Author - Marian Haley Beil

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Another review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum
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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach (Colombia)
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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021
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Sweet William (Peru) publishes JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT: 1960–1968
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“Hitching a Ride to Tikal” by Alan Jackson (Belize)
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Chris Roesel (Guatemala) has published HOW TO IMPROVE THE WORLD QUICKLY
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The Volunteer Who Was at the Epicenter of Contemporary National Events — Ben Bradlee, Jr. (Afghanistan)
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The Volunteer Exemplar for the Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal — Pat Wand (Colombia)
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The Volunteer Who Became “One of the Most Influential Observers of American Politics”*— Chris Matthews (Swaziland)
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Review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum

Another review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum

  Afghanistan at a Time of Peace by Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers June, 2021 201 pages $25.00 (paperback), $10.00 (Kindle) Reviewed by John Chromy (India 1963–65) • Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1970-72) has brought to us a wonderful reminder of how Peace Corps operated in faraway lands 50 years ago.The Volunteers remembered President Kenndy’s “ringing call to service” and they were ready to go to the ends of the earth to serve, to learn and to teach. Ms. Varnum’s narrative begins with the three day PRIST (pre-Invitational Staging) program in Chicago in which the potential volunteers were briefed, provided with vast amounts of information on Peace Corps and Afghanistan, and given the choice to go to Afghanistan or not. If they said yes, two months later they were on their way to Kabul and three months of in-country training. The description of sights, emotions, excitement and . . .

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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach (Colombia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)   How does one write about the career of Charles “Chic” Dambach –and still do justice to it in 1.5 pages! Let me try, though my effort may prove to be a poor candle in bringing it to light. Chic, to his global friends and associates, began his journey after graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1967, which he attended on a football scholarship as an outstanding college prospect. According to a review of his memoir Exhaust the Limits, the Life and Times of a Global Peacebuilder by another Volunteer, Bob Arias, Chic came upon racism on the playing fields of his school — and met it head on. It just wasn’t another game for Chic, fighting racist attitudes was his first challenge and he reached out to make a difference, an attitude that infused his professional life thereafter. Chic . . .

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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a book and 2) to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.   In addition to the books listed below, Marian has on her shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Join in our Third Goal effort!!! • My . . .

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Sweet William (Peru) publishes JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT: 1960–1968

  In this fast-paced, fact-packed memoir of The Sixties, a veteran social activist (WM Evensen Peru 1964-66) recalls the idealism of the Kennedy Brothers’ push for peace and how it shaped him and others to become peacemakers. With eloquent words the brothers laid out their peace agenda — from JFK’s call in 1960 to join the New Frontier to RFK’s “End the War” Presidential Campaign of 1968.   In June of 1963, JFK’s “Strategy of Peace” speech given in response to the nuclear-war standoff with Russia, motivated a recently graduated UCLA couple to volunteer for the Peace Corps. They were assigned to serve in Peru. This richly informed memoir documents how these two Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), and others, made a difference in U.S. international relations in ways that money could never buy.  The emotional heart of this book is the emergence of RFK. Following his 1964 election to the U.S. . . .

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“Hitching a Ride to Tikal” by Alan Jackson (Belize)

Alan and Keith were Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize, Central America, from 1976 to 1978. Alan was stationed in Belize City where he was assigned to the Fisheries Unit Laboratory, and boarded with a young Belizean family. Keith was posted to the Mopan Mayan village of San Antonio in Toledo District and advised a beekeeper and honey cooperative. Keith lived in a thatch hut without electricity or running water. • Hitching a Ride to Tikal By Alan Jackson   Both Keith and I had to work the annual Agricultural and Trade Show on Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23, 1978, in Belmopan, Belize. The Ag Show is like a small county fair with dozens of thatched booths displaying the various goods and products of government and private industry. The British military usually had some of their weapons on display, too. The two-day fair also included food stalls, horse racing, . . .

