Author - John Coyne

1
A LIFE UNIMAGINED by Director Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic)
2
RPCVs in Massachusetts collecting clothes, medial supplies and food for Ukraine
3
John Garamendi Speaks with Volodymyr Zelenskyy
4
Peace Corps to start sending volunteers overseas again
5
Putin Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table by Maureen Orth (Colombia)
6
Special Message from the Peace Corps
7
An improved Peace Corps for the next generation
8
Happy Peace Corps Day from Sydney, Australia
9
Rally in Central Phoenix to Support Ukraine
10
Support for Ukraine From One Who Lived There – Douglass Teschner
11
Christine Herbert (Zambia) answers questions on Operation Awesome
12
The day Jack Vaughn threw a punch
13
PCV Jeremy Borovitz in Ukraine
14
STOVES & SUITCASES: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens by Cynthia D. Bertelsen (Paraguay)
15
RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines) died of unknown causes on Monday

A LIFE UNIMAGINED by Director Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic)

  Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1968-71) has devoted his life to public service and the betterment of others. His life story reveals fascinating glimpses into the complex interactions of international development and US foreign policy, but also into the American myth of anyone becoming anything through the power of hard work, determination, and drive. The remarkable journey of this leader in international development, foreign policy, and global business began on Chicago’s South Side. He attended Catholic schools, participated in the Boys Club and Boy Scouts, and read science fiction books at the Chicago Public Library. A graduate of Chicago State University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he spent time as a public school teacher before serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Finding his time there transformative, he turned his energies in direction, and joined the US Agency for International Development (USAID) working on projects in Honduras, . . .

Read More

RPCVs in Massachusetts collecting clothes, medial supplies and food for Ukraine

About 1,500 pounds of supplies are on their way to Ukraine from Massachusetts. Three former Peace Corps volunteers in Stoughton collected clothing, medical supplies and food to send to two shelters in western Ukraine and a children’s hospital in Lviv. The group has also collected more than $3,500 in cash to help them ship the supplies overseas. “I thought it would be a few friends and family I bribed to help, and my house (Friday) had 800 pounds of boxes that we dropped off (Saturday),” said Norfolk resident Katie Yanosick, who helped organize the effort. Yanosick said 60 boxes totaling 1,500 pounds were shipped on Saturday. The group is going to keep collecting supplies to send to Ukraine. If you are interested in supporting their mission, click this link to reach their Amazon Wish List. Donations can also be made to @katherine-yanosick on Venmo. Yanosick said some of the donations will . . .

Read More

John Garamendi Speaks with Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) On Saturday, Rep. John Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68), a senior member of the armed services committee spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s invasion. He joined a one-hour briefing with 50 members of Congress. Garamendi, who represents parts of Northern California between Sacramento and San Francisco, shared his candid conversation with Zelenskyy. “He knows that he is at the top of the kill list, and he knows that his life is in jeopardy but he has pushed that aside to lead this nation. An incredible man of courage and leadership,” Garamendi said. Garamendi said Ukraine’s president emphasized that Russian forces are moving away from targeting the Ukrainian military and are now attacking communities. “He went into detail about high schools, kindergarten schools, apartment buildings, government buildings, presumably with the intent of breaking the wheel of the Ukrainian people,” Garamendi . . .

Read More

Peace Corps to start sending volunteers overseas again

By LISA RATHKE Associated Press, March 5, 2022 The Peace Corps will start sending volunteers overseas again in mid-March after it evacuated them from posts around the world two years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government program announced Thursday. An initial group of new volunteers and those who were evacuated in March 2020 as the coronavirus began to spread across the globe will go to Zambia and the Dominican Republic this month, according to a Peace Corps statement. The Peace Corps plans to return volunteers to their posts throughout the year, based on the number of COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity in the host country and the Peace Corps’ ability to transport volunteers to medical evacuation centers if there’s an emergency. It is currently recruiting for 24 posts. Besides their primary work on local issues, volunteers will be involved in COVID-19 response and recovery, the Peace Corps . . .

