The Peace Corps

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

1
Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur (Ethiopia)
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Peace Corps Issues Update on 2019 Crash That Resulted in Death of Ms. Rabia Issa
3
Remembering and Honor Where We Began — 60 Years Ago
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Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)
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The Volunteer Who Initiated Critical National Discussions — Charles Murray (Thailand)
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Baby Whisperer–George Pope (Chile)
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Michelle Obama will help Launch the Peace Corps Support of Education for Girls
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Establishing the Peace Corps–what we remember 60 years later
9
Christmas and Living in Ecuador
10
Charlie Peters, Washington Monthly Founder and Mentor to Leading Journalists, Turns 95

Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur (Ethiopia)

Let’s Talk About Estate Planning by Virginia McArthur, Esq. (Ethiopia 1964-66) Cambridge Studio Publisher 280 pages September 2020 $8/99 (Kindle); $13.25 (Paperback)     Will your estate plan fail? If you don’t understand how it works, you could dismantle it yourself! Are you tempted to take free advice about planning? Do you avoid reading the fine print? Will joint ownership simplify or complicate your plan? What happens to assets left directly to a minor? Know it or blow it. Let’s Talk About Estate Planning defogs estate planning through invented, but true to life, conversations between friends, or between clients and fictional lawyer Rebecca Dalton. Some of these exchanges expose major errors, not all of them fixable. This entertaining and informative treatment of estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, beneficiary designations, titling of assets, powers of attorney, and gifts illustrates how these pieces fit together. Read it, and you will say “NOW I . . .

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Peace Corps Issues Update on 2019 Crash That Resulted in Death of Ms. Rabia Issa

January 7, 2022 WASHINGTON – Today, Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Carol Spahn released the following update regarding the 2019 crash that resulted in the death of Ms. Rabia Issa: “The death of Rabia Issa in Tanzania was a horrible tragedy, and we grieve the incredible loss to her family, friends and community. “We recognize the deep pain that was caused by Ms. Issa’s death, as well as the inequities that exist. Our ongoing work is grounded in a commitment to equity and ensuring our mission is clearly centered in our host communities. We expect all staff and every Volunteer to enter service with deep humility and respect as we seek to foster peace and understanding across cultures. We are committed to doing everything within our power to pursue policy, legislative, enhanced training and other solutions to bolster accountability. “We understand that many questions remain about the agency’s response to . . .

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Remembering and Honor Where We Began — 60 Years Ago

  The first Peace Corps HQ was at 806 Connecticut Ave across from Lafayette Park and within view of the White House. It was called the Maiatico Building and immortalized in the famous Washington Post photograph showing how the Peace Corps was working far into the night in the first days of the new agency. When the Peace Corps was “launched” JFK did so by signing an ‘executive order” to create the agency, an idea of Bill Josephson, co-author of the memo “Towering Task,” who told Kennedy he had the power to create the new agency by using the existing Mutual Security Act of 1954. Kennedy claimed that the establishment of the Peace Corps was an emergency. And it was. By doing so, the Peace Corps was created immediately without going through months of congressional debates. With the signing to create this new agency, Shriver, with the help of Warren Wiggins, obtained three . . .

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Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)

  A Husband and Wife Are One Satan  Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04) Orison Books September 2021 40 pages $12.00 (paperback), $7.49 (Kindle) Reviewed by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) • I find a great deal of pleasure in reading fiction set in other cultures or countries, especially when the work demonstrates more than a superficial understanding of the place about which it is written. That was one motivation behind the anthology series I curated, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (published by Press 53 in 2016). It was also in that context that I first became aware of Jeff Fearnside’s work when his story set in Kazakhstan, “A Husband and Wife are One Satan,” was included in the first volume of that series. I recognized then that, having been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, Fearnside had the depth of knowledge of his chosen setting to bring the culture and his . . .

