Archive - 2022

1
David Jaroch (Ghana) in Ubly, Michigan — “I’m something of a professional student.”
2
PCVs rediscovered the ‘Blue Rock’
3
Zamboanga Adventure: Exploring Asia’s Latin City (Philippines)
4
Washington Post — On the Passing of RPCV Dick Lipez (Ethiopia)
5
Peace Corps publishes its new approach to sexual assault prevention
6
Review — LETTERS FROM PEACE CORPS/HONDURAS by R. Scott Berg
7
The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject, a podcast featuring Larry Grobel (Ghana)
8
Ethiopia RPCV, journalist and author Dick Lipez dies
9
Review — THE BOY WITH FOUR NAMES by Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador)
10
Cathy Luchetti (Colombia) presents a collection of cool foods to cure the hot flashes
11
A Wedding in Ethiopia
12
Herm Schmidt (Staff DC/Ethiopia), Author
13
Review — TURQUOISE: Three Years in Ghana: A Peace Corps Memoir by Lawrence Grobel
14
Congress Passes the Budget for Fiscal 2022
15
EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)

David Jaroch (Ghana) in Ubly, Michigan — “I’m something of a professional student.”

  By Connor Veenstra, staff writer, Huron Daily Tribune March 18, 2022 • UBLY, MICHIGAN: David Jaroch of Ubly describes himself as “a spent in the village, he learned valuable lessons in poverty, since he was paid very little; how to experience other cultures, since each tribe had their own; and it sharpened his problem solving skills, which he would carry the rest of his life. “When you go to a city where nobody speaks English and you’re hungry, you’ve got to figure it out,” he said. After returning to the Thumb and settling in Ubly, Jaroch and his wife, also a teacher, began a teaching career that led them to schools in Port Huron, Parisville, Port Hope, and Ubly. Jaroch taught every subject as a problem-solving exercise, even subjects like English, which at first glance have no problems to solve. “If there’s a message you’ve got to get across, how do you . . .

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PCVs rediscovered the ‘Blue Rock’

  Larimar is a precious stone, unique in the world. What makes it one of the most mysterious gems in existence? Learn about the history and geology surrounding this treasure here. Larimar: discover the mystery of the ‘Blue Rock’! by Alfredo Graça Meteored Portugal YourWeather.co.uk Larimar is a rare gemstone, exclusive to the south-west of the Dominican Republic, a country on the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean. Geologically, it is a variety of pectolite, composed of an acid calcium-sodium silicate hydrate. It is formed through association with volcanic rocks (andesites and basalts) from the south of the island, originating from the Miocene, geological epoch (23 to 5 Million years ago). Although many pectoliths have been found in other parts of the globe, none have the colouration of larimar. The blue colour, distinct from other rocks, results from the replacement of copper with calcium. The story behind the discovery of this gemstone is . . .

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Zamboanga Adventure: Exploring Asia’s Latin City (Philippines)

Zamboanga Adventure: Exploring Asia’s Latin City (Yakan Weaving Village) Wazzup Pilipinas! •    Located in upper Calarian, northwest of downtown lies the Yakan Weaving Village. The place does not look like a village because it’s quite small and you’ll surely miss it so easily because the only signage available is a dirty and worn-out tarpaulin that says Yakan Village Weaving Association with the word “Association” blocked by a wood used to put the signage in place. There’s another signage beside it situated on top but its obviously not helping much because majority of the signage only displays a cola brand advertisement. It seems they desperately need some funding to come up with a more decent signage. I hope the government could at least support them to become at least more visible for potential tourists. I admire what the Department of Tourism (DOT) is doing by inviting members of the media on a media junket and introducing . . .

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Washington Post — On the Passing of RPCV Dick Lipez (Ethiopia)

  Long-time Book World freelance reviewer Dick Lipez, with two of his Donald Strachey mysteries, which will be released later this month. (Author photo courtesy of Joe Wheaton; book covers courtesy of ReQueered Tales)     Richard “Dick” Lipez,(Ethiopia 1962-64) whose freelance work appeared in The Washington Post for more than 30 years, was a good friend to Book World and a trusted reviewer for our readers. Dick died this week at his home in Becket, Mass. He was 83. My colleague Nora Krug looked forward to editing him, both for the pleasure of his essays and the charm of his emails. “All of his reviews were witty and wise,” she says. “He always had something insightful and droll to say about every book, even ones he didn’t like.” (His most recent round-up of new thrillers and mysteries ran last week.) Dick was not only an astute critic of mysteries; . . .

