The Peace Corps

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

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Posthumous memoir by Sargent Shriver scheduled for publication in January
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US Peace Corps’ exit from China cuts valued channel of Sino-American dialogue
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Review of American Dreamer by David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica)
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Non-profit group started by RPCVs awards scholarships celebrates US-Micronesian partnership
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NPCA WILL CONDUCT A TOWN HALL ON PEACE CORPS AND ITS FUTURE
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RPCV White House Advisor Accuses China of Weaponizing the Virus to Kill Americans
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RPCV lawyer helps Audra Elam (Togo) save dog
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“Pandemic Positive” — a poem by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)
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PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AND THE MAKING OF KOREAN STUDIES IN THE UNITED STATES
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Ursula Bendix (Colombia) publishes LAND-HOME-MOUNTAIN VIEW

Posthumous memoir by Sargent Shriver scheduled for publication in January

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) • NEW YORK (AP) — The late Sargent Shriver, the Peace Corps’ founding director and an architect of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” left behind at least one unfinished project. RosettaBooks announced Tuesday that it had acquired Shriver’s memoir We Called It a War, which he worked on in the late 1960s and was only recently rediscovered. Shriver’s friend and law partner David Birenbaum edited the manuscript, in which Shriver tells of his efforts to fulfill Johnson’s vow in 1964 to end poverty. The 348-page book, pared down from a “very raw” 500 pages, is scheduled for January. “What I learned from working with Sarge, and what I hope readers will discover in reading the book, is his distinctive model of leadership in which policy is shaped by our noblest human values and energy flows from spiritual awareness,” . . .

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US Peace Corps’ exit from China cuts valued channel of Sino-American dialogue

US Peace Corps’ exit from China cuts valued channel of Sino-American dialogue 07-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post  As conflicts over trade, technology and civil liberties dominate US-China relations, a long-standing cultural and educational bridge between the two countries has been quietly dismantled with the US Peace Corps ending its operations in China. Each summer since 1993, Peace Corps volunteers have flown into the Chinese city of Chengdu ready to fill English-language teaching positions across the country’s west, as part of an initiative to promote understanding between citizens of the two countries. This year that won’t be happening. The programme will be phased out because of “many significant changes in China over the past 26 years”, according to a statement released in February by the independent government agency’s Washington headquarters. Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The . . .

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Review of American Dreamer by David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica)

American Dreamer: Memoirs of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central America and Beyond By David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica 1980-82) Epigraph Publishing March 2020 292 pages $ 35.00 (hardback); $22.00 (paperback)   Reviewed by Jim Skelton (Ethiopia 1970-72) The Foreword, written by Leymah Gbowee, and the Introduction, written by Muhammad Yunus, both of whom are Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, introduce David Ives as a humble, well respected and positive man who believes there is good in humanity. Both attribute to David several other admirable qualities, such as an unshakable sense of justice, tirelessly working to build world peace, and a philosophy of reverence for life.   After reading that introductory material, it became clear to me that I was about to read an amazing story featuring a remarkable man who had been recognized as being quite extraordinary by two very exceptional individuals. Moreover, I discovered that David is not only an . . .

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Non-profit group started by RPCVs awards scholarships celebrates US-Micronesian partnership

COLUMBIA, South Carolina —  Twenty-two students from across the four states of Micronesia were awarded tuition scholarships this week, making it possible for them to attend faith-based independent elementary and high schools in Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei. Habele tuition scholarships are funded entirely by the individual donations of American citizens who share a love of Micronesia and the belief that high-quality education can unlock the incredible personal potential of some of the world’s most remote students. Sheridan Giltamag of Yap is one of the Habele tuition scholarship recipients for 2020-21. Awarded the Leona Peterson Memorial Scholarship, she will be a freshman at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Pohnpei in the fall. Each tuition grant is set at a level that maintains family ownership in student achievement while lightening the financial burden. Often scholarships cover between fifty and seventy-five percent of school tuition and fees. Students must maintain . . .

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NPCA WILL CONDUCT A TOWN HALL ON PEACE CORPS AND ITS FUTURE

CORRECTION:  The original post did not have the correct information to register.  I apologize for the confusion. Here is the link to register: To register: https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/cpages/home  All the conversations and the Town Hall will be on ZOOM. The NPCA is inviting all RPCVs to participate in the events leading up to the Town Hall as well as the actual Town Hall. The following is the text of the NPCA announcement. • We’re convening an ideas summit July 18 to ask some crucial questions about the Peace Corps community in a changed world. And as we lead up to that event, from July 8–16 we’re bringing together members of the Peace Corps community for a series of town hall discussions around issues of systemic racism, climate change, and more — to help shape our agenda for the future and ask: What are the big ideas for the Peace Corps going forward? Volunteers worldwide were evacuated because of . . .

