Ethiopia

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Bob Poole — Recovery of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park
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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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One of the Best Thriller and Mystery Novels of 2022 – Richard Lipez (Ethiopia)
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Grab Your Reader by the Throat
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Sad News — Mark Himelstein passes (Ethiopia 1)
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New novel | BIX by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia)
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Founder and Executive Director of HPP — Martha Ryan (Ethiopia)
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RPCV Jon Ebeling Dies From Heart Attack (Ethiopia)
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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022
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Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) STORIES OF RACISM: Stories of Racism–Confronted by a Family with Courage and Love
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“An Unexpected Love Story — The Women of Bati”
12
The Lion in the Gardens of the Guenet Hotel (Ethiopia)
13
“The Mad Man and Me at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa”
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Bob Dylan, “Desolation Row,” and A Rat in the Kitchen (Ethiopia)
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RPCV Mary Stephano (Ethiopia) Passed Away

Bob Poole — Recovery of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park

January 26 at McClaren Hall, Flathead Valley Community College, Paul D. Wachholz College Center will bring Emmy-winning filmmaker Bob Poole to Kalispell, MT • BY MIKE KORDENBROCK January 21,2023 An elephant calf. Photo by Gina Poole   An upcoming “National Geographic Live” event at Flathead Valley Community College’s new Wachholz College Center will bring to Kalispell an award-winning filmmaker, with Montana ties, to discuss the story of a national park in Mozambique that has continued to rebound after a prolonged civil war that left the local wildlife population decimated. It’s been a long time since Bob Poole has been to the Flathead Valley’s stretch of northwest Montana, but for the cinematographer and National Geographic speaker, any visit to the state is a reminder of the early years of his career. Poole had an unusual upbringing for an American citizen, in that he grew up abroad. His youth was spent in . . .

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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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One of the Best Thriller and Mystery Novels of 2022 – Richard Lipez (Ethiopia)

  The Washington Post has selected Knock Off the Hat by Richard Stevenson (Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) as one of the 12 Best Thriller and Mystery Novels of 2022. Dick Lipez, writing as Richard Stevenson, died this year, shortly before the publication of this standout. (Stevenson, writing under his real name, Richard Lipez, was also a frequent Washington Post reviewer.) The story — In post-World War II  Philadelphia, detective Clifford Waterman is trying to help a man charged with “disorderly conduct” following a raid at a gay bar. The seemingly small case sends Waterman into a world of corruption involving a dangerous judge who preys on the city’s gay population.   Knock off the Hat Richard Stevenson (Richard Lipez – Ethiopia 1962-64) Amble Press, 2022 222 pages 17.99 (paperback), $8.69 (Kindle)  

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Grab Your Reader by the Throat

  by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)   I am a great believer in writing an opening sentence or opening paragraph that hooks the readers and keeps them reading. Writing have change from when a writer could move leisurely into a tale and keep the attention of a reader with long narrative and descriptive sentences. Anytime you are anywhere — glance around — you’ll see people reaching for their iphone, checking messages, national news, or just the weather. No one, it seems, has the time or patience to read anything longer than an email. Today, no reader wants to turn a page of prose unless the next page is promising more surprises. Readers want what they’re reading to be fast, funny, or forget it. Here is what I mean. I have written these openings to  grab the reader by the throat and keep him or her reading. This is a short . . .

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Sad News — Mark Himelstein passes (Ethiopia 1)

  Mark Himelstein September 19, 1939 – September 12, 2022 Mark Himelstein died on Monday 12 September, a week before his 83rd birthday. He was battling hereditary issues with his heart when he lost. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his two sons Matt and Sam, his two daughters-in-law Laura and Alicia, and his grandchildren Solomon, Malakai, Meyer and Rhodes. Mark joins his daughter Suzy in the afterlife. Mark grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a fan of baseball and basketball, as is Indiana tradition. Mark graduated from Indiana University with a BA in 1962 and from George Washington University Law School with an LLB in 1967. But if you ever met Mark you would know that he considered his service as a reserve in the Marines (1959-65) and his experience in the Peace Corp (Ethiopia, 1962-64) as the core learning experiences of his life. Mark found . . .

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New novel | BIX by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia)

  BIX: Because I eXist by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-66) Foehr & Son Publisher 286 pages August 2022 $0.00 (Kindle); $8.99 (Paperback)   Five characters explore how to resist an authoritarian government without being beaten, imprisoned, or killed. Socrates, former gang leader and ex-con, uses lesson learned on the street and in prison: When outmaneuvered and outgunned, outsmart your opponent. Isabel, community do-gooder, takes her experience as the widow of a Mafia hitman: When under attack, develop a network of allies, and be sly. Aster, wanna-be firebrand, advocates to use force against force. Hank, first-generation Asian-American tries to be useful to all sides, without compromising his personal integrity. Lativia espouses the radical approach that Mass Kindness be the guiding principle of social, economic, and political policies.  

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Founder and Executive Director of HPP — Martha Ryan (Ethiopia)

  “I wanted to make the world better. That’s what we’re supposed to do, right?” Ask Martha Ryan (Ethiopia 1973-75), who says Peace Corps Ethiopia put her on her path.   Face-to-face with dire need Martha returned home to the Bay Area after her tour as a PCV in Ethiopia. She earned a nursing degree, and took a job at San Francisco General Hospital, and worked in intensive care. But then she found herself pulled back to Africa, where she’s cared for refugees fleeing civil war in camps in Sudan and Somalia, and travelled with a team of nurses to Uganda. But short-term trips weren’t enough. After a few weeks or months back in the U.S., Martha longed to return to Africa to live. It was where, she believed, she could most be of service — a value that was ingrained in her while at the University of San Francisc0 . . .

