Author - John Coyne

1
House Signatures: We’ve Got One Week—From the NPCA
2
A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”
3
Talking to Ted Wells (Ethiopia) author of POWER, CHAOS & CONSENSUS
4
The New Yorker — Paul Theroux turns 80
5
Coyne Signs Off
6
Uzbek Zero by Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan)
7
Publisher Marian Beil continues Peace Corps Worldwide
8
A Writer Writes — Death at Tinta by Michael J. Beede (Peru)
9
RISK AND THE STATE by Phil LeBel (Ethiopia)
10
Peace Corps Virtual Symposium at American University

House Signatures: We’ve Got One Week—From the NPCA

The Work We Have to Do One year ago the Peace Corps community was rallying to help thousands of evacuated Volunteers — and many were diving in to help their communities in crisis. Now in 2021, we’re working to bolster support for the most comprehensive Peace Corps legislation in decades — which will shape a better and stronger Peace Corps for the future. We’re calling on the Peace Corps community to raise their voices and make sure that we enlist the support of more members of Congress than ever before in this effort. This week we’re also celebrating the fact that a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer has stepped into a role to lead long-needed reforms in the State Department: Career diplomat Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, who began her service to this country as a Volunteer in Oman, has been named the first-ever chief diversity and inclusion officer. If we want our diplomatic corps to . . .

Read More

A Writer Writes — “The Cotton Trenches of Uzbekistan”

    by Beatrice Grabish Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) Dispatch from Uzbekistan’s cotton campaign November 1993   On the fifth day of barf (Tajik for “snow”), the troops surrendered. The war, a.k.a. the cotton harvest, lasted eight weeks this year and yielded (only) 87% returns. I had watched my students pile into a 25-vehicle motorcade and wind around the mile-long university boulevard amidst handkerchief waving and cheers from teachers and other onlookers. Two days later, much to the horror and surprise of my women colleagues at Samarkand State University, I joined the students’ work camp. On October 5, I arrived at the collective farm called Guzelkent, about 40 kilometers outside the city limits. The place was a collection of brown-streaked, whitewashed houses made of mudbrick, rising like Oz out of acre upon acre of cotton fields. It was a scene framed by purple mountain peaks and a flawless blue sky. At . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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  

Read More

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: . . .

Read More

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. . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.