The Peace Corps

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

1
Poetry Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Writers Book Awards
2
Travel Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Book Awards
3
Early Termination Rates of Response Volunteers Compared – RPCVs to Non-RPCVs
4
Glimmers
5
Liquid Contentment
6
RPCV NYC Announces 5th Annual Story Slam Returned Peace Corps Volunteers take the stage to share true stories of service abroad
7
Palma de Mallorca inspires another poem by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
8
Famous RPCV Journalists: The China Gang
9
A set back for RPCVs in North Carolina — maybe temporarily.
10
Advice for the graduate who wants to work in International Affairs

Travel Books Nominated for 2016 Peace Corps Book Awards

The Keys to the Congo: and Further Travels: Memoir of a 2x Peace Corps Volunteer Irene Brammertz (Zaire 1988–90; Malawi 2011–12) October 2015 A House in Trausse Leita  Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) December 2015 Ethiopian Vignettes: Seeing is Believing James Murren (Honduras 1997-99) November 2015 Travel Tales of a Feisty Fifty-something: All Roads Lead Home Joanne  Nussbaum (Mongolia 2010–12) January 2015 Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads Paul Thexoux (Malawi 1963-65) September 2015 Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998–2000) December 2015 Circling Sicily Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) December 2015

Read More

Early Termination Rates of Response Volunteers Compared – RPCVs to Non-RPCVs

One of the major changes made by Peace Corps in 2010 was to include non-RPCVs in the Peace Corps Response Program. The decision to include non-RPCVs was announced in the 2010 Peace Corps Comprehensive Agency Assessment Report. (https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/opengov/PC_Comprehensive_Agency_Assessment.pdf) Peace Corps Response had begun in 1995 as the Crisis Corps. It was designed to utilize the unique experience of RPCVs by deploying them to help in emergencies, almost always in foreign countries. Later, the name was changed to Peace Corps Response and the mandate was expanded to send RPCVS  on short term technical or professional  assignments. Today, Peace Corps Response is open to returned Volunteers or those with significant professional and technical experience willing to serve usually three to twelve months in host countries. The Response Volunteers do not receive the extensive 12 week cultural and language training that “traditional” Volunteers have received. The Responsive program has a week’s orientation program.  It . . .

Read More

Glimmers

It’s not difficult to feel grumpy, irritated and downright depressed in this city of ours, what with grey winter days, carjacking, house and mall robberies, traffic gridlocks and hooded vandals destroying and looting during weekly student demonstrations. These scenes have become our daily bread. Days ago a water main broke on a principal artery of the city. A deluge of escaping water flowed down towards the center of town. Surface traffic and a major metro line were cut. The news showed streams of city folk walking long distances to work. But, all is not gloom. I laughed out loud at the sight of a young, well-dressed woman, desperate to cross the street, clambering aboard a grocery cart pushed by an ingenious Chileno. For a few pesos he delivered her across the river to the opposite corner. Oh, those enterprising Chileans. At the first drop of rain, they’re selling umbrellas at . . .

Read More

Liquid Contentment

  My redwood tree looks perky and content. The neighborhood robins are out breakfasting on an abundance of juicy worms. Hummingbirds squeal and careen in delight. Wet leaves cover the pavement. Even I feel light and energized after the refreshing rain yesterday. After years of drought, rain is reason for celebration. I also am grateful for the clear skies after days of smothering smog, and for the white ring of snow on the Andes surrounding the city. Our current rainfall is three times greater than last year at this time, and winter doesn’t start for three more weeks. I wonder what the rain gods have in store for the next few months. The rainfall in the usually wet southern Chile has diminished. The city of Coyhaique, set in a bowl of verdant hills, is rated as one of the most contaminated cities in the world. Besides the scarcity of rainfall, . . .

