Archive - 2021

1
Say it isn’t so . . .
2
First Asian-American PCV (Malaysia) becomes Ambassador
3
Coyne Comes in From the Cold
4
Experiences in Ethiopia Enriched My Life
5
A Happy American Birthday — Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)
6
Edward Mazria (Peru) — winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal
7
The Peace Corps more than a Cold War Artifact
8
“From Faux Pas To Total Forgiveness” — Marc Van Hala (India)
9
12 new books by Peace Corps writers: January – February 2021
10
In a post-pandemic world, the U.S. Peace Corps will be more important than ever (South Africa)

Say it isn’t so . . .

  I am overwhelmed and humbled by the kind words from all of you about my decision to ET my website. I wish I did have the time, energy, (and age) to keep up the pace, but I am deep into a novel (not about the Peace Corps) that I want to finish before I’m too old to type. For many of us, as you know, the Peace Corps is a passion that just won’t let go. It is the experience that changed us, even if it took us years to realize why the Peace Corps is so important in our lives. Most of us are still connected in some way to our host country, the school where we taught, our host family, friends, and PCVs from our group. Why we even married each other! The Peace Corps is a real pest. It won’t let go. I always said when . . .

Read More

First Asian-American PCV (Malaysia) becomes Ambassador

  Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) Julia Chang Bloch, a Peace Corps Volunteer English Teacher in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo) from 1964-1966, is an exceptional human being with her humanitarian and leadership accomplishments in positions too numerous to name here. Her inclusion in 2017 as only 1 of 147 women from U.S. history to make the list in Langston’s “A to Z of American Women Leaders and Activists” is almost as significant as being the First Asian-American Ambassador. Julia has maintained the highest professional standards in her leadership positions at USAID, USIA, Department of State, U.S. Senate, and other private, philanthropic and educational organizations in the U.S. and China among other countries for the last 50+ years. Julia learned from her Father and Mother in Shandong Province in China where she was born that a person can always do better, challenging yourself, pushing boundaries, creating new paths and leading others. With . . .

Read More

Coyne Comes in From the Cold

I am closing down www.peacecorpsworldwide.org website this month. Marian Haley Beil and I started a newsletter RPCV Writers & Readers 32 years ago. We then shifted to our website in 2000. We started our newsletter in April 1989 as a Third Goal project to promote and encourage stories and books about the Peace Corps and our experiences as a way of educating Americans about the developing world. We had hoped with the website to have a place where RPCVs could share points of view and their own stories. While this has happened, but for the most part our 245,000 plus RPCVs do not look back and reflect on their time overseas, caught up naturally with their current lives, families, and careers. The Peace Corps is history for most RPCVs. I am happy to say that Marian will continue to develop Peace Corps Writers Books imprint where 89 RPCVs and Staff . . .

Read More

Experiences in Ethiopia Enriched My Life

Experiences in Ethiopia Enriched My Life Jim Skelton (Ethiopia 1970-72) It all began when, as a young boy, I was held spellbound by President John F. Kennedy’s historic inauguration speech on January 20, 1961.  JFK’s incredibly inspiring words about doing something for my country made quite an impression on me, even more than I realized at the time.  Less than two months later, on March 1, 1961, he signed Executive Order 10924 establishing the Peace Corps, and since then nearly a quarter of a million citizens have followed his vision by joining and serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in 133 countries around the world. I was one of those who continued to feel drawn by that vision, and those stirring words stayed with me through high school and college until I finally understood that was how I could do something meaningful with my life.  So, I applied to become a . . .

Read More

A Happy American Birthday — Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)

  by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia 1970-72) “How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.”  — John F. Kennedy   A few days ago, a good friend of mine quietly celebrated its 58th birthday. I know the possessive pronoun in that sentence sounds a bit strange, but I . . .

Read More

Edward Mazria (Peru) — winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal

  Architect Edward Mazria (Peru 1963–65), founder of Architecture 2030, will be presented with the top award assigned annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Edward Mazria is one of the world’s greatest experts in sustainable architecture and the role of architecture as both a cause and a remedy of climate change. • The gold medal is the top award presented annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Since the gold medal was established in 1947, the AIA has honored the work of important architects from all over the world with the award, from such historic masters of the Modernist movement as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier to such . . .

Read More

The Peace Corps more than a Cold War Artifact

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   Now 60 years old, the Peace Corps can be more than a Cold War artifact, By investing in engagement and exchange with other people, a better world is possible. By Lacy Feigh (Ethiopia 2012-14) Washington Post March 5, 2021 • In his inaugural address, President Biden called on Americans to not draw inward to their own political camps at home, and internationally to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” It was both a call for healing and a recognition of our brokenness in this moment. It also echoes a call made 60 years ago when political and social pushback threatened to block the civil rights movement domestically, and the Cold War divided the world. Then President John F. Kennedy offered Americans his own inaugural challenge: “Ask not what your country can do for you — . . .

Read More

“From Faux Pas To Total Forgiveness” — Marc Van Hala (India)

  by Marc Van Hala (India 1965-68)   When my decision to join the Peace Corps started to become reality, I had the feeling of swimming in a river, then suddenly being swept out to sea. Everything happened so quickly, even three months of training stateside, followed by a two-month delay brought about by a threat of war with a neighboring country, and I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. The Peace Corps recruited me to join a project called “Poultry / Rural Community Action.” They said I would be teaching farmers in India how to raise chickens and learn to build an income based on the sale of eggs. My project would not be the first, but the 16th to work in the country, and all 15 previous projects had shown great success. Purely by chance, the site I was assigned to had been developed as . . .

Read More

12 new books by Peace Corps writers: January – February 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. • Creative Types and Other Stories By Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) Pantheon 225 pages March 2021 $12.99 (Kindle); $25.95 (hardback), $14.70 (Audible) If you like to think, if you adore language and excellent, if weird and navel gazing writing, Bissell is your guy. He’s irreverent and funny, . . .

Read More

In a post-pandemic world, the U.S. Peace Corps will be more important than ever (South Africa)

    By Jeff Walsh (South Africa 2016–18) “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela • March 1st, 1961 marks the 60 year anniversary of the United States Peace Corps. Over two generations ago, U.S. President John F. Kennedy asked idealistic young Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” On that historic day in March, Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, sending 750 volunteers on a historic journey to 13 countries. Ghana and the African Continent were the very first to receive U.S. volunteers. Northwestern has certainly done its part as one of the top volunteer-producing universities in the U.S.. Since the Peace Corps’ inception, Northwestern has sent nearly 1,000 volunteers to serve overseas in the Peace Corps. I was sworn into the Peace Corps with my cohort of 37 in . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.