Archive - October 2021

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“Reimagining the Peace Corps for the next 60 ” by Daniel F. Runde
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No Ghosts in the Graveyard by Bob Crites (Brazil)
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Peace Corps Writer of 2021 — Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia)
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FINDING REFUGE by Victorya Rouse (Eswatinia-Swaziland)
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A Great Shriver RPCV Story!
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Dan Wemhoff (Colombia I) RIP – Obituary
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Memory vs. Truth: Review of OLIVER’S TRAVELS Clifford Garstang (Korea)
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WorldView Magazine wins awards!
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PLAGUE BIRDS by Jason Sanford (Thailand)
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A Thailand Memoir by James Jouppi

“Reimagining the Peace Corps for the next 60 ” by Daniel F. Runde

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steve  Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)   from The Hill 10/30/21 by Daniel F. Runde, Opinion Contributor     The Peace Corps celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic there are currently no Peace Corps volunteers serving abroad. As the Peace Corps program practices resiliency and adapts to a post-COVID landscape, it should also use this moment to answer long-existing questions that can redirect the Peace Corps to a more impactful and relevant future. About the Peace Corps The book “The Ugly American” caused a sensation in foreign policy and national security circles when it was released in 1958. It painted Americans as arrogant, out of touch, and insensitive to the needs of the rapidly de-colonizing developing world. It was so influential that then-Senator John F. Kennedy bought 99 copies of the book and gave it to every other Senator to read. “The . . .

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No Ghosts in the Graveyard by Bob Crites (Brazil)

No Ghosts in the Graveyard: The Life-Time Adventures of A Small- Town Oregon Boy by Bob Crites (Brazil 1964-66) Independently Published 2021 428 pages $12.99 (Paperback)     When Bob Crites was in the seventh grade in Drain, his social studies teacher Art Biederman showed the class pictures of his summer travels. It sparked what would become a lifelong passion for helping children in other countries. Crites would grow up to help feed school lunches to children in Brazil, form a charity to provide scholarships for children in Brazil and Tanzania, and bring one young athlete to Oregon, where she trained for the Olympics. Crites recently self-published his memoirs, “No Ghosts in the Graveyard: The Life-Time Adventures of a Small-Town Oregon Boy” on Amazon. Crites was born in 1940 in Drain on a farm that had been in his family since his maternal great grandfather Augustus Hickethier founded it in . . .

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Peace Corps Writer of 2021 — Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia)

  Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67) is our Peace Corps Writer of 2021. Millie is also the winner of the 2021 Children’s Literature Legacy Award presented by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, 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). “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’s story(s) Mildred Taylor was born in Mississippi, grew up in Ohio, and now lives in Colorado. A childhood of listening to family stories told by . . .

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FINDING REFUGE by Victorya Rouse (Eswatinia-Swaziland)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Kay Dixon (Colombia 1962-64)   Tales from student immigrants in Spokane share their hardships and triumphs  By Shawn Vestal shawnv Spokesman-Review Sun., Oct. 24, 2021 Meet the Author Victorya Rouse, author of “Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young Readers,” will be featured at an event for The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club on Nov. 9 at the Montvale Event Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event starts at 7. Proof of vaccination required for entry. Click for more information. • When Fedja Zahirovic fled with his family from the Bosnian War to Spokane in the 1990s, he was “confused and angry,” uprooted from all he’d ever known, and didn’t know the language or the culture. The first steps in his American education occurred at the Newcomers Center at Ferris High School. “It was a safe place,” he said this week. “It was a . . .

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A Great Shriver RPCV Story!

Thanks for the ‘heads up’  from Jim Wolter  (Malaysia 1961–66) . . .    We also celebrate, Bob Hoyle (Philippines 1962-63), another RPCV life well-lived. One of the stories Bob loved to tell about Sarge Shriver was of the time Sarge was Ambassador to France and Bob was working with Palestinian Refugees (an emotionally draining experience). Bob was courting a woman (not his eventual wife Karen) working in London. Bob and she decided to meet in Paris for a long weekend. Bob saved to take her to the best restaurant in Paris (I don’t recall the name). During lunch, Sarge and his entourage entered and Bob, wanting to impress his date, said, “There’s Ambassador Shriver.” She said something to the effect, “It couldn’t be. How do you know?” He told her, “I know it’s him. I met him when he came to visit Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines. He actually . . .