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RPCV White House Advisor Accuses China of Weaponizing the Virus to Kill Americans

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-67)   Without providing any proof, Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) accused China of purposely weaponizing the virus to kill Americans and blasted Dr. Fauci while boasting about himself By PETER WADE  Rollingstone White House trade adviser Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75). In an obvious attempt to deflect blame from President Trump’s dismal handling of the coronavirus pandemic in America, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro went on an extended rant on Friday, tossing out unproven conspiracy theories as if he were holding court in a QAnon forum. Navarro, a now-infamous, bomb-throwing advocate of Trump’s more than suggested that China was somehow able to “weaponize” the virus to kill Americans, while at the same time allowing many other countries to contain the spread. China “spawned the virus,” Navarro said. “They hid the virus. They sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals over here to seed and spread the . . .

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RPCV lawyer helps Audra Elam (Togo) save dog

  Reginald Brown (Micronesia 1990-02) helps Audra Elam (Togo 2019-20) save dog from being sent back overseas after COVID-19-forced separation By Sydney Czyzon Chicago Tribune, July  02, 2020 • A Peace Corps volunteer feared her beloved dog would be sent back overseas Friday because of issues with his paperwork. Then, a former Peace Corps worker used his legal expertise to help stop the separation. Audra Elam, the 27-year-old dog owner, originally from western Illinois, was teaching children in Togo in western Africa when she had to leave in mid-March because of the spread of coronavirus. “He would follow her to school,” Andrew Orland, another Peace Corps member, said of the dog. “When she did English classes in the afternoon, he would come hang out with the kids.” Elam left behind the terrier mix, Socrates, with the hope she could return to the village and extend her stay. But when it became clear . . .

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“Pandemic Positive” — a poem by Ada Jo Mann (Chad)

Pandemic Positive by Ada Jo Mann (Chad 1967-69) • I wake to find this virus has stopped time and everyone on earth must make a change to focus effort on the greater good and forge a path that creates something new that urges us to find ways to relate to demonstrate the many ways we care. A daily focus must be on self care, if not our strength will surely fade in time. Technology can help us to relate and guide us as we navigate the change. Our innovations usher in the new. Our actions must support the greater good. How is it we can’t find the needed goods? It seems our current leaders just don’t care, though early on the highest levels knew and kept denying, wasting precious time It’s mandatory now that we must change For now it’s at a distance we relate. So ZOOM it is, that helps . . .

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PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AND THE MAKING OF KOREAN STUDIES IN THE UNITED STATES

  From 1966 through 1981 the Peace Corps sent more than two thousand volunteers to South Korea, to teach English and provide healthcare. A small yet significant number of them returned to the United States and entered academia, forming the core of a second wave of Korean studies scholars. How did their experiences in an impoverished nation still recovering from war influence their intellectual orientation and choice of study — and Korean studies itself? In this volume, Peace Corps Volunteers and the Making of Korean Studies in the United States, former Volunteers who became scholars of the anthropology, history, and literature of Korea reflect on their experiences during the period of military dictatorship, on gender issues, and on how random assignments led to lifelong passion for the country. Two scholars who were not volunteers assess how Peace Corps service affected the development of Korean studies in the United States.   Co-editor . . .

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Ursula Bendix (Colombia) publishes LAND-HOME-MOUNTAIN VIEW

  Ursula Bendix (Colombia 1967-69) was born in Germany in 1945 and immigrated with her family to Portland, Oregon, when she was ten. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Portland State University, she joined the Peace Corps as an educational television volunteer in Columbia, South America. At the end of her two-year volunteer service she returned to Portland, completed her master’s degree, and finished working on a secondary school teaching credential. She moved to Yreka, California, in 1976 teaching adult education and Spanish for the College of the Siskiyous many years. She also taught at a polytechnic high school in southern Chile in 2018 as part of the English Open Doors program sponsored by Chile’s Ministry of Education and the United Nations. She is owner/broker of Bendix Real Estate specializing in Yreka and much of Siskiyou County for twenty years. Bendix’s Land • Home • Mountain View is her first . . .

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