Archive - October 13, 2021

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The Volunteer Who Built a Railroad to the Sky — Jay Hersch (Colombia)
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Peace Corps’ 60th year marks US /Philippines’ partnership, amity
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Peace Corps film: “A Walk on the Moon”

The Volunteer Who Built a Railroad to the Sky — Jay Hersch (Colombia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)   Back story: Imagine the improbable After serving in Colombia, 1964-66, RPCV Jay Hersch buys a farm in the Western Highlands of Virginia, starts a successful business, then fulfills a long-held dream: he lays down a road bed for 155 feet of track, builds a replica of an existing Train Station, finds a surplus caboose and coal car — and from dream to reality, creates a railroad on his property! Jay’s published book, Phantomrail: The Railroad that Never Was, available on Amazon, tells the complete story.   Since his boyhood days in Chicago, Jay remembers waiting with his grandfather at the end of the Kenzie Avenue line, fascinated as he watched rail workers push the streetcar around the turnstile until it was headed back toward downtown. He also recalled counting the cars as the freight trains rumbled past and last . . .

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Peace Corps’ 60th year marks US /Philippines’ partnership, amity

  by Philippines’ BUSINESS MIRROR OCTOBER 13, 2021   The first Peace Corps volunteers comprised of teachers arrived on October 12, 1961. THE United States Peace Corps, the US Embassy in the Philippines, the Philippine government and other partners held a virtual event to commemorate the American Peace Corps volunteers—more than 9,300 of them—who had served alongside Filipino host-communities across the country since October 1961. Hundreds of former volunteers, host organizations, Peace Corps staff, as well as youth and other beneficiaries gathered online on October 6, as they recognized contributions of American volunteers and their local partners working in education, fisheries, coastal resource management, youth development, and other sectors through the decades. Participants also reflected on the unique ability of Peace Corps volunteers to meaningfully impact and integrate into their host communities as they learned local Filipino languages and lived with Filipino host families. “Peace Corps volunteers have significantly advanced our . . .

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Peace Corps film: “A Walk on the Moon”

  Cohen Film Collection is working on a restoration of “A Walk on the Moon,” by the late Raphael D. Silver. The 1987 drama, about a Peace Corps volunteer who travels to a Colombian village, stars Kevin Anderson and Terry Kinney. The restoration was part of an agreement with filmmaker Joan Micklin Silver, Raphael D. Silver’s wife, who died last year. The story Everett Jones (Kevin Anderson) is a Peace Corps volunteer, bubbling o’er with idealism. To his surging delight, he learns he has been assigned to a remote, backward Colombian village. When Anderson arrives, he is confused by the cynical attitude of his predecessor (Terry Kinney). Even more confusing–though it won’t be for long–is that the villagers greet the ebullient Anderson’s arrival with silent, sullen indifference.

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