Author - John Coyne

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Talking to Ted Wells (Ethiopia) author of POWER, CHAOS & CONSENSUS
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The New Yorker — Paul Theroux turns 80
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Coyne Signs Off
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Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)
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Publisher Marian Beil continues Peace Corps Worldwide
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A Writer Writes — Death at Tinta by Michael J. Beede (Peru)
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RISK AND THE STATE by Phil LeBel (Ethiopia)
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Peace Corps Virtual Symposium at American University
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Tacoma-to-Liberia Peace Corps Journey — Kathleen Corey
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Would the pandemic stop Paul Theroux (Malawi) from traveling? No. Of course not.

Talking to Ted Wells (Ethiopia) author of POWER, CHAOS & CONSENSUS

  Ted, where are you from in the States? I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in a small town called Sharon 20 miles south of the city. I started a 5 year degree in Architecture at the University of Oregon in Eugene, but finished it at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I met my wife-to-be, Helen, who was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but had moved to Colorado just before I arrived. Why the Peace Corps? I was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War and would have emigrated to Canada with my wife of ten months had we not both been accepted into the Peace Corps immediately after I graduated from university. Thankfully, my Draft Board accepted this as an alternative to Vietnam. Why Ethiopia? We would have accepted any assignment anywhere in the Peace Corps, but Community Development work in Ethiopia was the only choice . . .

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The New Yorker — Paul Theroux turns 80

  Facing Ka‘ena Point: On Turning Eighty   My life has involved enormous upsets and reverses — illness, wealth, and near-bankruptcy, the usual snakes and ladders that people endure—except that I have been privileged to write about them. By Paul Theroux April 6, 2021  

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Coyne Signs Off

I’m closing down with this email my steady diet of blog posts, but you’re not rid of Peace Corps WorldWide. The website will stay ‘live’ with Marian Beil. She will announce new books from Peace Corps Writers and other news. The other good news to share is that American University will take all the items we posted and preserve them on their Peace Corps History site. You can reach the collection here at any time. https://wayback.archive-it.org/1435/*/https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/ Meanwhile, you can search for new articles and book reviews by the RPCV community on this site. In August I will announce the winners of our Writers Awards for books published in 2020. ( I might even sneak on when no one is watching and post an article or two, but don’t tell Marian.) If you have something to publish, contact Marian directly. Her email is marian@haleybeil.com You can also read our first website: . . .

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Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)

  Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) • “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” It’s Peace Corps gospel, which had served the agency well as it spread throughout the developing world. But what happens when a country doesn’t want your help, and you’re sent there anyway? I found out, when the Peace Corps sent me to Uzbekistan in 1992. The Cold War had ended, and the Peace Corps was expanding into the former Communist countries of the Eastern Bloc. When the Soviet Union collapsed, in December 1991, James Baker, then secretary of state under George H.W. Bush, said he wanted to see 250 Peace Corps Volunteers on the ground within a year. Volunteers, he said, would provide “human capital” to help these countries transition to market economies, Baker said, and advance U.S. . . .

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Publisher Marian Beil continues Peace Corps Worldwide

  Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) the publisher/designer/manager of our site will continue to maintain Peace Corps World Wide. Marian and I began this Third Goal effort of Peace Corps Writers shortly after the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the agency, but long before that, Marian had been the central Volunteer in the organizing of the RPCVs from Ethiopia, creating one of the first newsletters for RPCVs. Having designed two websites for Peace Corps Writers, she also created and manages Peace Corps Books that as of today has published over ninety books, mostly memoirs, of the Peace Corps experience. Having a B.A. in mathematics from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, she earned her masters in design from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts. Marian designed our newsletter and website and keeps it up to date. Our site has also benefited from the contributions of others, especially Joanne Roll (Colombia . . .

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A Writer Writes — Death at Tinta by Michael J. Beede (Peru)

  DEATH AT TINTA By Michael J. Beede (Peru 1963-64) • At dawn on February 4, 1964, my partner Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) and I left our home base in Sicuani, Peru. We were headed for Tinta, 17 miles away, a small nearby town in the Quechua-speaking boondocks three hours south of Cuzco.  It was to be a routine inspection trip to monitor the distribution of USAID food in the rural schools enrolled in the government’s school lunch program.  Nothing out of the ordinary was expected. At the time, Ron and I had the use of a Peace Corps Jeep to visit these rural areas. That morning I was driving our pastel blue Peace Corps Jeep with Ron riding shotgun. We stuck out like a sore thumb, an inviting target for mischief. A fine powder billowed up from the unpaved dirt road filling the cab with a choking cloud of . . .

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RISK AND THE STATE by Phil LeBel (Ethiopia)

  Economics demonstrates how markets can serve as remarkably efficient institutions in allocating scarce resources. • At the same time, incomplete information generates prices that can lead to a misallocation, producing in some cases too little while in others too much of a good. Matters become more complicated when striking a balance is influenced by our perceptions of risk. Here, neuroscience provides insights into which, and what kind of public sector interventions one should consider. While there are many types of risk – political, economic, financial, and environmental as individuals confront any crisis, our perceptions of risk can alter significantly the extent to which we look to public sector intervention as a response. In the short run, crises may be managed through greater public intervention while in the long run, economic fundamentals still drive key decisions, and thus the extent to which a given mix meets a test of political . . .

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Peace Corps Virtual Symposium at American University

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steve Kafein (Russia 1994-96) Peace Corps 2.0: A Symposium March 31 | 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET | Online Event Co-sponsored by the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, the American University Museum, and the National Peace Corps Association Sixty years ago, in March 1961, students held a conference at American University to advise Sargent Shriver on how the Peace Corps should take shape. During this milestone anniversary, we commemorate student leadership with a virtual symposium and an exhibit at the American University Museum. Learn more and RSVP

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Tacoma-to-Liberia Peace Corps Journey — Kathleen Corey

    My Tacoma-to-Liberia Peace Corps journey proved to me I could tackle anything anywhere By Kathleen M. Corey (Liberia 1975–79) March 26, 2021   “I got a C?! I’ve never gotten a C in my life!” It was 1969. I was a senior at the University of Washington, preparing to become a high school English teacher. “You have an A+ for subject matter knowledge,” said my mentor teacher, Roy Feldstadt, “but a C in classroom management.” Depressed that I’d chosen a career for which I was clearly unsuited, I decided to go skiing in Sun Valley. After five fun but somewhat meaningless years, I decided to try teaching again and applied to the Peace Corps. Assigned to Liberia in Western Africa, I called my old mentor and told him the news. “Liberia!” he said. “I was in Group 2 in Liberia! Ask for Zorzor Central High — you’ll get . . .

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Would the pandemic stop Paul Theroux (Malawi) from traveling? No. Of course not.

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04)   By Gal Beckerman New York Times March 28, 2021 • For five days, Paul Theroux, the famous American travel writer, dined on hard-boiled eggs, microwaved dal and wine. He had set out cross-country in a rented Jeep Compass on the day before Thanksgiving, driving from Cape Cod, where he has a house, to Los Angeles, where he delivered boxes of his papers to his archives at Huntington Library, and then flying on to Hawaii, his other home. Theroux said he observed a landscape largely emptied out by the coronavirus pandemic, from deserted motels in Sallisaw, Okla., and Tucumcari, N.M., where he stopped to sleep, to a rest area in Tennessee where he had his solitary Thanksgiving meal, and the In-N-Out Burger in Kingman, Ariz., on his last day on the road. Every night, as is his habit, he wrote out . . .

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