Peace Corps Volunteers

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PCVs rediscovered the ‘Blue Rock’
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The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject, a podcast featuring Larry Grobel (Ghana)
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Ethiopia RPCV, journalist and author Dick Lipez dies
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A Wedding in Ethiopia
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Putin Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table by Maureen Orth (Colombia)
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Bill Roebuck (Côte d’Ivoire) — One RPCV Ambassador’s Life
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The Passing of Tom Hebert (Nigeria)
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Naturalist Jason Denlinger (Mozambique) returns to Dubuque after working 6 years in-country
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RPCV Thomas Baranyi (Albania) Pleads Guilty to Storming U.S. Capitol
10
Elephants in our Midst (Botswana)
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RPCV Caleb Rudow (Zambia) replaces Susan Fisher in North Carolina House
12
Friends of Tonga founders raising funds for the Kingdom
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RPCV Rob Schmitz (China) — NPR’s International Correspondent
14
“Climate Change & Wildlife Crime” — Jessica Kahler (Vanuatu) on ZOOM 1/27
15
RPCV who served in Zaire joins U.S. Mission in Dutch Caribbean as Consul General

PCVs rediscovered the ‘Blue Rock’

  Larimar is a precious stone, unique in the world. What makes it one of the most mysterious gems in existence? Learn about the history and geology surrounding this treasure here. Larimar: discover the mystery of the ‘Blue Rock’! by Alfredo Graça Meteored Portugal YourWeather.co.uk Larimar is a rare gemstone, exclusive to the south-west of the Dominican Republic, a country on the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean. Geologically, it is a variety of pectolite, composed of an acid calcium-sodium silicate hydrate. It is formed through association with volcanic rocks (andesites and basalts) from the south of the island, originating from the Miocene, geological epoch (23 to 5 Million years ago). Although many pectoliths have been found in other parts of the globe, none have the colouration of larimar. The blue colour, distinct from other rocks, results from the replacement of copper with calcium. The story behind the discovery of this gemstone is . . .

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The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject, a podcast featuring Larry Grobel (Ghana)

The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject featuring Larry Grobel The Art of the Interview & Knowing Your Subject featuring Larry Grobel  Of the many tributes for his interviewing techniques, James Michener called his book The Hustons “a masterpiece.” And Joyce Carol Oates dubbed him “The Mozart of Interviewers.” Larry is the recipient of P. E. N. and Playboy Special Achievement awards, the Prix Litteraire from the French Syndicate of Film Critics, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction.  He has appeared as himself in Shane Salerno’s documentary Salinger, and Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome. Larry is dogged in his approach to interviewing. He spent over a period of nine months alone in his sessions with Barbra Streisand for Playboy magazine.

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Ethiopia RPCV, journalist and author Dick Lipez dies

  By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle Mar 16, 2022 Becket, MA — Author, journalist and book reviewer Richard “Dick” Lipez, who wrote editorials for The Berkshire Eagle for many years and was a member of the newspaper’s advisory board, died of cancer at his home in Becket on Wednesday. He was 83. Lipez had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April, according to sculptor Joe Wheaton, his husband. They had been together for 32 years. In the early 1960s, Lipez, a native of Lock Haven, Pa., served in the Peace Corps, where he taught school in Ethiopia, and later worked as a Peace Corps program evaluator based in Washington. He originally came to the Berkshires to work for an anti-poverty agency because he was tired of living in the city, Wheaton said. “He was totally unqualified for the job, but he talked his way into it,” said Wheaton, who . . .

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A Wedding in Ethiopia

  By John Keller (Ethiopia 2016-18) SEPT. 17, 2021, Peace Corps • It’s the day of Nezif’s long-awaited wedding, which will take place in his home village in western Ethiopia. It is far from the village where I live and work as a Peace Corps Volunteer, but I’m not exactly sure how to get there. Nezif is a former student at the high school where I teach English. Like many of my students, Nezif had to walk several hours to get to school. Despite the distance, he attended regularly and did well academically, eventually becoming a teacher himself. At 10 a.m. I get a call from Nezif, who is elated that I’m coming to his wedding. He has even paid for someone to fetch me. He is overjoyed to see me when I arrive at the village after a 90-minute trip. I walk into the mud-walled house and join elder . . .

