Author - John Coyne

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Current New Yorker features Peter Hessler’s (China) new book
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Review — MAR-A-LAGO by Laurence Leamer (Nepal)
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A Distinguished Career: Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia)
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What happens in Montenegro stays in Montenegro
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Montenegro to Welcome Peace Corps Volunteers in 2020 
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Good News for northern CA Peace Corps Volunteers
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Where Did the Schizophrenics Go?
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From the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute
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Peace Corps Writer Are You on this List?
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Richard Lipez (Ethiopia): Fond memories of a good airline

Current New Yorker features Peter Hessler’s (China) new book

    “The Refugee and the Thief,” a chapter in Peter Hessler’s (China 1996-98) new book is featured in the April 1, 2019 issue of The New Yorker. The book is entitled The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution.  It will be published in May. Manu fled Egypt a little bit at a time. First, he flew to Cyprus, because he knew a travel agent who helped him get a visa. Manu spent a few days in Larnaca, and he got a tattoo in Nicosia, and then he returned to Cairo. The next stop was Saudi Arabia. Visas were easy to get for Egyptians performing the ‘umrah’ pilgrimage, and Manu had a relative in the country. It may have been the first time in history that a gay man was going to Mecca as part of a plan to escape a Muslim country, but Manu wanted his passport stamped. . . .

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Review — MAR-A-LAGO by Laurence Leamer (Nepal)

    Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) Flatiron Books Publisher 304 pages January 29, 2019 $27.99 (hardcover), $14.99 (Kindle). $32.45 (Audiobook)   Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) • Mar-a-Lago provides history and insights into President Donald J. Trump that many readers say one must read if one wants to understand the great leader. Leamer’s research includes thirty-six pages of notes, a bibliography and an index, so you know he’s done his homework. Perhaps even more important, Leamer and his wife have lived in Palm Beach since 1994, and have had front row seats for the Donald Trump show since he turned his Mar-a-Lago estate into a club. Leamer never became a member of the club, but he has friends who are members, so he has had access to the tennis courts and dining room, and was able to . . .

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A Distinguished Career: Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia)

    Visionary Women Championed During Women’s History Month Published March 28, 2019 A Distinguished Career of Furthering Peace Throughout the World   “Just say peacemaker,” responded Patti Garamendi when she was asked how she would like to be introduced for an event recognizing National Women’s History Month at the Census Bureau. Clearly, the returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ethiopia, 1966–68), former associate director of the Peace Corps, and former vice chair of the Committee on World Food Security for the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, sees “peacemaker” as one of the most important roles in her dynamic, impactful career. On March 5 to an audience of employees—some returned Peace Corps volunteers themselves—eager to hear her stories and advice. The event was sponsored by the Census Women Count Chapter of Federally Employed Women and the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. This year’s theme for National Women’s History Month, “Visionary Women: Champions . . .

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What happens in Montenegro stays in Montenegro

  Back in 1966 when the Peace Corps first went to Micronesia, the agency launched its recruitment strategy with a pamphlet showing a glorious sunny beach and palm trees waving with the wind under the headline, “Peace Corps Goes to Paradise.” Needlessly to say, that Ad outraged current and former Volunteers who didn’t see their service as idling away a few years on a blissful island. Now the Peace Corps is headed to Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea in Southeastern Europe, just across the water from Italy, and neighboring Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. In 2020, PCVs will be arriving to work in primary education programs in a nation famous for its gambling and nightlife. Some tourists call the country, “a poor man’s Monaco.” But as Director Jody Olsen said in her announcement, “The Peace Corps is proud to partner with the Government and people of Montenegro. This is a truly unique . . .

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Montenegro to Welcome Peace Corps Volunteers in 2020 

Peace Corps Press Release WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps announced today plans to establish a new program in Montenegro focused on English education. Montenegro will represent the agency’s 142nd country of service and will be considered an extension of the existing Peace Corps post in Albania. The Government of Montenegro invited the Peace Corps to establish a program in the country in August 2018; the new program will open next year. The first group of Volunteers is scheduled to depart in January 2020. The new Volunteers will undergo three months of comprehensive technical, cross-cultural and language training in Albania before starting two years of service in small, under-served Montenegrin communities. The new cohort will serve as education Volunteers in primary schools and co-teach with Montenegrin English teachers. The Volunteers will also work with their teacher counterparts to engage young people in after-school clubs, educational camps and sports initiatives. Volunteers may . . .

