Archive - September 2021

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RPCV Matt Losak Still Fighting the Fight (Lesotho)
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“One Morning in September” — 9/11
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WINNER OF THE 2021 Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country
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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach
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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award
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Review — FROM AFAR by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)
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List of Peace Corps Authors, September 2021
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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021
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My Life in the Peace Corps by Shad Engkilterra (Guinea)

RPCV Matt Losak Still Fighting the Fight (Lesotho)

New Balance sneakers squeaking on the tile floor, Matthew Losak  (Lesotho 1985-87) pushed down a quiet hallway in one of the three towering high-rises of the Enclave, a massive apartment complex with more than 1,000 units in White Oak, Md. He checked a clipboard covered with half a dozen names and addresses. He then knocked on a door, listened, and knocked again. “I’m from the Montgomery County Renters Alliance,” Losak announced to the man who appeared at the threshold. “I’m here to see if you need any help applying for the rent relief?” The tenant, shaking off the shock of having a visitor at his door at dinner time on Labor Day, nodded. “They said I make too much money for that,” the tenant, who asked not to be identified, said. “Who said?” Losak said, pouncing on the opportunity to help in a situation that appeared to be speeding toward . . .

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“One Morning in September” — 9/11

One Morning in September by Edwin Jorge (Jamaica 1979–81) Edwin Jorge was the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office and was at work in Building # 6 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The building was destroyed when the North Tower collapsed. At a commemoration service held at Headquarters in Peace Corps/Washington a year after 9/11 Edwin spoke about the attack and what happened to the Peace Corps Office. His comments follow. ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, on the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat down at my office desk and turned on my computer. As the computer booted to life, I glanced up and looked out of the windows of my office on the sixth floor of the Customs House in the heart of the financial district of New York. From where I sat, I could see the corner of Tower One of . . .

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WINNER OF THE 2021 Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country

Winner —The Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country   We Are Akan: Our People and Our Kingdom in the Rainforest — Ghana, 1807 — Paperback – October 16, 2020 by Dorothy Brown Soper (Ghana 1962-65), author; and  James Cloutier (Kenya 1962-66), illustrator Luminare Press 358 pages Reading level : 9 – 12 years October 2020 $8.99 (Kindle); $19.99 (Paperback) This work of historical fiction offers a richly illustrated story of life in the Asante Kingdom of 1807. Three boys, ages 11-13, strive to become leaders in the Akan culture. They balance the life they know with their experience of domestic slavery and the role of the Asante Kingdom in the Atlantic slave trade.  WE ARE AKAN is a work of historical fiction that follows three months in the lives of Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako, ages 11–13, who live in and near the fictional town of Tanoso in the . . .

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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)   How does one write about the career of Charles “Chic” Dambach –and still do justice to it in 1.5 pages! Let me try, though my effort may prove to be a poor candle in bringing it to light. Chic, to his global friends and associates, began his journey after graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1967, which he attended on a football scholarship as an outstanding college prospect. According to a review of his memoir Exhaust the Limits, the Life and Times of a Global Peacebuilder by another Volunteer, Bob Arias, Chic came upon racism on the playing fields of his school — and met it head on. It just wasn’t another game for Chic, fighting racist attitudes was his first challenge and he reached out to make a difference, an attitude that infused his professional life thereafter. Chic . . .

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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award

  In the Coral Reef of the Market Earl Carlton Huband (Oman 1975–78) (Peace Corps poetry) Main Street Rag Publishing 2020 44 pages $12.00 (paperback) Earl Carlton Huband is also the author of  The Innocence of Education, winner of Longleaf Press at Methodist University’s 2018 chapbook contest. He was a Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) in the Sultanate of Oman from 1975 to 1978. He taught English in the remote fishing village of Bukha located in a then-restricted military zone at the mouth of the Persian Gulf for two years. During his third year, he worked in Salalah, the capital of Oman’s southern district, splitting his time between teaching English and serving as assistant to that region’s Chief English Inspector. This second book of poems is also based on his Peace Corps experiences. Huband dedicates this book: “To all people worldwide who have worked to promote cross-cultural understanding” Huband describes a . . .

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Review — FROM AFAR by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)

  From Afar:  One man’s human-powered adventure from the lowest point on the African continent to the summit of its highest mountain by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia 2009-11) $17.99 (Paperback); $0.00 (Kindle); Self-Published, May 2021 253 pages Reviewed by Cynthia Nelson Mosca (Ethiopia 1967-69) • I began my adventure with Kyle Henning’s videos on YouTube beginning with Part 1 where Kyle is very neat and clean, a situation that definitely changed by the end of his adventure. This video was enough to catch and hold my interest. I continued watching one video a day until the book was available for purchase. Then I held off watching the last one until I finished the book. How does a classically-trained bassist go from working in a bank in upstate New York to Abyssinia? Isn’t it obvious? Through AmeriCorps. Perhaps not obvious, but Kyle Henning strongly wanted out of his cubicle. He wanted to take . . .

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List of Peace Corps Authors, September 2021

Here is our new list — as of September 2021 — 396 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: jcoyneone@gmail.com. We know we don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 60 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 1963-65) Peggy Anderson (Togo . . .

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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a book and 2) to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.   In addition to the books listed below, Marian has on her shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Join in our Third Goal effort!!! • My . . .

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My Life in the Peace Corps by Shad Engkilterra (Guinea)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marian Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64)   Shad Engkilterra writes…. “When I left for the Peace Corps in 1998, I knew I was in for “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” I just didn’t know what that meant. One thing that I did understand was that I would need support from my family and friends in the U.S. to get through the experience. I wrote many letters home to keep them informed of my experience, and to give us something we could discuss when I returned to America. In country, I took on the duties of providing public health and community development resources. I trained a health agent to give talks on AIDS and hygiene, and I organized and found funding for the renovation of the community health center. My partner was the doctor at the health center. We worked hand-in-hand. He helped me avoid cultural . . .

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