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Dan Wemhoff (Colombia I) RIP – Obituary

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971-72)   DANIEL MARTIN WEMHOFF (Colombia 1961-63) Dan went home to be with the Lord on October 7, 2021, after a courageous, stoic battle with ALS.  He lived life to the fullest from his early days of baseball with City of Detroit American Legion titles and St Paul High School. He declined a Baltimore Oriole contract and earned his University of Detroit degree while playing baseball and editing the sports desk of the Varsity News. He continued an active athletic life by running and playing hockey well into his senior years. After military service, Dan joined the first Peace Corps group in 1961 and served in Colombia, South America. This began a lifetime interest in international relations, humanitarian service, justice, and foreign literature and films. He spoke Spanish and Portuguese. Dan received a Masters in International Relations from Catholic University, earned . . .

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Memory vs. Truth: Review of OLIVER’S TRAVELS Clifford Garstang (Korea)

  Oliver’s Travels by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Regal House Publishing May 2021 $9.49 (Kindle); $18.95 (Paperback)   Reviewed by Juliana Converse • All novels are mystery novels, a seasoned author tells hopeful writer, Ollie. At the core of everything we read about a character is their greatest desire. The mystery, as in real life, is what will the character do, and to what lengths will they go to attain this desire? Ollie’s desire is multifold: his most urgent need is to find his Uncle Scotty, and ask him why Ollie is haunted by childhood memories related to him. Underneath this urge runs the very familiar, existential dread of the recently graduated. But in Ollie’s case, this includes the question of his sexuality. In Oliver’s Travels, Clifford Garstang interrogates the folly of memory and meaning through a deeply flawed, possibly traumatized, occasionally problematic main character, asking, how do we know . . .

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WorldView Magazine wins awards!

  WorldView magazine, published by National Peace Corps Association, earned both an EDDIE and OZZIE in the 2021 FOLIO Magazine awards. These awards recognize magazine editorial and design excellence. WorldView earned EDDIE top honors for a series of articles in the Summer 2020 edition that tell the stories of Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated from around the world in 2020. These stories capture the Volunteers’ experiences and the communities in which they were serving, and the unfinished business they left behind. The magazine earned OZZIE top honors for the cover of the Fall 2020 edition, featuring an illustration by award-winning artist David Plunkert. With a dove of peace inside a cage-like COVID-19 molecule, the cover asks: “What’s the role of Peace Corps now?” Plunkert’s work has appeared in the pages and on the covers of The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, and elsewhere. The awards were presented on October . . .

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PLAGUE BIRDS by Jason Sanford (Thailand)

  Glowing red lines split their faces. Shock-red hair and clothes warn people to flee their approach. They are plague birds, the powerful merging of humans and artificial intelligences who serve as judges and executioners after the collapse of civilization. And the plague birds’ judgement is swift and deadly, as Crista discovered as a child when she watched one kill her mother. In a world of gene-modded humans constantly watched over by benevolent AIs, everyone hates and fears the plague birds. But to save her father and home village, Crista becomes the very creature she fears the most. And her first task as a plague bird is hunting down an ancient group of murderers wielding magic-like powers. As Crista and her AI symbiote travel farther from home than she ever imagined, they are plunged into a strange world where she judges wrongdoers, befriends other outcasts, and uncovers an extremely personal . . .

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A Thailand Memoir by James Jouppi

  After graduating with Cornell’s civil engineering class of 1971 and a five-week stint as a taxi driver in New York City, Jim Jouppi (Thailand 1971-73) shipped out for a Peace Corps adventure in Thailand. After completing his two-year tour, he was ready to go back home when, after meeting a flirtatious Thai jownatee, he decided to take a home leave and return for one more year. Upon his return to Thailand, he found himself immersed in a very personal dilemma while trying to escape the confluence of Thai government, Peace Corps, and counterinsurgency politics in the Communist sensitive province where he was stationed. Jouppi was later employed in America as an engineer-in-training, carpenter apprentice, refugee worker, and postal worker, spent three years in the Army as a medic, and earned a master’s degree in tropical public health civil engineering in England. His first sustained attempt at memoir writing was . . .

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