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Good News for northern CA Peace Corps Volunteers

      The Northern California Returned Peace Corps Association knows how valuable Hesperian books are to Peace Corps Volunteers — many used Where There Is No Doctor or our other health resources during their service overseas. But the Peace Corps does not provide every Volunteer with Hesperian’s lifesaving resources. The NorCal RPCV Association wants to remedy that, so they have awarded us a grant to send free books to Peace Corps Volunteers whose US home is in Northern California. This program is brand new, but we have already sent 26 books to PCVs serving in Ecuador, Ghana, Liberia and Lesotho. This grant provides the resources to send 50 more books that support not just the work of PCVs, but also will be left in the host community to ensure that our health information makes a lasting impact. If you are a PCV from Northern California, you can apply on our website. And if you are part . . .

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Where Did the Schizophrenics Go?

    The number drops to 750,000 from 2.8 million, and spending per patient soars.   by Fuller Torrey and Wendy Simmons March 26, 2019 6:56 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal Wondrous are the ways of Washington. In a single day, the federal government officially reduced the number of people with schizophrenia in the United States from 2.8 million to 750,000. With a change of the National Institute of Mental Health website in 2017, two million people with schizophrenia simply disappeared. The 2.8 million estimate, or 1.1% of the adult population, had been the official standard for the U.S. since the 1980s, when the last major prevalence survey was carried out. The figure was provided to Congress in 1993 and used for national estimates such as the cost of schizophrenia. NIMH Director Joshua Gordon wrote in the Psychiatric Times that “the 1.1% figure is no longer scientifically defensible” in view . . .

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From the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute

    Quote of the Week “I recommend that we remember the beginning of the Peace Corps. We risked everything at our beginning in a leap of faith that the Peace Corps would succeed.  … We were a Corps, a band of brothers and sisters united in the conviction that if we worked hard enough to eradicate our fears, and increase the outreach of our love, we truly could avoid war, and achieve peace within our own selves, within our nation, and around the world.” Sargent Shriver | Washington, DC | September 22, 2001 • Our Quote of the Week honors two milestones we’re celebrating this month: the anniversary of Sargent Shriver’s tenure with the Peace Corps, and the birthday William “Bill” Josephson, our senior advisor and a close friend and colleague of Sargent Shriver’s. On March 22, 1961, President Kennedy appointed Sargent Shriver to the post of Director of the Peace Corps. . . .

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Peace Corps Writer Are You on this List?

  I’m updating the list of Peace Corps Writers (This list below is from 2015). Have you published MORE THAN ONE BOOK? Are you a fulltime or part-time writer? Send me your name, Peace Corps and years, and/or drop a note in “Comments”.  I’m trying to keep up with all the great Peace Corps Writers who have recently published books of short stories, poetry, novels, memoirs or nonfiction! Many thanks. p.s. If I have ‘missed’ someone please let me know. I will continue to update this list. D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68 Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65) Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Jim Averbeck (Cameroon 1990-94) Bill Barich (Nigeria 1964-66) Donald Beil (Somalia 1964-66) Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996) Mary Blocksma (Nigeria 1965-67) Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Geri Marr Burdman (Bolivia 1962-64) Craig Carozzi (Colombia 1978-80) Suzy McKee Charnas (Nigeria 1961-63) C. Jai Ferry (Nanette Day, Turkmenistan 1994-1998) Dexter Fisher aka Dexter Cirillo (Colombia, 1965-67) . . .

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Richard Lipez (Ethiopia): Fond memories of a good airline

  Posted Friday, March 22, 2019 10:57 am By Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)   BANGKOK — Most of the parties in the aftermath of the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash, in which 157 died, came out looking bad. The FAA for three days of dithering, Boeing for pushing through certification of a plane with an apparent dangerous flaw, and pretend aviation expert Donald Trump, who privately told officials Boeing’s 737 Max “sucks” before grounding the model because doing so was important “psychologically and a lot of other ways.” Amtrak, anyone? Sadly, Ethiopian Airlines may also have gone down in the estimation of the flying public, and it should not have. The airline has long enjoyed a good safety record. But since Boeing raised no alarms, EAL’s pilots did not receive training for dealing with the new 737 computer software that twice seems to have fatally turned against cockpit crews, in Indonesia in October . . .

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