The Peace Corps

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

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Coyne Signs Off
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Publisher Marian Beil continues Peace Corps Worldwide
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Peace Corps Virtual Symposium at American University
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Would the pandemic stop Paul Theroux (Malawi) from traveling? No. Of course not.
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Review — UNDER THE WAVE AT WAIMEA by Paul Theroux (Malawi)
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A Conversation with Senator Chris Coons: National Service and the Biden Agenda
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60 Years of The Peace Corps
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A Ghanaian medical doctor has recounted how her Peace Corps teacher transformed her life
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A Perfect Storm, a Perfect Partnership Opportunity — Kevin Quigley (Thailand)
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Harris Wofford tells the story of how the Peace Corps began

Coyne Signs Off

I’m closing down with this email my steady diet of blog posts, but you’re not rid of Peace Corps WorldWide. The website will stay ‘live’ with Marian Beil. She will announce new books from Peace Corps Writers and other news. The other good news to share is that American University will take all the items we posted and preserve them on their Peace Corps History site. You can reach the collection here at any time. https://wayback.archive-it.org/1435/*/https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/ Meanwhile, you can search for new articles and book reviews by the RPCV community on this site. In August I will announce the winners of our Writers Awards for books published in 2020. ( I might even sneak on when no one is watching and post an article or two, but don’t tell Marian.) If you have something to publish, contact Marian directly. Her email is marian@haleybeil.com You can also read our first website: . . .

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Publisher Marian Beil continues Peace Corps Worldwide

  Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) the publisher/designer/manager of our site will continue to maintain Peace Corps World Wide. Marian and I began this Third Goal effort of Peace Corps Writers shortly after the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the agency, but long before that, Marian had been the central Volunteer in the organizing of the RPCVs from Ethiopia, creating one of the first newsletters for RPCVs. Having designed two websites for Peace Corps Writers, she also created and manages Peace Corps Books that as of today has published over ninety books, mostly memoirs, of the Peace Corps experience. Having a B.A. in mathematics from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, she earned her masters in design from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts. Marian designed our newsletter and website and keeps it up to date. Our site has also benefited from the contributions of others, especially Joanne Roll (Colombia . . .

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Peace Corps Virtual Symposium at American University

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steve Kafein (Russia 1994-96) Peace Corps 2.0: A Symposium March 31 | 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET | Online Event Co-sponsored by the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, the American University Museum, and the National Peace Corps Association Sixty years ago, in March 1961, students held a conference at American University to advise Sargent Shriver on how the Peace Corps should take shape. During this milestone anniversary, we commemorate student leadership with a virtual symposium and an exhibit at the American University Museum. Learn more and RSVP

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Would the pandemic stop Paul Theroux (Malawi) from traveling? No. Of course not.

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04)   By Gal Beckerman New York Times March 28, 2021 • For five days, Paul Theroux, the famous American travel writer, dined on hard-boiled eggs, microwaved dal and wine. He had set out cross-country in a rented Jeep Compass on the day before Thanksgiving, driving from Cape Cod, where he has a house, to Los Angeles, where he delivered boxes of his papers to his archives at Huntington Library, and then flying on to Hawaii, his other home. Theroux said he observed a landscape largely emptied out by the coronavirus pandemic, from deserted motels in Sallisaw, Okla., and Tucumcari, N.M., where he stopped to sleep, to a rest area in Tennessee where he had his solitary Thanksgiving meal, and the In-N-Out Burger in Kingman, Ariz., on his last day on the road. Every night, as is his habit, he wrote out . . .

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Review — UNDER THE WAVE AT WAIMEA by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

  Under the Wave at Waimea by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 416 pages April 2021 $15.99 (Kindle); $$24.21l (Hardback); $28.00 (Audio CD) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • I’ve read and reviewed the last six books from the iconic travel writer, Paul Theroux, and was fortunate enough to snag a copy of the uncorrected proof of his next book, which will be available in mid-April. Initially, I was unenthusiastic about reading about the life of an aging surfer in Hawaii, but after reading On the Plain of Snakes about Mexico, I felt sure he’d manage to turn Hawaii into one of his ebullient tomes—and I was not disappointed. After all, the author has lived there for over 30 years, during which time he’s been gathering stories and materials about this unique 50th State. Although he’s traveled the world, he lived the longest in Hawaii, whose . . .