Read More

Putin Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table by Maureen Orth (Colombia)

Putin’s Character Was Clear Long Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table By Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Vanity Fair Magazine March 4, 2022 • Today, the world sees Vladimir Putin from a distance, isolated at the end of a very long table. When I first met him, in September 2000, he was at a very different table, in a private room at New York’s 21 Club, at a dinner hosted by Tom Brokaw for 20 or so media luminaries. Brokaw had interviewed the recently elected Russian president for NBC a few months earlier. I was invited because I had just closed a lengthy profile of Putin for Vanity Fair, and also because my late husband, Tim Russert, was the anchor of NBC’s Meet the Press.   The number one topic was why Putin had not interrupted his vacation when the Russian Kursk submarine sank, killing all 118 crew members. By then, Russians were fed up with . . .

Read More

Special Message from the Peace Corps

Special Edition Chief Executive Officer’s Message In this special edition of Inside Peace Corps, I want to acknowledge the fear and heartache we all have for the people and the country of Ukraine. Ukraine has been a partner to the Peace Corps since 1992. In the 30 years since, nearly 3,500 Volunteers have been warmly welcomed into communities across the country. Our hearts go out to these community members and long-time members of the Peace Corps network as well as all Ukrainians. It has been so incredibly moving to witness the outpouring of support for Ukraine from around the world, including from within the Peace Corps network. I am forever in awe of how this group of global leaders comes together in moments like these to stand for world peace and friendship. In response to the refugees coming across the Ukrainian border, our Peace Corps/Moldova team has been working around the . . .

Read More

An improved Peace Corps for the next generation

Community Voices: An improved Peace Corps for the next generation by David Schaad (Iran 1971-73) The United States is on the verge of sending our most valued treasure — our people — overseas to serve as Peace Corps volunteers once again. For the past two years, the Peace Corps, like much of the world, has been grounded by COVID-19, with no volunteers currently serving abroad. This is about to change, and as the Peace Corps gets ready to relaunch, it’s my hope, as a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Iran from 1971 to 1973, that it does so even better than before. The good news is that this is possible. While nearly 7,000 Americans serving in some 60 countries came home in 2020, the 240,000 Americans who served since the agency’s founding in 1961 didn’t sit still. We organized, drew on the knowledge and experience of the community, . . .

Read More

Happy Peace Corps Day from Sydney, Australia

    “Following up on the idea he launched at the University of Michigan, President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. Three days later, R. Sargent Shriver became its first Director. Deployment was rapid: Volunteers began serving in five countries in 1961. In just under six years, Director Shriver developed programs in 55 countries with more than 14,500 Volunteers.”   Peace Corps is one of President Kennedy’s greatest living legacies. I never had the privilege of serving as a PCV, but I did have the honor of working for Peace Corps HQs for four years — in the department that handles the recruitment and placement of Volunteers — and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I love that I am still connected to so many of my Peace Corps friends. Here I am in 1995 with the first Director . . .

Read More

Rally in Central Phoenix to Support Ukraine

Hundreds march, rally in central Phoenix to support Ukraine, end Russian invasion by Haleigh Kochanski Arizona Republic Hundreds of members and supporters of the Ukrainian community in Phoenix gathered Sunday to march in support of Ukraine’s independence and demand an end to Russia’s violent attacks on the country. People began assembling at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in the area of Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road at noon to prepare signs for the march. “The freedom march is to support Ukraine, get heavier sanctions now, urge everybody to stop buying Russian oil and gas, and basically to get Putin out of Ukraine,” said Vera Hoerner, secretary with the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America. “There is no reason for this to be happening. Ukraine did not provoke anybody.” Hoerner’s cousin, Nadiya Nava, said she has many family members in Ukraine. “I have friends and cousins, my father, sisters, nephews. I talk with my . . .

