1
Review — QUEEN OF HEARTS edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal)
2
Review — FLORIDA LOST AND FOUND by Fran Palmeri (Benin)
3
Milly Taylor’s New Novel (Ethiopia)
4
China Peace Corps Evacuated Safely
5
Harvard Students Want to Keep Former PC Director Gearan “In House”
6
Third Goal Efforts of RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia)
7
A Writer Writes: “Trauma in Togo” by Mark Wentling (Honduras)
8
Sen. Ricky Scott slams PC Director Jody Olsen in WSJ
9
RPCV Sabra Ayres (Ukraine) covers her host country for LA TIMES
10
New Screening Dates for A Towering Task

Review — QUEEN OF HEARTS edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal)

    Queen of Hearts: The Story of Anna Sipl Meyers Edited by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96), Anna Sipl Meyers (Author) Self-published July 2018 248 pages $20.00 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974-76 & Costa Rica 1976-77) • This is a life story worthy of a Horatio Alger novel, except that it is autobiographical rather than fiction, and the hero, Anna Sipl Meyers, continues her story after achieving her initial goal of owning a Las Vegas hotel and casino. In fact her ups and downs as a hotel and casino owner are among the most fascinating parts of her life story. The book is based on two years of interviews conducted by Claytee D. White, Director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas) Libraries. RPCV Leita Kaldi Davis organized the interviews and edited them into a book which is conversational, well organized, and . . .

Read More

Review — FLORIDA LOST AND FOUND by Fran Palmeri (Benin)

    Florida Lost and Found: Nature in the Changing Landscape By Fran Palmeri (Benin 1967-68) Green Pilgrimage Press 200 pages January 2020 $29.98 (paperback) Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) • Fran Palmeri and her husband Bob, who was with the USIA, were assigned to  Dahomey (now Benin) in 1967/68. When Sam Stokes, the Peace Corps Country Director, and Sam Longsworth, the Assistant Director came to Cotonou, the capital, to set up the Peace Corps program, Fran was there to help them. Volunteers arrived several months later.  “They were young and idealistic,” says Fran. “It was an exciting time to be in Africa. Many new countries had come into existence very recently, including Dahomey. It was an exciting time to be with the Peace Corps which also was relatively new.” Fran had been working in Washington for the Navy department as assistant editor of a magazine, and was . . .

Read More

Milly Taylor’s New Novel (Ethiopia)

  Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67) was an early PCV to the town of Yirgalem in Southern Ethiopia. She was in the Fifth Group of Volunteers, having trained at Utah. As a former Volunteer she has had a remarkable career as a novelist, publishing nine novels, including the 1976 Roll of Thunder, Heart My Cry, published by Dial Press that won the 1977 Newberry Award. This new novel, published last month, is entitled All The Days Past, All The Days To Come is a sweeping saga of the Mississippi Logan family that comes to a compelling conclusion. It is the story of Cassie Logan who we first meet as a eight-year-old and she is a witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, relentless racism of postwar America, the rise of the Civil Rights Movements, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. The book . . .

Read More

China Peace Corps Evacuated Safely

February 5, 2020 WASHINGTON – Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and related school closures and travel constraints, all Peace Corps China volunteers were safely evacuated out of the country, the Peace Corps announced today, February 5. The 139 volunteers will close their service. The evacuation of current volunteers follows a recent decision by the Peace Corps to graduate its China program. Since Peace Corps China began in 1993, approximately 1,300 volunteers have worked alongside educators at more than 140 Chinese colleges, universities and technical schools to strengthen English language learning. “My heart goes out to the extraordinary volunteers and staff who are participating in the Close of Service conference and preparing for the next steps in their lives,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud of their hard work and strong commitment to this program, which brought our two countries closer together and gave Chinese students and . . .

Read More

Harvard Students Want to Keep Former PC Director Gearan “In House”

Harvard Solicits Nominations for Permanent Winthrop Deans Amid Student Calls to Keep Interim Leaders Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced the next stages of the search for new Winthrop House faculty deans in an email to Winthrop residents Tuesday. By Juliet E. Isselbacher and Declan J. Knieriem, Crimson Staff Writers Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced the next stages of the search for new Winthrop House faculty deans in an email to Winthrop residents Tuesday. In his email, Khurana said the College would soon begin accepting nominations for faculty dean candidates, a process he called a “critical first step.” Current interim faculty deans Mark D. Gearan ’78 and Mary Herlihy-Gearan have led the House since August, following the College’s decision to not renew former Winthrop faculty deans Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. and Stephanie R. Robinson’s contract amid a controversy over Sullivan’s decision to represent Hollywood producer and accused sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein. Gearan and Herlihy-Gearan wrote in . . .

