Peace Corps writers

1
M Jackson (Zambia): THE SECRET LIVES OF GLACIERS
2
SPLENDORS OF SYDNEY by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
3
YOU TRY PAA: A LOVE SONG IN TRANSLATION by Cythia Ann Caul (Ghana)
4
AROUND THE HORN AND BACK by Michael Banister (Ethiopia)
5
“Teacher” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)
6
LEARNING PEACE by Krista Jolivette (Ethiopia)
7
FROM THESE BROKEN STREETS by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)
8
RPCVs Hastings & Meyer publish NO RULES RULES: NETFLIX AND THE CULTURE OF REINVENTION
9
New York RPCVs lead the way
10
LIVING BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE by Marty Feess (Jordan)

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, . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

“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 . . .

Read More

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 . . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

RPCVs Hastings & Meyer publish NO RULES RULES: NETFLIX AND THE CULTURE OF REINVENTION

  There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industry, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in over 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again. This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical organizational culture that cofounder Reed Hastings established from the very beginning. Hastings rejected the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate and defied tradition to instead build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility, one that has allowed Netflix to adapt and innovate as the needs of its members and the world have simultaneously transformed. Netflix set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, . . .

Read More

New York RPCVs lead the way

Podcast: Peace Corps Stories: The Unofficial Podcast (Apple Podcasts | Google Play) presents an unfiltered, uncensored look at the toughest job you’ll ever love. Each episode features true stories about the Peace Corps, told by returned volunteers reflecting on the thrilling highs, the debilitating lows, the near-death experiences and the crazy adventures from their service in the Peace Corps. https://peacecorpsnyc.org/peace-corps-stories-the-unofficial-podcast/ For those of you who loved Season 1 of Peace Corps Stories: The Unofficial Podcast, we are happy to bring you a new collection of RPCV stories for 2020 and beyond. We’ve published several episodes this year (all from our live shows) and have plans to bring you many more. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, or click the link below to listen on our website. If you have a story to tell, let us know at podcast@peacecorpsnyc.org. Story Slams: You ready for this?! Our RPCV Story Slam is a time each year to come . . .

Read More

LIVING BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE by Marty Feess (Jordan)

  IRAQ IS A WAR TORN COUNTRY, and the US is mainly responsible for such a state in the Arab country – but Martin Feess had a different experience in Jordan, and the experience is immortalized in Living Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan, 2005-2007. Marty Feess terms his Jordanian experience a real-life twenty-first-century adventure. In the two years, Marty and his wife Karen Louise (Coote) Feess (Jordan 2005-07) have basked and submerged in the Arab-Muslim culture, embracing the attributes of Jordanian culture and gaining enough experience of a lifetime that’s inscribed in the memoir. Marty Feess narrates how he and his significant other imbibed backwater Jordanian life and forged friendships that grew near and dear while witnessing the turmoil and tumult in which the Middle East is embroiled. Marty Feess writes how his thought process evolved in lieu with all the various issues plaguing . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.