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Talking with David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)
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Peace Corps has a new page with Virus Updates and NPCA has a Plan
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Review — FAST TRAIN HOME by Gus Karlson (China)
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“How to Destroy a Government” by George Packer (Togo)
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Peace Corps Is Suspending all Operations and Evacuating Volunteers
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A Writer Writes: Twice in the Life of Prudence Ingerman–Bolivia & Ecuador
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Sargent  Shriver’s Original Memo on Selection
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“Remembering the Peace Corps — 60 Years Later” Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)
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To Preserve and to Learn: “Doing the Blitz-Peace Corps Recruitment in the 60s”
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New books by Peace Corps writers — January–February 2020

Talking with David Jarmul (Nepal, Moldova)

    Americans approaching retirement can redefine their lives and find new fulfillment by pursuing international adventure and service instead of drifting in their familiar jobs. That’s the message of Not Exactly Retired written by David Jarmul, who served as a PCV in Nepal from 1977 to 1979, where he met his wife, Champa, and at the age of 63 David rejoined the Peace Corps and Champa also became a PCV, and they went to Moldova from 2016 to 2018. A graduate of Brown University and past president of the D.C. Science Writers Association, his previous books are Headline News, Science Views and Plain Talk: Clear Communication for International Development.  David was the head of news and communications at Duke University for many years and held senior communications positions at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academy of Sciences. He has also worked as an editor for an international development organization, a writer for . . .

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Peace Corps has a new page with Virus Updates and NPCA has a Plan

The evacuating PCVs have many questions. For those of you who may be contacted for information by parents and/or  others, here is the Peace Corps link: https://www.peacecorps.gov/coronavirus/ The National Peace Corps Association has also come forth with a plan. https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/a-message-from-npca-president-glenn-blumhorst-to-peace-corps-evacuees NPCA Response to COVID-19 and Peace Corps Evacuations Through their personal stories and photos shared on social media over the last few days, an entire Peace Corps community has vicariously lived the shocking reality of 7,000+ serving PCVs evacuating from 60 countries around the world. This traumatic interruption of service is not the way a PCV envisions their service to end – with unfinished projects, unsung farewells, unrung COS bells, and unsaid goodbyes. To the PCV evacuees, my heartfelt sympathy. I share your grief. As you return home, know that there is an empathetic and caring Peace Corps community awaiting you with our collective embrace. We are thousands of returned Peace Corps Volunteers (including many whose service had also been cut short), former staff, host country . . .

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Review — FAST TRAIN HOME by Gus Karlson (China)

    Fast Train Home By Gus Karlson (China) Self-published 164 pages January 2020 $12.99 (paperback), $8.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Sue Hoyt Aiken (Ethiopia 1962-64) • This book is a collection of tales as told through the eyes of the PCV both as narrator and participant in the adventures. The adventures span a two year period involving Peace Corps Volunteers living and teaching in China.  Stories form a basis of a conversation even as volunteers arrived in China. As they grew into their teaching assignments they were able to share startling urban scenes that sharply contrasted to their descriptions of high mountain breathtaking, sometimes adverse and risky, stunning tales! The main character is China brought to light by the author and its buddies through their sometimes humorous in the moment observations and thoughts. This might be just after climbing at a fast clip up a tortuous twisty path or pushing . . .

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“How to Destroy a Government” by George Packer (Togo)

    “How to Destroy a Government”—In The Atlantic’s April issue, George Packer (Togo 1982-83) reveals how President Trump is winning his war on American institutions, and argues that a second term will irrevocably harm what remains.   How to Destroy a Government When Donald Trump came into office, there was a sense that he would be outmatched by the vast government he had just inherited. The new president was impetuous, bottomlessly ignorant, almost chemically inattentive, while the bureaucrats were seasoned, shrewd, protective of themselves and their institutions. They knew where the levers of power lay and how to use them or prevent the president from doing so. Trump’s White House was chaotic and vicious, unlike anything in American history, but it didn’t really matter as long as “the adults” were there to wait out the president’s impulses and deflect his worst ideas and discreetly pocket destructive orders lying around . . .