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RPCV Jon Ebeling Dies From Heart Attack (Ethiopia)

  Dr. Jon Sutton Ebeling, Professor Emeritus in Political Science, CSU Chico, passed on July 25, 2022, in Napa, California, after a long struggle to recover from a heart attack during May. Dr. Ebeling grew up in southern California with the surfers who gave the Beach Boys something to sing about.  There was a movie about one of his fellow surfers, Gidget, based upon a book that her father wrote.  Long after he left Santa Monica Jon occasionally ran into some of his beach friends including Gidget and Tom McBribe. Jon was born in Queens, New York in 1938 to Beatrice Coulbourne Ebeling and William Ebeling.  After his father passed away in 1939, Jon’s mother brought him and his older brother, Peter, across the U.S., stopping in Arizona first, before finding work as a bookkeeper in Los Angeles. His high school counselors thought that Jon would make a good sheet . . .

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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 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 copy along with a few instructions. 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 Third Goal . . .

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Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) STORIES OF RACISM: Stories of Racism–Confronted by a Family with Courage and Love

  A tribute to decades of work by children’s author Mildred D. Taylor. This year, Peace Corps Writers recognized her with the Writer of the Year Award. By John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) NPCA World View Special Books Edition 2022 • Mildred Delois Taylor is a critically acclaimed author of children’s novels. In 1977, she won the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature, for her historical novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It was the second book in a series of ten novels focusing on the Logan family, and portraying the effects of racism counterbalanced with courage and love. Her latest book, All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, published last year, is the final novel in the series. Since receiving the Newbery Medal, she has won four Coretta Scott King Awards, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN Award for Children’s Literature. In . . .

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“An Unexpected Love Story — The Women of Bati”

 by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)   If the reader prefers, this may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a piece of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact. — Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast • AT AN ELEVATION OF 4,000 FEET,  the town of Bati, Ethiopia, off the Dessie Road, is the last highland location before the Danakil Depression. A hard day’s drive from the Red Sea, it’s famous only for its Monday market days when the Afar women of the Danakil walk up the “Great Escarpment” to trade with the Oromos on the plateau. These women arrive late on Sunday, and with their camels and tents, they cover the grassy knob above the town. They trade early in the next morning for grain, cloth, livestock, and tinsels and trinkets imported from Addis Ababa, 277 kilometers to the south. Numbering as . . .

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The Lion in the Gardens of the Guenet Hotel (Ethiopia)

    by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) •   In the final days of our in-country Peace Corps training in Ethiopia, we had a celebration dinner at the Guenet Hotel in the Populari section of the capital, Addis Ababa. The Guenet Hotel, even in 1962, was one of the older hotels in Addis Ababa. It wasn’t in the center of town, but south of Smuts Street and down the hill from Mexico Square, several miles from where we were housed in the dormitories of Haile Selassie I University. While out of the way, this small, two-story rambling hotel, nevertheless, had a two-lane, American-style bowling alley, tennis courts, and a most surprising of all, an African lion in its lush, tropical gardens. At that time in the Empire, no Ethiopian was allowed to keep a lion, the symbol of the Emperor, Haile Selassie, whose full title was “By the Conquering Lion . . .

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“The Mad Man and Me at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa”

  by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) • We 275 PCVs, the first to be assigned to Ethiopia, arrived in-country in early September of 1962. Addis Ababa, the capital, was at an altitude of 7,726 feet. It has one of the finest climates to be found in the world. It was once a ramshackle city, which years before the travel writer John Gunther described as looking as if someone had tossed scraps of metal onto the slopes of Entoto mountain. I was assigned to live and teach in Addis, and lived my first year in a large stone house on Churchill Road, a main artery of the city that led uphill to the center of the city — the Piazza, with four other PCVs. That house, like most in Addis, had a tin roof and it was pleasant to wake early on school days during the rainy season and hear the heavy, . . .

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Bob Dylan, “Desolation Row,” and A Rat in the Kitchen (Ethiopia)

  by Karl Drobnic (Ethiopia 1966-68) March 31, 2022 • Bob Dylan, head slightly cocked, stared at me from the wall of my Peace Corps home, a dirt and wattle hut in a remote Ethiopian village. Highway 61 Revisited flickered, hanging on a thread I’d snaked through the the album cover, glossy in the candlelight of my little house that had no electric, no water, and most of all, no record player. “Stupid situation,” I imagined Dylan saying, an abrupt harmonica wail highlighting the “stupid”. A friend had gifted me the then-new album while I packed for two years in the African back-country. “Stay in touch,” she said. “Lots is happening in America, too.” A few days later, I was in my village, two miles up on the high escarpment of southern Abyssinia. Just behind the town, mountains jutted skyward another 4,000 feet, catching fluffy clouds that drifted above thorny acacia trees and . . .

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RPCV Mary Stephano (Ethiopia) Passed Away

  Mary Winslow Stephano, of Oswego, N.Y. passed away Friday evening February 18, 2022 at her home. She was 86. She was born in Oswego, a daughter of the late Charles and Frances O’Connor Stephano. Mary Winslow was a 1958 graduate of Le Moyne College with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. She joined the second class of the Peace Corps in 1962, and was stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She earned a Ph.D. in Economics, Public Administration and Planning from Syracuse University in 1970. Over her 30+ year career she served with aid agencies such as the United Nations, USAID, and the Near East Foundation, providing expertise in the planning, design, management, and evaluation of Ministry-level human resources and economic development programs. While in public service, she travelled to every continent except Antarctica and spent years living in Paris, Botswana, Malawi, Iran, and Papua New Guinea. While advising the . . .

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