RPCVs in the news

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Guy Consolmagno (Kenya) found His “Home” in the African Night Sky
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PayJoy created by RPCV Doug Ricket (Gambia)
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DARE TO SURVIVE: Hell has no fury like a woman conned by Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)
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There’s an interagency or nongovernmental fix for our broken Peace Corps
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Guy Toby Marion (Afghanistan) offers look at ’70s Peace Corps service
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Sara L. Taylor (Bangladesh) | Asia Foundation representative in Mongolia
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RPCV Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia) holds gala for his Global Camps Africa 
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Patti Garamendi (Ethiopia) | Sacramento County Woman of the Year 
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First RPCV to Go to Jail for a President!
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FEUD’s Truman Capote by Larry Grobel (Ghana)
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Peter Navarro (Thailand) going to jail
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Libby Bennett (Zambia) | New Executive Director of Groundworks Collaborative
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Sarah Quinn (Morocco) | Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center
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Zack Guido (Bolivia) . . . Climate Change RPCV
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Lisa Curtis of Kuli Kuli Foods

Guy Consolmagno (Kenya) found His “Home” in the African Night Sky

RPCVs in the news  . . .  ‘Pope’s Astronomer’ Explores Journey in Faith and Science at Fairfield U. Talk by Emilia Otte FAIRFIELD CT — In 1983, volunteer Guy Consolmagno lay in bed at a Peace Corps Training Facility in Kenya, feeling severely homesick. He had made up his mind to return to the United States the following day believing he wasn’t cut out to be an adventurer. But on his last night in Kenya, Consolmagno decided to take one final look at the night sky.  “I later counted there were 15 of the brightest stars in the sky visible at that moment. Most of them are old friends of mine — stars that my dad had taught me when I was a kid, growing up on the shores of Lake Huron,” said Consolmagno, who has a doctorate in planetary sciences. “And I’m looking at this sky, and I’m thinking to myself, . . .

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PayJoy created by RPCV Doug Ricket (Gambia)

RPCVs in the news How PayJoy built a $300M business by letting the underserved use their smartphones as collateral for loans TechCrunch Mary Ann Azevedo Thu, April 11, 2024 at 7:34 AM PDT Lerato Motloung is a hardworking mother of two who is employed in a supermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa. But in February 2024, she found herself without a mobile phone after it was stolen and she could not afford to buy a new one. For nine months, Motloung had to go without the convenience and connectivity of a smartphone Then, a sign caught her eye – a sign about PayJoy, a startup that offers loans to the underserved in emerging markets. With the help of PayJoy, Motloung was able to purchase her first smartphone, becoming one of the millions of customers that the San Francisco-based company has helped since its inception in 2015. “She was its 10 millionth . . .

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DARE TO SURVIVE: Hell has no fury like a woman conned by Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname)

  RPCVs in the news — Interview with author — Newschannel/Nebraska April 9, 2024  FINALIST IN INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS CONTEST Dare to Survive, based on a true story of a woman conned and imprisoned in South America for drug trafficking recognized for its outstanding writing, design and overall market appeal out of thousands of books submitted into the Book Excellence Awards. • • •  Carolyn V. Hamilton (Suriname 1999-01)  is a multiple award-winning author, artist, workshop leader & success coach for memoir writers. As the author of over 20 books, Carolyn’s writing spans multiple genres including thriller, true crime, writing, editing, art, and more. For her literary prowess, she has been recognized with numerous international literary awards including two Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and a Book Excellence Award. A multi-faceted talent, Carolyn spent 30+ years in the real world of “Mad Men” as a graphic designer, copywriter and marketing executive. A graduate . . .

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There’s an interagency or nongovernmental fix for our broken Peace Corps

In the news — BY KEVIN QUIGLEY AND LEX RIEFFEL The Hill 4/03/24   Ask the next person you see what they know about the Peace Corps. Odds are the answer will be “never heard of it.” The Peace Corps is past middle age and losing its vigor. Its service model has hardly changed in a world vastly different from the 1960s Cold War era. In 1966, more than 15,000 volunteers served in more than 40 countries. By 2020, when volunteers were brought home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were barely 7,000. The number today is fewer than 3,000. We see three ways to make the Peace Corps more relevant: merge it into AmeriCorps, move it into the State Department, or transform it from a federal agency to a nongovernmental organization. Launched by President Kennedy in 1961, the Peace Corps is one of the boldest, most innovative foreign policy initiatives of the post-World War II period. Countries . . .

