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New books by Peace Corps writers | November-December 2022
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Novels by A. J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia)
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 City grant coordinator Lydia Caudill (Paraguay) focuses on relationships
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Albert Bernales returns to Fiji
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Justice Jackson working on a memoir, titled “Lovely One”
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Review | BIKE RIDING IN KABUL — not written by an RPCV
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Here’s a RPCV Game to Play (on this rainy day)
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Peace Corp volunteers pursue community mission
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From inner-city Detroit to the Air Force and finally the Peace Corps! — Karen Hunt (Armenia, Ethiopia, Kenya)
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RPVCs for Environmental and Sustainable Development
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The Volunteer Who Became America’s Premier Sports Writer — Arnold Hano (Costa Rica)
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January 2023 List of RPCV & Staff Authors
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Jessica Onsurez (Peru) Takes Over the Las Cruces Sun-News (Peru)
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New PCVs in Cambodia
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First PCVs in Viet Nam Sworn In by Carol Spahn

New books by Peace Corps writers | November-December 2022

  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 include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and she will send you a free copy along with a few instructions. P.S. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Please, please join in our . . .

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Novels by A. J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia)

  Stone of Athaen by A.J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia 2006-08) Independently Published 479 pages September 2021 $14.99 (Paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) “Someone is manipulating Kiara… but who?” Smuggler Kiara Antoria has been living as a drifter and an alien in a foreign country ever since the brutal conquest of her homeland, Beldane. The last thing she wants is to face her past, but abetted by a mysterious mage, a local politician is forcing her to journey back to Beldane on a trivial errand. Kiara will do anything she can to escape his control, but the errand is not as trivial as it seems. As she becomes entangled in the conspiracies of the magical city of Shinar, Kiara must confront her past in order to rediscover a destiny she thought she had lost forever… or die trying. • The Channeler’s Daughter by A. J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia 2006-08) Trelerre Books . . .

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 City grant coordinator Lydia Caudill (Paraguay) focuses on relationships

  Lydia Caudill in her office at City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 5. • When the city of Walla Walla, Washington hired Lydia Caudill in 2021 to be the Community Development Block Grant Coordinator, Caudill brought her unusual experiences to the table. The grant program helps connect federal funds to local programs and projects, benefiting residents in need through various agencies and services such as Blue Mountain Action Council. Caudill had spent three years in Paraguay (2011-14) with the Peace Corps, where she worked in agriculture and food systems, part of the connection between food and community development. When the mission ended, Caudill embarked on her next adventure: biking from Paraguay to Colombia — alone — for 5,000 miles. She was pedaling a human powered bike, no gas or electric motors involved.   Lydia Caudill on her bike in Northern Argentina in spring 2015   Caudill’s travel allowed for her to explore her Mexican-Colombian heritage and . . .

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Albert Bernales returns to Fiji

  Albert Bernales (Fiji 2020-   ) By Todd R. Hansen Daily Republic  • FAIRFIELD – More than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers, working in more than 60 countries, were evacuated in March 2020 due to the onset of the Covid-19 emergency. Albert Bernales, 26, of Fairfield, is one of the first to return back into service. He has been assigned to Fiji. Formed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries. Like Kennedy’s daring mission to send America to the moon, it was then Sen. Kennedy, running for the White House in 1960, who challenged college students and young adults to get involved in public service. “How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana?” Kennedy asked the more than 10,000 University of Michigan students who came out to his campaign stop. “Technicians or engineers, . . .

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Justice Jackson working on a memoir, titled “Lovely One”

  By Hillel Igalie, Assoicated Press January 5, 2023 • NEW YORK (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is working on a memoir. Jackson, the first Black woman appointed to the court, is calling the book “Lovely One.” “Mine has been an unlikely journey,” Jackson said in a statement released Thursday by Random House. “But the path was paved by courageous women and men in whose footsteps I placed my own, road warriors like my own parents, and also luminaries in the law, whose brilliance and fortitude lit my way. This memoir marries the public record of my life with what is less known. It will be a transparent accounting of what it takes to rise through the ranks of the legal profession, especially as a woman of color with an unusual name and as a mother and a wife striving to reconcile the demands of a high-profile . . .

