Archive - 2024

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Panel Discussion of John Fleming’s new book Mission to Malawi
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New books by Peace Corps writers | May — June 2024
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Hog Farmer Paul Willis (Nigeria)
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A JEW IN GAZA: HUMANITARIAN HEARTBREAK, HUBRIS AND HORRORS by Alonzo Wind (Ecuador)
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Larry Kaplow (Guatemala) at NPR
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Local teacher is taking his skills to the Peace Corps — Caleb Williams (Cambodia)
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RPCV Kinky Friedman, singer and novelist who fronted The Texas Jewboys, dies at 79 (BORNEO)
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Inaugural Recipient: Harris Wofford Joint Service Award
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MISSION TO MALAWI by John E. Fleming (Malawi)
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RPCV Courtney Bower joins the Ukraine Case Studies
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We Make It Into Worldview Magazine!
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Peace Corps Pioneers
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GARDENS OF PLENTY by Ron Arias (Peru)
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What Patrick Shea Has To Say About His Life and the Peace Corps (Georgia)
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WHEN CORONAVIRUS UNMAPPED THE PEACE CORPS JOURNEY by Jeffrey W. Aubuchon (Morocco)

Panel Discussion of John Fleming’s new book Mission to Malawi

The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Virtual event, July 31 at 7:00pm EDT   Join us for the launch and panel discussion of John Fleming’s new book Mission to Malawi: Memoir of an African American Peace Corps Volunteer 1967-1969 (McFarland 2024), featuring Reginald Hodges (RPCV Sierra Leone 68-71), J. Henry (Hank) Ambrose (RPCV Kenya 71-73), and John Fleming (RPCV Malawi 67-69).  The event will be hosted by MPCE Board Member Nicole Banister and MPCE Director Zack Klim. Unlike the vast majority of Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, John Fleming was a young Black man who was assigned to an all-white agricultural project in Malawi, an emerging African country surrounded by White-ruled Southern Rhodesia, Mozambique, and South Africa. John wanted to be a missionary in Africa, but was put off by his encounters with self-serving White missionaries. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements influenced his world view while navigating life in an African country still controlled or greatly influenced . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers | May — June 2024

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 include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and maybe  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 she will send you a free copy along with a few instructions. PLEASE, PLEASE  join in our Third Goal effort and volunteer to review a book or books!!! When Coronavirus Unmapped The Peace Corps Journey by Jeffrey W. Aubuchon (Morocco 2007-08) & Peace Corps Response Nepal 92252 Press 142 pages $2.99 (Kindle).$7.00 (Paperback) This book . . .

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Hog Farmer Paul Willis (Nigeria)

  RPCV in the news —  Fancy Food Show honors Niman Ranch Founding Hog Farmer Founding Hog Farmer grows Niman Ranch from a one-family farm to a network of over 600 Certified Humane independent family farmers and ranchers. By Industry News   At the Fancy Food Show, Niman Ranch’s Founding Hog Farmer Paul Willis (Nigeria 1973-75) received the Specialty Food Association Leadership Award for Sustainability. Willis grew Niman Ranch from his one-family farm to a network of over 600 Certified Humane independent family farmers and ranchers raising pork, beef and lamb sustainably and with no antibiotics, hormones or crates. Niman Ranch meats are served at many of the country’s fine restaurants, at values-driven fast-casual chains and in specialty grocers nationwide. “Paul Willis shows how the specialty food industry can drive change and build a better, more sustainable food system,” said Phil Robinson, SVP, member development at the Specialty Food Association. “Thanks . . .

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A JEW IN GAZA: HUMANITARIAN HEARTBREAK, HUBRIS AND HORRORS by Alonzo Wind (Ecuador)

A new book —   A Jew in Gaza: Humanitarian Heartbreak, Hubris and Horror Allan “Alonzo” J. Wind (Ecuador 1980–82) Enable  & Ennoble June 2024 296 pages $24.88 (hardcover), $9.99 (Kindle), 1 credit (Audiobook) • • • This is the unique story of how A.J. “Alonzo” Wind, retired Foreign Service Officer and international development executive, assumed the position of Mission Director for International Medical Corps in the occupied Palestinian territories, living in Gaza and East Jerusalem during 2022 and 2023. It offers a view into Gaza few have had, as an American Jew, as a Baha’i, as a humanitarian living under the threats of the interminable conflicts between Israel and Gaza. Mr. Wind lived through multiple escalations and Israeli counterstrikes, and negotiated a fine line of diplomacy and international humanitarian law between Israeli civil and military authorities and the de facto authority in Gaza represented by Hamas. A JEW IN GAZA: Humanitarian . . .

