The Peace Corps

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

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“We Called Him Sarge” By Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)
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Crisis and Cure: Writing Both Political and Personal
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September 11 and the “Third Goal” of Peace Corps
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Peace Corps stories on a map from the Museum of Peace Corps Experience
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RPCV Matt Losak Still Fighting the Fight (Lesotho)
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“One Morning in September” — 9/11
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WINNER OF THE 2021 Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country
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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award
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Review — FROM AFAR by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)
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List of Peace Corps Authors, September 2021

“We Called Him Sarge” By Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)

  Rarely do I recall precisely when and where I met someone from my past, especially when it was decades ago. But I remember the three times I saw Sarge — between 1963  and 2002. I expect that a great many of those who met the first director of the Peace Corps, like me, felt his cheerful and empathic spirit. In August 1963, I’d just spent the summer in Mexico — my first trip out of the U.S. I’d been part of a large group of college students who lived and worked in small Mexican towns performing community development work. I departed from my town of Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, two weeks before my twelve colleagues, to attend the National Federation of Catholic College Students (NFCCS) convention in Minneapolis as my college’s delegate. Sarge delivered the keynote speech there on August 27, 1963, to an overflowing auditorium of young people. . . .

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Crisis and Cure: Writing Both Political and Personal

This blog was originally meant as an attempt to make sense of the election of 2016 and the disasters that befell the nation as a result. However, recently, it has expanded to include non-political and personal writing, and even some fiction and poetry. Still, be warned, there will be a lot of politics here, and most of it will be liberal or left of center.   Afghanistan Then And Now by Elaine Parmenter (PC Staff) August 30, 2021     I’m embarrassed.  And angry.  With the Biden administration.  What were they thinking to remove the troops from Afghanistan and THEN  to try to figure out how to help US citizens, permanent residents, and Afghan friends and helpers exit the country?  Any housewife knows to straighten up and send the kids outside before she begins cleaning the house!  Was it the administration’s advisors or a stubborn old president who decided to close down shop and then figure . . .

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September 11 and the “Third Goal” of Peace Corps

Quote of the Week from the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute In our post-September 11 world, the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, “to teach Americans about the developing countries,” is more important than ever. [ . . . ] Our relationships with the people of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe are vitally important. We must increase and teach understanding and tolerance before we can hope to achieve world peace! — Sargent Shriver | Washington D.C. | June 21, 2002   Our Quote of the Week invites us to remember the third of the “Three Goals” of Peace Corps, and inspires us to work towards a more unified, peaceful world. At the age of 87, Sargent Shriver appeared at the 2002 National Peace Corps Association Conference, where he spoke these words. At the time, nine months had passed since the terrorist attacks of September . . .

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Peace Corps stories on a map from the Museum of Peace Corps Experience

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from John Rude (Ethiopia 1962-64) The Museum of Peace Corps Experience has assembled 50 short vignettes submitted by RPCVs.  Readers may see the stories on a Google Earth map by clicking HERE. Like any global adventure worth its salt, you may need a few navigational tips — You’ll see a list on the left with a list of RPCV authors and dates of service.  Click on any name to open a story. Photos appear at the top, with the stories beneath.  If there are several photos, click the left or right arrows to see them. To see the whole globe, return to Projects/Peace Corps Stories and click the left arrow at the top. Next, click the Menu (upper left) to again click a left arrow symbol, next to Google Earth. With the entire globe visible, you may hold the left-click button on your mouse and . . .

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RPCV Matt Losak Still Fighting the Fight (Lesotho)

New Balance sneakers squeaking on the tile floor, Matthew Losak  (Lesotho 1985-87) pushed down a quiet hallway in one of the three towering high-rises of the Enclave, a massive apartment complex with more than 1,000 units in White Oak, Md. He checked a clipboard covered with half a dozen names and addresses. He then knocked on a door, listened, and knocked again. “I’m from the Montgomery County Renters Alliance,” Losak announced to the man who appeared at the threshold. “I’m here to see if you need any help applying for the rent relief?” The tenant, shaking off the shock of having a visitor at his door at dinner time on Labor Day, nodded. “They said I make too much money for that,” the tenant, who asked not to be identified, said. “Who said?” Losak said, pouncing on the opportunity to help in a situation that appeared to be speeding toward . . .

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“One Morning in September” — 9/11

One Morning in September by Edwin Jorge (Jamaica 1979–81) Edwin Jorge was the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office and was at work in Building # 6 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The building was destroyed when the North Tower collapsed. At a commemoration service held at Headquarters in Peace Corps/Washington a year after 9/11 Edwin spoke about the attack and what happened to the Peace Corps Office. His comments follow. ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, on the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat down at my office desk and turned on my computer. As the computer booted to life, I glanced up and looked out of the windows of my office on the sixth floor of the Customs House in the heart of the financial district of New York. From where I sat, I could see the corner of Tower One of . . .

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WINNER OF THE 2021 Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country

Winner —The Award for Best Children’s Book about a Peace Corps Country   We Are Akan: Our People and Our Kingdom in the Rainforest — Ghana, 1807 — Paperback – October 16, 2020 by Dorothy Brown Soper (Ghana 1962-65), author; and  James Cloutier (Kenya 1962-66), illustrator Luminare Press 358 pages Reading level : 9 – 12 years October 2020 $8.99 (Kindle); $19.99 (Paperback) This work of historical fiction offers a richly illustrated story of life in the Asante Kingdom of 1807. Three boys, ages 11-13, strive to become leaders in the Akan culture. They balance the life they know with their experience of domestic slavery and the role of the Asante Kingdom in the Atlantic slave trade.  WE ARE AKAN is a work of historical fiction that follows three months in the lives of Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako, ages 11–13, who live in and near the fictional town of Tanoso in the . . .

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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award

  In the Coral Reef of the Market Earl Carlton Huband (Oman 1975–78) (Peace Corps poetry) Main Street Rag Publishing 2020 44 pages $12.00 (paperback) Earl Carlton Huband is also the author of  The Innocence of Education, winner of Longleaf Press at Methodist University’s 2018 chapbook contest. He was a Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) in the Sultanate of Oman from 1975 to 1978. He taught English in the remote fishing village of Bukha located in a then-restricted military zone at the mouth of the Persian Gulf for two years. During his third year, he worked in Salalah, the capital of Oman’s southern district, splitting his time between teaching English and serving as assistant to that region’s Chief English Inspector. This second book of poems is also based on his Peace Corps experiences. Huband dedicates this book: “To all people worldwide who have worked to promote cross-cultural understanding” Huband describes a . . .

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Review — FROM AFAR by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia)

  From Afar:  One man’s human-powered adventure from the lowest point on the African continent to the summit of its highest mountain by Kyle Henning (Ethiopia 2009-11) $17.99 (Paperback); $0.00 (Kindle); Self-Published, May 2021 253 pages Reviewed by Cynthia Nelson Mosca (Ethiopia 1967-69) • I began my adventure with Kyle Henning’s videos on YouTube beginning with Part 1 where Kyle is very neat and clean, a situation that definitely changed by the end of his adventure. This video was enough to catch and hold my interest. I continued watching one video a day until the book was available for purchase. Then I held off watching the last one until I finished the book. How does a classically-trained bassist go from working in a bank in upstate New York to Abyssinia? Isn’t it obvious? Through AmeriCorps. Perhaps not obvious, but Kyle Henning strongly wanted out of his cubicle. He wanted to take . . .

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List of Peace Corps Authors, September 2021

Here is our new list — as of September 2021 — 396 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: jcoyneone@gmail.com. We know we don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 60 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 Anderson (Togo . . .

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