Peace Corps writers

1
Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras) NEIGHBORS: ORAL HISTORY FROM MADERA CALIFORNIA, VOL.2
2
“Order and Progress: A Brazilian Peace Corps Saga” by Jack Epstein and Chuck Fortin
3
Latest book by Martha Egan (Venezuela) — RELICARIOS: THE FORGOTTEN JEWELS OF LATIN AMERICA
4
M Jackson (Zambia): THE SECRET LIVES OF GLACIERS
5
SPLENDORS OF SYDNEY by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
6
YOU TRY PAA: A LOVE SONG IN TRANSLATION by Cythia Ann Caul (Ghana)
7
AROUND THE HORN AND BACK by Michael Banister (Ethiopia)
8
“Teacher” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)
9
LEARNING PEACE by Krista Jolivette (Ethiopia)
10
FROM THESE BROKEN STREETS by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)

Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras) NEIGHBORS: ORAL HISTORY FROM MADERA CALIFORNIA, VOL.2

  There are all sorts of history books. Some are based upon numbers from old records, others discuss ideas and some review facts. This book is based upon testimony. Called oral history, it begins with an interview which is then transcribed. . . . All subjects had the opportunity to edit factual errors and/or omissions. Numbers can offer insights. For instance, Madera has been a Hispanic town for decades. According to the 2015 U.S. Census estimate, more than three quarters of the inhabitants were Hispanic (79.8%). Nearly one third (32.2%) were born in another country and of these, the vast majority were born in Latin America. At time of this printing (2020), more than half of the population speaks Spanish or Spanish and English. Only about one third speak English only. The population is younger, less educated and much poorer than the California average.— Lawrence F. Lihosit • Neighbors: Oral History From . . .

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“Order and Progress: A Brazilian Peace Corps Saga” by Jack Epstein and Chuck Fortin

Thanks for the ‘heads up” from Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96)   Our RPCVGulf Coast Florida zoomed an extraordinary presentation last Saturday with the two authors of a “Brazilian Peace Corps Saga.”  I believe it would be of interest to PCW readers.  Here are the authors’ bios and an abstract.  It’s not in book form, but is an article that will be published in Brazil. — Leita Kaldi Jack Epstein (Brazil 1968-70) received a BA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. He is the foreign wire editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. He previously headed the newspaper’s foreign service department, overseeing coverage by freelancers and stringers from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In 1993, he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he worked until 1999 primarily for the Associated Press and TIME magazine. Charles Fortin (Brazil 1968-70) earned his doctoral degree through the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex . . .

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Latest book by Martha Egan (Venezuela) — RELICARIOS: THE FORGOTTEN JEWELS OF LATIN AMERICA

  Relicarios — finely crafted, bi-faced lockets of gold or silver that are artifacts of the Spanish Colonial era. These exquisite jewels containing devotional imagery protected by glass may include paintings on vellum, nacre, alabaster, copper, or ivory; prints; or miniature sculptures of boxwood, ivory, alabaster, or tagua. Although tons of relics were imported from Europe, particularly by Jesuits, in general only high-status individuals wore relicarios containing relics. Relicarios attest to colonists’ dedication to their favorite Virgins and saints as well as fealty to church and crown. As powerful amulets they protected wearers in a precarious world. Relicarios reflects forty years of the Martha’s research, including correspondence and interviews with relicarieros, art historians, curators, collectors, silversmiths, anticuarios, and clergy as well as the author’s collection of several hundred examples. Photos commissioned from leading art photographers in the Americas were mostly unpublished until this handsome volume. • Relicarios: The Forgotten Jewels of Latin America by . . .

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M Jackson (Zambia): THE SECRET LIVES OF GLACIERS

  Geographer, adventurer, environmental educator, 2018 TED Fellow and National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer Dr. M Jackson studies and writes about glaciers and climate change worldwide. Seeking to understand the wild diversity and complexity that exists between people and ice, Jackson lived for a year on the south-eastern coast of Iceland, chronicling in The Secret Lives of Glaciers the cultural and societal impacts of glacier change on local communities. Jackson interviewed hundreds of Icelanders living in close proximity to ice, seeking to understand just what was at stake as the island’s ice disappeared. Painstakingly detailed, Jackson recounts stories of glaciers told by people throughout the region, stories exploring the often conflicting and controversial plasticity of glaciers, the power glaciers enact in society, the possible sentience of glaciers, and the range of intertwined positive and negative consequences glacier change produces throughout Iceland. The Secret Lives of Glaciers reaches beyond Iceland and touches on changing glaciers everywhere, . . .

