The Peace Corps

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

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Asia Without Borders by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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RPCVs of North Carolina and of Colorado have scheduled showings of “A Towering Task”
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How to get A TOWERING TASK shown on your local PBS station
4
A Peace Corps Trainee Checks In On Social Media From Cameroon
5
What You Should Know About Writing & Publishing Your Peace Corps Book
6
The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service Wants to Hear From you.
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An introduction to a writer’s life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)
8
Theroux Has More To Say About Mexico
9
Review Of The Buried by Peter Hessler (China)
10
Everyone Writes. But Is Everyone a Writer?

Asia Without Borders by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

Asia Without Borders Crossing the South Asian Expanse by Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96) SK Publishers 327 pages SK Journeys $14.00 (paperback)   “Someday there will be an Asia without borders, one, big happy family,” was the Thai immigration official’s reply to author Steve Kaffen’s comment that this was the most relaxed international border Steve had ever crossed. The Thai official and his Malaysian counterpart had established an open border used by bicycles, vehicles, and pedestrians across the east coast’s Sungai Golok Bridge. In a further goodwill gesture, they passed Thai coconuts and Malaysian bananas to each other throughout the day. Join Steve Kaffen (Russia  1994-96) on an autobiographical journey across South Asia. Explore the region’s great historical sights, marvel at its landscapes, meet its residents in often humorous encounters, and have a succession of adventures along the way. Visit Thailand’s Mekong region and the great temples of Bagan in Myanmar, . . .

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RPCVs of North Carolina and of Colorado have scheduled showings of “A Towering Task”

10/14/10 Update for Colorado:  The 50 tickets obtained by RPCV of Colorado were sold out, almost immediately.  They may have additional tickets, contact them at rpcvcolorado.org If no tickets are available via RPCVs of Colorado, tickets for  A Towering Task go on sale at 12:30 pm, today Monday, October 14, 720.381.0813  for non-members of Denver the Film Festival. __________________________________________________________   RPCVs of North Carolina will sponser the first SE showing of “A Towering Task”.The film will be shown on October 22, 2019, 6pm to 9pm EDT.  Here is the link for more information: https://www.ncpeacecorps.org/events/a-towering-task-the-story-of-the-peace-corps-film-screening-happy-hour From the website: “Meet us at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Raleigh for a movie night: the first southeast U.S. showing of “A Towering Task, The Story of the Peace Corps,” with a reception preceding the film from 6pm – 7pm. The screening starts promptly at 7, with no late admittance. This event is sponsored as a community service by . . .

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How to get A TOWERING TASK shown on your local PBS station

    If you were fortunate enough to see the new and brilliant documentary about the Peace Corps entitled A Tower Task that had its World Premiere at the Kennedy Center last weekend (or if you have just heard about it from other RPCVs) then you can drum up interest in having it shown on your local PBS station simply by calling the station. Your interest will nudge the station into realizing that there is ‘local interest’ in our great government agency and they might contact PBS back in Washington. If there is enough interest ‘out there” then the PBS folks would contact producer and director Alana De Joseph (Mali 1992-94) and ask her to let them show the documentary on all their stations. A little phone call from you can’t hurt and it might help bring the Peace Corps–and what you did as a PCV– into the living rooms . . .

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A Peace Corps Trainee Checks In On Social Media From Cameroon

PC CAMEROON UPDATE Sasha Kogan Follow Oct 3 · I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but wanted to do it right — it’s difficult to describe this country and the past two weeks. It has felt like an entire lifetime, an almost magical realism-esque blur of time and space where everything is so different and yet in ways so similar. Yesterday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, grabbed my bucket full of my damp laundry and brought it outside to the clothes lines. I had taken my clothes inside the night before due to the pounding rain that occurs almost nightly, hot and intense thunderstorms that turn the roads to a mix of mud and puddles. My homestay family thinks it is cold during the rainy season. They all bundle up in winter coats and make sure that I am wearing my flip flops . . .