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Putin Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table by Maureen Orth (Colombia)

Putin’s Character Was Clear Long Before He Retreated to the Far End of the Table By Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) Vanity Fair Magazine March 4, 2022 • Today, the world sees Vladimir Putin from a distance, isolated at the end of a very long table. When I first met him, in September 2000, he was at a very different table, in a private room at New York’s 21 Club, at a dinner hosted by Tom Brokaw for 20 or so media luminaries. Brokaw had interviewed the recently elected Russian president for NBC a few months earlier. I was invited because I had just closed a lengthy profile of Putin for Vanity Fair, and also because my late husband, Tim Russert, was the anchor of NBC’s Meet the Press.   The number one topic was why Putin had not interrupted his vacation when the Russian Kursk submarine sank, killing all 118 crew members. By then, Russians were fed up with . . .

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Bill Roebuck (Côte d’Ivoire) — One RPCV Ambassador’s Life

  by Carol L. Hanner Wake Forest Magazine • Former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, Bill Roebuck, who lives now in Arlington, Virginia, shares his Netflix-worthy stories from his 28-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. His soft Southern voice bears no trace of adrenaline in the retelling. 2003 In 2003, an armored caravan ferries Roebuck (Wake Forest ’78, M.A. ’82) toward Gaza City. He and others in the lead car hear a muffled “ploomff” behind them. Attackers have detonated a bomb buried in the road, exploding the car that would have carried Roebuck if not for a last-minute change of plans. Instead, the assassination attempt kills three of the four American security officers in the targeted vehicle. 2009 In 2009, Roebuck travels across Baghdad in another armored caravan to an Iraqi ministry meeting. The next day, al-Qaida explosions blast the 10-story ministry building, killing at least 95 people, injuring 600 . . .

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The Passing of Tom Hebert (Nigeria)

Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) 1938-2022 Rest in Peace, Tom Born in Wenatchee, Washington on August 9, 1938 with his early childhood spent on his parents’ cattle ranch in the Okanogan, he grew up on Vashon Island near Seattle where his parent founded a nursing home, the caring spirit of which is still going strong at Vashon Community Care. In 1960, he graduated from Linfield College as a theatre major and his graduate work was at the Dallas Theater Center and Baylor University, Waco, Texas. Preferring projects that empower local communities or challenge the status quo, Tom Hebert was a writer and public policy consultant and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Nigeria, 1962-1964). After his Peace Corps service, he integrated the faculty of a black Southern University and later served 18 months establishing USO Clubs on U.S. Marine Corps combat bases in South Vietnam. His last assignment was as director, USO Saigon. . . .

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Naturalist Jason Denlinger (Mozambique) returns to Dubuque after working 6 years in-country

  Dubuque native returns home to work in conservation after years in Africa by Benjamin Fisher, Telegraph Herald   DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Dubuque County Conservation Department’s new naturalist has taken an unusual path to his position — from Dubuque to Mozambique and then back to eastern Iowa. Naturalist Jason Denlinger (Mozambique 1999-01) began work for the county late last month after six years at Gorongosa National Park in the East African country of Mozambique. Before working in Africa, Denlinger was a Dubuquer who had a fascination with pachyderms. “I always had this dream to work with elephants and in Africa,” he said. “My aunt was a Peace Corps volunteer, so then I was a Peace Corps volunteer, which really set me on my path (to Africa).” Denlinger first went to Mozambique 20 years ago with the Peace Corps before returning to Dubuque. That experience abroad would later help him secure . . .

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RPCV Thomas Baranyi (Albania) Pleads Guilty to Storming U.S. Capitol

  By Kevin Shea | For NJ.com    Thomas Baranyi, the Mercer County man who gave a TV interview after storming the U.S. Capitol last year and showed blood on his hand from a rioter who’d been shot, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C. Baranyi, 30, who’d been charged with four crimes for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building. He’ll be sentenced in May, and faces up to six months in prison. Born and raised in Hamilton, and now living in Ewing, Baranyi was candid in the local TV news interview, which made headlines nationwide and went viral online. He introduced himself as “Thomas Baranyi from New Jersey,” and proceeded to narrate his role. “We tore through the scaffolding, through flash bangs and tear gas and blitzed our way in through all the chambers just trying to get . . .

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Elephants in our Midst (Botswana)

  Entrepreneurs and animal advocates bring a cause closer to home By LISA CRAWFORD WATSON | newsroom@montereyherald.com |  February 1, 2022    Maybe it was while getting her master’s degree at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which included joining the Peace Corps, or when she went to Botswana with local artist Mary Beth Harris and became both enchanted by elephants and devastated by their plight, that Carmel’s Susie Bauer (Central Africa Republic 1982-84) decided to establish a nonprofit organization.Tuesday, she and Harris opened “Mopane” at The Crossroads in Carmel, named after a tree in Southern Africa. Known as the “tree of life,” its foliage feeds elephants, and its grubs become tribal cuisine. This boutique will carry custom jewelry, fabrics, art, and vessels — primarily fair trade products from Africa. Half the proceeds will go to Elephant Havens Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit rescue organization in Botswana, and the other half will benefit various . . .