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The Volunteer Who Initiated Critical National Discussions — Charles Murray (Thailand)

by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Charles Murray served as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Thailand, beginning in 1965, then stayed abroad for six years. He credits his time in Peace Corps with his lifelong interest in Asia. His tenure with the Peace Corps ended in 1968. Recalling his time in Thailand, in 2014 Charles noted that his worldview was fundamentally shaped by his time there. He went on to comment: . . . most of what you read in my books I learned in Thai villages. I was struck first by the enormous discrepancy between what Bangkok thought was important to the villagers and what the villagers wanted out of government. Secondly, when the government change agent showed up, the village went to hell in terms of its internal governance. His work in Peace Corps and subsequent research in Thailand for research firms associated with the U. S. Government led . . .

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Baby Whisperer–George Pope (Chile)

The Baby Whisperer iUniverse by George Pope (Chile 1963-65) 112 pages September 2021 $5.99 (Kindle); $13.99 (Paperback)       For the past sixteen years, George Pope has been holding and comforting babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) a local Children’s Hospital. The book is full of heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and sometimes downright amusing stories of working with the most caring, the most compassionate, and the most competent professionals he has ever been associated with. His job? He calls himself:  The Baby Whisperer! Before becoming a “Baby Whisperer,” George had a forty-year international affairs career. Beginning as a PCV in Chile (1963-65), he served in six U.S. Embassies and managed the operational aspects of international food aid relief programs in over fifty countries.  

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Michelle Obama will help Launch the Peace Corps Support of Education for Girls

  WASHINGTON (Reuters) – First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Japan and Cambodia this month as part of a U.S. global effort to support education for girls, the White House said on Tuesday. She will visit Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan from March 18 to March 20, and the Cambodian capital Siem Reap from March 21 to 22, it said in a statement. The initiative aims to reduce the number of girls — 62 million worldwide — who do not attend school, according to the administration. The effort, launched last summer through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will use the Peace Corps volunteer program to help expand access for schooling for girls, especially for teenagers. Cambodia is one of 11 countries targeted by the Peace Corp initiative during the program‘s first year, the White House said. The other countries are: Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Ghana, . . .

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Establishing the Peace Corps–what we remember 60 years later

The current issue of WorldView (online at the NPCA site) has an informative interview with Bill Moyers and Bill Josphenson on the creation of the Peace Corps. The interview introduces new information about those formative days of the agency. Here is an essay I wrote in the late ’90s about creating the Peace Corps based on interviews I had done with founders like Warren Wiggins and Harris Wofford and others who had been part of the Mayflower Gang that created the Peace Corps.    Establishing the Peace Corps Let me start with a quote from Gerard T. Rice’s book, The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps: In 1961 John F. Kennedy took two risky and conflicting initiatives in the Third World. One was to send five hundred additional military advisers into South Vietnam; by 1963 there would be seventeen thousand such advisers. The other was to send five hundred young Americans . . .

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Christmas and Living in Ecuador

by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) When the request to write remembrances of our first in-country Peace Corps Christmases arrived in my email box, I thought, no way am I going to tell mine.  \And as the beautiful, joyful, meaningful stories appeared, I was further reluctant to share one of the worst experiences of my young life. As I write this, I can almost hear people saying, oh, here Marnie goes again with her dark twist on the Peace Corps experience. I said as much to Coyne and he said, “just write it.” The backstory: Soon after I arrived at my site assignment in March of 1964, in the rough and tumble urban barrio of Cerro Santa Ana, Guayaquil, Ecuador, I began to hear neighborhood people call out to me, “Romy, Romy.” I had no idea why because my name was Margarita to most of my neighbors on the Cerro. It . . .

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Charlie Peters, Washington Monthly Founder and Mentor to Leading Journalists, Turns 95

After helping to found the Peace Corps, the former West Virginia legislator started this magazine in 1969 and molded it for 32 years.  by Matthew Cooper December 22, 2021 A little over 20 years ago, I made a short film in honor of Charlie Peters, the founding editor of the Washington Monthly. The American Society of Magazine Editors was inducting my old boss and mentor to its Hall of Fame, a kind of Cooperstown of glossies. Held at a glitzy luncheon at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, the editors of venerable titles lavishly toasted themselves as the National Magazine Awards were handed out. (In retrospect, it had an end-of-an-era feeling, with 9/11 and the collapse of so many publications in the offing.) My short film was a precis to Charlie getting his Thalberg. It began with shots of the Time-Life Building, the Newsweek building, and the Condé Nast tower, followed by . . .

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