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The Fallen Peace Corps Memorial Project
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Volunteers’ Days: Stories from 11 Countries
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“Tonight’s the night . . . ” — Alana DeJoseph (Mali)
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“THE PEACE CORPS NEEDS A MEDIA LITERACY PROGRAM“ – Monika Bochert (Mongolia)
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New books by Peace Corps writers: March – April, 2020
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George Packer (Togo) on PBS News Hour talking about Trump Administration
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Interim Update: Murder of Kate Puzey: PC Office of the Inspector General
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More opportunities for you to see A TOWERING TASK
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EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter Reid (Tanzania)
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RPCV Michael McCaskey, former Chicago Bears chairman, dies at 76

The Fallen Peace Corps Memorial Project

  On this Memorial Day, it is good to remember those who served in the Peace Corps and lost their lives.  From the webpage about the Fallen  Peace Corps Volunteers Project: ” The Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. It is independent of the U.S. Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association, though we are supportive of their missions and have been grateful to receive their encouragement since our inception in 2003. The Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project began as a very personal project envisioned by Chelsea and Donna Mack and inspired by Jeremiah Mack. We maintain this website and a Facebook page, write and respond to letters and emails, attend events and memorial services when possible, and generally do what we can to support others who have also lost a loved one while serving in the Peace Corps and are seeking community. . . .

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Volunteers’ Days: Stories from 11 Countries

These 11 short essays — funny, touching, insightful — unique glimpses into the overseas experiences that in many ways shaped the lives and careers of these talented writers. Now that everyone has plenty of time to stay inside and sit in front of their computers I thought I would republish them so you might read them again, or for the first time. Read what RPCVs writers have to say from Guyana, Mongolia, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Zaire, and Eastern Caribbean.n — JCoyne, ed. • Telling Time Katherine Jamieson (Guyana 1996–98) For two years I lived in a country with no seasons. We measured time by other means than falling leaves or snow, new buds on trees. There was a fresh breeze in the air, the ash of burned sugar cane floating in the window. There were times to go to work, times to stay home, an election, . . .

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“Tonight’s the night . . . ” — Alana DeJoseph (Mali)

. . . for you to stream the Virtual Cinema premiere of director Alana DeJoseph’s (Mali 1992–94) wonderful movie: A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps via  60 theaters around the country. It’s easy to watch: Choose a theater closest to you on the Playdates page. Then click on “Ticket” to rent the film for three days. The ticket price is $10. Half of the proceeds go to the theater to help keep them alive during the COVID closure! Watch the trailer NOW.   “ENLIGHTENING AND UPLIFTING! A Towering Task puts a human face on the Peace Corps – and makes sense of its history of idealism, improvisation and politics. It is the most coherent and satisfying documentary I know of the Peace Corps, and I can’t imagine a better one. The film is enlightening, too, for being in large part the portrait of a period when America was . . .

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“THE PEACE CORPS NEEDS A MEDIA LITERACY PROGRAM“ – Monika Bochert (Mongolia)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Arnold Zeitlin (Ghana 1961-63)   As rural classrooms become more connected, students have to understand how to evaluate the content they consume Monika Bochert (Mongolia 2017-19) May 19, 2020 Inkstick publication • Last month, a hoax circulated online that people wearing shoes indoors led to a spike in coronavirus cases in Italy. Worldwide, rapidly spreading misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 is negatively affecting people’s behaviors towards the virus. Action must be taken to curb the spread of false information on a global stage, and the Peace Corps has the capacity to do it. Media literacy, or the ability to critically evaluate media, is an integral tool that can be used to combat false information online. Despite the need for this skill to discern COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation, there is no formal program geared toward teaching digital skills and media literacy internationally. We need to implement a program to stymie . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers: March – April, 2020

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.   • Letters from Turkey: A Peace Corps Volunteer’s Story William D. Brockhaus (Turkey 1967–69) Outskirts Press August 2019 524 pages $26.95 (paperback) The author will take the reader through an intimate view of his two years in the small Turkish town . . .