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Review | BIKE RIDING IN KABUL — not written by an RPCV

  Bike Riding in Kabul is the story of Jamie Bowman, a woman who works as foreign aid in several post-war countries. The author’s story is a unique take on the travel memoir genre. We don’t just read countless stories of an individual eating world-class dishes and laying on the beach; we watch someone help entire countries find their own peace. Through it all, we learn about the invaluable pieces of wisdom she learned along the way. From learning how to truly help people and understanding how many of these countries found themselves in their situations, there is so much wisdom to devour. • A review published by Literary Titan  January 4,2023   Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner by Jamie Bowman is a MUST READ for anyone working in the international development community or seeking a career there. Her book reads like a modern-day version of . . .

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Here’s a RPCV Game to Play (on this rainy day)

RPCVs have been there, done that. What’s your travel story? To start, here are the countries I have visited over the years (A lot fewer in recent years). Total up all the places you have been before, during, and after your Peace Corps tour. What’s your next country? Coyne’s List Code Lived There *** Only Toured ** Brief Visit * African Countries (21) Morocco ** Gambia ** Senegal * Sierra Leone * Liberia ** Nigeria ** Cote D’Ivoire * Ghana * Congo * Botswana ** South Africa ** Lesotho * Zimbabwe * Mozambique * Tanzania ** Kenya ** Uganda ** Malawi * Addis Ababa, Ethiopia *** Eritrea** Egypt* European Countries (10) Dublin, Ireland*** England ** Scotland** Denmark* Sweden* France ** Germany * Menorca, Spain*** Italy ** Greece * Caribbean (6) Bahamas * Barbados * Haiti * Cuba ** Puerto Rico ** Mexico ** Asia (1) China **  Next Place Turks . . .

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Peace Corp volunteers pursue community mission

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-66)   Peace Corps Pursue Community Mission by Long Kimmarita January 2023       Thirty-three US Peace Corps volunteers have been sworn in to offer their services in Cambodia for two years. They have been tasked with teaching English at primary and secondary schools, as well as teacher training institutes, nationwide. The swearing-in ceremony took place last week. They arrived in Cambodia two months ago and have been spending time in the community, learning the Khmer language. “Since 1962, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds have served in the Peace Corps in 142 countries,” said Aleksandra P Zittle, deputy chief of mission of the US embassy in Phnom Penh. “The Peace Corps is proud to work with its Cambodian partners to assist in the teaching of English as well as to work with local communities to help . . .

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From inner-city Detroit to the Air Force and finally the Peace Corps! — Karen Hunt (Armenia, Ethiopia, Kenya)

  My journey from inner-city Detroit to military service and the Peace Corps   by Karen Jean Hunt First Published on Peace Corps.gov I was a 7 year old in Detroit when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I can still remember my teacher screaming and crying after hearing the news.   The news coverage in Detroit also featured the moment JFK announced the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan. After Kennedy’s death, the idea of serving in the Peace Corps stuck with me. I spent most of my childhood in libraries, a safe space for a young girl in inner-city Detroit. I would often skip school, take public transportation downtown, and spend the day in the public library. It was easy to walk in with a group of school children and go unnoticed. Once inside, I could ditch the group and make my way to the card catalog. . . .