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Larry Kaplow (Guatemala) at NPR

 RPCVs in the news —   Larry Kaplow (Guatemala 1988-91) edits the work of NPR’s correspondents in the Middle East and helps direct coverage about the region. That has included NPR’s work on the Syrian civil war, the Trump administration’s reduction in refugee admissions, the Iran nuclear deal, the US-backed fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. He has been at NPR since 2013, starting as an overnight news editor. He moved to the International Desk in 2014. He won NPR’s Newcomer Award and was part of teams that won an Overseas Press Club Award and an NPR Content Excellence Award. Prior to joining NPR, Kaplow reported from the Middle East for 12 years. He was the Cox Newspapers‘ Mideast correspondent from 1997 to 2003, reporting from Jerusalem during the Second Intifada as well as from Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. He . . .

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Local teacher is taking his skills to the Peace Corps — Caleb Williams (Cambodia)

PCVs in the news   MELISSA WHITLER | NBCU Fellow Melissa@DallasVoice.com • • •  Caleb Williams has spent the last two years teaching ninth graders in Richardson (Texas) Independent School District. But this August, he will be traveling to Cambodia to teach English as part of The Peace Corps. Williams is originally from Oklahoma but said he was drawn to Texas schools by better pay and more diverse schools. In his time at Richardson ISD, he’s taught students from all over the world, including Nigeria, Iraq and Burma. He’s also had experience teaching across different achievement levels, having taught on-level, special education inclusion and AP English classes. “It has been great getting to teach the full range of freshman students,” Williams said. “Different kinds of students use different parts of your energy, so it doesn’t feel like doing the same thing over and over again each period.” Of course, finishing out this . . .

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RPCV Kinky Friedman, singer and novelist who fronted The Texas Jewboys, dies at 79 (BORNEO)

By Andrew Silow-Carroll  Kinky Friedman (Borneo 1967-69), the cigar-chomping, mustachioed Texan country singer and mystery novelist whose body of work often seemed like the un-kosher marriage of the Borscht Belt and the Bible Belt, died June 27 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 79. As frontman for the flamboyant 1970s country group Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, he was notorious for satirical songs such as “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” a raucous sendup of racism, and “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed,” which poked fun at feminism. He could also turn serious, with songs dealing with social issues such as abortion and commercialism. His 1973 song “Ride ’em Jewboy” is a haunting elegy on the Holocaust, recorded by Willie Nelson and sung in concert by Bob Dylan. The lyrics transform cowboy cliches into a rumination on Hitler’s victims: Now the smoke . . .

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Inaugural Recipient: Harris Wofford Joint Service Award

JUNE 26, 2024 Inaugural Recipient: Harris Wofford Joint Service Award Peace Corps and AmeriCorps! Published by ghettogirltravels Welcome to GhettoGirlTravels.com KJ Hunt, aka “GhettoGirlTravels,” was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. A former sergeant in the United States Air Force and Peace Corps Volunteer in East Africa, Armenia and Ethiopia GGT longs for the open road, a hot cup of tea, and free Internet service. Instagram @Ghettogirltravels TikTok @GhettoGirlTravels Facebook @GhettoGirlTravels View all posts by ghettogirltravels   Harris Wofford served as an advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Wofford also helped to launch the United States Peace Corps and served as its Associate Director. While a member of the US Senate, Harris led the effort to establish the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which created the AmeriCorps program. The Harris Wofford award is given to individuals who have successfully completed full-time service in both AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps (including . . .

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MISSION TO MALAWI by John E. Fleming (Malawi)

  A new book — Mission to Malawi — Memoir of an African American Peace Corps Volunteer by John Fleming (Malawi 1967-69) McFarland Publisher May 2024 227 pages $19.99 (Kindle); $29.99 (Paperback) • • •  Unlike the vast majority of Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, John Fleming was a young Black man who was assigned to an all-white agricultural project in Malawi, an emerging African country surrounded by White-ruled Southern Rhodesia, Mozambique, and South Africa. John wanted to be a missionary in Africa, but was put off by his encounters with self-serving White missionaries. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements influenced his world view while navigating life in an African country still controlled or greatly influenced by racist Whites. This memoir is a moving story of coming “home” to Africa, where the author developed deep friendships with his Malawian neighbors and colleagues. The author relates his first Christmas spent with . . .

