Peace Corps writers

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Danny Langdon (Ethiopia) — THE GOOD HUSBAND
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Time in a Bottle by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)
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“Return” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)
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A Writer Writes — “The Other Immigration Crisis” by Charles Fortin (Brazil)
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“From Addis to Nairobi” by Wayne Kessler (Ethiopia)
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New — AMERICA’S BURIED HISTORY by Kenneth R. Rutherford (Mauritania)
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New Novel — STREETS OF GOLFITO by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica)
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A Writer Writes — Mike McQuillan (Korea)
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“Critical Notes”: The latest news and reviews from NBCC members
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Ron Krannich (Thailand) — Travel Writer, Career Adviser & Publisher

Danny Langdon (Ethiopia) — THE GOOD HUSBAND

  While becoming a husband often begins with an overflow of loving feelings and the anticipation of a fabulous future, actually living with your soul mate, best friend, or spouse brings many challenges! Sure, you might have gotten some inkling from your dad — if he was any good at husbanding himself. But, for the most part, you are on your own to figure out how to be one. So, how can a novice become a good husband? Based on numerous interviews with exemplary husbands and their partners, plus the author’s own practical experience through trial and error, the book is filled with good practices that you can replicate. The 50 practices are presented as a first-hand account of the author and his marvelous relationship with his wife, Kathleen. Mixed with humor, each practice is illustrated with real-life examples. Each shows a way to foster being “in sync” with one’s . . .

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Time in a Bottle by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)

  by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia 1970-72; APCD 1974-76) October 27, 2020 • It’s a sobering thought but I’ve reached the point in my life where I can count time in half centuries. To wit, it was fifty years ago almost to the day that I arrived in Tunisia. I was on my way to becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer: the first six weeks of my service had been spent in intensive language and cross-cultural training in America. For the next six weeks, I would be in total language immersion in my new host country. Did I mention that was fifty years ago? Sigh. Looking back, those fifty years have flown by. Four of them were spent in Tunisia, the first two in the Kasserine, a small town in the rugged mountains hard by the Algerian border and famous for a pivotal battle in World War II. Then there were two . . .

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“Return” by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia)

  Notes from the Editor: Kathleen Johnson Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67) taught in Addis Ababa her first year, then transferred to Dilla, a small town in the far south of the Empire. She wrote “So This Is Paris” about Dilla, an essay Marian Beil and I published in our newsletter, RPCV Writers & Readers in 1994. For me that essay is one of the finest written about the Peace Corps experience. I republished it in a collection I edited titled, Peace Corps: The Great Adventure. In 2007 Peace Corps Writers.com publish “Second Time Around” that subsequently received the 2008 Peace Corps Writers Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award. Kathy has continued to write and continues to win awards. This is an essay she wrote about when she and her husband Chuck returned to Ethiopia and traveled for ten hours by bus through the Rift Valley to see Dilla one last time. Here is . . .

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A Writer Writes — “The Other Immigration Crisis” by Charles Fortin (Brazil)

  The Other Immigration Crisis Charles Fortin (Brazil 1968-70) “Cocaine . . . is typically available in urban, suburban, and rural drug markets throughout the United States . . .  and cocaine supplies are relatively stable at levels sufficient to meet current user demand.” United States Drug Enforcement Administration, National Drug Threat Assessment   The heavily-accented voice on the line said she was acting on a tip. A friend of mine with whom I had worked in Bulgaria had given her my name.  She was calling to get my help with drugs in Latin American and the Caribbean. I took a deep breath. Then, I relaxed as my caller explained she wanted to hire me as a consultant to report on the drug trade, not to participate in it. In the Balkans, my friend had called on me to give a training module to doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators on . . .

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“From Addis to Nairobi” by Wayne Kessler (Ethiopia)

  Preceding Paul Theroux: from Addis to Nairobi by Wayne Kessler (Ethiopia 1964-66)   As I age, I’m finding that memories have become a larger part of my life than I want them to be.  I’d rather be thinking and planning something new than being caught up in the past.  Regardless, memories happen, so when I read Paul Theroux’s (Malawi 1963-65) “The Longest Road in Africa” from Dark Star Safari about his journey in Ethiopia from Addis Ababa to Moyale, I was instantly caught up in my own memories of the same trip 36 years before his. My wife Laurie and I left our Peace Corps village in the northern Eritrean Province of Ethiopia on July 1st 1966, with mixed emotions: sad to leave our Eritrean friends but excited about a vague idea of traveling by road from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, . . .

