The Peace Corps

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

1
Foreign Affairs Senate Committee approves Peace Corps Reauthrization Act of 2022
2
The Famous Peace Corps Test
3
BRAZILIAN ODYSSEY by Stephen Murphy (PC Staff)
4
Larry Grobel remembers Atar (Ghana)
5
Brattleboro, Vermont holds shared history event of SIT, World Learning, and Peace Corps
6
Peace Corps Returns to Ghana
7
The Snugli Story and the RPCV who Invented It (Togo)
8
RPCV John Peterson (Senegal) gets out of jail . . . out of Tanzania . . . out of the Peace Corps
9
Writers From the Peace Corps
10
RPCV Writer Dorothea Jensen (Brazil)
11
Justin Bibee–Homemaker for Refugees (Morocco)
12
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project July 2022 Newsletter
13
Number of Peace Corps Voluntees Serving as of June 28, 2022
14
The Boy in the Boat (Tunisia)
15
Kenyan Athlete Who Made It In the US Returns With Life Changing Gift to Villagers

Foreign Affairs Senate Committee approves Peace Corps Reauthrization Act of 2022

  JULY 19, 2022 MENENDEZ, RISCH, COLLEAGUES CELEBRATE SFRC APPROVAL OF PEACE CORPS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2022 WASHINGTON –  U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today were joined by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in releasing the below statements following the Committee’s passage of their legislation to reauthorize the Peace Corps for the first time in over 20 years. Authorizing the appropriation of more than $410,000,000 per year, the bipartisan Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022 will extend Peace Corps Volunteers’ health care coverage, statutorily raise Volunteers’ readjustment allowance, expedite return-to-service opportunities for those impacted by COVID-19 and future comparable emergencies, and expand the agency’s Sexual Assault Advisory Council. “Today’s Committee approval of our bipartisan Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022 is a momentous victory for those of us who appreciate the crucial role that the Peace Corps plays in . . .

Read More

The Famous Peace Corps Test

In the early days of the Peace Corps there was a Placement Test given to all applicants. Actually, it was two tests. A 30-minute General Aptitude Test and a 30-minute Modern Language Aptitude Test. The areas of testing were in Verbal Aptitude, Agriculture, English, Health Sciences, Mechanical Skills, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, World History, Literature, United States History and Institutions, and Modern Language Aptitude. One-hour achievements tests in French and Spanish were also offered during the second hour. The instruction pamphlet that accompanied the tests said that the results would be used “to help find the most appropriate assignment for each applicant.” For those who missed the opportunity to take the tests, which were given –as best I can remember—from 1961 until around 1967, I am including a few of the questions. Let’s see if you could still get into the Peace Corps. 1. Verbal Aptitude The question below consists . . .

Read More

BRAZILIAN ODYSSEY by Stephen Murphy (PC Staff)

  Professor Luke Shannon’s study mission to Brazil takes an ominous turn. Tatiana, a fiery student with indigenous roots, has a secret agenda. She seeks the killers of her cousin, “the guardian of the forest,” assassinated on All Saints Day 2019. Teaming up with a veteran reporter in the Amazon, they press hard to discover the truth. Those in power feel threatened and push back. A Colombian drug lord enters the fray, taking Tatiana, Luke, and the journalist down a dangerous path. São Paulo’s crime syndicate and Big Ag interests play for keeps. They’ll eliminate anyone who gets in their way. Who will prevail? Stephen Murphy interviewed over one hundred Brazilians for this book, told through the eyes of sixteen unsung heroes and heroines. They battle to save their rainforests, native people and fragile democracy in Brazil today. NOTE: Reporter Dom Phillips and indigenist Bruno Pereira disappeared deep in the . . .

Read More

Larry Grobel remembers Atar (Ghana)

  When I taught at the Institute of Journalism in Accra, Ghana (1968-71), I lived on the top floor of a duplex that came with an extra room behind the house. The room was there if I wanted a houseboy. I didn’t want a houseboy, but when my language teacher came to visit, he explained that he knew many young men who needed housing, and so I agreed to give the room to someone he knew and trusted. That is how Atar entered my life. Over the next three years, Atar and I became close. I visited his village, traveled with him to schools for the blind and the deaf, went to some historical landmarks, and to a fetish ceremony. He taught me how to play board and card games. He shared his life stories with me. When I had completed my Peace Corps service I arranged with my parents . . .