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RPCV Courtney Bower joins the Ukraine Case Studies

RPCVs in the news —   The Ukraine Case Studies Team is delighted to be joined by Courtney Bower, a Ph.D. candidate in regional science at Cornell University and a Senior Fellow at the Portulans Institute. Courtney’s research examines technological resilience and regional innovation systems. Related topics of his research include the circular economy, post-war reconstruction, infrastructure policy, and Black Sea spatial imaginaries. Before attending Cornell, Courtney completed a tour of service as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in western Ukraine. Courtney joins the research team for the Ukraine Case Studies project to investigate technological resilience from a regional perspective. His work seeks to understand how Ukrainian regions will bounce back or bounce forward in response to wartime shocks across four dimensions: innovation, human capital, digital access, and ICT infrastructure. His study of technological resilience in Ukraine will be one of the embedded case studies of our larger project, and . . .

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We Make It Into Worldview Magazine!

  The current issue of Worldview (Spring/Summer 2024) has an article by Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) entitled Common Cause. It is about RPCVs who have built communities around issues and affinities. We were selected to be profiled. Thank you, Beatrice!   Peace Corps Worldwide Friends since their Peace Corps days together, John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962–64) together produce the blog Peace Corps Worldwide and the Peace Corps Writers imprint. Their efforts lie at the heart of the Third Goal of the Peace Corps —  bring the world back home — and they’ve helped hundreds of writers tell their stories and publish their work. “RPCVs are the ones who tell the real story of the Peace Corps,” Coyne said. “They tell of their experiences in essays, articles, short stories, and memoirs. Stories that are the true historical documents of the agency.” Coyne and Beil’s collaboration began in the . . .

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Peace Corps Pioneers

Photographed By Dave Buchanan, 2024 Peace Corps Pioneers Marker – 1 Inscription In 1961 President John F. Kennedy established the US Peace Corps, concept originally proposed by Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. The Peace Corps was created from the President’s call to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Among the first Peace Corps Volunteers answering the President’s call in 1962 and completing their tours in 1964 were Plainview area residents: Kenneth Fliés serving in Brazil, Philip Mahle in Sierra Leone, Walter Mischke in Venezuela and Charles Rheingans in Thailand. “I was present at the creation, when the bright flame of conviction took hold in the imagination of the country and the Peace Corps became a promise fulfilled.” – Journalist Bill Moyers In 1962 there were some 25,000 incorporated cities and towns in America, many with populations in the tens . . .

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GARDENS OF PLENTY by Ron Arias (Peru)

Kirkus review — BY RON ARIAS ‧ MARCH 18, 2024 An action-packed and historically rich novel with a compelling lead character. In Ron Arias’  (Peru 1963-64)  novel set in the 16th century, a teenage orphan signs up as a ship’s boy on the Mynion, a British trading ship headed for the West Indies. Joseph Fields is 13 years old in 1567, when he flees the orphanage where he’s lived since his parents and sister succumbed to the plague two years ago. His father was a scrivener, as was his father before him, and Joseph learned the skill at his dad’s knee. He gets a job on a trading ship and sails away from England with only three significant possessions: his mother’s wooden spoon, her comb for removing lice and nits, and his father’s penknife, which has a cryptic engraving on the handle. Each will prove to be invaluable on his dangerous journey. . . .

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What Patrick Shea Has To Say About His Life and the Peace Corps (Georgia)

  John interviews — Patrick Shea Patrick, why did you join the Peace Corps? I come from a deeply patriotic family that was in America before America was a country. If my die-hard republican uncle is to be believed, we have family that fought in the Revolutionary War. Myself, well, my father always called me a “conservative hippy.” I have done volunteer work since the seventh grade, and had over 300 hours of volunteer service before I even entered the Peace Corps. I believe everyone should serve their community, and my professors suggested the Peace Corps, as one was a RPCV herself. Where were you assigned? I was a G16 — the Eastern European country of Georgia in 2016-2017. How big was the group? This group was large, it was right around 60 volunteers. What was your assignment? I was an English teacher as I had been volunteering tutoring immigrants . . .

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WHEN CORONAVIRUS UNMAPPED THE PEACE CORPS JOURNEY by Jeffrey W. Aubuchon (Morocco)

  When Coronavirus Unmapped The Peace Corps Journey by Jeffrey W. Aubuchon (Morocco 2007-08) & Peace Corps Response Nepal 92252 Press 142 pages $2.99 (Kindle).$7.00 (Paperback)   On March 15, 2020, the U. S. government recalled the more than 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the field, thereby halting active development projects around the globe and the person-to-person diplomacy that has defined the agency’s mission for 60 years. Volunteers returned home to a nation under biological attack from the novel coronavirus with shuttered businesses and skyrocketing unemployment. The newly-designated “Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers” found themselves neglected by the country they served: unable to collect unemployment benefits, limited to two months of health insurance, and grieving their own disrupted dreams. This book details the unprecedented global evacuation of Volunteers from national headlines as well as village stories of abandoned projects and suspended friendships. Yet, the book also describes the ensuing advocacy . . .

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