Author - John Coyne

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RPCV in Deep Space
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Step # 8 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Here today, Ghana Tomorrow
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RPCV Janet Riehl Talks about Self-publishing
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africa-remembered
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Review: Let Them Eat Junk
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Step # 7:Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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Peace Corps Volunteers Smart Power Declares Senator Kit Bond
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Step #6: Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, and Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!
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RPCV Governor Doyle To Be New Peace Corps Director?

RPCV in Deep Space

Dan Curry (Thailand 1969-73) who is a seven-time Emmy Award winner for his visionary work on the various STAR TREK television series: ENTERPRISE; DEEP SPACE NINE; VOYAGER; and THE NEXT GENERATION started out in the Peace Corps building small dams and bridges in rural Northeast Thailand. Wait! Is Tom Hanks’ Volunteer really based on Dan’s Peace Corps tour? Dan, who is from New York City, majored in Fine Arts at Middlebury College, then joined the Peace Corps and stayed on in Thailand after his tour to work freelance in art and film production. It was during these years that he was awarded a commission from the King of Thailand as production designer for the Royal Ball. Coming home, he worked next as a bio-medical illustrator, taught fine arts at a New England college, and got his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Theatre at Humboldt State University. Then . . .

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Step # 8 Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

Step #8 A GI Bill for RPCVs The President’s Transition Team highlighted the fact that the Peace Corps never has fulfilled the promise of the Third Goal. This problem lies within the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps looks overseas. It doesn’t have the mind set to understand, as the Transition Team reported, “the power of returned Volunteer cultural and linguistic skills in the new multi-cultural America; show that Peace Corps service abroad helps solve problems here at home-completing the loop for Peace Corps; and create a re-employment stream for returned Volunteers. Taxpayers will see an impact at home (as teachers, public health workers and more). Over time, this grows into more support, first for overseas mission, and then for the domestic goal.” So what does the Director have to get the White House and Congress to do? 1.) Raise the Readjustment Allowance for RPCVs from $6,000 to $10,000. It has been at . . .

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Here today, Ghana Tomorrow

An article yesterday, June 30, about the Peace Corps in Ghana appeared in a Ghanaian newspaper written by RPCV Phillip Kurata . Kurata works for the State Department and writes for www.America.gov, a webiste of the State Department, that distributes news of the U.S. to the world. I thought you’d like to read what they are saying at State about us. Of course, Kurata is one of us. The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Accra on the afternoon of September 1, 1961. The article has the arrival date in Ghana as August 30, but it was the afternoon of September1, 1961 according to John Demos, a member of the Ghana I. Fifty PCVs met Kennedy on the White House lawn, then went to a send-off party at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on August 31. “Many libations were poured,” recalls Demos, a 1959 graduate of Harvard who had also done graduate work at Berkeley before . . .

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RPCV Janet Riehl Talks about Self-publishing

Recently Claire Applewhite, author of The Wrong Side of Memphis, posed some questions to Janet Grace Riehl (Botswana 1972-73 & Ghana 1973-75). Riehl is the author of Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary, a self-published book of story poems, many of which center on her family. This interview appeared a few weeks ago in Jane Henderson’s Book Column in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch . Janet lives in southern Illinois, graduating from Alton High School in 1967, then earned a master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University/Edwardsville and where she was co-editor of the poetry magazine, Sou’Wester. She lived and worked for five years in Ghana and Botswana with the Peace Corps and then the British World Friends (Quakers). She lived in California for a while before returning to Midwest. In this interview by Claire Applewhite, Janet sums up the various ways to get published today. What do you think it takes to get . . .