Read More

RPCV NYC Announces 5th Annual Story Slam Returned Peace Corps Volunteers take the stage to share true stories of service abroad

Join the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New York City (RPCV NYC) on Saturday, June 25, 2016 when returned volunteers take the stage to tell stories of mischief, mayhem, and misadventure around the world. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 7:30 pm at Hostelling International ­ NY located at 891 Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper Westside in Manhattan. Entry is donation based (suggested $5)  with refreshments also available by donation. Proceeds from the event will go towards an underfunded project through the Peace Corps Partnership Program which allows current volunteers  to fundraise for community led projects where they   serve. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have the unique experience of having lived and served  abroad for 27 months while integrating into the culture of their host communities. Far from the comforts and convenience of their lives in the U.S. and established family and friends they work at . . .

Read More

Palma de Mallorca inspires another poem by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  More than twice the size of my small island of Minorca is the island of  Majorca or Mallorca, the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago that also includes Ibiza and Formentera. I have been to all of them, and you should travel there as well. Here’s a poem that came out of one of my visits to the big island. Palma De Mallorca The woman in the hotel pool swam in steady lengths, mindless of the Mediterranean, the yellow sun on harbor walls, the dance of docked white yachts. Mindless as well of my gin and tonic, or Robert Graves, buried in the thick crust of Deya. Her blond hair combed the turquoise water. Beyond the high tips of palm trees, Palma de Mallorca rushed by, while she kept pace in her wet world. Swimmers know nothing but their breath, the pull of muscles, and coolness of flesh. She did not know us, watching her slight body, tan limbs . . .

Read More

Famous RPCV Journalists: The China Gang

Although the Peace Corps has given a start to many well-known writers—Paul Theroux, Maria Thomas, Philip Margolin, Bob Shacochis, among them—it has fostered relatively few journalists and editors. One of the first journalist was Al Kamen, a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic during the early 1960s.Recently retired after 35 years at the Washington Post, Kamen wrote a column, “In the Loop,” and also covered the State Department and local and federal courts. He assisted his Post colleague Bob Woodward with reporting for The Final Days and The Brethren. Other Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) of the 1960s who became well-known journalists include Vanity Fair’s special correspondent Maureen Orth, an urban community development volunteer in Colombia, and one of the first women writers at Newsweek, and MSNBC HardBall host Chris Matthews, who served in Swaziland. There are more, of course, with that kind of media power who went into film and the arts . . .

Read More

A set back for RPCVs in North Carolina — maybe temporarily.

The Washington Times published the following AP report from the North Carolina legislature.  Associated Press, Wednesday, June 1, 2016 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Bipartisan legislation allowing North Carolina public school teachers and government employees with previous Peace Corps service to improve their pensions has been side-tracked in the House after a strong majority originally supported the legislation. The House initially voted 94-14 Tuesday for the bill, which would require workers to pay both their personal contribution and the government’s share to “buy” retirement credits for up to five years in the Peace Corps. But several Republican lawmakers asked Speaker Tim Moore to have their “yes” votes changed to “no,” setting the stage for procedural motions to cancel the previous approval. Some legislators then criticized the bill, saying Peace Corps veterans shouldn’t be treated the same as military veterans, which have a similar option. The bill was then returned to a committee.” . . .

Read More

Advice for the graduate who wants to work in International Affairs

Morgan Courtney is a “Design thinker + foreign policy/international development practitioner working for social impact” who wrote an article for the Huffington Post.  She offers  ten points of advice for the “Graduate Who Wants to Work in International Affairs.” Of interest to the Peace Corps community and prospective applicants is #2 from Courtney. Get field experience. Many field jobs in international development require prior field experience. It’s a Catch-22. How do you get field experience if jobs require you to already have field experience? There are a couple of different ways. Firstly, your summer or semester in South Africa doesn’t count as much as you think it does. Sorry. What employers are looking for is real work experience, not classroom time, in another country. (What IS good is language proficiency from your time abroad!) So what can you do after college to get field experience? In my estimation, the very best . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.