Archive - 2022

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RPCV Olivia Shaffer (Fiji) writes children’s book
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Support RPCV Dave Harden (Botswana) with Your Vote and $$$
3
A Photographic Celebration: 60 Years of Peace Corps Service (Madison, Wisconsin)
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‘They’ve covered it up’: Backlash swells over Peace Corps worker’s involvement in death in Africa
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The Volunteer Who Went on to Become the Solicitor General of the United States — Drew Day (Honduras)
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Tamara Solum (Cameroon) looks back at 20 years of making a dramatic difference in the life of kids
7
In Lockdown, a Long-Distance Romance Grew Stronger — Maheisha Adams (Kenya)
8
RPCV Photographer Kevin Bubriski’s NEPAL 1975-2011
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New book about Martin Luther King features PC’s Director Sargent Shriver and CD Harris Wofford (Ethiopia)
10
PDNB Gallery in Dallas showcases classic images of late ’60s SUBURBIA by Bill Owens (Jamaica)
11
Why Don’t We Have A Peace Corps Director?
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Oakland, Oregon Mayor Tom Hasvold (Ecuador)
13
YOGURT CULTURE by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea)
14
Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur (Ethiopia)
15
Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert Forster (Honduras)

RPCV Olivia Shaffer (Fiji) writes children’s book

  Olivia Shaffer (Fiji 2017-20) of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, wrote a children’s book inspired by a boy she met while a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fiji By Lisa Mitchell Berksmont News| January 19, 2022 • While living in a remote village, Shaffer became fast friends with her neighbors, a family with a 3-year-old boy nicknamed Ulu. “Ulu and I became inseparable since the day I moved in next door. We didn’t understand each other’s languages, but we still connected through music, dances and laughing,” said Shaffer. “No matter what language someone speaks, smiling and laughter is something that connects us.” After she returned home to Hamburg, she wrote a children’s book in dedication to Ulu. The book, “I am loved, I am worthy,” is written in “I am” statements meant to spark confidence and feelings of worthiness into the young reader’s mind, Shaffer said.   During her time in the Peace Corps, . . .

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Support RPCV Dave Harden (Botswana) with Your Vote and $$$

Dave Harden (Botswana 1984-86) WE NEED RPCVs IN CONGRESS ! I grew up in Carroll County on a small farm in Westminster – we raised chickens, steers, and horses. I spent my summers shucking corn and listening to the Orioles play ball while I mowed more grass in a few years than most people do in a lifetime. I started first grade at Mechanicsville Elementary school in Gamber and graduated from Westminster High School many, many years ago. I’m a public school kid – and those schools did right by me. I learned to think critically, apply reason to problems, and envision a bigger world. In the 12th Grade, long-time English teacher Barry Gelsinger taught us how to write – to craft – A-level college term papers so we could compete with prep school kids from around the country. With Barry Gelsinger’s push, I did well in college and was . . .

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A Photographic Celebration: 60 Years of Peace Corps Service (Madison, Wisconsin)

  Jan 18, 2022 to Jan 30, 2022 Capitol 2 E. Main St., Madison, Wisconsin 53703   This exhibit of photographs was coordinated by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison about life in the Peace Corps draws from some 60 years of photos from the yearly RPCV of Wisconsin International calendar. This weekend includes a half-day in-person question-fielding session at the Capitol, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Jan. 22, with current recruiters who can answer questions about volunteering. The Capitol is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For the last 34 years, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin – Madison have celebrated Peace Corps service every month of the year by producing the International Calendar. For this 60th Anniversary, they have prepared a traveling exhibit from their photo archives of photos that demonstrate the beauty and diversity of the countries and people. These will be on display at the Capitol Rotunda for . . .

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‘They’ve covered it up’: Backlash swells over Peace Corps worker’s involvement in death in Africa

by Tricia L. Nadolny, Donovan Slack and Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY; Kizito Makoye The mother of a man killed in a 2019 car crash involving an American woman who left the United Kingdom and avoided prosecution said she was stunned to learn a similar incident occurred just days before in Africa. In that case, U.S. officials whisked from Tanzania a Peace Corps employee who killed a mother of three in a car crash after drinking at a bar and bringing a sex worker back to his home. Charlotte Charles — whose 19-year-old son Harry Dunn died when the wife of a U.S. State Department employee driving on the wrong side of the road struck him with her car — called U.S. officials “barbaric” for helping Peace Corps employee John M. Peterson avoid prosecution in Tanzania after he fatally struck Rabia Issa. The U.S. Department of Justice has also declined to pursue charges against Peterson, citing . . .

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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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