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George Packer (Togo) on PBS News Hour talking about Trump Administration

  Thanks for the ‘heads-up’ from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) — This is from Wednesday, May 20th PBS News Hour, which featured Judy Woodruff and William Brangham, of the PBS NewsHour talk with George Packer (Togo 1982-83). As Mary-Ann wrote to me about Packer’s presentation, “Brilliant indictment of the Trump administration.” — J Coyne, ed. • Judy Woodruff: Throughout this entire crisis, questions continue to be raised about why the U.S. government was not better prepared for such a challenge. As William Brangham tells us, those questions include how the Trump administration views the role of government and civil service broadly. William Brangham: That’s right, Judy. Most people would agree that the scale and speed of this pandemic would have taxed the resources and abilities of any administration and of any president. But the Trump administration’s response has certainly come under some intense scrutiny. Let’s turn now to two writers who . . .

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Interim Update: Murder of Kate Puzey: PC Office of the Inspector General

  In 2017, the PC OIG followed up on the investigation and trial of the accused of the murder of Kate Puzey. The murder remains unresolved as of today. The OIG had monitored the implementation of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 and that was included.  Jody Olsen, the current Director of the Peace Corps was Acting Director in March of 2009 when Kate Puzey was murdered. Click for an update: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/Interim_Update.pdf From the update: “Ultimately, all four defendants were acquitted. Three of the defendants had been incarcerated for eight years pending trial, and one had been incarcerated for three years. Despite the extensive investigative fieldwork conducted in Benin and other resources devoted to this investigation by the Beninese Gendarmerie, the Peace Corps OIG, the FBI, and the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy in Benin, the case remains unresolved. OIG and our partners continue . . .

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More opportunities for you to see A TOWERING TASK

  Starting this Friday (May 22), you will be able to buy movie tickets from your local theaters and stream “A Towering Task” while at the same time supporting a local movie house. Go to “First Run Features” to learn if this his happening in your neighborhood. http://www.firstrunfeatures.com/toweringtask_playdates.html   If you don’t see your neighborhood theater in this list, send this link to your theater so that they can sign up to participate in this opportunity: https://bit.ly/AToweringTaskVirtualCinemaSignUp  

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EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter Reid (Tanzania)

  On March 28, 1966, Peace Corps personnel in Tanzania received word that volunteer Peppy Kinsey had fallen to her death while rock climbing during a picnic. Local authorities arrested Kinsey’s husband, Bill, and charged him with murder as witnesses came forward claiming to have seen the pair engaged in a struggle. The incident had the potential to be disastrous for both the Peace Corps and the newly independent nation of Tanzania. To this day, the high stakes surrounding the trial raise questions as to whether there was more behind the final “not-guilty” verdict than was apparent on the surface. Peter H. Reid, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania at the time of the Kinsey murder trial, draws upon his considerable legal experience to expose inconsistencies and biases in the case. He carefully scrutinizes the collection of evidence and the ensuing investigation, providing insight into the motives . . .

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RPCV Michael McCaskey, former Chicago Bears chairman, dies at 76

  By BRAD BIGGS CHICAGO TRIBUNE | MAY 16, 2020 | 6:51 PM Former Bears President Michael McCaskey, shown in this January 1999 photo, has died at 76.(JOSE MORE / CHICAGO TRIBUNE) Michael McCaskey, who took over the reins of the Chicago Bears from his grandfather George Halas in 1983 before the team achieved its greatest moment two years later, died Saturday. He was 76. McCaskey became the president and CEO of the Bears in 1983 and remained at the helm of the organization in a long run, serving as the chairman of the board from 1999 until 2011, when he stepped down and was replaced by his brother George. McCaskey battled cancer for a considerable time. The oldest of Ed and Virginia McCaskey’s 11 children, McCaskey is survived by two children, John and Kathryn, and one grandson, Jackson. “Mike was already successful in every sense of the word when he took over for . . .

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