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SPLENDORS OF SYDNEY by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

Steve’s latest travel book on Sydney, Australia (Russia)   Australia is a country of superlatives, and Sydney is its principal gateway. “The Everything City” has a vibrant city center; the stunning Opera House overlooking bustling Sydney Harbour; world-class fine arts, contemporary, and maritime museums; the country’s largest zoo and its oldest botanical garden; an excellent bus, train, light rail, and ferry transit network; a multicultural population; superb beaches and the striking Blue Mountains; a lively and casual lifestyle; and always within reach, the sea. Author Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96) uses a hundred original photos accompanied by informative descriptions and observations to spotlight this great city of splendors. Included are Sydney’s famed New Year’s Eve celebration, showtime in the Opera House, and renowned Bondi Beach, plus a side trip to Melbourne. “Splendors of Sydney” is fun to read and sufficiently detailed to plan a visit to “The Everything City.” NOTE: Amazon.com . . .

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YOU TRY PAA: A LOVE SONG IN TRANSLATION by Cythia Ann Caul (Ghana)

New memoir explores white saviorism and U.S. American exceptionalism in the Peace Corps   Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Cynthia Ann Caul published You Try Paa: A Love Song in Translation on October 8, 2020. The book is a Peace Corps memoir, detailing Caul’s time in Ghana in a series of episodic poems. The poems traverse a number of themes, including race, gender, and religion in relation to the Peace Corps, community and international development, and the author’s role in both. Caul’s everyday experiences raise questions about how white saviorism and U.S. American exceptionalism can be perpetuated and maintained by the Peace Corps and similar organizations, as well as how they were by the author herself during her time as a Peace Corps volunteer. The work invites a thoughtful examination of the Peace Corps and international development more broadly, as well as self-reflection among those who participate in these institutions. Caul was . . .

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AROUND THE HORN AND BACK by Michael Banister (Ethiopia)

  What would you do with your dad’s broken time machine, a modified “spherical astrolabe?” You could fix it if you had 21st century tools, but you’re both in the 15th century. You could pretend it’s a normal nautical device and offer it to the 15th century explorer Vasco da Gama. But what if the Great Admiral discovers the true function of the device? How will you edit your dad’s memoir to describe the astrolabe as nothing more than an ancient marine navigation device? Will your dad’s wannabe time-traveling companions find the astrolabe in the future? — Around the Horn and Back • I’ve always been a voracious reader, and in junior high I published two science fiction stories in my school’s creative writing magazine. After a long hiatus, I began writing again in my junior year of college at UC Berkeley. I joined a group of acquaintances in 1969 . . .

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“Teacher” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)

   Foreword   Chuck Coskran and I were Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia from 1965 to 1967. We didn’t train together though — he was trained in Los Angeles; I, in Salt Lake City. We were both stationed in the capital, Addis Ababa, the first year, but didn’t meet each other until we were assigned to the same summer project, giving BCG vaccinations [Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis] in Nekemte. At that time I was lobbying hard with Peace Corps staff to be transferred out of the city to a village, and, to my great delight, was posted in Dilla, Ethiopia, for my second year. Chuck continued teaching history at Bede Mariam Lab School for talented 12th-graders who were brought to Addis Ababa from throughout Ethiopia. Following our completion of service in 1967 Chuck returned to the US to work in Peace Corps/Washington as the Ethiopia Desk Officer, which . . .

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LEARNING PEACE by Krista Jolivette (Ethiopia)

  Learning Peace is a story about a girl from the Midwest who moves to the desert of northern Ethiopia. It’s a story about someone who realizes that there is more to life than 3G network; it’s a story about camels meandering by and people sipping coffee and silly mistakes in foreign language class. But above all, this is a story about growth, inner transformation, and resilience. It’s a story about dozens of minibus rides through the rocky desert, hundreds of cups of coffee and conversation, and the many people along the way who taught me about peace. I wrote this book in the hopes of enlightening and teaching others about my Peace Corps experience. I won’t pretend that I saved anyone or changed anyone or taught anyone anything during my time in Ethiopia; to be honest, the most growth and change and renewal that happened was within me. So . . . .

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FROM THESE BROKEN STREETS by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)

  Roland Merullo, the bestselling author of Once Night Falls, returns with a galvanizing historical novel of Nazi-occupied Naples and the rage and resistance of a people under siege. Italy, 1943. The Nazi occupation has cemented its grip on the devastated city of Naples. Giuseppe DiPietra, a curator in the National Archives, has a subversive plan to aid the Allies. If he’s discovered, forced labor or swift execution. Lucia Pastone, secretary for the Italian Fascist government, is risking her own life in secret defiance of orders. And Lucia’s father, Aldo, is a black marketeer who draws Giuseppe and Lucia into the underworld—for their protection and to help plant the seeds of resistance. Their fates are soon intertwined with those of Aldo’s devoted lover and a boy of the streets who’ll do anything to live another day. And all of Naples is about to join forces to overcome impossible odds and . . .

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