The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

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Eritrea RPCV Cheryl Sternman Rule Writes Yogurt Culture
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The Peace Corps remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The profile of the first group to go to the Philippines in 1961
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“The Peace Corps’s presence in China was good for the US” by Reed Piercey (China)
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EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter H. Reid (Tanzania)
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John Lewis’ wife, RPCV Lillian Miles Lewis (Nigeria), died in 2012
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Democrats ignore intelligence threat and demand funding for Peace Corps China operation
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Peace Corps Profiles Of First Peace Corps Groups
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“Making movies as a PCV” — Richard Wallace (Morocco)
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THE PEACE CORPS IN LATIN AMERICA by Fernando Purcell

Eritrea RPCV Cheryl Sternman Rule Writes Yogurt Culture

Yogurt Culture by Sheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea 1995-97) Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 89 pages 2015 $2.99 (Kindle); $19.81 (Hardback)         In Yogurt Culture, award-winning food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule presents 115 flavorful recipes, taking yogurt farther than the breakfast table, lunchbox, or gym bag. Rule strips yogurt of its premixed accessories and brings it back to its pure, wholesome essence. In chapters like Flavor, Slurp, Dine, and Lick, she pairs yogurt not just with fruit but with meat, not just with sugar but with salt, not just with herbs but with fragrant spices whose provenance spans the globe. She provides foolproof, step-by-step instructions for how to make yogurt, Greek yogurt, and labneh at home, though all of her recipes can also be prepared with commercial yogurt. Rule explores yogurt from every angle, explaining how to read a label, visiting producers large and small, and gaining entry to the . . .

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The Peace Corps remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.

  A Timeless Reminder by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • As I was watching the Memorial Services for John Lewis in Ebenezer Baptist Church, it reminded me of an April day in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. I was on PC/W staff and Director, Jack Vaughn called me into his office. He nominated me to form a Committee and raise funds for, at the time, an indeterminate Memorial in Dr. King’s honor. While time now masks the amount of funds our Committee succeeded in raising, I do recall that we wanted the Memorial to represent something that was timeless in Dr. King’s life. That led us to purchase a Gold Brick and present it to Officials at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  They assured us that they would find a suitable site near the Podium for its placement. After that brief conversation, we lost personal contact with . . .

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The profile of the first group to go to the Philippines in 1961

  PHILIPPINES Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines will assist in improving the quality of English spoken in rural areas and in raising teaching standards in both English and general science. They will help Filipino teachers of rural elementary schools teach their students to speak better English and increase understanding of scientific principles. Volunteers will be assigned as educational aides on Filipino teaching staffs in four minor regions. They will supplement, not replace, Filipino teachers. The Philippine Government is urging a general, rapid and comprehensive upgrading of education, especially in rural schools where teaching of  English and science is not yet of sufficiently high standard to prepare pupils for technical study. In the Philippines, English is the language of technology, trade, commerce and culture, but during the last five decades the influence of local languages and dialects has so altered spoken English that it is fast becoming incomprehensible to outsiders. . . .

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“The Peace Corps’s presence in China was good for the US” by Reed Piercey (China)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Saum (Ukraine 1994-96) by Reed Piercey (China 2019-2020) July 23, 2020 12:00 AM This month’s proposed State Department funding bill devotes less than two of its 326 pages to the Peace Corps. It does, however, contain a brief but significant provision: “None of the funds made available by this Act or prior Acts under this heading may be used to permanently close the United States-China Friendship Volunteer Program.” Never mind that the U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers, another name for the Peace Corps’s China program, has already been closed down. To anyone reading Tom Rogan’s recent opinion piece in the Washington Examiner, this sentence is made out to be an attempt by House Democrats to weaken American national security. In fact, the Peace Corps’s presence there advanced our country’s interests, values, and security in a number of crucial ways. As Peace Corps staff and volunteers have long known, . . .

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EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter H. Reid (Tanzania)

  “Every Hill a Burial Place combines the suspense of a fictional legal thriller with a fascinating look at the early days of the Peace Corps in Africa.” —Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author of A Reasonable Doubt and a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Liberia, 1965–1967)   On March 28, 1966, Peace Corps personnel in Tanzania received word that volunteer Peppy Kinsey had fallen to her death while rock climbing during a picnic. Local authorities arrested Kinsey’s husband, Bill, and charged him with murder as witnesses came forward claiming to have seen the pair engaged in a struggle. The incident had the potential to be disastrous for both the Peace Corps and the newly independent nation of Tanzania. Because of the high stakes surrounding the trial, questions remain as to whether there was more behind the final “not guilty” verdict than was apparent on the surface. Peter H. Reid, . . .

