The Peace Corps

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

1
Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) Live! on Evergreen Reading Program
2
RPCV Peter Navarro’s Criticism of Biden and Harris Violation of Hatch Act
3
The Tin Can Crucible by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea)
4
ONCE IN A BLOOD MOON by Dorothea Hubble Bonneau (Tanzania)
5
A Paul Theroux (Malawi) short story in The New Yorker & a novel coming In April
6
Should the US Abolish the Peace Corps?
7
A Critical Review of Wendy Melillo’s, “Democracy’s Adventure Hero on a New Frontier: Bridging Language in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign 1961-1970”
8
Danielle Nierenberg (Dominican Republic) fighting the famine with Food Tank
9
Alana DeJoseph talks about filming A TOWERING TASK
10
“All In My Family” by Rich Wandschneider (Turkey 1965-67)

RPCV Peter Navarro’s Criticism of Biden and Harris Violation of Hatch Act

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1962-67)   White House trade adviser RPCV Peter Navarro’s criticism of Biden and Harris found to be a violation of Hatch Act White House trade adviser Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) has become the latest Trump administration official found to have violated the Hatch Act, a federal law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in certain political activities. In a report made public Monday, a government watchdog, the Office of Special Counsel, said Navarro violated the law when he made political comments, “disparaging” then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris in television interviews while appearing in his official capacity. The report found Navarro had also disparaged Mr. Biden on Twitter. Moreover, Navarro continued to violate the Hatch Act after he learned OSC was investigating him for just that, the report said. “Dr. Navarro’s violations of the Hatch Act were knowing and . . .

Read More

The Tin Can Crucible by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea)

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport settled into the Eastern Highlands to live with a group of subsistence farmers.  He began to learn the language and develop a strong sense of connection with his inherited family.  One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practicing sorcery. Devastated, Christopher tries to reconcile this unspeakable act with the welcoming and nurturing community he has come to love. But in trying to comprehend what he has witnessed through the lens of Western sensibilities, Christopher is unable to find the answers he seeks. Instead, he is left with one universal question: How do we continue to love someone who has done the unthinkable? In this true story, Davenport gives a considerate but courageously honest depiction of his transformative experience. He asks difficult questions about the role . . .

Read More

ONCE IN A BLOOD MOON by Dorothea Hubble Bonneau (Tanzania)

  Once in a Blood Moon by Dorothea Hubble Bonneau (Tanzania 1966-68)is the winner of the  2020 American Fiction Award. The novel tells the story of an African American heiress of a prosperous plantation flees for her life when her mother dies and her father is murdered by racists eager to seize her estate. It is a novel that is set in 1807 on the Heaven Hill Plantation, upriver from Georgetown, South Carolina, and sixteen-year-old Alexandra Degambia walks a tightrope stretched between her parents’ ambitions. Her father, a prosperous planter, wants to preserve the heritage of his African ancestors. But her mother, who can pass for white, seeks to distance herself from her African roots and position herself in the elite society of wealthy free-women-of-color. Alexandra, however, has dreams of establishing her own place in the world as an accomplished violinist. She assumes her talent and her family’s wealth will pave . . .

Read More

A Paul Theroux (Malawi) short story in The New Yorker & a novel coming In April

  In the current issue of The New Yorker (December 7, 2020) is a short story by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) entitled “Dietrologia”. (DYET-troh-loh-GEE-ah). Dietrologic is a fairly recent entry in Italian vocabulary, only a few decades old. It means “behindology.” The word, which is often used with skepticism and even derision, describes the mental habits of the practicioner of this non-science, the dietrologo who regularly sees something behind events as they are presented. We call this “paranoia.” (p 58)   Paul also has a novel coming out in April entitled Under the Wave at Waimea The plot: Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still call him the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. When Joe accidentally hits and kills a man near Waimea while driving home . . .

Read More

Should the US Abolish the Peace Corps?