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Guy Toby Marion (Afghanistan) offers look at ’70s Peace Corps service

RPCVs in the news   By Colleen Bidwill  cbidwill@marinij.com Marin Independent Journal April 1, 2024   • • •  When Guy Toby Marion joined the Peace Corps in 1971, it wasn’t his first choice to go to Afghanistan. In fact, the 22-year-old — whose previous travels were mainly family vacations to Mexico — wanted to go to South America to learn Spanish fluently. “I had a mentor in my college days who was from India,” he says. “I called him up and he said that the history of Afghanistan with Russia and India and all throughout from ancient times is fascinating. I was kind of swayed by that.” He took a position working as a high school science teacher trainer in Kapisa province, which he did for two school years, before teaching for three semesters on the faculty of engineering at Kabul University. He reflects on his experiences, from making moonshine out . . .

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Sara L. Taylor (Bangladesh) | Asia Foundation representative in Mongolia

  In the news   Sara L. Taylor is the Asia Foundation’s country new representative in Mongolia. She formerly served as country representative and deputy country representative in Bangladesh. The Foundation, with headquarters in San Francisco, is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Prior to rejoining the Foundation in 2023, she had more than two decades of experience in the field of international development in complex, fragile, and post-conflict contexts in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with particular focus on women’s leadership and empowerment, civic engagement and citizen participation, and governance. Sara was the country director and legal representative in Colombia for Partners of the Americas during a period of historic political transition. From 2009 to 2014, she served as a democracy and governance officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she worked across a broad range of . . .

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RPCV Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia) holds gala for his Global Camps Africa 

In the news —      Phil Lilienthal’s (Ethiopia 1964-66) Global Camps Africa will be holding its annual Sizanani Gala on Sunday April 20 at The International Spy Museum in Washington DC from 6-10 pm. This year’s gala honoree is Dr. Anthony Fauci. Also, on hand will be 2022 Honoree MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who will introduce Dr. Fauci. For those of you not familiar with Global Camps Africa, here’s the back story. After the Peace Corps, Phil and his late wife Lynn more than met the Peace Corps’ Goal Three of Bringing the Peace Corps Home. They managed his family’s famed Camp Winnebago in Maine, where they prioritized the recruitment of underprivileged and international students. Then in 2003, they decided to something more visionary, and launched Global Camps Africa, a non-profit organization providing thousands of South African children from the townships surrounding Johannesburg with a summer camp experience that includes AIDS education and life skills training. For more than 20 . . .

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Patti Garamendi (Ethiopia) | Sacramento County Woman of the Year 

In the News — Patti Garamendi is Sacramento County Woman of the Year  WALNUT GROVE – Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68), the matriarch of a Sacramento County ranching and political family who served in multiple gubernatorial appointments and federal roles, responsible for addressing matters such as world hunger and international trade, has been named Sacramento County Woman of the year by Sen. Bill Dodd. “Patti has devoted a lifetime to public service and I am proud to recognize her for her many achievements,” Sen. Dodd said. “While running her family’s ranch, Patti has worked tirelessly for two governors and held top federal posts responsible for feeding the poor all over the world. She’s a true dynamo and an inspiration for all.” Patti — A Peace Corps Volunteer “learns peace, lives peace and labors for peace from the beginning of their service to the end of their life.” I was inspired by . . .

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First RPCV to Go to Jail for a President!

In the news Ex-Trump adviser RPCV Peter Navarro reports to prison on contempt of Congress conviction   MIAMI — Former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro (Thailand 1965-68), who was convicted of contempt of Congress last year, is set to surrender Tuesday at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Miami to begin serving his four-month sentence. Before turning himself in, Navarro held a press conference in a strip-mall parking lot down the street from the facility. Near a Papa John’s, Navarro gave an extended speech airing his grievances against the government and his prosecution, painting himself as a victim of political persecution. “I will walk proudly in there to do my time,” Navarro said. “I will gather strength from this: Donald John Trump is the nominee.” Navarro, who was closely involved in Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the . . .

