Peace Corps Volunteers

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CorpsAfrica Needs You
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Mark Apel (Morocco) . . . “A Peace Corps volunteer’s return to Morocco“
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The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)
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Bob Frank (Nepal) retires from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management
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Bob Vila (Panama) on ONE TRUE PODCAST talks about Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba
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Guatemala RPCV shot on the streets of Portland
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Turkey & Tonga RPCVs launch “Get Out To Vote” videos in Flint, Michigan
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Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps — Ethiopia
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Dan Close (Ethiopia) brought water to Bekoji in 1966
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RPCV(Togo) pet owner’s fight with CDC ends
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RPCV (Togo) fights deportation of Socrates, her Peace Corps Best Friend
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Cindy Mosca (Ethiopia) shows us “How To Remember Our Tour”
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New from Clifford Garstang (Korea) — HOUSE OF THE ANCIENTS & OTHER STORIES
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David Wertime (China) new Editorial Director for China for POLITICO
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Dave Roberts (Liberia) Hiking Through Retirement

CorpsAfrica Needs You

  Liz Fanning served as a PCV in Morocco from 1993-95 and started CorpsAfrica to give young Moroccans (and all Africans) the opportunity to serve like she did, and to benefit from the transformative experience of service. CorpsAfrica builds on the Peace Corps model to deploy highly motivated young women and men to rural communities to facilitate small-scale, high-impact projects that are identified by local people and with a community contribution. The CorpsAfrica experience gives young adults an opportunity to learn valuable professional skills while expanding their understanding of their country. Since 2013, CorpsAfrica has recruited, trained and placed nearly 300 volunteers in Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, to serve in their own countries and other African countries. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Volunteers have chosen to stay at their sites to provide vital information and promoting healthy practices to marginalized communities. They demonstrate the power of local volunteers and . . .

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Mark Apel (Morocco) . . . “A Peace Corps volunteer’s return to Morocco“

  by Ellen Hernandez and Katie Bercegeay   Upon hearing the words “Hamdullahwainshallah,” Mark Apel is transported as if in a time capsule to the many times he and Yossef Ben-Meir, President of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), uttered them in gratitude for the food set before them or in hope for something good to come of their efforts as Peace Corps Volunteers. “It makes you more mindful of the moment,” he remarked in a recent interview conducted by Yossef for HAF. • Mark Apel [Morocco 1982-86] was born in France, son of an airman, whose family returned to the U.S. where he grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two months after graduation from Penn State in 1982, he joined the Peace Corps and came to Morocco. There, he was able to use his degree in environmental resource management and specialization in wildlife management as a fisheries volunteer. . . .

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The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)

  Reed Hastings Had Us All Staying Home Before We Had To Netflix started with sending DVDs — remember them? — through the mail, but now the streaming pioneer sits atop a Hollywood it has thoroughly upended. By Maureen Dowd New York Times Sept. 4, 2020 Does it feel good to be the man who killed Hollywood? “No,” said Reed Hastings, who nurtured Netflix into the Godzilla of the entertainment world. “But, of course, we haven’t killed Hollywood.” At 59, the slender, gray-haired Mr. Hastings remains a mystery in the industry he dominates. “He’s a complete cipher here,” one Hollywood macher said. You won’t find Mr. Hastings hanging with the stars at the San Vicente Bungalows. He doesn’t bellow at the pool at the Hotel du Cap or swan around at premieres. He may show up in line at Sundance, but he’s not cutting the line. He started a delivery system for . . .

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Bob Frank (Nepal) retires from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

  Robert H. Frank (Nepal 1966–68) taught his first college course before graduating from Georgia Tech in 1966. A Cornell professor and influential teacher of economics since 1972, Frank retired from Cornell on July 1, 2020, after more than a half-century of teaching. A pioneer and champion of behavioral economics, Frank has written and spoken extensively in his many books, essays, and media interviews about moral sentiments, positional goods, expenditure cascades, the ever-widening income gap, the role of luck in our lives, and, most recently, the power of behavioral contagion. •   Bob Frank’s Legacy as a Teacher, Behavioral Economist, Economic Naturalist, and Author by Janice Endresen Ethical Systems August 25, 2020     In 1966, when Robert H. Frank arrived in Nepal to teach high-school math and science as a Peace Corps volunteer, he was surprised at how quickly he felt comfortable in his modest new home, even though conditions . . .