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RPCV Caleb Rudow (Zambia) replaces Susan Fisher in North Carolina House

  A data scientist and former Peace Corps Volunteer has joined the North Carolina State House, filling out the term of  longtime Rep. Susan Fisher of Asheville. Rep. Caleb Rudow (Zambia 2012-2015) was the choice of Buncombe County Democratic activists to serve out the remainder of Fisher’s two-year term. Gov. Roy Cooper then appointed Rudow, as state law required. Rudow was sworn in on Feb. 1. Rudow is the son of an Asheville attorney, Marc Rudow, and his wife Deborah Miles, is the founder and long-time Executive Director of the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education. A 2005 graduate of Asheville High School, Rudow majored in philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill and later earned an MA in Public Policy from the LBJ School of Government at UT-Austin (TX). Rudow learned Spanish under Señora Castro at Asheville High and then spent a full semester in Costa Rica—after several other trips to Central . . .

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Friends of Tonga founders raising funds for the Kingdom

  New Castle News by Renée Gendreau, Jan 28, 2022 • It wasn’t the way Michael Hassett wanted people to learn about Tonga. A 2007 graduate of Laurel High School, Hassett served for two years with the Peace Corps (Tonga 2012-14) in the South Pacific kingdom, which was devastated by a tsunami earlier this month. Together with his wife, Chiara Collette, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who also served in Tonga, Hassett founded Friends of Tonga in 2018 to provide educational opportunities for the island nation’s children. Last summer, in partnership with Schools for Children of the World, the non-profit dedicated its first school in Ta’anga on the island of ‘Eua. Located northwest of New Zealand, Tonga is a constitutional monarchy comprised of 176 islands, of which 36 are inhabited by the nation’s 109,000 residents. When forming the organization, Hassett noted that one of the difficulties in raising funds was the . . .

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RPCV Rob Schmitz (China) — NPR’s International Correspondent

  Rob Schmitz is NPR’s international correspondent based in Berlin, where he covers the human stories of a vast region reckoning with its past while it tries to guide the world toward a brighter future. From his base in the heart of Europe, Schmitz has covered Germany’s levelheaded management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of right-wing nationalist politics in Poland and creeping Chinese government influence inside the Czech Republic. Prior to covering Europe, Schmitz provided award-winning coverage of China for a decade, reporting on the country’s economic rise and increasing global influence. His reporting on China’s impact beyond its borders took him to countries such as Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Inside China, he’s interviewed elderly revolutionaries, young rappers, and live-streaming celebrity farmers who make up the diverse tapestry of one of the most fascinating countries on the planet. He is the author of the critically . . .

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“Climate Change & Wildlife Crime” — Jessica Kahler (Vanuatu) on ZOOM 1/27

  Two of the greatest threats to biodiversity and sustainable development are climate change and wildlife crime. It has recently become apparent that these two threats are interrelated in complex ways with implications for human and wildlife security. However, the mechanisms driving these complex interactions are not well understood because the relevant bodies of literature are largely disparate. To address this gap, we propose a new conceptual framework for understanding complex interactions between climate change and wildlife crime that explicitly draws on climate change research in criminology, geography, sociology, and wildlife conservation.   Jessica Kahler (Vanuatu 2004-07) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida, and affiliate faculty for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, Center for African Studies, and the Tropical Conservation and Development Program. Prior to joining the university Dr. Kahler consulted on the Wildlife Crime . . .

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RPCV who served in Zaire joins U.S. Mission in Dutch Caribbean as Consul General

Press release: WILLEMSTAD Jan 21, 2022   The United States Consulate General in Curacao is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Margy Horan Bond (Zaire 1988-90) as the U.S. Consul General to Curacao and Chief of Mission to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten. Margy Bond is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with over 25 years of experience in the State Department, both at home and abroad.  She assumed her duties as U.S. Chief of Mission to the Dutch Caribbean and Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao on January 21, 2022. Most recently, Margy served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central African Affairs after having been Director of Central African Affairs since July 2020.  She was the Director of the Office of Economic and Development Assistance in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs from 2018-2020 where she focused on advancing sustainable development, . . .

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