Peace Corps writers

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My Life in the Peace Corps by Shad Engkilterra (Guinea)
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RPCV Suanna Ausema (Guatemala) writes I SPY . . . ISLE ROYALE
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Sweet William (Peru) publishes JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT: 1960–1968
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Two Novels by Eric Madeen (Gabon)
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Chris Roesel (Guatemala) has published HOW TO IMPROVE THE WORLD QUICKLY
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The World Premiere of I HEART MAROC by Azadui Safo (Morocco)
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Bats, Novel by Cathie Smith Keenan (Afghanistan)
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CUAHI LI HIX – Peace Corps stories by Barbara Wheeler (Belize)
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RPCV Reverend Charles Cloughen (Micronesia) writes a book about money
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Multi-genre writer RPCV Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)

My Life in the Peace Corps by Shad Engkilterra (Guinea)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marian Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64)   Shad Engkilterra writes…. “When I left for the Peace Corps in 1998, I knew I was in for “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” I just didn’t know what that meant. One thing that I did understand was that I would need support from my family and friends in the U.S. to get through the experience. I wrote many letters home to keep them informed of my experience, and to give us something we could discuss when I returned to America. In country, I took on the duties of providing public health and community development resources. I trained a health agent to give talks on AIDS and hygiene, and I organized and found funding for the renovation of the community health center. My partner was the doctor at the health center. We worked hand-in-hand. He helped me avoid cultural . . .

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RPCV Suanna Ausema (Guatemala) writes I SPY . . . ISLE ROYALE

  U.P. Notable Book Club features Susanna Ausema, author of “I Spy🔎… Isle Royale” on Sep 9th 2021   The Crystal Falls  [MI] Community District Library, in partnership with the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association, has scheduled author events with winners of the U.P. [Upper Peninsula] Notable Book List. The ninth event is with U.P. author and park ranger Susanna Ausema (Guatemala 1988-91), who will present her award-winning children’s book “I Spy… Isle Royale.” The talk is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, on the Zoom platform. To participate in the program, contact Evelyn Gathu in advance by email at egathu@uproc.lib.mi.us or call 906-875-3344. These talks are open to all U.P. residents free of charge. They recommend participants borrow a copy of the book from the local library or purchase from a bookseller in advance to get the most out of the events. Currently the book can be purchased from . . .

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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 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. Senate, he visited Peru . . .

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Two Novels by Eric Madeen (Gabon)

  MIXING IT UP ON THE ASIAN TRAIL …”So I get up at dawn … marveling at fog burning off into mist tumbling down like the finest mosquito netting of silk … The hills beyond the confluence, like shoulders of a woman undressing, the way the shroud of mist lifts off feminine curves, higher and higher … I tingle all over, feeling there on Borneo the dream tug of Joseph Conrad’s fiction.” By turns pathbreaking and intimate, this smorgasbord of travel essays scales down the sprawl of Asia by focusing on the unique and revelatory in sharp, crisp prose. See up close and personal the razzmatazz of novice monks at play in northern Laos, the hustle of pedicab drivers in Ho Chi Minh City, the rainforests blazed on gutsy treks across Borneo and Thailand’s Elephant Island …Served up nice and spicy, Asian Trail Mix is travel at its most sumptuous. . . .

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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 World Premiere of I HEART MAROC by Azadui Safo (Morocco)

  In the World Premiere of her solo show I Heart Maroc Azo Safo introduces us to the lives of rural Moroccans who she worked with as a twenty-four-year-old Peace Corps volunteer during the height of the Bush Administration’s war on Iraq. On the quest to find her life’s purpose with the wide-eyed, innocent hope of changing the world, she is thrust into a culture she has to figure out using her Armenian-American immigrant sensibilities. Beginning with learning the Berber language that she is told she is too kesoula to learn, she must navigate anti-American sentiment and win over ALL the villagers while nurturing a budding romance with her Moroccan true love, Mohammed. Will she get through her two-year service in one piece, or will she obey her Armenian immigrant mother’s wishes and move back to Glendale to marry an Armenian dentist? Azo Safo (Azadui Safo Morocco 2006-08) is an Armenian-American actor, writer, . . .

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Bats, Novel by Cathie Smith Keenan (Afghanistan)

  Bats is an unlikely love story set in a small New England town. It is the tale of misfits of differing sizes and shapes. Jean Woodland has lived her entire life in Derby but never quite fit in. Socially awkward, she has always been an outsider, unable or unwilling to identify with her neighbors or her students. Mylo, the handsome guy who bags groceries at the local market, lives on the margins of society in a residence for disabled adults. Disarmingly friendly and kind, he makes Jean feel distinctly uncomfortable, but she finds his deep-seated desire to help impossible to deflect. Then there are the bats. Discoveries follow. A bat colony on the brink of extinction. A land development company with fifty more houses to build. The thrill of activism. Next-door neighbors whose livelihood depends on the development. Raising three children, the family have enough problems. A town grapples . . .

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CUAHI LI HIX – Peace Corps stories by Barbara Wheeler (Belize)

  Imagine yourself at 22, barely a year out of college, and the United States government determines that you are qualified to not only teach — (yes, we have all been there, but also to live on your own in a remote Mayan village in southern Belize: no running water, no electricity, no mode of transportation other than your own two feet. It could be a complete disaster . . . or a recipe for a delightful novel retelling the hilarity! “Cuahi li hix” (qua hee lee heesh) is a common farewell salutation offered by the Mayans to bring forth luck to the traveler. Literally translated, it means “Beware the tiger!” This may seem odd since there are no tigers in Central America, but volunteers soon learned that “tiger” comes in many forms: snakes, bats, scorpions, voracious insects, monkeys, turkeys, rabid dogs, illnesses, and, yes, sometimes even jaguars. Cuahi li Hix describes . . .

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RPCV Reverend Charles Cloughen (Micronesia) writes a book about money

  An Episcopal priest for more than 50 years and the Planned Giving Officer at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, Maryland, the Rev. Charles Cloughen Jr. ’64 [Micronesia 1966–68] lends his insights on giving to his new book, One Minute Stewardship, Creative Ways to Talk about Money in Church. With both practical wisdom and theological insight into how churches can increase their financial resources, Cloughen has collected meditations from faith leaders around the country to create a year-round resource for rectors, pastors, ministers, worship leaders and anyone concerned about their churches’ stewardship. At the heart of the Reverend’s theology of stewardship, he says, are six key words: thank you, thank you, thank you. “It’s all about personal relationships,” Cloughen says. “Generosity and gratitude grows. People who are generous become more generous.” Inspired by the story of the widow’s mite from the Gospel of Mark, Cloughen’s theology of stewardship also includes the . . .

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Multi-genre writer RPCV Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)

  Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.   Recently, we interviewed  Carolyn V. Hamilton Proctor (Suriname 1999-01) a multi-genre author, with books published in mystery, romance, memoir, and non-fiction as well as adult coloring books about her writing, and recently released, Elisabeth Samson, Forbidden Bride, a poignant and powerful historical drama.     Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and a graduate of Antioch University Seattle, she spent over 30 years in the real world of “Mad Men.” She is also a Success Coach for memoir writers, and manages the FB group, Aspiring Memoir Writers. She currently lives way up in the Andes in the World Heritage City of Cuenca, Ecuador. Besides writing and mentoring, Border Collies, chocolate-covered raisins, art journaling and painting in watercolor are favorite activities. Carolyn V. Hamilton is proud to have served 2 years in the Peace Corps (which inspired her first novel) . . .

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