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Bob Vila (Panama) on ONE TRUE PODCAST talks about Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba

    The first installment of One True Podcast, produced by The Hemingway Society, features Bob Vila (Panama 1969-70) talking about his involvement in “saving” Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba. Having been to Cuba on a tour with the NPCA several years ago, it was a great chance for me to remember my visit, going with NPCA director Glenn Blumhorst. (If the NPCA ever gets a chance to return to Cuba, go!) Meanwhile, listen to this 50 minutes of Bob talking about his connection to Cuba, where his parents and relatives all were from, and how he was involved with the project where Ernie lived most of his life after leaving Paris. It is at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/347030/4981130 This episode was recorded on 5/27/2020.

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Guatemala RPCV shot on the streets of Portland

   I’m a Mom Who Came Out to Protest for Black Lives in Portland. I Was Shot by Federal Agents   BY ELLEN URBANI  AUGUST 6, 2020 6:48 AM EDT This article appears in the August 17, 2020 issue of TIME.   Our president wants you to believe I am a terrorist, a professional agitator stalking the Pacific Northwest. Four days before federal agents shoot me in Portland, Ore., I riffle through the garage, shooing spiders from my son’s snowboarding helmet. Will it buckle beneath a steel baton? I press my daughter’s swim goggles to my face, testing the fit. Can they repel tear gas? I run my hands over my husband’s life jacket. Can it stop a bullet? I don’t yet realize how many other moms are slipping oven mitts into backpacks (to minimize burns when tossing aside flaming grenades and tear-gas canisters), how many dads are hoisting leaf blowers from . . .

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Turkey & Tonga RPCVs launch “Get Out To Vote” videos in Flint, Michigan

  Two videos that aim to highlight human connectedness and Get Out the Vote have been produced by two RPCVs for East Village Magazine (EVM) in Flint, Michigan, and are available for viewing online now at the magazine’s website, eastvillagemagazine.org. The videos, both titled “Faces of Flint:  A message from the anvil of America’s democracy,”  feature 130 Flint residents photographed by Flint native, Kansas City photographer Dan White, in three days of shooting last November at the Flint Farmers’ Market and Berston Field House. Flint filmmaker Justin Brown was the editor for both videos.The narration for both videos was written by  Ted Nelson (Turkey 1964-67) EVM editor at large and a participant in civil rights actions in Washington D.C in the Sixties.  Nelson’s co-producer on the project was RPCV Jan Worth-Nelson (Tonga 1976-78). Asked about the significance of the “anvil” as a symbol of Flint, Nelson said, “We have been pounded on, and our . . .

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Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps — Ethiopia

   by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) • In the famous Mayflower Hotel meetings in early February 1961, Shriver’s Task Force established a Peace Corps with three goals. Today, 59 years later, former Volunteers have created a Fourth Goal. In many ways, this Goal is the most significant accomplishment of the Peace Corps. I think it is the greatest contribution made by RPCVs. We all know the Peace Corps is not about Volunteers. It is about the people we came to know, the children we taught, the people we helped, the villages where we lived. Returning home, we didn’t forget those lessons, friendships, or our connection to their country. More than a few Peace Corps Volunteers look back, go back, and give back to friends they left behind. It is estimated that since 1962 when the first Ethiopian Volunteers arrived in-country, as much as ten million dollars has been spent by . . .

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Dan Close (Ethiopia) brought water to Bekoji in 1966

    Water crisis in a town of Olympic champions by Dawit Tolesa Reporter Magazine August 2020 • Bekoji town, known for its Olympic gold medal winning athletes in Ethiopia, has played a pivotal role in athletics history that has dominated the world arena. Nevertheless, a town filled with remarkable talent, has been suffering from the lack of access to clean water for almost two decades. Nine Olympic gold medals have been won by athletes coming from Bekoji. Topping the remarkable feet achieved by athletes hailing from Bekoji include, Derartu Tulu, the first Ethiopian woman and the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal. She grew up tending cattle in the village. Bekoji is located in Oromia regional state, Arsi Zone, 220km from the capital, Addis Ababa. Currently, the year on year increase in population has exacerbated water shortages. For the purposes of water supply and sanitation project, . . .

