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RPCV (Fiji & Mali) writes book on Agent Orange
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HUNTING TEDDY ROOSEVELT by James Ross (Congo)
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Turkey & Tonga RPCVs launch “Get Out To Vote” videos in Flint, Michigan
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Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps — Ethiopia
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Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea) writes YOGURT CULTURE
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Colin Rule (Eritrea) — “Separating the People from the Problem”
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Dan Close (Ethiopia) brought water to Bekoji in 1966
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The Peace Corps remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.
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OWL OF THE EASTERN ICE by Jonathan Slaght (Russia) — a review
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RPCV(Togo) pet owner’s fight with CDC ends

RPCV (Fiji & Mali) writes book on Agent Orange

    National Agent Orange Day is August 10. While COVID-19 races through the U.S. population, another invisible killer continues to rage among our already endangered population. Agent Orange continues to contaminate and kill civilians and veterans more than 50 years after spraying. Two Marines, Brent MacKinnon and Sandy Scull, have published a personal account detailing damage done to both body and soul: Agent Orange Roundup: Living with a Foot in Two Worlds. This tells of the loss of innocence, betrayal and final acceptance of Stage 4 cancer 50 years after their tour of duty. The Department of Veteran Affairs estimates over 300,000 Vietnam Veterans have died from the herbicidal defoliant known as Agent Orange; The Vietnamese casualties are in the millions. This collection of powerful art, prose and poetry captures their journey from the home front, into the meat grinder and the long struggle for recovery. Lt. Charles “Sandy” . . .

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HUNTING TEDDY ROOSEVELT by James Ross (Congo)

  It’s 1909, and Teddy Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted. The safari is a time of discovery, both personal and political. In Africa, Roosevelt encounters Sudanese slave traders, Belgian colonial atrocities, and German preparations for war. He reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Maggie, now a globe-trotting newspaper reporter sent by William Randolph Hearst to chronicle safari adventures and uncover the former president’s future political plans. But James Pierpont Morgan, the most powerful private citizen of his era, wants Roosevelt out of politics permanently. Afraid that the trust-busting president’s return to power will be disastrous for American business, he plants a killer on the safari staff to arrange a fatal accident. Roosevelt narrowly escapes the killer’s traps while leading two hundred and sixty-four men on foot through the savannas, jungles, and semi-deserts of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, and Sudan.   Jimmy, quit telling tall tales!” was my . . .

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Turkey & Tonga RPCVs launch “Get Out To Vote” videos in Flint, Michigan

  Two videos that aim to highlight human connectedness and Get Out the Vote have been produced by two RPCVs for East Village Magazine (EVM) in Flint, Michigan, and are available for viewing online now at the magazine’s website, eastvillagemagazine.org. The videos, both titled “Faces of Flint:  A message from the anvil of America’s democracy,”  feature 130 Flint residents photographed by Flint native, Kansas City photographer Dan White, in three days of shooting last November at the Flint Farmers’ Market and Berston Field House. Flint filmmaker Justin Brown was the editor for both videos.The narration for both videos was written by  Ted Nelson (Turkey 1964-67) EVM editor at large and a participant in civil rights actions in Washington D.C in the Sixties.  Nelson’s co-producer on the project was RPCV Jan Worth-Nelson (Tonga 1976-78). Asked about the significance of the “anvil” as a symbol of Flint, Nelson said, “We have been pounded on, and our . . .

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Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps — Ethiopia

   by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) • In the famous Mayflower Hotel meetings in early February 1961, Shriver’s Task Force established a Peace Corps with three goals. Today, 59 years later, former Volunteers have created a Fourth Goal. In many ways, this Goal is the most significant accomplishment of the Peace Corps. I think it is the greatest contribution made by RPCVs. We all know the Peace Corps is not about Volunteers. It is about the people we came to know, the children we taught, the people we helped, the villages where we lived. Returning home, we didn’t forget those lessons, friendships, or our connection to their country. More than a few Peace Corps Volunteers look back, go back, and give back to friends they left behind. It is estimated that since 1962 when the first Ethiopian Volunteers arrived in-country, as much as ten million dollars has been spent by . . .