The story behind one group’s grassroots effort to do just that   by Shanna Loga (Morocco 2006-08) An Injustice!  Sep 2020 • For many Americans, the Peace Corps is a treasured institution. It represents the idealism, generosity, and curiosity of our nation and symbolizes our spirit of humanitarianism. We imagine bright-eyed volunteers selflessly digging wells in Cameroon or teaching English in Ecuador. With its founding by JFK and its current mission of “promoting world peace and friendship,” the Peace Corps holds a special reverence in the national consciousness. Objectively, the Peace Corps is an independent US government agency and volunteer program. Peace Corps volunteers receive three months of in-country, international training before serving two-year terms abroad in sectors including agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development. The population of volunteers skews young, white, and female: the average age is 26, 65% are female, and 66% are white. Volunteers work alongside . . .

Read More

A Critical Review of Wendy Melillo’s, “Democracy’s Adventure Hero on a New Frontier: Bridging Language in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign 1961-1970”

  A Critical Review of Wendy Melillo’s, Democracy’s Adventure Hero on a New Frontier: Bridging Language in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign, 1961-1970 published by Taylor & Francis Online by William Josephson Retired Partner, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP Founding Counsel, Peace Corps, 1961-66 Ms. Wendy Melillo’s, Democracy’s Adventure Hero to a New Frontier: Bridging Language in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign, 1961-1970, begins with the assertion that the Peace Corps “would be the only new proposal to emerge from a tight race in which the Massachusetts Senator [John F. Kennedy] won the popular vote by a slim margin.”  Yet, subsequently, she acknowledges his commitment to rethink Mutual Security military and foreign aid programs of the 1950s.  She never mentions Kennedy’s commitment to close the “missile gap.”  Although she mentions Sputnik, she does not mention his commitment to catch up to the Soviet Union in the . . .

Read More

Danielle Nierenberg (Dominican Republic) fighting the famine with Food Tank

  UN Warns of an Impending Famine With Millions in Danger of Starvation By Thalif Deen Relief Web UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 2020 – The numbers are staggering — as reflected in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a new round of food shortages, famine and starvation. According to the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) 690 million people do not have enough to eat. while130 million additional people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year. “Hunger is an outrage in a world of plenty. An empty stomach is a gaping hole in the heart of a society,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week pointing out that famine is looming in several countries. Striking a personal note, Guterres said he could have never imagined that hunger would rise again during his time in office as Secretary-General. The WFP singled out 10 countries with . . .

Read More

Alana DeJoseph talks about filming A TOWERING TASK

  “A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps” Alana DeJoseph Raising the Bar From Quaint to Crucial BY JOAN MEAD-MATSUI NOVEMBER 4, 2020 • Being a returned Peace Corps volunteer herself, Alana DeJoseph, producer, director, videographer, and editor, couldn’t help but think that an in-depth, comprehensive Peace Corps documentary was needed. “Peace Corps Film Director Reflects” ignites future discussions about the significant role the Peace Corps has played in the world with an eye on the future. Alana’s “A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps,” a film she directed, follows the agency’s beginnings, first volunteers, and evolution in a style that will capture your heart and remind you how we can make a positive difference in our world. Alana’s heart has always been in documentaries. She has worked in video and film production for more than 30 years and while reflecting on her experiences in the . . .

Read More

“All In My Family” by Rich Wandschneider (Turkey 1965-67)

  Published in Writers on the Range   When “All in the Family” hit the TV screens in 1971, the war in Vietnam was raging, cities from Washington, D.C., to Detroit, were charred from riots in the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination, and many young people like me were leaving those cities, moving West to rural America. Archie Bunker stayed in Queens, where a “bar was a man’s castle,” while daughter Gloria and son-in-law “Meathead” tried to help Archie grasp hippies and anti-war protests. We called ours the “back to the land” movement, and we chuckled with Meathead as Archie Bunker got chuckles from our dads. But we were done watching “Leave it to Beaver” and “Ozzie and Harriet.” Our flexible families were radically changing. Well, the family has changed again, and, I’d argue that my own, occasionally dysfunctional family is closer to what’s happening in America now than . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.