Read More

Brattleboro, Vermont holds shared history event of SIT, World Learning, and Peace Corps

  Commemorative Marker Dedication Honoring the shared history of SIT, World Learning, and the Peace Corps   Saturday, August 13, 2:00 p.m. SIT & World Learning Campus 1 Kipling Road Brattleboro, Vermont   You are invited to celebrate the shared history and missions of SIT (School for International Training, World Learning, and the Peace Corps. Join us as we dedicate a historical roadside site marker denoting the Brattleboro campus as one of the original National Peace Corps Training Centers.   Hosted by World Learning CEO Carol Jenkins and SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett. Keynote speaker to be Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn.  

Read More

Peace Corps Returns to Ghana

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Return to Ghana Home | News & Events | U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Return to Ghana Accra, Ghana – U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ghana last week after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The initial group of thirteen Volunteers will resume Peace Corps’ mission of promoting peace and friendship, in collaboration with their Ghanaian counterparts, in junior high schools and schools for the deaf, health centers, and farming communities in the Eastern and Volta Regions.  Additional Volunteers who will work in the agriculture and health sectors will arrive in January 2023. “Ghana was the first country to receive Peace Corps’ volunteers in 1961.  As a former Returned Peace Corps Volunteer myself, I’m beyond excited to welcome them back to Ghana.  The Peace Corps represents the ideals of the United States – volunteerism, cooperation, and friendship – and these Volunteers are no exception,” said Acting U.S. Chargé . . .

Read More

The Snugli Story and the RPCV who Invented It (Togo)

  A recent article discussed the top 101 female inventions that changed the world and women’s innovation history. One of the stories is about Ann (Aukerman) Moore (Togo 1962-64) who invented the child carrier Snugli. It is # 20 on the list of 101 Invention. Child carriers  The Peace Corps Volunteer nurse, Ann Moore, was the first person to invent the child carrier Snugli during the 1960s. While working during that time as a Peace Corps nurse in Togo, West Africa, she saw something interesting done by African mothers. They carried their little ones in fabric slings that were securely tied on their backs. She liked how close the mothers and their babies were this way and noticed how babies looked calm because they felt more secure due to their closeness to their mothers. Upon going back home to the US and having a child of her own, she wanted . . .

Read More

RPCV John Peterson (Senegal) gets out of jail . . . out of Tanzania . . . out of the Peace Corps

  Story Highlights—from USA Today Peace Corps employee John Peterson was paid $258,000 while on leave and under investigation after killing a woman in a 2019 hit and run in Tanzania, records show. The Peace Corps paid the family of the woman Peterson killed just $13,000, despite a federal law that allows the agency to settle such claims for up to $20,000. The crash happened after Peterson had been drinking at a bar and picked up a sex worker, according to the Peace Corps. Peterson never faced charges in Tanzania or the United States. John Peterson sat in a Tanzanian police station in August 2019, capping off a chaotic driving spree that left a mother of three dead on the streets of Dar es Salaam. But before he could be criminally charged, Peterson’s employer — the United States government — whisked him back to America and put him on leave while he . . .

Read More

Writers From the Peace Corps

John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Editor: PeaceCorpsWriters.org; PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org   The Lost Generation In the 1920s Gertrude Stein coined the phrase “the lost generation.” It was repeated by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises, his novel of Paris, and is often used to describe the intellectuals, poets, artists, and novelists who rejected the values of post World War I America. They relocated to Paris and quickly adopted a bohemian lifestyle of excessive drink, messy love affairs, and the creation of some of the finest American literature ever written. We give this lost generation of American writers in Europe a prominent place in the landscape of 20th century American life and culture. They led the way in exploring themes of spiritual alienation, self-exile, and cultural criticism, leaving a distinct mark on our intellectual history. They expressed their critical response in innovative literary forms, challenged traditional assumptions about writing and self-expression, and paved . . .

Read More

RPCV Writer Dorothea Jensen (Brazil)

RPCV author Dorothea Johnson Jensen (Brazil 1969-70) was born in Boston. As a child, she moved to Chillicothe, Illinois. Jensen majored in English Literature (Carleton College) and earned an M.A. in Education (University of New Mexico). She lives now in Contoocook, New Hampshire. Her brother, Paul C. Johnson, was a PCV in Ghana in 1968-70.  Her son, Nathaniel Jensen, was a PCV in Estonia, and her daughter, Louisa Wood, was a PCV in China. She and her husband (also an RPCV Brazil 1969-70) ) have lived all over the United States, as well as in The Netherlands. Jensen’s first historical novel for young readers, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, was named an International Reading Association Teachers’ Choices Selection soon after publication. It is used in classrooms throughout the U.S. as an enrichment resource for studying the American Revolution. Jensen’s second historical novel for young readers, A Buss from Lafayette, was released . . .