Read More

Support for Ukraine From One Who Lived There – Douglass Teschner

To the Editor Caledonian Record   I had the great pleasure to live in Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, serving as country director for the Peace Corps. I oversaw the work of some 1000 Americans of all ages who served across that nation, teaching English, developing communities, and supporting youth. I traveled throughout the country and found the Ukrainians to be warm, welcoming, and ready to embrace a better future after so many years of Soviet and Russian domination. In my last year, we evacuated all the American volunteers just before the Russians invaded Crimea and areas of eastern Ukraine. I cannot begin to describe how heartbroken our Americans were to depart this nation they had come to love, leaving behind so many friends and colleagues. I returned to Ukraine in 2019 as part of an international election observer team organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. . . .

Read More

Christine Herbert (Zambia) answers questions on Operation Awesome

    Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ? Don’t wait for the “perfect idea” to arrive before writing. Just get those fingers on the keyboard. The ideas will come.  What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader? Above all, I want the readers to laugh. Hard. In my face. (Okay, not literally. Please don’t show up at my door, point to a page in my book and guffaw. That would be weird.) Because my book deals with a challenging time in my life—namely living in a mud hut in the middle of Africa by myself—there’s going to be a lot of emotions flying around. There are some truly soul crushing moments in there; I’m not going to lie. But mostly I wrote the book as a way to laugh at myself, and I hope the reader will too. What is . . .

Read More

The day Jack Vaughn threw a punch

  A friend who worked overseas and at HQ sent me this story of when he worked for Jack Vaughn as the Peace Corps Liaison Officer to the Department of State. • “I was invited to a meeting at State,” he wrote. “When I got into the room, there were some 15 different agency representatives seated around a large round table. The person at the head of the table was acting as its Chair — probably from State’s Intel Services. He posed this question: ‘Which agency here has access to what is going on in the villages of our world; which agency has people in the field that speak their languages; which agency has the most credibility with these villagers; which agency can report back to us on a regular basis in reference to what’s going on out there that we need to know about?’” “As he moved his finger . . .

Read More

PCV Jeremy Borovitz in Ukraine

Ukraine taught me a very Jewish concept: hope By Jeremy Borovitz, JTA (Ukraine 2010-12) • I watch what is happening in Ukraine and I feel helpless, scared for the state of the world, terrified for my friends and former students and anxious about the future of the place that I called home for nearly four years of my life. When I first arrived in Ukraine 12 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer, I didn’t speak the language, was intimidated by the culture and was plagued by stories of pogroms and mass shootings that had penetrated the Jewish collective trauma. Imagine my surprise (not to mention the surprise of my family and friends back home in the United States) when it was Ukraine, and life in a small Ukrainian village, that led to my own spiritual awakening, which brought me closer to Torah, prayer and God, and which was the . . .

Read More

STOVES & SUITCASES: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens by Cynthia D. Bertelsen (Paraguay)

  Take a girl with an iffy start in life. Mix in wanderlust and cooking. And lots of books. Add a dollop of yearning for home and belonging. Knead in a pinch of self-discovery. Let rise and ripen. The result is Cynthia D. Bertelsen’s Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens, a reflective and rollicking saga that begins in an incubator. Cookbooks soon pique her wanderlust and her longing to be elsewhere. A semester abroad in Mexico and a stint in the Peace Corps ignite those embers of wanderlust. That fire never stops burning. Years of living and working and cooking in the developing world follow, with long-term sojourns in Honduras, Haiti, Morocco, and Burkina Faso. It’s an age-old tale of leaving home to find home. Stoves & Suitcases has been named Best in Food Writing in the USA for 2022 by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Cynthia  has also written: Mushroom: . . .

Read More

RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines) died of unknown causes on Monday

  Bob Beckel, (Philippines 1971-72) former Democratic Party activist who later in life became a Fox News anchor — until he was fired in 2017 after being charged with racist comments — died Monday of unknown causes, Fox News said Monday. He was 73. “My friend and spiritual brother, Bob Beckel, has stepped into the presence of the Lord he loved. We’ve done so many things together and I hope we showed what two people with different political persuasions can be like when they love each other,” columnist Cal Thomas wrote about Beckel on Facebook on Monday. “For ten years we wrote the “Common Ground” column for USA Today, and a book by that title. The title of his ironically titled autobiography is I Should Be Dead. It is a very readable book about a difficult life that has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. See you soon Bob. . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.