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Cheryl Sternman Rule (Eritrea) writes YOGURT CULTURE

  In Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World’s Creamiest, Healthiest Food, award-winning food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule presents 115 flavorful recipes, taking yogurt farther than the breakfast table, lunchbox, or gym bag. Rule strips yogurt of its premixed accessories and brings it back to its pure, wholesome essence. In chapters like Flavor, Slurp, Dine, and Lick, she pairs yogurt not just with fruit but with meat, not just with sugar but with salt, not just with herbs but with fragrant spices whose provenance spans the globe. She provides foolproof, step-by-step instructions for how to make yogurt, Greek yogurt, and labneh at home, though all of her recipes can also be prepared with commercial yogurt. Rule explores yogurt from every angle, explaining how to read a label, visiting producers large and small, and gaining entry to the kitchens of cooks from around the . . .

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Colin Rule (Eritrea) — “Separating the People from the Problem”

This article from Harvard’s “The Practice,” shines a light on ODR and its evolution using Colin Rule’s career as a guide. In building ODR systems for the world’s largest online marketplace and for court systems across the country, Rule’s career offers a window through which to observe and understand the larger ODR movement—a movement that is all the more important as the world grapples with the continued impacts of COVID-19.   Separating the People from the Problem The Rise of Online Dispute Resolution Colin Rule (Eritrea 1995–97) • When the Apple II was released in 1977, it was among the first computers marketed and mass-produced for businesses and individuals alike. Apple would later adopt the slogan “The computer for the rest of us,” hinting at its technology’s broad appeal among a nonexpert consumer base. It is fitting, then, that as a grade school student in 1980, Colin Rule first dabbled . . .

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Dan Close (Ethiopia) brought water to Bekoji in 1966

    Water crisis in a town of Olympic champions by Dawit Tolesa Reporter Magazine August 2020 • Bekoji town, known for its Olympic gold medal winning athletes in Ethiopia, has played a pivotal role in athletics history that has dominated the world arena. Nevertheless, a town filled with remarkable talent, has been suffering from the lack of access to clean water for almost two decades. Nine Olympic gold medals have been won by athletes coming from Bekoji. Topping the remarkable feet achieved by athletes hailing from Bekoji include, Derartu Tulu, the first Ethiopian woman and the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal. She grew up tending cattle in the village. Bekoji is located in Oromia regional state, Arsi Zone, 220km from the capital, Addis Ababa. Currently, the year on year increase in population has exacerbated water shortages. For the purposes of water supply and sanitation project, . . .

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The Peace Corps remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.

  A Timeless Reminder by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • As I was watching the Memorial Services for John Lewis in Ebenezer Baptist Church, it reminded me of an April day in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. I was on PC/W staff and Director, Jack Vaughn called me into his office. He nominated me to form a Committee and raise funds for, at the time, an indeterminate Memorial in Dr. King’s honor. While time now masks the amount of funds our Committee succeeded in raising, I do recall that we wanted the Memorial to represent something that was timeless in Dr. King’s life. That led us to purchase a Gold Brick and present it to Officials at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  They assured us that they would find a suitable site near the Podium for its placement. After that brief conversation, we lost personal contact with . . .

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OWL OF THE EASTERN ICE by Jonathan Slaght (Russia) — a review

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C Slaght review – an extraordinary quest Drinking ethanol and saving the world … an old-school, tautly strung adventure in pursuit of the largest species of owl review by Helen Macdonald, 22 July,  The Guardian   Jonathan Slaght has the best author photograph I’ve ever seen. Pale, bearded, dressed in black, he gazes at the camera with forbidding intensity. Behind him are snowy woods and running water. Arms crossed, hands deep in a pair of unwieldy leather gauntlets, he holds against his chest a huge owl. Its feathers are shaggy and wet, and from its mouth protrudes the tail end of a silver fish. There’s something puppet-like about this creature, like a living Jim Henson creation, but it also resembles a beast pulled straight from the pages of a medieval bestiary – . . .

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RPCV(Togo) pet owner’s fight with CDC ends

  By Benjamin Cox on July 28, 2020 WLDS.com Audra Elam with her dog, Socrates, on her porch in western Africa before attending a local festival in 2019. (Ian Fingado) A Beardstown woman reunited with her dog today after a fight with the federal government over pet importation rules at the CDC. 27 year old Audra Elam (Togo 2019-20) of Beardstown reunited with Socrates after a month-long quarantine at The ARK at JFK Airport in New York. Elam’s journey with Socrates stirred public concern about how the government handles the importation of pets and possible policy changes on the issue with the CDC. The story of Elam and Socrates began in 2018 when Elam arrived in Togo, Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer. A common practice in the Peace Corps program is that volunteers will inherit the house, furniture and even pets from previous volunteers in their host country. Such . . .

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