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Peace Corps publishes its new approach to sexual assault prevention

Peace Corps Commits to Broadening its Approach to Sexual Assault Prevention in New Brief and Roadmap   March 17, 2022 WASHINGTON – Today, the Peace Corps released a brief and roadmap detailing the agency’s commitment to further strengthen its systems, programming and approach to sexual assault prevention and to improving trauma-informed approaches to supporting survivors. Based on recommendations from the independent Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council (SAAC), feedback received during a public call for input, current research and best practices in the field of sexual violence prevention, the brief outlines how the Peace Corps will broaden its approach to addressing sexual assault. Over the past decade, the agency has intentionally and continuously enhanced its Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response (SARRR) program to address sexual violence through an individual-level public safety approach. The brief and associated roadmap detail the agency’s commitment to broaden its focus to also include a . . .

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Review — LETTERS FROM PEACE CORPS/HONDURAS by R. Scott Berg

  Letters from Peace Corps, Honduras by R. Scott Berg (Honduras 1976-79) Independently published 198 pages January 2022 $40.00 (Paperback) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • I was pleased to review this memoir of a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. It offered an opportunity to reflect on my own experience as an RPCV and learn more about Scott Berg and Honduras, which is why the author decided to share his legacy. The book is based on a series of weekly letters he wrote to Laurie, his love interest during the two-year long-distance relationship. At the end of his experience, they returned their respective letters in a shoebox. After that, he lost contact with Laurie, and he doesn’t know where she is today. The one hole in the narrative was the two weeks they spent together in Guatemala and parts of Honduras, which was a challenging time. . . .

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The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject, a podcast featuring Larry Grobel (Ghana)

The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject featuring Larry Grobel The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject featuring Larry Grobel  Of the many tributes for his interviewing techniques, James Michener called his book The Hustons “a masterpiece.” And Joyce Carol Oates dubbed him “The Mozart of Interviewers.” Larry is the recipient of P. E. N. and Playboy Special Achievement awards, the Prix Litteraire from the French Syndicate of Film Critics, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction.  He has appeared as himself in Shane Salerno’s documentary Salinger, and Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome. Larry is dogged in his approach to interviewing. He spent over a period of nine months alone in his sessions with Barbra Streisand for Playboy magazine.

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Ethiopia RPCV, journalist and author Dick Lipez dies

  By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle Mar 16, 2022 Becket, MA — Author, journalist and book reviewer Richard “Dick” Lipez, who wrote editorials for The Berkshire Eagle for many years and was a member of the newspaper’s advisory board, died of cancer at his home in Becket on Wednesday. He was 83. Lipez had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April, according to sculptor Joe Wheaton, his husband. They had been together for 32 years. In the early 1960s, Lipez, a native of Lock Haven, Pa., served in the Peace Corps, where he taught school in Ethiopia, and later worked as a Peace Corps program evaluator based in Washington. He originally came to the Berkshires to work for an anti-poverty agency because he was tired of living in the city, Wheaton said. “He was totally unqualified for the job, but he talked his way into it,” said Wheaton, who . . .

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Review — THE BOY WITH FOUR NAMES by Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador)

  The Boy with Four Names (for adults and young adults) Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador 1971-73) IUniverse June 2021 180 pages $13.99 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by John Chromy (India 1963–65); (PC CD/Eastern Caribbean (1977–79); (Assoc Dir-PC/Washington 1979–1981) • In Italy their baby son was named Enrico, and through the support of a network of Jewish people, the Cohen family were able to obtain a visa to enter Ecuador, one of the few western countries willing to take in Jewish immigrants despite the rapidly growing nightmare unfolding in Europe. Arriving on an hacienda in the Altiplano, young Enrico acquired his second name, Enrique, when his family was employed on the ranch and he began school. The story follows his family’s move three years later to Quito where his father opened a small shop and Enrique entered public school, Escuela Espejo, where he thrived academically, but faced numerous social issues as a . . .