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Peace Corps Is Suspending all Operations and Evacuating Volunteers

  https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-announces-suspension-volunteer-activities-evacuations-due-covid-19/   March 15, 2020 WASHINGTON – The following is an open letter to Peace Corps Volunteers from Director Jody Olsen. Dear Volunteers, I know this is a very stressful time for you and your families, your host communities and the staff at your post. As you know, we recently evacuated Volunteers from China and Mongolia due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel constraints and school closings. Further evacuations are now under way at several posts. Unfortunately, it has become clear in the last 48 hours that numerous posts must follow suit. It is against this backdrop that I have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all Peace Corps operations globally and evacuate all of our Volunteers. As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where Volunteers . . .

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A Writer Writes: Twice in the Life of Prudence Ingerman–Bolivia & Ecuador

  In January 1961, I had been kicked out of Jefferson Nursing School in Philadelphia for “unprofessional behavior” (Singing in coffee shops with folksingers was not approved of. After I calmed down I became a volunteer teacher’s aide at the little Quaker school I had attended so that’s where I was on May 1st. All during high school, I had participated in many weekend workcamps led by David Ritchie in south Philadelphia, working with families there to paint a room in their homes. I really liked meeting people outside my Quaker world who were different and interesting so I figured that the Peace Corps experience would be like a two -year weekend workcamp adventure, and I was not disappointed. I do know that my Peace Corps application number was # 103. My brother in California applied at the end of that week and his application number was more than 1,000. . . .

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Sargent  Shriver’s Original Memo on Selection

Pease note:  This was posted last April, here on Peace Corps Worldwide.  I am posting it again as the subject of Selection is once again appearing in the comments.   “The University of New Mexico was the training site for Peace CorpsTrainees bound for South America, from 1962 to approximately 1967.  Selection was an important part of the training process. Trainees were observed at all times and subject to psychological testing and evaluation in addition to the elaborate background checks.  The University of New Mexico has archived important documents from Peace Corps Training.   Thank you to the Archivists at the University of New Mexico’ s Center for Southwest Research.  The archivist emailed me a digitial copy of the memo. I had to reformate it in order to post it here.  The text was not changed. Here is the citation: Box 1 in the Selections 1962-1963 folder of UNMA 150, . . .

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“Remembering the Peace Corps — 60 Years Later” Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)

    Remembering the Peace Corps — 60 Years Later Marnie Elberson Mueller, Ecuador 1963-65 • I was in my dormitory at Case Western Reserve University on March 1, 1961.  I was a sophomore. I have this image of being in the downstairs parlor of a 19th Century building, looking toward the entryway, and for some reason thinking, “I want to do that,” meaning join the Peace Corps.  I don’t know how I received the news.  Was it from the radio or a newspaper or a letter from my parents? I’ll claim the latter because it’s the sort of information my parents would have loved: The adventure, the commitment to doing good, the concept of helping people to help themselves. My father was an economist turned community organizer and my mother, a teacher with a commitment to underprivileged children.  They married in 1938 and spent their honeymoon in a dirt-floored . . .

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To Preserve and to Learn: “Doing the Blitz-Peace Corps Recruitment in the 60s”

  Doing the Blitz Peace Corps Recruitment in the ’60s by Hal Fleming (Staff: PC/W 1966–68; CD Cote d’Ivoire 1968–72) • IN 1966, I CAME DOWN TO WASHINGTON from New York. It was a time in our country when the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War divided the nation. I had been tapped to work as a staff member in the Public Affairs and Recruiting office for the Peace Corps. On my very first workday in Peace Corps/Washington, I was told to join Warren Wiggins, the Deputy Director of the Agency, in his government car for a one-hour ride to a conference for new campus recruiters at Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland. Wiggins, preoccupied with his opening speech to the conclave, said very little to me except to read out a phrase or two of buzz-word laden prose, mostly unintelligible to me as the new guy, and ask for . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — January–February 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. • Posthumous (children 7–12) Paul Aertker (Mauritania 1988–89) Flying Solo Press May 2018 $12.97 (paperback), $6.41 (Kindle) “A middle-grade adventure filled with mystery, friendship, and heart — like a Da Vinci Code for kids.”   Turn Left at OrionHundreds of Night Sky Objects . . .

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