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RPVCs for Environmental and Sustainable Development

Overview Returned Peace Corps Volunteers first joined forces for post-service environmental action in 1991 with an NPCA affiliate called RPCVs for Environmental and Sustainable Development. For 15 years they built a record of achievement in biodiversity, advocacy, education and energy. In June 2015 at the NPCAs Peace Corps Connect-Berkeley conference, significant interest was expressed in bringing focus to the debate about climate change. With the help of NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson, a worldwide conference call was setup in August 2015 to help a new group establish the RPCVs for Environmental Action (RPCVs4EA). Since then we have formally affiliated with NPCA, and setup a Facebook group, Google listserv, and e-newsletter. Up to a dozen individuals meet on monthly conference calls to identify and implement strategies to rebuild the greater Peace Corps community’s promise to remain part of the global environmental solution. To find out more about RPCVs4EA, please continue check out our mission, our team, and our official documents . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became America’s Premier Sports Writer — Arnold Hano (Costa Rica)

by Jerry Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Arnold Hano served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, 1991-93, after achieving nation-wide recognition for his coverage of the professional baseball sports world as an editor, novelist, biographer and journalist. Both he and his wife Bonnie served as community development volunteers. Arnold earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Long Island University, graduating cum laude in 1941. Shortly after, he became a copy boy for the New York Daily News. He was tasked with providing captions for the photos he brought back from professional baseball games. This afforded the nineteen-year-old, undreamt of opportunities, to chronicle baseball history. Interrupted in these endeavors by the US entry into WW II, he participated in various campaigns in the Aleutian Islands. After his discharge, he returned to New York and a career in book publishing, first as managing editor with Bantam, then as Editor-Chief with Lion Books. In . . .

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January 2023 List of RPCV & Staff Authors

Here is our January 2023 list of RPCV & staff authors we know of who have published two or more books of any type. Currently, the count is 473. If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email: jcoyneone@gmail.com. We know we don’t have all such writers who have served over these past 60 years. Thank you.’ Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1962-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65) Peggy Anderson (Togo 1962-64) James Archambeault (Philippines 1965-67) Ron Arias . . .

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Jessica Onsurez (Peru) Takes Over the Las Cruces Sun-News (Peru)

  Damien Willis — Las Cruces Sun-News LAS CRUCES – Jessica Onsurez, the news director of the Carlsbad Current-Argus, Alamogordo Daily News and Ruidoso News, has taken over the news operations at the Las Cruces Sun-News, effective Monday, Jan. 1. She takes over for Lucas Peerman, who has been at the newspaper since December 2004. Peerman has served in multiple roles at the Sun-News and has been the paper’s news director since 2017. He is leaving for a position within the newly created digital team at the Albuquerque Journal. Jessica Onsurez was born and raised in Loving, New Mexico, in the eastern part of the state. After graduating from Loving High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Eastern New Mexico University. She worked for a time in Washington, D.C., in the U.S. Senate for then-Sen. Pete Domenici. She later worked for a nonprofit organization while pursuing her master’s degree at American University. After that, she . . .

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New PCVs in Cambodia

  Another batch of American Peace Corps volunteers arrives at Phnom Penh International Airport.  Thirty-three US Peace Corps volunteers have been sworn in to offer their services in Cambodia for two years. They have been tasked with teaching English at primary and secondary schools, as well as teacher training institutes, nationwide. The swearing-in ceremony took place last week. They arrived in Cambodia two months ago and have been spending time in the community, learning the Khmer language. “Since 1962, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds have served in the Peace Corps in 142 countries,” said Aleksandra P Zittle, deputy chief of mission of the US embassy in Phnom Penh. “The Peace Corps is proud to work with its Cambodian partners to assist in the teaching of English as well as to work with local communities to help build and supply materials to school libraries, computer classes, school . . .

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First PCVs in Viet Nam Sworn In by Carol Spahn

First-ever cohort of Peace Corps volunteers in Việt Nam sworn in 30 December 2022 The Peace Corps’ English education program in Việt Nam, officially established with the signing of an implementing agreement in July 2020, is a collaborative partnership between the Peace Corps and Việt Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training. HÀ NỘI — As part of her first official tour, Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn on Friday swore in the inaugural group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Việt Nam during a ceremony in Hà Nội. “As we approach the New Year, this swearing-in offers us the opportunity to take a moment from our busy lives to appreciate and recognise the power of human connection,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “As the 143rd partner country of the Peace Corps, Việt Nam is a welcome addition to our global community, and I look forward to seeing how volunteers and . . .

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