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A Conversation with Senator Chris Coons: National Service and the Biden Agenda

    A Conversation with Senator Chris Coons: National Service and the Biden Agenda Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 6:00pm Virtual As the Peace Corps celebrates 60 years of volunteer service, the JFK Jr. Forum welcomes U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), the lead Senate sponsor of major national service legislation and co-chair of the National Service Caucus. What is the role of national service both domestically and internationally? Do the needs of the pandemic response offer opportunities for more Americans to make a difference? How does national service contribute to President Biden’s call to ‘restore the soul of America’? Join the Institute of Politics for a discussion with Delaware’s Senator Chris Coons, a leading voice in the national service movement; member of the Senate Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, and Small Business Committees; and chair of the Senate Ethics Committee. IOP Director and former Director of the Peace Corps 1995 to 1999, Mark D. Gearan, will . . .

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60 Years of The Peace Corps

    Here’s a look at some of the agency’s major accomplishments and milestones: 1961: President Kennedy hosts a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in honor of the first group of volunteers departing for service. Congress approves legislation for the Peace Corps. The first volunteers arrive in Ghana. 1977: Carolyn Robertson Payton is appointed Peace Corps Director by President Jimmy Carter. She’s the first female and first African American to serve in this role. 1985: The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program, a graduate fellowship program offering financial assistance to returned volunteers, as well as opportunities to continue service in underserved communities, is established. 1995: The Peace Corps sends volunteers to the Caribbean island of Antigua to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Luis. This pilot program, Crisis Corps (now called Peace Corps Response), provides short-term humanitarian service to countries worldwide. 2005: For the first time, volunteers are deployed domestically . . .

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A Ghanaian medical doctor has recounted how her Peace Corps teacher transformed her life

A Ghanaian medical doctor has recounted how her Peace Corps teacher transformed her life The doctor is known as Ruhaimatu Osman and according to her, she was a bad student back in senior high school. Her story was shared in a post by US Embassy Ghana which reads; “Dr. Ruhaimatu Osman is a medical doctor at the Eastern Regional hospital- Ko foridua in Ghana. She shares this awe-inspiring story about her encounter with Peace Corps volunteers. “I write in reference to the Peace Corps celebrating its 60th anniversary of impacting lives. I am a medical doctor at the Eastern Regional hospital- Koforidua in Ghana. I attended St. Louis Senior High School in Kumasi from the year 2006 to 2009. As a young ambitious girl who wanted to be a medical doctor, I had my fears. I kept on asking myself, what if I fail in life. In my first year . . .

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A Perfect Storm, a Perfect Partnership Opportunity — Kevin Quigley (Thailand)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80)   By Kevin F. F. Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) Inside Higher Ed March 16, 2021 As the Biden-Harris administration gets underway in the midst of the global health, environmental and political crises that have given new urgency to needed social change, can a deeper partnership between higher education institutions and the Peace Corps play a role in building a more just and caring world? When they launched it at an earlier inflection point in American history, the Peace Corps’ founders tapped the energy and idealism of the young to achieve three enduring goals: 1) to help other countries help themselves, 2) to promote cross-cultural understanding and 3) to broaden our understanding of the world beyond our borders by having volunteers share their experiences with other Americans. Although the Peace Corps began as a bold innovation with great vision and ambition, much . . .

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Harris Wofford tells the story of how the Peace Corps began

  In accepting the presidential nomination, John Kennedy promised “invention, innovation, imagination, decision.” Thirty-nine days after taking office, he established the Peace Corps by executive order and began to keep that promise. Harris Wofford remembers in this long-ago short essay. • The Peace Corps began for me when a call came from Millie Jeffrey, a Democratic National Committee member and active colleague in the Kennedy campaign’s Civil Rights Section (where I was deputy to Sargent Shriver). With great excitement, she told me about Kennedy’s extemporaneous talk she had heard at 2 a.m., October 14, 1960 to thousands of students, faculty, and town people waiting for him in front of the University of Michigan’s Student Union. Challenging the students, he had asked them if they were ready to spend years serving in Asia, Africa, or Latin America. Stirred by his question, Michigan students, including Millie’s daughter, had taken around a petition . . .

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