Peace Corps Volunteers

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Tamara Solum (Cameroon) looks back at 20 years of making a dramatic difference in the life of kids
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In Lockdown, a Long-Distance Romance Grew Stronger — Maheisha Adams (Kenya)
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RPCV Photographer Kevin Bubriski’s NEPAL 1975-2011
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PDNB Gallery in Dallas showcases classic images of late ’60s SUBURBIA by Bill Owens (Jamaica)
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Oakland, Oregon Mayor Tom Hasvold (Ecuador)
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Peter Navarro writes IN TRUMP TIME (Thailand)
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Christmas and Living in Ecuador
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NPR Correspondent Larry Kaplow (Guatemala)
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Art for Art’s Sake: El Paso Sculptor, Satirist and Political Advocate Ho Baron (Nigeria & Ethiopia)
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Passing of Gerald B. “Jerry” Hildebrand (Peru)

Tamara Solum (Cameroon) looks back at 20 years of making a dramatic difference in the life of kids

  Drama Kids of Manasota celebrates 20 Arts and Entertainment Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 by: Marty Fugate Contributor • Some talented kids want to grow up to be actors when they grow up. Some adult actors are still kids at heart. Tamara Solum (Cameroon 1989–91) is one of them. Her inner child loves the magic of make-believe. She shares the secrets of that magic with area children at Drama Kids of Manasota, an after-school, dramatic arts program, serving children between the ages of 5 and 18. This local offshoot of Drama Kids International is nearing its 20th birthday. Solum’s has been its happy director and owner for 18 of those years. Drama Kids is a perfect fit for her passion and talents. Solum graduated with a theater degree from Occidental College in L.A. in 1988. You’d think her path to Drama Kids was a straight line. It was actually a winding road … “I did . . .

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In Lockdown, a Long-Distance Romance Grew Stronger — Maheisha Adams (Kenya)

  Maheisha Adams and Meerim Ilyas met at a conference in Ukraine in 2019, and solidified their bond a year later while quarantining together in Washington.   By Louise Rafkin for “VOWS,” New York Times Jan. 14, 2022 photos by Ed Pingol • Meerim Ilyas and Maheisha Adams (Kenya 2005-07) met in April of 2019 while attending the European Lesbian Conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. When the two decided to meet for dinner one night after the conference, both assumed it was a professional invitation. Yet by the end of the meal, the flowing conversation turned decidedly personal. Both left the dinner besotted. “Meerim is beautiful and intelligent, a fabulous conversationalist, and is always bubbling with ideas, Ms. Adams said. But romance presented challenges: they lived thousands of miles and an ocean apart and their backgrounds were wildly different. Ms. Adams, now 42, was raised on the plains of Guthrie, Okla., by her . . .

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RPCV Photographer Kevin Bubriski’s NEPAL 1975-2011

  Nepal: 1975-2011 by Photographer Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-1978) Preface by Robert Gardner, Essay by Charles Ramble Radius Books/Peabody Museum Press 304 pages September 2014 $108.10 (hardcover) In 1975, as a young Peace Corps volunteer, Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78) was sent to Nepal’s northwest Karnali Zone, the country’s remotest and most economically depressed region. He walked the length and breadth of the Karnali, conducting feasibility studies for gravity-flow drinking water systems and overseeing their construction. He also photographed the villagers he lived among, producing an extraordinary series of 35mm and large-format black-and-white images. Over more than three decades, Bubriski has returned many times to Nepal, maintaining his close association with the country and its people. Nepal 1975-2011 presents this remarkable body of work — photographs that document Nepal’s evolution over a 36-year period from a traditional Himalayan culture to the globalized society of today. Both visual anthropology and cultural history, it . . .

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PDNB Gallery in Dallas showcases classic images of late ’60s SUBURBIA by Bill Owens (Jamaica)

  The photographer captured a fleeting cultural moment with his seminal 1973 book.   By Danielle Avram of the Dallas News The year 1968 was a tumultuous time in American history. The country was embroiled in riots and protests over the escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Progress achieved by the landmark passing of the Civil Rights Act was clouded by the election of Richard Nixon and the lingering segregationist sentiments spurred on by politicians such as George Wallace. For Bill Owens, 1968 also proved to be a pivotal year. After years abroad in the Peace Corps, Owens (Jamaica 1964-66) had relocated to Livermore, Calif., a former agrarian community-turned-suburb of San Francisco, to work as a photojournalist for the local newspaper. Struck by his newfound suburban lifestyle, particularly the young ages and outlooks of its residents, Owens spent a year . . .