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FEUD’s Truman Capote by Larry Grobel (Ghana)

In the news — Feud’s Truman Capote Doesn’t Shine Like the Man I Knew Yes, he was a lonely, tormented alcoholic at the end, but he was also a riveting dinner companion and a transcendent writer. by Lawrence Grobel (Ghana 1968-71) Vanity Fair March 13, 2024 Capote does his version of a fan dance to the disco beat at Studio  A minute before the Today show’s cameras rolled in February 1985, Jane Pauley smiled and said, “I’ll begin by asking you about Truman’s hate list.” My own smile disappeared, and my eyes widened in fright. I was about to go on national television to promote my first book, Conversations with Capote, and she wanted me to talk about some of the two thousand people Truman Capote claimed to have on his “hate list.” In the seconds before the camera’s red light turned green, my mind whirred through some of those people, and I didn’t feel . . .

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Peter Navarro (Thailand) going to jail

In the news   WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court denied Trump White House official and RPCV Peter Navarro’s (Thailand 1965-68) bid to stave off his jail sentence on contempt of Congress charges Thursday. Navarro has been ordered to report to a federal prison by March 19. He argued he should stay free as he appeals his conviction for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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Libby Bennett (Zambia) | New Executive Director of Groundworks Collaborative

  RPCVs in the news    Groundworks, a homeless shelter in Brattleboro, Vermont Promotes Libby Bennett (Zambia 2006-09) To Be New Executive Director March 13, 2024   BRATTLEBORO—The Board of Directors of Groundworks Collaborative has announced that Libby Bennett, formerly the agency’s Director of Development & Communications, has accepted the offer to lead the organization as its new Executive Director. Bennett has been on staff with the agency since joining the Morningside Shelter team in 2012. Previously, she served as an intern for the organization in 2011 while completing practicum work toward her master’s degree in non-profit management from the SIT Graduate Institute. Bennett points back to volunteering for overnight shifts at Brattleboro’s Seasonal Overflow Shelter in 2010/2011 as her earliest interaction with the agency—inspired to volunteer after hearing a presentation from the founder of Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center, Melinda Bussino. A lifelong resident of Brattleboro and graduate of Brattleboro . . .

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Sarah Quinn (Morocco) | Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center

  RPCVs in the news School of Law, University of Georgia Friday, March 1, 2024 Sarah Quinn (Morocco 2011-14) currently serves as the director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, which has served as a nucleus for global research, education and service for the University of Georgia School of Law since 1977. Previously, she was the associate director for global practice preparation and managed the school’s Global Governance Summer School (a four-decades-old summer study abroad offering), Global Externships, the Graduate Certificate in International Law and other academic and research initiatives. Before coming to the School of Law, Quinn was the coordinator of faculty-led study abroad and domestic field study programs at the UGA Office of Global Engagement. She oversaw the development, management and assessment of almost 200 programs annually. Quinn designed and led a variety of professional opportunities for faculty and staff involved in study abroad programming at the . . .

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Zack Guido (Bolivia) . . . Climate Change RPCV

  Zack Guido  is Program Manager at the University of Arizona’s International Research and Application Program (IRAP). climate impacts on water resources, co-producing end-to-end climate services, and climate risk management. Guido has also conducted research to advance climate adaptation planning with Arizona municipalities and worked with Federal emergency managers to develop tailored climate information. In these efforts, Guido employs frameworks for the co-production of science in order to make climate information more credible, relevant, and useful. Guido has extensive international research and practice experience. A three-year Peace Corps stint in Bolivia between 2000 and 2003 subsequently paved the way for him to co-found a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to work with rural Bolivians to make their water resources more resilient to shortfalls from drought and retreating glaciers. This topic also became part of Guido’s PhD dissertation (2015) at the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Guido has also . . .

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Lisa Curtis of Kuli Kuli Foods

Lisa Curtis (Niger 2010-11), founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli Foods, traveled the world with the hope of making it a better place. Working in the Peace Corps in Niger, Africa, she realized the infinite power of moringa, an ingredient made from the “drumstick tree” that is known for its antioxidant and inflammatory properties. “I was working in a very rural village where I was eating rice every day,” says Curtis, who is a vegetarian. “I was pretty tired and wanted to feel better.” While volunteering, some of the women told Curtis to eat moringa and showed her a fried peanut snack called kuli kuli that’s made with moringa leaves. “It had an incredible impact on me,” Curtis says. “It made me feel energized.” High in protein, calcium and iron, moringa is a nutrient-dense superfood with 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidants. Medical News Today lists several benefits of moringa, with links . . .

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