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Cathy Luchetti (Colombia) presents a collection of cool foods to cure the hot flashes

  The hot flash blush is familiar to any woman going through the hormonal roller coaster of menopause. This unpleasant, rapid warming can strike any time, heating the upper body, the face, neck and chest. The insidious hot flash is a direct result of hormonal effects on the hypothalamus, the area of the brain responsible for managing your appetite, sleep cycles, sex hormones, and body temperature. When estrogen levels drop, the body’s temperature turns erratic. However, there is hot flash hope. Good, midlife nutrition includes many delicious foods that help to calm the hot flash. Cathy Luchetti’s well researched cookbook, filled with mouthwatering recipes, is a crash course on menopause. “The Hot Flash Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Health and Well-Being through Menopause” delights the reader’s palate and the stomach. She presents the product of her extensive research to help people, especially women, understand the changes in the body during the menopausal . . .

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A Wedding in Ethiopia

  By John Keller (Ethiopia 2016-18) SEPT. 17, 2021, Peace Corps • It’s the day of Nezif’s long-awaited wedding, which will take place in his home village in western Ethiopia. It is far from the village where I live and work as a Peace Corps Volunteer, but I’m not exactly sure how to get there. Nezif is a former student at the high school where I teach English. Like many of my students, Nezif had to walk several hours to get to school. Despite the distance, he attended regularly and did well academically, eventually becoming a teacher himself. At 10 a.m. I get a call from Nezif, who is elated that I’m coming to his wedding. He has even paid for someone to fetch me. He is overjoyed to see me when I arrive at the village after a 90-minute trip. I walk into the mud-walled house and join elder . . .

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Herm Schmidt (Staff DC/Ethiopia), Author

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Ted Vestal (PC Staff /Ethiopia 1964-66)   Herm writes — I thought readers might be interested in who I am and something about why I write. Much of my working life was with the US Government spending time in Germany with the Army in the ’50s, when Cold War tension was at its peak. I was one of the many young college graduates unable to find a job and chose to enlist for two years. It was a fortunate choice that gave enlistees a view of the world outside America, and believe it or not, $100 a month “spending money” that was more than most of us ever had. As to Cold War tension, it was easily dispelled by 5 cent bottles of Beck’s beer at the PX, and nights out in Butzbach, where we were stationed. We had a chance to travel all . . .

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Review — TURQUOISE: Three Years in Ghana: A Peace Corps Memoir by Lawrence Grobel

  Turquoise: Three Years in Ghana: A Peace Corps Memoir by Lawrence Grobel (Ghana 1968-71) HMH Press 384 pages January 2022 $9.00 (Kindle); $ 20.00 (Paperback) Reviewed by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-67) • In 1968, Larry Grobel did the party-hardy at the Aboakyere festival in Ghana, a “crazy, wild stoned-out freaky affair! People filling the streets like army ants around a carcass. No space left uncovered, dancing, drumming, singing and chanting, laughing and shouting, moving, jumping, throwing flags, waving swords, guzzling beer, pito, palm wine and akpeteshe, chewing kola nuts, smoking wee,’ celebrating the way a festival should be celebrated: up high and out of sight!” Grobel, then twenty-one, thought he was going to Guyana as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He misread; he was sent to Ghana. The names started with ‘G’ and ended in ‘ana’. One was in South America, the other in West Africa. Didn’t matter, as long as . . .

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Congress Passes the Budget for Fiscal 2022

There will be no Government Shut Down.  The Government is funded through September 30, 2022.  Unfortunately, Peace Corps did not receive higher funding, as had been hoped.  Here is the statement from the National Peace Corps Association: Congress has finally passed a budget for fiscal year 2022. It keeps funding flat for the Peace Corps for the seventh year in a row. To ensure a better and stronger Peace Corps as Volunteers return to the field, and to enable the agency to make needed reforms, Congress needs to provide more funding.   By Jonathan Pearson   Congress has completed its work on a budget for fiscal year 2022, passing a $1.5 trillion spending package. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, for a seventh consecutive year, instead of providing new resources to better meet the needs of a changed world, it keeps Peace Corps’ baseline funding flat at $410.5 million. We are nearly . . .

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EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)

  A TALE OF GRATITUDE    In the film, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey longs to hear the sounds of “anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.” These were the sounds Patrick Logan (Thailand 1984-86) also longed to hear. To his father, however, they meant separation from the things he held dear. He’d fought in Italy during WWII and had survived through luck and by writing letters almost daily to the woman he’d married just before shipping out. In contrast, his youngest son eagerly sought overseas adventure, initially as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. Once in Asia, he stayed. Following his father’s death, Patrick inherited those wartime letters, and in them he learned much about the man from whom he’d grown distant, emotionally at first and then geographically. He decided to trace the route his father had taken through Italy, guided by passages from those letters, and by books on . . .

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