Author - John Coyne

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Women Who Travel–In The Peace Corps
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Steve Kaffen(Russia) — THE 2019 EUROPEAN GAMES IN MINSK
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My Sister, A Journey to Myself by Peter Breyer (India)
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Passing of a Great Peace Corps Writer & Editor — Aaron Barlow (Togo)
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Time in a Bottle by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)
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Janelle Jones (Peru) joins Biden Administration as Chief Economist at DOL!
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RPCVs march in 1993 Inaugural Parade
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Tell Your Peace Corps Story
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RPCV Navarro (Thailand) leaves the White House with his loot (Thailand)
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Trump to freeze Peace Corps budget before leaving office

Women Who Travel–In The Peace Corps

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bea Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) What It Was Like to Serve in the Peace Corps, According to 6 Generations of Women No matter when and where they served, volunteers agree: The experience will change your life. BY ASHLEA HALPERN Conde Nast Traveler January 15, 2021 If you’ve ever known someone who served in the Peace Corps, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “When I was in the Peace Corps…” That’s how universally impactful the experience is. Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the agency has sent more than 240,000 volunteers to 141 nations around the world. Six decades on, its mission remains largely the same—to work with local communities to develop sustainable solutions for challenges in the healthcare, education, economic development, agriculture, and environmental sectors. The Peace Corps will commemorate its 60th anniversary with a themed celebration, “Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty Years, Countless Stories,” . . .

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Steve Kaffen(Russia) — THE 2019 EUROPEAN GAMES IN MINSK

  The European athletic games took place in Minsk, Belarus, in June 2019. About 3,600 athletes competed in 15 sports, many of which were qualifiers for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Using over 200 original photographs and descriptions, the author showcases the host city and the Games’ exciting activities including four final events and the spectacular closing ceremony. Attend the European Games and experience the people, sights, and local color of historic and surprising Minsk. Minsk is a picturesque city that straddles the meandering Svislach River. Its historic area is a maze of narrow streets filled with restaurants and cafes, historic monuments, and the city’s Town Hall, which hosts jazz on summer weekends. The city has a renowned opera and ballet theater situated in its own park, one of Europe’s oldest resident circuses, and a youthful population that exudes an energy and exuberance that pervades the city. • The . . .

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My Sister, A Journey to Myself by Peter Breyer (India)

  My Sister, A Journey to Myself by Peter Breyer (India 1965-67) Miah Books 263 pages 2010 $11.50 (paperback) Reviewed by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-67) • Peter Breyer wrote this family memoir when he was a fifty-nine-year-old American white male with a professional career, former Peace Corps volunteer in India, a family man, a Christian who attended Bible study classes at his wife’s Black church. The story recounts his search for a German half-sister he never knew he had, and how the journey brought him face-to-face with the conundrum — how can we do this to each other? Breyer’s parents were German. His mother was well educated from an upper-middle-class Jewish family. His father came from the working class and was a vocal anti-Hitler critic, which brought him to the attention of Nazi authorities. His parents, Max and Marcelle, fled Germany in 1936, when the crackdown on Jews and dissidents . . .

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Passing of a Great Peace Corps Writer & Editor — Aaron Barlow (Togo)

  by Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) •   Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90) has died. His life had many chapters in it, including owner of the bookstore/café Shakespeare’s Sister; Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; cultural studies scholar and professor of English at New York City College of Technology; and Peace Corps Volunteer. There will be others who will memorialize Aaron’s life as a mentor, writer, and professor. What I want to recount here is how Aaron Barlow saved my bacon as I tried to navigate the narrows of publishing the four books in the Peace Corps at 50 Story Project. Begun in 2007 for the 2011 50th Anniversary, the story project seemed to me a slam dunk for publication. What house would not want a ready audience of 200,000 RPCVs? Zero, as it turned out, until Traveler’s Tales agreed to publish the work. By . . .

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Time in a Bottle by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)

  by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia 1970-72; APCD 1974-76) October 27, 2020 • It’s a sobering thought but I’ve reached the point in my life where I can count time in half centuries. To wit, it was fifty years ago almost to the day that I arrived in Tunisia. I was on my way to becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer: the first six weeks of my service had been spent in intensive language and cross-cultural training in America. For the next six weeks, I would be in total language immersion in my new host country. Did I mention that was fifty years ago? Sigh. Looking back, those fifty years have flown by. Four of them were spent in Tunisia, the first two in the Kasserine, a small town in the rugged mountains hard by the Algerian border and famous for a pivotal battle in World War II. Then there were two . . .

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Janelle Jones (Peru) joins Biden Administration as Chief Economist at DOL!

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Monica Mills (PC/HQ 1995-2000)   “I’m very excited to announce I have joined the Biden Administration as the Chief Economist at the Department of Labor! I am excited to help build back a better economy where workers, especially those usually left behind, are safe, secure, & empowered at the workplace. Let’s get to work!” Janelle Jones was an economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute through 2018. She is an economic analyst working on a variety of labor market topics within EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE) and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN). She was previously a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), where she worked on topics including racial inequality, unemployment, job quality, and unions. Her research has been cited in The New Yorker, The Economist, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Review of Black Political Economy, and other . . .

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RPCVs march in 1993 Inaugural Parade

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mike Wolfson (Peru 1964-66)     This picture, made as a poster courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, was taken at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural parade on January 20, 1993. The organization was then the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, now the National Peace Corps Association. Mike borrowed the 6 x 8-foot outdoor flags and 9-foot aluminum flag poles from the U.S. Department of State.  There were, he believes, 110 flags representing all of the countries that Peace Corps volunteers had or were serving in. He had all of these flags and poles in his living room the day before the inauguration where Ken Hill (Turkey 1965-67) and he put country labels on each flag, attached them to the 110 poles, and put them in a truck that Ken stored overnight and took to the parade staging area the next morning. He did . . .

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Tell Your Peace Corps Story

  As we approach the 60th Anniversary of the agency — which was officially born on March 1, 1961—Peace Corps Worldwide wants to capture for history the stories of as many Volunteers as possible. Your experiences need to be preserved because, thanks to your service, the Peace Corps has become the most significant and successful cross-cultural venture ever undertaken by the United States. And in today’s nationalistic world, the example of Peace Corps Volunteers is more important than ever. The Peace Corps is about service, but it is also about friendship. For 60 years, Volunteers have lived with host-country families, shared their lives and experiences, and showed our hosts that we were more like them than we were different. We were younger than many of our hosts, often less experienced in life, and sometimes needing their help to navigate their culture. But we went, and we were ready to work, . . .

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RPCV Navarro (Thailand) leaves the White House with his loot (Thailand)

Peace Corps Thailand 1972-75 Jim McCaffery (Ethiopia 1966-68) told me that this photo (below) is the real one Peter Navarro was taking out of the White House. It was (we think) hanging in the Oval Office.

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Trump to freeze Peace Corps budget before leaving office

  President Trump on Thursday moved to freeze $27.4 billion worth of government programs in the last week of his presidency using a budget maneuver called rescission. Under the 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act, the president can request that Congress rescind, or wind back budget authority over certain programs. While Congress considers the request, the programs can be frozen for up to 45 days, at which point the request expires if Congress does not act. In a letter to congressional leadership, Trump specifically requested 73 cutbacks to the 2021 federal budget. The 73 proposed rescissions largely align with the annual budget proposal Trump has set out, which proposed extreme cuts to domestic programs. Congress roundly rejected the cuts each year. The letter asked leaders in the House and Senate to impound funds from almost every Cabinet-level agency including the Environmental Protection Agency. The request also included cuts from the National Endowments for the Arts and . . .

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