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Chris Roesel (Guatemala) has published HOW TO IMPROVE THE WORLD QUICKLY

  Based on having worked in numerous developing countries, initially as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, then in Asia, Africa and the Americas, and my studies at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the following is the program I have developed, and discuss fully in How to Improve the World Quickly to improve the health, nutrition and water quality of any community in the world. • Require upfront community buy-in for collaboration; • Meet and consult the local authorities;  • Convene a community meeting and plan with the community, using the Future Search Conference Methodology (futuresearch.net/methodology), condensed into two days; • Initiate baseline survey of water, diarrhea, malaria, and income;  • Invite bids for state of the art work from local contractors; • Sign and supervise contracts; • Install at least one well and rainwater collection facility;  • Refurbish or build latrines.  • Ensure malaria prevention (LLITNs—long lasting insecticide treated . . .

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The Volunteer Who Was at the Epicenter of Contemporary National Events — Ben Bradlee, Jr. (Afghanistan)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65) • BEN BRADLEE, JR.* WAS A copy boy at the Boston Globe during summers before graduating from Colby College in Maine with a major in Political Science. He then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan from 1970 to 1972, where he reported for an English-language newspaper in Kabul. Returning home, Ben went into a journalistic career which placed him at the center of several national events, beginning by working for several years at the Riverside Press in California. He then spent most of his journalistic career at the Boston Globe. There he was successively State House reporter, investigative reporter, national correspondent, political editor, and metropolitan editor. In 1993, he was promoted to Assistant Managing Editor responsible for investigations and projects. In that role, Ben edited the Globe’s reportage that uncovered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston’s repeated cover-ups of . . .

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The Volunteer Exemplar for the Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal — Pat Wand (Colombia)

  by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Patricia A. Wand, Pat to her hosts of friends and associates across planet earth, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia from 1963 to 1965 after graduating cum laude in history from Seattle University’s Honors Program. As a rural community development and health education volunteer she taught nutrition, sewing, knitting, and public health and worked with local juntas to build three schools and a bridge. In 1969, she was on Peace Corps staff in the Eastern Caribbean. Thereafter, writing about and detailing her professional career at home and abroad is an exhausting task—as Pat somehow discovered how to get more than 24 hours out of a work day and seven days out of a week! In Pat’s own words, this is how she described her Peace Corps experience. A half century ago, service as a Peace Corps Volunteer introduced me to a . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became “One of the Most Influential Observers of American Politics”*— Chris Matthews (Swaziland)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris — Colombia, 1963-65 •   Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968–70) recently published a book entitled: This Country: My Life in Politics and History (2021) As one reviewer commented: Chris “shares the many stories that show us the greatness of our nation and her people.” And another stating: “. . . a must read for all, no matter where you self-identify on the current political spectrum.”. So, who is this former Volunteer that was so instrumental in green-lighting Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal while providing ‘friend and foe’ alike some great insights into the cultural values that have informed his public commentary and world view”? After graduating from Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, Chris pursued a Ph. D. in Economics at the University of North Carolina. Then, after completing his graduate studies, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland. There his two years of service as a . . .

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Review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum

  Afghanistan at a Time of Peace by Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers June, 2021 201 pages $25.00 (paperback), $10.00 (Kindle) Reviewed by Will Irwin (Afghanistan 1966–67) • Robin Varnum tells the story of serving as a PCV in Ghazni, Afghanistan in 1972–73 with her husband Mark and another PCV, Juri Zagarins, fluidly and with engaging detail, from beginning to end. Afghanistan at a Time of Peace (Peace Corps Writers, 2021) is a nicely-designed volume, liberally illustrated with color photos taken by Juri when she was in her early 20s and newly married. Robin tells her story chronologically, from the invitation she and Mark received to go to Afghanistan in December 1971 as TEFLers through training, their assignment to teach in Ghazni, and the quotidian and unusual experiences they had living and teaching there until their departure in December 1973. A sampling of each: Bouts with amoebic dysentery for all . . .

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