Archive - 2022

1
The Volunteer Who Went on to Become the Solicitor General of the United States — Drew Day (Honduras)
2
Tamara Solum (Cameroon) looks back at 20 years of making a dramatic difference in the life of kids
3
In Lockdown, a Long-Distance Romance Grew Stronger — Maheisha Adams (Kenya)
4
RPCV Photographer Kevin Bubriski’s NEPAL 1975-2011
5
New book about Martin Luther King features PC’s Director Sargent Shriver and CD Harris Wofford (Ethiopia)
6
PDNB Gallery in Dallas showcases classic images of late ’60s SUBURBIA by Bill Owens (Jamaica)
7
Why Don’t We Have A Peace Corps Director?
8
Oakland, Oregon Mayor Tom Hasvold (Ecuador)
9
YOGURT CULTURE by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea)
10
Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur (Ethiopia)
11
Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert Forster (Honduras)
12
Peace Corps Issues Update on 2019 Crash That Resulted in Death of Ms. Rabia Issa
13
Remembering and Honor Where We Began — 60 Years Ago
14
Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)
15
The Volunteer Who Initiated Critical National Discussions — Charles Murray (Thailand)

The Volunteer Who Went on to Become the Solicitor General of the United States — Drew Day (Honduras)

   by Jeremiah Norris  (Colombia, 1963-65) • After graduation from Hamilton College cum laude in 1963, with an A. B. in English literature, Drew S. Days III, inspired by the civil rights leaders of that time, then went on to earn a law degree from Yale in 1966. He briefly practiced law in Chicago before serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras from 1967 to 1969. Returning to the U. S. in 1969, Drew became the first assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. He worked there for eight years, litigating a range of civil rights cases. He was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and in the states of Illinois and New York. In 1977, then-President Jimmy Carter nominated Drew to serve as the Assistant General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice. His tenure was . . .

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Tamara Solum (Cameroon) looks back at 20 years of making a dramatic difference in the life of kids

  Drama Kids of Manasota celebrates 20 Arts and Entertainment Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 by: Marty Fugate Contributor • Some talented kids want to grow up to be actors when they grow up. Some adult actors are still kids at heart. Tamara Solum (Cameroon 1989–91) is one of them. Her inner child loves the magic of make-believe. She shares the secrets of that magic with area children at Drama Kids of Manasota, an after-school, dramatic arts program, serving children between the ages of 5 and 18. This local offshoot of Drama Kids International is nearing its 20th birthday. Solum’s has been its happy director and owner for 18 of those years. Drama Kids is a perfect fit for her passion and talents. Solum graduated with a theater degree from Occidental College in L.A. in 1988. You’d think her path to Drama Kids was a straight line. It was actually a winding road … “I did . . .

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In Lockdown, a Long-Distance Romance Grew Stronger — Maheisha Adams (Kenya)

  Maheisha Adams and Meerim Ilyas met at a conference in Ukraine in 2019, and solidified their bond a year later while quarantining together in Washington.   By Louise Rafkin for “VOWS,” New York Times Jan. 14, 2022 photos by Ed Pingol • Meerim Ilyas and Maheisha Adams (Kenya 2005-07) met in April of 2019 while attending the European Lesbian Conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. When the two decided to meet for dinner one night after the conference, both assumed it was a professional invitation. Yet by the end of the meal, the flowing conversation turned decidedly personal. Both left the dinner besotted. “Meerim is beautiful and intelligent, a fabulous conversationalist, and is always bubbling with ideas, Ms. Adams said. But romance presented challenges: they lived thousands of miles and an ocean apart and their backgrounds were wildly different. Ms. Adams, now 42, was raised on the plains of Guthrie, Okla., by her . . .

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RPCV Photographer Kevin Bubriski’s NEPAL 1975-2011

  Nepal: 1975-2011 by Photographer Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-1978) Preface by Robert Gardner, Essay by Charles Ramble Radius Books/Peabody Museum Press 304 pages September 2014 $108.10 (hardcover) In 1975, as a young Peace Corps volunteer, Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78) was sent to Nepal’s northwest Karnali Zone, the country’s remotest and most economically depressed region. He walked the length and breadth of the Karnali, conducting feasibility studies for gravity-flow drinking water systems and overseeing their construction. He also photographed the villagers he lived among, producing an extraordinary series of 35mm and large-format black-and-white images. Over more than three decades, Bubriski has returned many times to Nepal, maintaining his close association with the country and its people. Nepal 1975-2011 presents this remarkable body of work — photographs that document Nepal’s evolution over a 36-year period from a traditional Himalayan culture to the globalized society of today. Both visual anthropology and cultural history, it . . .

