The Peace Corps

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

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The National Peace Corps Association Works to Create an Emergency Response Network
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Today the National Peace Corps Association released its plan for the future of the Peace Corps
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New list of RPCV writers who have published 2 or more books — November 2020
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BOTSWANA WILDLIFE & WATERWAYS by Steve Kaffen (Russia)
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Dr. Fauci sends words of encouragement to the NPCA’s new Emergency Response
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Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010–2012) — Peace Corps Whistleblower
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Biden with PCVs
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“Conflict in Ethiopia extends the greater Middle East’s arc of crisis”
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“Redesigning U.S. Assistance to Africa in the Post-Pandemic Era” — Mark Wentling (Togo)
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Review — STEALING FORTUNES’ BRICK by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia)

The National Peace Corps Association Works to Create an Emergency Response Network

From the NPCA website: “The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing national crisis that requires a creative and focused response by local and national governments as well as by individual Americans. There is an immediate need in communities across the country, particularly among minority and underserved populations to identify and trace the sources of COVID-19 infection. The Peace Corps community can help meet this immediate need. Contact tracing on this scale requires large numbers of trained personnel to be quickly deployed to priority-need communities, in coordination with state and local public health professionals.” NPCA’s first Emergency Response Network project was with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Seattle and King County, Washington.  Dr. Anthony Fauci commended  these RPCVs as they began training as contract tracers for  COVID-19, in his moving address. The only contact I could find for RPCVs who might  want to apply to be a member of . . .

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Today the National Peace Corps Association released its plan for the future of the Peace Corps

  NPCA President Glenn Bumhourst announces CONNECT WITH THE FUTURE.  It is NPCA’s  Plan, months in the making, for a Path to the Future for the Peace Corps.  Here is the announcement with links to read the Report. Today we present a community report on how to reimagine, reshape, and retool the Peace Corps for a changed world.  Read the Report Online Amid a time of unprecedented crisis for the Peace Corps and our nation as a whole, the Peace Corps community has come together to chart a way forward: with specific, actionable steps that will help reimagine and retool the Peace Corps for a changed world. Those steps are outlined in “Peace Corps Connect to the Future,” a report months in the making and made public today. The report itself was prepared by a special National Peace Corps Association advisory council drawn from the broad Peace Corps community inside and . . .

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New list of RPCV writers who have published 2 or more books — November 2020

Here is our new list — as of November 2020 — 321 RPCV & staff authors who have published two or more books (of any type). If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email me at: jcoyneone@gmail.com. I know I don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 59 years. Thank you. Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1962-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65) Peggy . . .

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BOTSWANA WILDLIFE & WATERWAYS by Steve Kaffen (Russia)

  Botswana is one of Africa’s great showplaces. It has the continent’s largest concentration of wildlife and the largest elephant population. It also has a network of strikingly beautiful waterways and scenic landscapes. The country has benefited from sustained political stability and an economic policy that has balanced growth and development with environmental sensitivity. Author and explorer Steve Kaffen takes readers to two Botswana highlights, Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, with revealing photographs of animal and birdlife in natural surroundings, pristine waterways, varied landscapes, and local lifestyles. Steve writes in his introductory note: “Africa is exhilarating. I feel a rush of energy upon arrival. I soon encounter the first African smile–huge, warm, and genuine–welcoming me back. I love the feeling of freedom, the open spaces, the unfiltered conversations and hospitality, and the naturally beautiful places. The entire experience is enveloping.” Amazon.com will be offering the book free Friday . . .

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Sara Thompson (Burkina Faso 2010–2012) — Peace Corps Whistleblower

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Nancy Tongue (Chile 1980-82)   by Jane Turner November 9, 2020 Sara Thompson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she moved with her parents to Omaha, Nebraska, when she was nine months old. She also lived around Memphis, Tennessee, for an extended period but considered herself a Midwesterner and a “nomad,” traveling and living in many different places. Her mother was a computer programmer, and her father was an insurance claims examiner. Both parents were “super smart, and good role models.” They were Catholic and had principles and values that Thompson was exposed to and impacted by. Her father was a fan of Sir Thomas More (venerated as Saint Thomas More), and he loved More’s sense of integrity. Growing up with her parents, Thompson said there was always a strong “sense of right and wrong.” “My parents are really to blame for my adventures, for . . .

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Biden with PCVs

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bob Arias (Colombias 1964-66)   The PCVs returned to Colombia in September 2010, after a 29-year hiatus. Then Vice-President Biden attended and celebrated the reentry in Bogota. Jason Cochran (PTO-DPT)–on the far left–took 3 PCVs to meet the Vice President at a Meet and Greet with Embassy Personal. At the time Colombia reopened with 9 PCVs. Cochran was a PCV in Panama (1997-2000) and later on the staff in Panama, Paraguay, and Colombia. Since 2010, Peace Corps Colombia has supported approximately 90 communities along the Caribbean coast through the work of 250 traditional and Response Volunteers.

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“Conflict in Ethiopia extends the greater Middle East’s arc of crisis”

Thanks for the “heads up” from Jack Allison (Malawi 1966-69) By James M. Dorsey and Alessandro Arduino The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer   Ethiopia, an African darling of the international community, is sliding towards civil war as the coronavirus pandemic hardens ethnic fault lines. The consequences of prolonged hostilities could echo across East Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Fighting between the government of Nobel Peace Prize winning Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigrayan nationalists in the north could extend an evolving arc of crisis that stretches from the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in the Caucasus, civil wars in Syria and Libya, and mounting tension in the Eastern Mediterranean into the strategic Horn of Africa. It would also cast a long shadow over hopes that a two-year old peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea that earned Mr. Ahmed the Nobel prize would allow Ethiopia to tackle its economic problems and ethnic divisions. . . .

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“Redesigning U.S. Assistance to Africa in the Post-Pandemic Era” — Mark Wentling (Togo)

November 2020 by Mark Wentling (Togo 1970-73) Key Points It is my opinion that the interest of the United States is best served in most African countries by improving the basic welfare of their people. The effectiveness of U.S. aid in Africa can be enhanced by focusing on the least developed countries. Helping address basic human needs, notably in the areas of education and health, should be top priority, especially the education of girls. Increasing agricultural production to improve nutritional health also deserves greater attention. Assistance funding needs to be stable and independent of political and diplomatic considerations. The composition of U.S. overseas missions and cumbersome bureaucratic processes must be revised to permit the effective and timely implementation of this new strategy. These changes are necessary to raise hopes for a better future for millions of Africans and to strengthen the role of the U.S. in Africa. _____________________________________________________________ As someone . . .

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Review — STEALING FORTUNES’ BRICK by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia)

  Stealing Fortune’s Brick: The Audacious Tea Heist by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-66) Foehr & Son Publisher 285 pages June 2020 $7.00 (Kindle); $11.00 (paperback)   Reviewed by Sue Hoyt Aiken (Ethiopia 1962–64) • You might ask why anyone would want to steal tea so badly they would commit violence, lies, deception and danger! This story is based in modern day London but harkens back to early Chinese history intertwined with British history in China. The clever character development involves an American, Tom, invited by his maternal Chinese grandfather he has never met, a Rosemary, who joins him in his pursuit as a way of making her life more exciting, her London based gang boss brother, Ow, whom she adores. And a precious brick of exceptional tea valued in the millions! One might say the brick of tea is the main character! The Chinese regarded Robert Fortune as a criminal, . . .

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