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John Lewis’ wife, RPCV Lillian Miles Lewis (Nigeria), died in 2012

  John Lewis, the iconic civil rights activist, passed away at the age of 80. He had already lost his wife, RPCV Lillian Miles Lewis, in 2012 after she suffered a long illness. Lillian Miles Lewis was 73. She died at Emory University Hospital, on the 45th anniversary of when she and John Lewis met, PCV Lillian Miles Lewis taught in Nigeria in 1960 and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria for two additional years before meeting John Lewis in 1967. They were married in 1968. She had a bachelor’s in social studies and an English minor from California State College at Los Angeles. She had a master’s in library sciences from the University of Southern California. From 1989 to 2003, she was the director of external affairs for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Clark Atlanta University. John Lewis and Lillian Miles Lewis had one son: John . . .

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Democrats ignore intelligence threat and demand funding for Peace Corps China operation

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66)   Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by Tom Rogan Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Some Democrats are adopting a harsher tone and more aggressive policy approach toward China. But based on their new State Department funding bill, House Democrats don’t appear to support this effort. Consider the bill’s requirement that “none of the funds made available by this Act or prior Acts under this heading may be used to permanently close the United States-China Friendship Volunteer Program.” This refers to the Peace Corps’s China mission, which “from its main office at the Sichuan University, Peace Corps works closely with provincial departments of education and the counterpart universities to assign and support qualified and well-trained volunteers.” Sounds good, right? I mean, whatever U.S.-China political tensions, this is simply a U.S. volunteer effort to help improve impoverished lives. The Trump administration cut funding to that program in January, . . .

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Peace Corps Profiles Of First Peace Corps Groups

PEACE CORPS Washington 25, D. C. Descriptions of the first 9 projects, including purpose, training, Volunteer skills needed, technical qualifications of Volunteers, and information about the training officials.   Released November 1, 1961   T    A    B    L    E        0    F        C O N T E N T S   COUNTRY                                                                                 PAGE N0. Chile •    •    •     •   •    •     •     •     •   •     •     •     •             21 Colombia •    •     •     •    •     •    •     •     •     •     •     •          4 Ghana  •    •   •    •    •    •     •    •     •    •     •     •     •           18 India  •     •    •   •   •    •   •    •    •    •    •    •    •                   15 Nigeria •     •     •    •    •     •     •     •    •     •     •    •             27 Pakistan (East and West)  •     . . .

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“Making movies as a PCV” — Richard Wallace (Morocco)

The Couscous Chronicles — A Peace Corps Memoir Richard  Wallace (Morocco 1977–79) Self-published July 2020 260 pages $14.95 (paperback), $0 (Kindle)   Make movies in the Peace Corps? Richard Wallace (Morocco 1977-79) did just that. Fresh out of college and packing his film production degree, he wanted to travel. In 1977, he joined the annual deployment of trainees to Morocco’s capital city of Rabat, learning French, some Arabic and the nuances of Islamic culture. Richard’s job post: a media team for the Ministry of Agriculture, producing training films and printed materials for farmers. Sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer with a new job to tackle, he was challenged to assimilate into the Moroccan way of life. Associations with his female roommate and co-worker, plus a steady parade of visitors, proved both entertaining and educational. Richard’s memoir, The Couscous Chronicles,  relates the adventures a bunch of ambitious, curious and mostly dedicated twenty-somethings . . .

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THE PEACE CORPS IN LATIN AMERICA by Fernando Purcell

  In the 1960s, twenty-thousand young Americans landed in South America to serve as Peace Corps volunteers. The program was hailed by President John F. Kennedy and by volunteers themselves as an exceptional initiative to end global poverty. In practice, it was another front for fighting the Cold War and promoting American interests in the Global South. This book examines how this ideological project played out on the ground as volunteers encountered a range of local actors and agencies engaged in anti-poverty efforts of their own. As they negotiated the complexities of community intervention, these volunteers faced conflicts and frustrations, struggled to adapt, and gradually transformed the Peace Corps of the 1960s into a truly global, decentralized institution. Drawing on letters, diaries, reports, and newsletters created by volunteers themselves, Fernando Purcell shows how their experiences offer an invaluable perspective on local manifestations of the global Cold War. Fernando Purcell is . . .

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