Author - Marian Haley Beil

1
A Writer Writes: Josh Swiller (Zambia) on having the coronavirus
2
Huff Post — “Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality”
3
YouTube from The New Yorker: Coronavirus Evacuates Peace Corps Volunteers
4
From today’s NY Times (3/25)
5
To the friends and family of recently evacuated Peace Corps volunteers — Katie Hamlin (Madagascar)
6
Talking with David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)
7
Review — ERADICATING SMALLPOX IN ETHIOPIA edited by Barkley, Porterfield, Schnur and Skelton
8
Talking with poet Bill Preston (Thailand)
9
Review — WELCOME TO THE WRITER’S LIFE by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)
10
Review — BE STEADFAST by Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone)

A Writer Writes: Josh Swiller (Zambia) on having the coronavirus

  On March 29th, RPCV writer Josh Swiller (Zambia 1994–96) posted the following on his FaceBook page:   Hi Everyone. Following up on the last post, I’m really seeing how important and supportive it is to share our stories and experiences. On that note, and in answer to the many questions I’ve received, what follows is a more in-depth account of what we went through. The first week of March, Leah attended a group therapy conference in New York City. It has now come to light that dozens of attendees at that conference tested positive or have shown symptoms but couldn’t get tested. In fact, the first person we learned was a confirmed positive was an attendee from Singapore. They tested him as soon as he got off the plane back home as a matter of policy. Leah had sat next to him for two days. Another person who has . . .

Read More

Huff Post — “Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality”

    Recalled Peace Corps Volunteers Are Thrown Into A Terrifying New Reality The 7,300 volunteers face lost stipends, housing and health benefits amid a pandemic and economic crisis.   By Alex Leeds Matthews   Reporter Alex Leeds Matthews served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from January 2014 to October 2015.    

Read More

From today’s NY Times (3/25)

Go to the New York Times site for the article with pictures –     ‘None of Us Saw It Ending This Way’: Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuate Abruptly By Mariel Padilla for the New York Times March 25, 2020 Updated 2:12 p.m. ET • When the agency suspended all operations for the first time in its history, more than 7,000 volunteers in about 60 countries packed their bags, said their goodbyes and rushed to get home. The urgent update from the Peace Corps landed abruptly in the email inboxes of volunteers on March 15: It was time to evacuate. Miguel Garcia, a 27-year-old volunteer leader for the corps in the Dominican Republic, had just reassured someone that the corps would be staying on the job. With a sinking heart, he read the detailed instructions three times. The tears would come later. Now he had a job to do. He had 24 . . .

Read More

To the friends and family of recently evacuated Peace Corps volunteers — Katie Hamlin (Madagascar)

As seen on the Ethiopia and Eritrea RPCVs Facebook page —      To the friends and family of recently evacuated Peace Corps volunteers by Katie Hamlin (Madagascar) Midwest to Madagascar.blogspot • As most people know, this week Peace Corps worldwide made the difficult decision to evacuate and early COS (close of service) all volunteers around the world. Many of us only had a couple days to say our goodbyes while some didn’t even get the chance at all. The evacuation process isn’t easy and the processing of returning to America so abruptly is even harder. So many feelings and emotions are happening all at once along with the upcoming reverse culture shock. In general reverse culture shock is often the hardest part of people’s services and that is even when they have had time to prepare. This new group of volunteers were abruptly sent home and now we don’t . . .

Read More

Talking with David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)

    Americans approaching retirement can redefine their lives and find new fulfillment by pursuing international adventure and service instead of drifting in their familiar jobs. That’s the message of Not Exactly Retired written by David Jarmul, who served as a PCV in Nepal from 1977 to 1979, where he met his wife, Champa, and at the age of 63 David rejoined the Peace Corps and Champa also became a PCV, and they went to Moldova from 2016 to 2018. A graduate of Brown University and past president of the D.C. Science Writers Association, his previous books are Headline News, Science Views and Plain Talk: Clear Communication for International Development.  David was the head of news and communications at Duke University for many years and held senior communications positions at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academy of Sciences. He has also worked as an editor for an international development organization, a writer for . . .

Read More

Review — ERADICATING SMALLPOX IN ETHIOPIA edited by Barkley, Porterfield, Schnur and Skelton

    Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia: Peace Corps Volunteers’ Accounts of Their Adventures, Challenges and Achievements Editors: Gene L. Bartley (Ethiopia 1970–72, 1974–76), John Scott Porterfield (Ethiopia 1971–73), Alan Schnur (Ethiopia 1971–74), James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970–72) Peace Corps Writers 486 pages; 69 photographs November 26, 2019 $ 19.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963–65) • At 465 pages, Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia is a hefty and important book which rightfully deserves an honored place on any shelf of serious books about epidemiology and public health. The book tells the tale of the work that some 73 Peace Corps Volunteers did in the early 1970s with The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Smallpox Eradication Program (SEP), a massive project which ultimately eliminated smallpox from the world. But fear not. The book is entertaining to read. This serious story is served up with large dollops of nostalgia, humor, delightful tales . . .

Read More

Talking with poet Bill Preston (Thailand)

  The poems in Strange Beauty of the World invite readers to reflect on the ways the past impinges on the present, how events long ago continue to inform who we are now; to consider acts taken and not taken, and the way actions have unintended consequences; to bear witness to cruelty and injustice; to summon the creative imagination to resist the mundane, challenge the rehearsed response. In particular, they pay homage to beauty, and its weird, wonderful diversity and expression. As with many aspects of his life, Bill Preston never started out to be a poet. Nor does he really think of himself as one: Strange Beauty of the World is his sole collection of poems, and he currently has no plan to write another. Not that planning has ever been his particular strong point. In fact, Bill never planned on joining the Peace Corps, choosing to serve in VISTA first, . . .

Read More

Review — WELCOME TO THE WRITER’S LIFE by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)

    Welcome to the Writer’s Life: How to Design Your Writing Craft, Writing Business, Writing Practice, and Reading Practice Paulette  Perhach (Paraguay 2008–10) Sasquatch Books 2018 320 pages $18.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970–72) • Most of us have read books about how to write or be a writer, but this book by Paulette Perhach is by far the best “writer’s book” I’ve ever read. When I began reading it, I was pretty sure I could claim to have already become a writer, but before I was halfway through the text I realized I’m still trying to be a writer. By the time I finished reading Welcome to the Writer’s Life, it was clear that it’s not just another writer’s book or a rule book, it’s much more than that, it’s a writer’s ultimate instruction manual on becoming a successful writer. The amount . . .

Read More

Review — BE STEADFAST by Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone)

    Be Steadfast: A Peace Corps Volunteer Journey in Sierra Leone By Bryan J. Meeker (Sierra Leone 2011-13) 361 pages CreateSpace March 2019 $9.99 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • Where to begin? Bryan Meeker has written a wonderful memoir of his Peace Corps service in Sierra Leone. I’ll start with a synopsis from the back cover: “Be Steadfast” is a deeply personal memoir of a Peace Corps volunteer’s service in Sierra Leone. Absent during the decade-long devastating conflict, the Peace Corps returned in 2010 as a symbol of unity and progress. While the Peace Corps had worked in Sierra Leone for decades before the war, many of the traditions and cultural norms changed, leaving these new volunteers to forge brave new paths. Being a volunteer is a transformative experience, expressed in this work with honesty and with an immense amount of love. Not . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.