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New book about Martin Luther King features PC’s Director Sargent Shriver and CD Harris Wofford (Ethiopia)

  Nine Days: The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election  Martin Luther King Jr. faced a harrowing nine days in a dangerous prison in 1960. In his book, GW Alum Paul  Kendrick tells how King’s ordeal changed politics as we know it. • A review by John DiConsiglio,  January 11, 2022, GWToday   In October 1960, a 31-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. not yet the civil rights icon who would inspire a nation, agreed to join a student sit-in at an Atlanta department store. King, who had never yet spent a night in jail, knew he faced a possible arrest. But the reality was even more harrowing. While the students were taken to local jails, King was transferred to a dangerous Georgia state prison where Black inmates endured violence by white guards. Just weeks before the presidential election, King’s ordeal was the ultimate “October . . .

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PDNB Gallery in Dallas showcases classic images of late ’60s SUBURBIA by Bill Owens (Jamaica)

  The photographer captured a fleeting cultural moment with his seminal 1973 book.   By Danielle Avram of the Dallas News The year 1968 was a tumultuous time in American history. The country was embroiled in riots and protests over the escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Progress achieved by the landmark passing of the Civil Rights Act was clouded by the election of Richard Nixon and the lingering segregationist sentiments spurred on by politicians such as George Wallace. For Bill Owens, 1968 also proved to be a pivotal year. After years abroad in the Peace Corps, Owens (Jamaica 1964-66) had relocated to Livermore, Calif., a former agrarian community-turned-suburb of San Francisco, to work as a photojournalist for the local newspaper. Struck by his newfound suburban lifestyle, particularly the young ages and outlooks of its residents, Owens spent a year . . .

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Why Don’t We Have A Peace Corps Director?

Months are slipping by without a Peace Corps Director. Why is that? When Trump was kicked out of office, Director Jody Olsen (Tunisia 1966-68) ran for the door tossing the office keys to Carol Spahn (Romania 1994-96) who has now been declared Chief Executive Office of the agency. Over the last months, two ‘famous’ names popped up as potential directors. Joe Kennedy (the Dominican Republic 2004-06) was, I’m told, offered the job and he turned it down. Recently the story is that President Biden asked Michelle Obama if she would be the next Peace Corps Director. She also said no. What we also know is that the Republicans in the Senate are stalling all of Biden’s appointments to federal jobs. 150 government positions have no nominee. What might the Peace Corps agency do next? Limp along with ‘acting’  CEO and make-do staff and no PCVs in the field. Close the . . .

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Oakland, Oregon Mayor Tom Hasvold (Ecuador)

  Tom Hasvold’s (Ecuador 1983-85) career formed itself the day in 1982 he walked across the student union at the University of Colorado and spied a bearded man sitting between a Peace Corps banner and a sign-up sheet. Six months later, Hasvold had a passport and a job in South America. He also launched a passion for connecting people with outdoor spaces and natural resources. That vocation carries over today into his role as Oakland, Oregon’s mayor. “He loves parks and likes to keep them up and functional for everyone in the city,” said Terri Long, who retired in July as Oakland’s city recorder but continues as a contracted planning clerk. “He’s an outdoorsman himself, and he likes to see a lot of open spaces so citizens have comfortable places to go outside.” James Hart, Oakland’s director of public works, agreed that Hasvold seeks to boost community assets that everyone . . .

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YOGURT CULTURE by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea)

Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World’s Creamiest, Healthiest Food by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea 1995-97) Harvest Publisher 352 pages April 2015 $12.99 (Kindle); $19.18 (Hardback)   Award-winning author Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea 1995-97) began writing professionally for newspapers, magazines, and websites in 2004. She was the voice behind the food blog 5 Second Rule (5secondrule.typepad.com), which won the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) New Media & Broadcast Award for best culinary blog. Cheryl’s work has also appeared in Cooking Light, Sunset, Body + Soul, Health, Vegetarian Times, the San Jose Mercury News, Edible San Francisco, Culinate.com, The Kitchn, and Serious Eats; and in several books published by the American Heart Association and the EatingWell Media Group. Cheryl also served as a contributing editor at EatingWell Magazine, a daily food news blogger at iVillage, and the Fresh Talk columnist for . . .