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New — AMERICA’S BURIED HISTORY by Kenneth R. Rutherford (Mauritania)

  Despite the thousands of books published on the American Civil War, one aspect that has never received the in-depth attention it deserves is the use of landmines and their effect on the war and beyond. Kenneth R. Rutherford rectifies this oversight with America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War, the first book devoted to a comprehensive analysis and history of the fascinating and important topic of landmines. Modern mechanically fused high explosive and victim-activated landmines were used for the first time in the world’s history on a widespread basis in the American Civil War. The first American to die from a victim-activated landmine was on the Virginia peninsula in early 1862 during the siege of Yorktown. The controversial weapon, which was concealed on or beneath the ground, was built for one purpose: to kill or maim enemy troops. The weapon was the brainchild of Confederate General Gabriel J. Rains, . . .

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New Novel — STREETS OF GOLFITO by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica)

  Streets of Golfito: A Novel by Jim LaBate focuses on two individuals who meet in Golfito, Costa Rica in 1974. Jim (Diego) is a 22-year-old Peace Corps Volunteer from upstate New York, and he has been assigned to introduce sports other than soccer to the young people. By contrast, Lilli is a shy, beautiful, 17-year-old Costa Rican girl who wants to learn English and escape her small town, a banana port on the Pacific side near the Panamanian border. In alternating chapters, the first third of the book shows these two characters growing up in their respective countries. Then, after they meet, Lilli experiences a tragedy that will drastically change her life, and Jim does all he can to help her survive and thrive in her new circumstances. • Streets of Golfito: A Novel by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica 1973-75) Mohawk River Press 252 pages October 2020 $9.99 (Kindle); $19.95 . . .

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A Writer Writes — Mike McQuillan (Korea)

  A Narrow Definition of “Winner” Shouldn’t Hide McGovern’s Moral Clarity by Mike McQuillan (Korea 1978-79) An unmarked door opens to a vacant bar where I go seeking news, not booze. Chair-climbing to an aged black and white television, I find a CBS station for the South Dakota Senate update on November 4, 1980, election night in Mitchell, Senator George McGovern’s hometown. Six months before, Greyhound had taken me 1,000 miles from New York City to his last reelection campaign. I traded jeans and tee for a suit and tie in a Sioux City, Iowa diner’s restroom at dawn, then I felt awkward with McGovern’s casually dressed statewide staff in Sioux Falls. “You showed you were serious. That impressed us,” Political Director Judy Harrington would later say. Now, having canvassed house to house through four counties’ farm towns and ranch lands, recorded radio spots, phone-banked, planned events, sent thanks, and . . .

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“Critical Notes”: The latest news and reviews from NBCC members

  From “Critical Notes”: Marnie Mueller reviewed Martha J. Egan’s Relicarios: The Forgotten Jewels of Latin America for the Peace Corps Worldwide Network. • Would you like to have your writing distributed to thousands of literary readers? Join the National Book Critics Circle. Live the life of books As an active member of the NBCC, you’ll be able to spread the news of your literary success to readers across the world, plus connect with other members and review editors.

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Ron Krannich (Thailand) — Travel Writer, Career Adviser & Publisher

  RONALD L. KRANNICH, Ph.D.(Thailand 1967) is one of today’s leading career transition and travel writers who has authored more than 100 books, including several self-help guides for people with difficult backgrounds. A Fulbright Scholar, university professor, and management trainer, Ron specializes in producing and distributing books, DVDs, training programs, and related materials on employment, career transition, addiction, anger management, criminal justice, life skills, and travel. Originally from Pekin, Illinois, Ron stumbled into the world of travel and international development based on one fateful decision in 1965 — he signed up for a newly offered foreign language as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University — Thai. This became the classic “be careful what you wish for” experience. The rest is history as he completed his Thai language work at Cornell University and joined the Peace Corps, taught in a high school; completed a Ph.D. in Political Science with emphasis on Southeast Asia . . .

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