Read More

Third Goal Efforts of RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia)

  Third Goal Efforts by RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia 1963-65) I am continually impressed by what former Volunteers have done in their host countries in the years since their tours. Former Volunteers have continued to work in-country, spending time and money over the years to help the schools and sites where they taught and lived, to build school and community libraries, to find scholarships for students, to improve the medical conditions in their villages. One example is Bill and Betty Graff who were in Ethiopia from 1963-65. Recently I heard from Bill about his and his wife’s history of helping their school and region of Ethiopia where  they lived as PCVs in their second year in-country. Bill wrote . . . When Betty and I arrived in the Wolaita Region of southern Ethiopia in 1964 it was a pre-wheel society of about a million people.  We opened the . . .

Read More

A Writer Writes: “Trauma in Togo” by Mark Wentling (Honduras)

    Trauma in Togo by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967-69) Published in American Diplomacy, February 2020 April 1991, while I was serving in Lomé, Togo as the USAID Representative for Togo and Benin, protests in Lomé against the dictatorial regime of President Eyadéma reached the boiling point. One night, President Eyadéma’s barbaric soldiers entered the original neighborhood of Lomé, Bè, and killed a couple dozen people or more. They collected the bodies and threw them into the lagoon which cut across the northern part of old Lomé. Their morbid idea was that when the people saw the dead bodies, they would cease revolting against Eyadéma, his cronies and all for which they stood. The opposite happened. Angrily, the people of Bè gathered the dead bodies and put them in a dump truck. Thousands of people marched with the truckload of bodies from Bè, on the eastern side of Lomé, into the . . .

Read More

Sen. Ricky Scott slams PC Director Jody Olsen in WSJ

  Letter in the Wall Street Journal, January 30 —   In “The Peace Corps Cuts and Runs” (op-ed, Jan. 24), Michael Meyer claims that I, and my colleague Marco Rubio, “don’t understand [the Peace Corps’] mission” in Communist China. I can assure you this isn’t the case. I would argue it’s the defenders of the Peace Corps’ presence in Communist China who don’t understand and can’t explain its mission there. I’ve met with the Peace Corps director multiple times and asked her what the volunteers did in Communist China and why they were there. Her response? The Peace Corps has been in Communist China for the last 25 years because Communist China had asked for volunteers. She said volunteers did not teach American values or capitalism and did not coordinate their activities with the office of the U.S. Secretary of State. When I asked what the return on investment . . .

Read More

RPCV Sabra Ayres (Ukraine) covers her host country for LA TIMES

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)     Pompeo heads to a Ukraine that can’t seem to catch a breath By SABRA AYRES Moscow Correspondent Los Angeles Times JAN. 29, 2020 LA Times Moscow Correspondent Sabra Ayres first went to Ukraine with the Peace Corps (1995-97). It seems Ukraine can’t catch a break from getting dragged into U.S. political drama. In the fall, the quid pro quo scandal emerged and gave Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, an unwanted leading role in what is now the impeachment trial of President Trump. Then in early January, Iran shot down a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet flying out of Tehran that it mistook as a potential American attack on one of its military bases after it had fired missiles at military bases in Iraq to retaliate for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani. All 176 passengers and crew aboard were . . .

Read More

New Screening Dates for A Towering Task

    FEB 22 12:00 PM Minnesota History Theatre St. Paul Saturday, February 22, 2020 12:00 PM 3:30 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share FEB 27 4:00 PM American University Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:00 PM 7:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 1 4:00 PM John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Sunday, March 1, 2020 4:00 PM 7:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 1 Likes Share MAR 3 6:30 PM University Of Wisconsin, Madison Tuesday, March 3, 2020 6:30 PM 9:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 7 1:00 PM Corazon Cinema And Café St. Augustine Saturday, March 7, 2020 1:00 PM 4:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 8 12:00 PM University Of North Florida Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:00 PM 3:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share NOV 17 7:30 PM Reston Community Center In Reston, Virginia Tuesday, November 17, 2020 . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.