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Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur (Ethiopia)

Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur, Esq. (Ethiopia 1964-66) Cambridge Studio Publisher 280 pages September 2020 $8/99 (Kindle); $13.25 (Paperback)     Will your estate plan fail? If you don’t understand how it works, you could dismantle it yourself! Are you tempted to take free advice about planning? Do you avoid reading the fine print? Will joint ownership simplify or complicate your plan? What happens to assets left directly to a minor? Know it or blow it. Let’s Talk About Estate Planning defogs estate planning through invented, but true to life, conversations between friends, or between clients and fictional lawyer Rebecca Dalton. Some of these exchanges expose major errors, not all of them fixable. This entertaining and informative treatment of estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, beneficiary designations, titling of assets, powers of attorney, and gifts illustrates how these pieces fit together. Read it, and you will say “NOW I . . .

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Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert Forster (Honduras)

  Mariantonia: The Lifetime Journey of a Peace Corps Volunteer Robert L Forster (Honduras 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers 2021 218 pages $19.99 (paperback); $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by: Donald E. Dirnberger (Eastern Caribean-22/Antigua, West Indies 1977–79) • Building bridges is a thought formed into words by the narrative memoir of fellow RPCV Robert L. Forster in his book Mariantonia – The Lifetime Journey of a Peace Corps Volunteer. Inspired by the vision of John F. Kennedy, who eloquently challenged our generation to seek out bold new frontiers by going forth to serve as men and women dedicated to the progress and peace of developing countries. In a time of turmoil JFK spoke of opportunity and optimism that somehow touched the very soul of those who would answer his call. Robert was one of them. Interwoven into his book he tells of life before, during, and after his Peace Corps days, both . . .

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Peace Corps Issues Update on 2019 Crash That Resulted in Death of Ms. Rabia Issa

January 7, 2022 WASHINGTON – Today, Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Carol Spahn released the following update regarding the 2019 crash that resulted in the death of Ms. Rabia Issa: “The death of Rabia Issa in Tanzania was a horrible tragedy, and we grieve the incredible loss to her family, friends and community. “We recognize the deep pain that was caused by Ms. Issa’s death, as well as the inequities that exist. Our ongoing work is grounded in a commitment to equity and ensuring our mission is clearly centered in our host communities. We expect all staff and every Volunteer to enter service with deep humility and respect as we seek to foster peace and understanding across cultures. We are committed to doing everything within our power to pursue policy, legislative, enhanced training and other solutions to bolster accountability. “We understand that many questions remain about the agency’s response to . . .

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Remembering and Honor Where We Began — 60 Years Ago

  The first Peace Corps HQ was at 806 Connecticut Ave across from Lafayette Park and within view of the White House. It was called the Maiatico Building and immortalized in the famous Washington Post photograph showing how the Peace Corps was working far into the night in the first days of the new agency. When the Peace Corps was “launched” JFK did so by signing an ‘executive order” to create the agency, an idea of Bill Josephson, co-author of the memo “Towering Task,” who told Kennedy he had the power to create the new agency by using the existing Mutual Security Act of 1954. Kennedy claimed that the establishment of the Peace Corps was an emergency. And it was. By doing so, the Peace Corps was created immediately without going through months of congressional debates. With the signing to create this new agency, Shriver, with the help of Warren Wiggins, obtained three . . .

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Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)

  A Husband and Wife Are One Satan  Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04) Orison Books September 2021 40 pages $12.00 (paperback), $7.49 (Kindle) Reviewed by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) • I find a great deal of pleasure in reading fiction set in other cultures or countries, especially when the work demonstrates more than a superficial understanding of the place about which it is written. That was one motivation behind the anthology series I curated, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (published by Press 53 in 2016). It was also in that context that I first became aware of Jeff Fearnside’s work when his story set in Kazakhstan, “A Husband and Wife are One Satan,” was included in the first volume of that series. I recognized then that, having been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, Fearnside had the depth of knowledge of his chosen setting to bring the culture and his . . .

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The Volunteer Who Initiated Critical National Discussions — Charles Murray (Thailand)

by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Charles Murray served as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Thailand, beginning in 1965, then stayed abroad for six years. He credits his time in Peace Corps with his lifelong interest in Asia. His tenure with the Peace Corps ended in 1968. Recalling his time in Thailand, in 2014 Charles noted that his worldview was fundamentally shaped by his time there. He went on to comment: . . . most of what you read in my books I learned in Thai villages. I was struck first by the enormous discrepancy between what Bangkok thought was important to the villagers and what the villagers wanted out of government. Secondly, when the government change agent showed up, the village went to hell in terms of its internal governance. His work in Peace Corps and subsequent research in Thailand for research firms associated with the U. S. Government led . . .

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