was born February 17, 1927 in the Bronx. He and his brother Arnold were raised by their parents Jacob and Elizabeth (Neitlich) in an orthodox Jewish home. Murray lived a productive life, his endeavors unified by striving for a more just society. He served in the Pacific during World War II. Afterwards he went to New York University on the GI Bill. There he joined the Student Division of the World Federalists, embracing post-war idealism in the spirit of the United Nations. He took a gap year to organize for the group, launching a lifetime of social engagement. He earned a masters degree in social work at Columbia University in 1954. In 1956, he married Ginna (deConingh); they moved to Chicago, where he worked at a settlement house. In 1961, he joined . . .

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Pakistan’s First Peace Corps Director, King Berlew

F. Kingston Berlew Date of Death: February 21, 2021 Date of Birth: April 9, 1930 Biography: F. Kingston Berlew passed away peacefully on February 21st, 2021 in Topsham, Maine. King is survived by his brother David, son Derek and daughter Sarah. He was predeceased by his wife Jeanne of 64 years. King, son of Herman and Lillian Berlew was born in 1930 in Bangor, Maine. He grew up in Orono on the banks of the Penobscot River. He married Jeanne, the love of his life, in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1952. He proposed to Jeanne by sending her a box of stationery with Mr. and Mrs. F. Kingston Berlew printed on it for a Christmas present. King’s Mother was horrified by this and immediately dispatched him to Amherst to propose in person. Upon arrival, he threw snowballs at Jeanne’s window to get her attention and then proposed properly. He attended Wesleyan . . .

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Talking to Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)

  In 2013, Kyle Henning, a recent PCV in Ethiopia, rode his bike from Lake Assal in Djibouti to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds and public awareness for The New Day Children’s Centre in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Called Low2High: Africa, the expedition topped off his Peace Corps tour as an HIV/AIDS PCV in Ethiopia. Kyle is publishing a book about his journey entitled, From Afar, and also has 11 UTube videos of his journey from Dijouti, through Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. I interviewed Kyle about his Peace Corps tour and his bike trip through East Africa. JC  Kyle, where did you go to college? I am originally from the Buffalo, NY area. Prior to my Peace Corps service, I studied music at SUNY Fredonia with a focus on string bass. After completing my Peace Corps service, I earned a degree in Homeland Security Studies from Tulane University in . . .

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The Latest News from the Musesum of the Peace Corps Experience

Visit the Museum’s website at: https://www.museumofthepeacecorpsexperience.org/cpages/home ALERT! Help us collect Peace Corps posters, particularly posters published by the Peace Corps agency, for a summer 2022 exhibit. If you have Peace Corps posters, please email  contactus@peacecorpsmuseum.org The Peace Corps poster exhibit will be installed at ArtReach Gallery in Portland OR summer 2022. March was a busy and fulfilling month at the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. We hope you were able to join with us in celebrating 60 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order creating Peace Corps, March 1, 1961. This newsletter brings you an overview of our March 3 exhibition opening Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Peace Corps Experience and the March 31 webinar Peace Corps 2.0: A Symposium. The exhibition and two events celebrate Peace Corps founding, preserve its history, consider its impact, and encourage discussions about its future. This newsletter offers a story . . .

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RPCV David Hibbard (Nigeria) has died

  David Hibbard (Nigeria 1961-63) died peacefully at home on 7 April, surrounded byhis loving wife, Chris, and their beloved children and grandchildren. David lived gracefully for the last 14 years with Parkinson’s and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He lived a life of service, from being in the very first Peace Corps group in Nigeria, and as a Peace Corps doctor in India (1967-69), to practicing family and hospice medicine.  David was inspired as a young man by JFK and embodied the spirit of ‘’Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’’ He graduated from Oberlin College, Case Western Reserve Medical School and the University of North Carolina where he earned his Public Health degree, and then received a Ford Foundation grant to work at Chogoria Hospital in Kenya. David and his wife Chris were married in 1980 and together founded the . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became the Voice of Peace Corps — John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-64) It is often commented upon in literary circles that April is the cruelest month. But that has now been challenged by John Coyne’s announcement that he will close his Worldwide web site by the end of March. As one RPCV stated upon hearing this unwelcome news: “You have provided connections, exposure, renewed friendships and endless reminders to all of us of the breadth and depth of our two years living in foreign lands as locals”. John was one of Peace Corps’ earliest Volunteers, serving in Ethiopia from 1962 to 1964, teaching English at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa. His Country Director was the revered Harris Wofford, one of the founding fathers of Peace Corps itself. After graduating from St. Louis University, John earned a master’s in English at Western Michigan University, then served in the U. S. Air National . . .

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Review — STREETS OF GOLFITO by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica)

  Streets of Golfito: A Novel by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica 1973-75) Mohawk River Press 252 pages October 2020 $9.99 (Kindle); $19.95 (Paperback Review by James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970-72) • Jim LaBate has crafted an exceptional Peace Corps novel that takes place in Golfito, Costa Rica, the same town in which he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the 1970s. One of the main characters is, coincidentally, named Jim, a prospective PCV, who has just arrived in Costa Rica in 1974 to train for his assignment as a Sports Promoter. While attending in-country orientation in San Jose, one of the Peace Corps administrators advises Jim to change his name if he really wants to immerse himself into the culture. The PC official’s reasoning is that Costa Ricans seem to accept the PCVs more readily if they use a name that’s familiar to them. So, Jim adopts the . . .

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THE LIFE OF AN AFRICAN PEACE CORPS CHILD by Chia Tasah (Cameroon)

  The Life of an African Peace Corps Child by Chia Tasah (Kom, Cameroon) Pageturner Press and Media 252 pages March 2021  $12.99 Paperback; $2.99  Kindle   My autobiography recounts my life from 1980 as an African Peace Corps child until I became a US citizen in 2012. I lived a full life as a needy child from a poverty-stricken nuclear family of nine and believe I have something fascinating to share with the world. Despite my pennilessness, I made great strides in my endeavors and thrived. I call myself a Peace Corps child of Africa because American Peace Corps Volunteers, with benevolent and philanthropic gestures, encouraged my growth into an authentic adult. Mr. Alan Lakomski (Cameroon 1985-86) whisked me away from my job as bartender and manager of a confidential decadent brothel at Club 185 Njinikom at the age of fourteen, and sent me to secondary school. He returned to . . .

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To all evacuated RPCVs —

  Share your crucible moments from Chris Samp (Ethiopia 2018–2020)   It is with great excitement that I invite you to contribute your personal stories to a new book I will be editing, tentatively titled, From Pandemic to Perseverance: Stories from Peace Corps’ First Globally Evacuated Volunteers. The aim of the book is to address the “crucible moments” in the lives of Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated from their countries due to the pandemic. Crucible moments are times when a person encounters an unexpected or unusual challenge in life, and how that person rises to deal with the challenge and how he or she has been changed by the experience. My goal is to apply this concept to the evacuated RPCVs of the COVID era, and to see how you have experienced the evacuation and persevered in spite of it. That being said, I have begun the process of . . .

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