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Review: Let Them Eat Junk

Let Them Eat Junk by Robert Albritton and published this year in the U.K. by Pluto Press and Canada by Arbeiter Ring [“left-wing politics with a rock-n- roll attitude”],  is reviewed by fellow Ethiopia 2 RPCV Philip Damon. It is an impressive review of an important book. • Let Them Eat Junk by Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1963–65) London, UK: Pluto Press; Winnipeg, Canada: Arbeiter Ring Publishing April, 2009 224 pages Reviewed by Philip Damon (Ethiopia 1963–65) To his credit, Rob Albritton never employs the tired cliché “a perfect storm” in his acid analysis of the world’s runaway food crisis. Instead, he coyly alludes in his title to the “callous indifference” of a much earlier elite of power and privilege, whose post-royalist inheritors he specifies in the subtitle: How Capitalism Creates Hunger and Obesity. Yet he could have applied the meteorological metaphor every bit as aptly, since with a planetary population . . .

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Step # 7:Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, And Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

Step # 7: Curtailing APCDs I remember a period of time–perhaps six months–in 1965 when there were 450 PCVs in Ethiopia working mostly teachers, nurses and highway surveyors and there were a total of 4 APCDs. Like all bureaucracies overseas staffs have grown and grown in 50 years. It is the nature of the beast. Now is the time to try it a new way. A couple true stories. A good friend would worked in HQ in the early days, then much later as a CD in Africa, said that what was needed as a CD was someone with  counseling skills, not management or development experience, and that she spent much of her days talk with emotionally distraught PCVs. It is not for naught that psychological payments are so high in the agency when the PCVs come home again. Working as an APCD in Ethiopia, I had under my supervision a . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers Smart Power Declares Senator Kit Bond

When a conservative and right-winger like Senator Bond of Missouri states that the Peace Corps is “Smart Power” and “one of the best examples of our nation’s smart power,” and then go onto say “Peace Corps Volunteers have fostered lasting, positive relationships between the United States and nations across the globe through grassroots efforts” we have to start asking, “What’s in the water on Capital Hill? Here a statement by Sen Kit Bond that I picked up off Newsmax.com at 8:06 PM this Monday evening, June 29. (Maybe the More or Bold Peace Corps campaign is really working.) By: Sen. Kit Bond In less-developed nations around the world too many people are suffering from governments that don’t work; too little food to feed their families; lack of clean water and other basic necessities like shelter and clothes; and little hope for a better life. These people, whether they live in Africa, Southeast . . .

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Step #6: Ten Steps For The Next Peace Corps Director To Take To Improve The Agency, Save Money, and Make All PCVs & RPCV Happy!

50 + PCVs Within the last years of his tour as Peace Corps Director, Ron T­­schetter   launched an effort to target and recruit older Volunteers. This sort of effort has a history within the agency. It has been tried by various directors in years past, going back to Shriver. Ron, by the way, served with “senior cititzen” Lillian Carter, the president’s mother, back in 1968. Recruiting older PCVs is a worthy effort. When I was the Regional Manager of the New York Recruitment Office, Recruiters actively sought out older applicants who proved to be outstanding Volunteers, some returning home to sign up for a second and third tour. It is not an unwise decision to retire at 55 from a school system in the US, stash the social security checks and TIAA/CREF monies, and let the government pay for two years of travel, adventure, and doing good in the world as a . . .

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RPCV Governor Doyle To Be New Peace Corps Director?

A local Wisconsin paper columnist Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer writes this weekend that RPCV Jim Doyle (Tunisia 1967-69) is President Obama’s pick to be the Peace Corps Director. Amy spins it this way: “Our ethically-challenged Governor, Jim Doyle, is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to sign off on the Wisconsin state budget.  This is a budget that includes huge increases in taxes and fees.  Huge increases in spending – unprecedented during times of high unemployment and a recession.  And when all is said and done, Wisconsin will still be over $2,600,000,000.00 in debt.” The rumor in Wisconsin is that Doyle is on his way out, headed for D.C. as the new head of the agency. At the moment Doyle’s approval ratings are in the low 30’s,  and he has little chance, according to Amy Geiger-Hemmer,  of winning another term against Republicans Scott Walker or Mark Neumann in 2010. ” We’ll see. Remember, Republicans have been wrong before. At least we know that this governor won’t be headed to Argentina!

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