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What You Should Know About Writing & Publishing Your Peace Corps Book

Mike Shatzkin is a widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry. He has been actively involved in trade book publishing since his first job as a sales clerk in the brand new paperback department of Brentano’s Bookstore on Fifth Avenue in 1962.  The Shatzkin Files is one of the most closely-watched ongoing commentaries on digital change in trade publishing. The Shatzkin Files More than two decades into its digital transition, book publishing has evolved so that a capital-intensive infrastructure is no longer a requirement to successfully develop a book, or a list of books, and bring the books to market. This has resulted in a self-publishing segment, so far almost entirely author-driven, that is substantial in reach and readership and which offers ongoing competition to the commercial publishing business largely because of its ability to price its ebooks below what would be survival levels for commercial . . .

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The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service Wants to Hear From you.

    “The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service is a bipartisan, 11-member Commission created by Congress to develop recommendations to inspire more Americans—specifically young people—to participate in military, national, and public service and to review the military selective service process. The Commission was established on September 19, 2017 and launched in January 2018. We released an Interim Report on January 23, 2019. Addressed to the American public, Congress, and the President, the Interim Report outlines issues we are exploring and summarizes our work to date. We will publish our Final Report, complete with policy recommendations and legislative proposals, by March 2020. Our work will conclude by September 2020.” The Commission is comprised of eleven commissioners who bring together diverse experiences from service in the military, public office, Capitol Hill, and not-for-profit organizations.” https://inspire2serve.gov/content/who-we-are   Peace Corps is included in the list of National Service opportunities.  The Commission . . .

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An introduction to a writer’s life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)

  Welcome to the Writer’s Life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008–10) Sasquatch Books Publisher 320 pages $ 18.95 2018     INTRODUCTION Hello there. On the day that changed me from someone who wanted to be a writer to someone working to be a writer, I was a twenty- six-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the capital of Paraguay, on a swamp-hot bus packed mostly with office workers on their way home. The bus squealed to a stop, and the driver opened the door. Since so many of the stories, both hilarious and traumatizing, that I told my family and friends back home started with someone getting on the bus, I’d developed a reflex to watch that door, waiting for whoever or whatever was next. A young woman, maybe twenty, hopped on and stood at the front, smiling. She greeted us hello in Guaraní, not with the usual booming voice of . . .

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Theroux Has More To Say About Mexico

THE WEEKEND INTERVIEW How Mexicans See the U.S. and Trump The border fence is ‘a visible example of national paranoia,’ author Paul Theroux says. Yet he thinks Americans are right to be afraid. By Tunku Varadarajan Sept. 27, 2019 5:58 pm ET  ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN Sandwich, Mass. If Paul Theroux’s new book on Mexico is a commercial success, he’ll have Donald Trump to thank for it. But the initial inspiration came from a young man who worked in a doctor’s office. In 2014 Mr. Theroux visited a clinic in this Cape Cod town, where he spends his summers. The assistant who registered him made an instant and irksome impression. “ ‘Take a seat, Paul,” Mr. Theroux quotes him. “ ‘Fill in these forms, Paul. The doctor will see you shortly, Paul.’ It was Paul, Paul, Paul.” Mr. Theroux, 78, recalls the incident with somewhat startling venom: “I’m in my 70s. I said to myself: . . .

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Review Of The Buried by Peter Hessler (China)

The New York Review of Books (October 10, 2019) carries a long review of The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution written by Ursula Lindsey who writes about culture, education, and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Egypt and Morocco and is now based in Amman, Jordan. Lindsey writes, “The Buried promises to uncover an essential truth about Egypt, but this is a promise that it can’t keep. What it does deliver is original, richly layered, and often delightful reporting. Hessler has a sharp sense of humor, a gift for observation, a healthy skepticism, and a knack for using memorable characters and anecdotes to demonstrate larger truths.” Lindsey goes onto write, towards the end of her long review, “Hessler’s book is neither an overview of the many factors that led to the Arab Spring, nor an account of how it was thwarted. And even when one disagrees with his . . .

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Everyone Writes. But Is Everyone a Writer?

Workshops hosted by published authors like Elizabeth Gilbert and non authors like Caroline Calloway have commodified creativity.                                            Elizabeth Gilbert, one of a number of well-known authors who also host                                            writing and creativity workshops. By Katherine Rosman  Published Sept. 18, 2019  New York Times In a video that began making the rounds last month, Meg Stalter describes herself as a writer in New York City (“can you get any more cliché than that, no you can’t” she said), and gives some writerly advice. “Write every day, every second of the day. When you wake up, you should be looking, ‘Where’s my writing stuff that I use to write?’” Ms. Stalter . . .

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