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RPCV(Togo) pet owner’s fight with CDC ends

  By Benjamin Cox on July 28, 2020 WLDS.com Audra Elam with her dog, Socrates, on her porch in western Africa before attending a local festival in 2019. (Ian Fingado) A Beardstown woman reunited with her dog today after a fight with the federal government over pet importation rules at the CDC. 27 year old Audra Elam (Togo 2019-20) of Beardstown reunited with Socrates after a month-long quarantine at The ARK at JFK Airport in New York. Elam’s journey with Socrates stirred public concern about how the government handles the importation of pets and possible policy changes on the issue with the CDC. The story of Elam and Socrates began in 2018 when Elam arrived in Togo, Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer. A common practice in the Peace Corps program is that volunteers will inherit the house, furniture and even pets from previous volunteers in their host country. Such . . .

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RPCV (Togo) fights deportation of Socrates, her Peace Corps Best Friend

  Peace Corps Volunteer fights government’s efforts to deport her dog to Africa Audra Elam said the CDC denied her dog entry into the United States after the pair were initially separated in Africa. by John Henry, USA9, July 1 • WASHINGTON — An American Peace Corps member is working to fight the deportation of her dog to Ghana. In March, Audra Elam, of Illinois, evacuated her post in Togo after the Peace Corps directed its members to return to the United States due to the coronavirus’ spread. In Togo, Elam inherited a 5-year-old dog named Socrates. Elam said Socrates, who had previously been cared for by several other members of the Peace Corps, would go on to become her best friend. “He’s become very Americanized,” she laughed. Elam eventually made plans to bring Socrates to the United States following their separation in Togo. She said she worked with a . . .

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Cindy Mosca (Ethiopia) shows us “How To Remember Our Tour”

  After the Peace Corps,  Cindy Mosca (Ethiopia 1967-69) returned to teaching but eventually left teaching art and went into the field of ESL. She became the Director of the Bilingual Program in Cicero, Illinois. She has a son and a daughter who live in the Chicago area. She and her partner, Dennis live in Bloomington, Indiana. They both love to travel and you can find a record of their travels (including a return to Ethiopia) at ourbetter.blogspot.com/ Since retirement she has returned to painting. You can view samples at her web site. Cindy loves making videos for family and friends. She has transferred old slides for them into videos which can be saved to YouTube, a flash drive, a DVD or somewhere in the heavens via iCloud or Google.  

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New from Clifford Garstang (Korea) — HOUSE OF THE ANCIENTS & OTHER STORIES

  Clifford Garstang is the author of the novel in stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction, and the short story collection In an Uncharted Country. He is also the editor of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, a three-volume anthology of stories set around the world. A former Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea (1976-77) and an international lawyer, Garstang lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Nobody’s perfect, but some of us — mostly men —are blinded by our hubris and baser urges. Judgment is impeded. Mistakes are made. The stories in House of the Ancients and Other Stories, many of them set outside the U.S., explore some of the consequences of these common failings.   House of the Ancients & Other Stories by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Press 53 Publisher 172 pages May 2020 $17.95 (paperback)   . . .

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David Wertime (China) new Editorial Director for China for POLITICO

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   David Wertime is POLITICO’s inaugural Editorial Director for China, and the author of China Watcher, its newsletter about the U.S.-China relationship. He is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale College who speaks and reads advanced Chinese (Mandarin) and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in China from 2001-03. Co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation, a website that tracked Chinese social media, David served as Senior Editor for China at Foreign Policy magazine, where he launched the first Chinese-language articles in the publication’s history. He was also Entrepreneur in Residence at the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2019, David joined POLITICO’s parent company to launch its China service. David’s work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, POLITICO, and Slate.  

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Dave Roberts (Liberia) Hiking Through Retirement

The NYTIMES headline in the Business Section of Saturday, January 16, 2016, got my attention. “Goodbye, Golf Clubs. Hello, Hiking Boots and Kayak.” What? That would upset a hacker like me. And the first two paragraph read: They call him “Elusive,” at least on the hiking trails. And that’s pretty much where Dave Roberts spends his time these days, crisscrossing the country by foot, bike, even by kayak.” Mr. Roberts, a retired teacher and software engineer, is on a mission to navigate the United States powered only by his two legs and two arms. Hotels and lodges are out of the question; he camps out aat night and lugs 25 pounds of equipment –including his tent, sleeping bag and food–on his back. The article is focused on what people are doing in retirement, and Roberts is the first one profiled. He had first been a PCV in Liberia in the . . .

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