Read More

Justin Bibee–Homemaker for Refugees (Morocco)

Homemaker for Refugees by Emma Bartlett July 5, 2022 Justin Bibee, 34, (Morocco 2012-14) is an avid human rights advocate. He jokes that just like those in the military service receive badges for their work, he aims to be the most decorated human rights advocate – and he’s already on his way to achieving that goal. Bibee was recently named a 40 under 40 winner which is an annual contest hosted by Providence Business News. This is a statewide contest and awardees are selected based on career success and involvement within their communities. A graduate of Cranston East, Bibee currently works as a refugee resettlement case manager for Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island in Providence, but his human rights work goes back to his 20s. After Bibee graduated from Rhode Island College where he obtained a degree in justice studies, he moved on to Vermont’s School for International Training . . .

Read More

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project July 2022 Newsletter

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project July 2022 Newsletter   Dear Valued Friend, Welcome to our second Peace Corps Oral History newsletter of 2022. We have some important updates to share since our last issue in January. As a reminder, the mission of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project (OHAP) is to preserve the Peace Corps experience through in-depth oral history interviews of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and Peace Corps staff. We are excited to announce we have recently expanded this offering to include host country nationals who were staff or interacted with Peace Corps Volunteers. In addition to preserving history we are attempting to capture the spirit of current events as experienced by our interviewees. An amazing example of this is the Virtual Exhibit Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories. Scroll down to learn more. If you have not signed-up already, please click the button below to request an in-depth oral history video interview. Interviews are conducted remotely . . .

Read More

Number of Peace Corps Voluntees Serving as of June 28, 2022

ARMENIA P 1 BELIZE C 5 BELIZE P 10 BENIN P 18 COLOMBIA C 1 COLOMBIA P 18 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC P 13 EASTERN CARIBBEAN P 10 ECUADOR P 16 GAMBIA C 1 GAMBIA P 16 GHANA P 13 KYRGYZSTAN C 1 KYRGYZSTAN P 11 MEXICO P 1 NAMIBIA C 1 NAMIBIA P 1 PARAGUAY P 13 PERU C 2 PERU P 10 RWANDA P 16 SENEGAL C 1 SIERRA LEONE P 16 TOGO P 19 UGANDA C 2 ZAMBIA C 10 ZAMBIA P 27 Volunteer type Acronyms: P = two-year Volunteers C = Peace Corps Response Volunteers This information is from FOIA 22-0101 Thank you to the Peace Corps FOIA Office 253

Read More

The Boy in the Boat (Tunisia)

The Boy in the Boat by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia 1970-72) July 5, 2022 This photograph haunts me. It came to me out of the blue, sent by an old pal I haven’t seen in over fifty years. The light is diffuse, almost ethereal; it looks more like a painting than a photograph. It must have been taken in that dreamtime before cell phones, when cameras were really cameras and you had to send a roll film off to be developed. The images would come back a week or two later, 3×5 or 4×6 snapshots, but by then, the moment was already a memory. Little did I know… I have no specific memory of this moment, but I can tell that’s me—fifty years younger and sixty pounds lighter—sitting in that bleached rowboat, looking back at my now-self. My hair is thick and tousled; my Fu Manchu mustache is faintly visible. I’m . . .

Read More

Kenyan Athlete Who Made It In the US Returns With Life Changing Gift to Villagers

    By DERRICK OKUBASU on 6 July 2022  Residents of Iten, Kenya in the Rift Valley have their life upended after an athlete who rose from the village to find success in the United States returned with a life-changing gift. In May, the doors of Simbolei Girls’ Preparatory Academy, a high school built by athlete Richard Kaitany and his wife Andrea, open its doors for the first time to accord the girls a chance at an education. In an interview with Runner’s World, Kaitany noted that he was touched to give back to the community out of his own childhood experience. Born at the edge of Iten, the athlete attended primary school and transitioned to St. Patrick’s High School where he was not so keen in pursuing athletics as a career. His high school coach, however, encouraged him to take the career path since at the time, in 1974, most American universities were . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.