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Oakland, Oregon Mayor Tom Hasvold (Ecuador)

  Tom Hasvold’s (Ecuador 1983-85) career formed itself the day in 1982 he walked across the student union at the University of Colorado and spied a bearded man sitting between a Peace Corps banner and a sign-up sheet. Six months later, Hasvold had a passport and a job in South America. He also launched a passion for connecting people with outdoor spaces and natural resources. That vocation carries over today into his role as Oakland, Oregon’s mayor. “He loves parks and likes to keep them up and functional for everyone in the city,” said Terri Long, who retired in July as Oakland’s city recorder but continues as a contracted planning clerk. “He’s an outdoorsman himself, and he likes to see a lot of open spaces so citizens have comfortable places to go outside.” James Hart, Oakland’s director of public works, agreed that Hasvold seeks to boost community assets that everyone . . .

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Peter Navarro writes IN TRUMP TIME (Thailand)

  IN TRUMP TIME By Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) All Seasons Press 344 pages November 2021 $28.00 (hardback), $2.99 (Kindle)   Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) was one of only three senior White House officials by President Trump’s side from the 2016 campaign to the end of the president’s first term in office. Always moving In Trump Time as was his signature, Dr. Navarro said he was the first to sound the alarm within the West Wing about the pandemic. He played, he writes, a pivotal role in the rapid development of both vaccines and therapeutics like Remdesivir. As Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator, Navarro was at the center of ramping up domestic production of critically needed Personal Protective Equipment while helping President Trump insure that every American who needed a ventilator had a ventilator. Dr. Navarro served as an Assistant to the President and the Director of the Office of . . .

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Christmas and Living in Ecuador

by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) When the request to write remembrances of our first in-country Peace Corps Christmases arrived in my email box, I thought, no way am I going to tell mine.  \And as the beautiful, joyful, meaningful stories appeared, I was further reluctant to share one of the worst experiences of my young life. As I write this, I can almost hear people saying, oh, here Marnie goes again with her dark twist on the Peace Corps experience. I said as much to Coyne and he said, “just write it.” The backstory: Soon after I arrived at my site assignment in March of 1964, in the rough and tumble urban barrio of Cerro Santa Ana, Guayaquil, Ecuador, I began to hear neighborhood people call out to me, “Romy, Romy.” I had no idea why because my name was Margarita to most of my neighbors on the Cerro. It . . .

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NPR Correspondent Larry Kaplow (Guatemala)

  Editor, International Desk Larry Kaplow  (Guatemala 1988-91) edits the work of NPR’s correspondents in the Middle East and helps direct coverage about the region. That has included NPR’s work on the Syrian civil war, the Trump administration’s reduction in refugee admissions, the Iran nuclear deal, the US-backed fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. He has been at NPR since 2013, starting as an overnight news editor. He moved to the International Desk in 2014. He won NPR’s Newcomer Award and was part of teams that won an Overseas Press Club Award and an NPR Content Excellence Award. Prior to joining NPR, Kaplow reported from the Middle East for 12 years. He was the Cox Newspapers‘ Mideast correspondent from 1997 to 2003, reporting from Jerusalem during the Second Intifada as well as from Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. He did reporting . . .

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Art for Art’s Sake: El Paso Sculptor, Satirist and Political Advocate Ho Baron (Nigeria & Ethiopia)

  by Mary K. Cantrell November 9, 2021 Photos by Cody Bjornson • “I’m not a Buddhist. I’m not anything. I’m an artist. I’m a fool,” Ho Baron (Nigeria 1966-67, Ethiopia 1968) muses on his identity early one morning while wandering the brick paths of his self-made sculpture garden outside of his home in El Paso’s Manhattan Heights Historic District. Baron wears a T-shirt, cargo shorts, white tube socks, and a mischievous expression. Baron, 79, is surrounded by totemic, surreal creatures of his own making. His “gods for future religions,” a tongue-in-cheek concept, are humanoid figures cast in bronze and stone. With deep grooves and maze-like textures, they appear simultaneously ancient and futuristic. The artist decided to capitalize on his ability to reach an audience, given his house’s location right off of the busy Piedras Street, and set up a public sculpture garden with twelve primary pieces, which he jokingly refers . . .

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Passing of Gerald B. “Jerry” Hildebrand (Peru)

  Boca Raton – It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved friend, mentor and colleague, Gerald B. “Jerry” Hildebrand (Peru 1964-66). On October 5th, 2021, Jerry passed away in his home in Boca Raton where he had lived and worked for the last four years. Everyone who knew him was touched by his kindness, generosity of spirit, and his unwavering commitment to making a difference in the world. His contagious enthusiasm was inspirational. One of his favorite quotes sums up how Jerry approached his life and work: “Some men see things as they are and ask why, I see things that never were and ask why not?” ~Robert F. Kennedy Jerry was an involved member of the Stockton community for over twenty-five years, leading the Katalysis North/South Development Partnership, a Stockton-based international microfinance development organization from 1989 to 2003, and continued his leadership of . . .

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