Ethiopia

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Norman Rockwell and the Peace Corps, Part Two
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Norman Rockwell and the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, Part One
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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Featured in Tadias Magazine
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Ethiopian Immigrant Plans To Join The Peace Corps, Awarded Gates Millennial Scholarship
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The Denver Lion's Foundation Hosts Screening of Mel Tewahade's “Peace Corps in Ethiopia” on May 17th
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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Video Class on How To Write A Novel in 100 Days
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A letter from Kristi Davis (Ethiopia 1969–72)
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Neil Boyer's (Ethiopia 1962-64) Christmas Letter Home
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The Peace Corps and America's Most Serendipitous Man: Harris Wofford
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Second Time Around
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April & May & June Books by Peace Corps Writers
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Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)
13
Ethiopian RPCV Carol Beddo Wins Two Travel Writing Awards
14
Talking with Publisher Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965-67)
15
Waiting for Stan Meisler's History of the Peace Corps

Norman Rockwell and the Peace Corps, Part Two

While in Ethiopia Rockwell traveled to other Peace Corps site. In doing so, in Dessie, he found the subject for a famous paintings that appeared in Look Magazine. This prominent Norman Rockwell painting is entitled, Peace Corps  Ethiopia. It shows Marc Clausen (Ethiopia 1962-64) working in a field with farmers Marc Clausen was an agriculture/teacher Volunteer. He had graduated from the University of Arizona as an Aggie major and went to Ethiopia to teach agriculture. He was, in my recollection of those years, the only Ethie I PCV involved with agriculture. In Dessie, he told me recently, he had a demonstration field of approximately one hector a few miles from town and he took his students there for their classwork. Rockwell arrived by plane near the town of Kombolcha where there was a grassy landing field. Kombolcha was in the valley below this mountainous provincial town, Dessie, capital of Wollo. Dessie then had . . .

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Norman Rockwell and the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, Part One

Back in 2009, I posted a blog on this site about Norman Rockwell and his connection to the Peace Corps and to the PCVs in Ethiopia, a visit that resulted in several famous illustrations by one of America’s most famous artist illustrators. Since then, there has been several new books about Rockwell, including the massive (492 pages) 2013 American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in paperback in 2014 by Picador. The book was written by Deborah Solomon the art critic of WNYC Radio and the author of two previous biographies of American artists. In her book Solomon devotes one full paragraph to Rockwell’s January 1964 trip to Ethiopia but nevertheless manages to get several facts wrong. Earlier in the book, Solomon mentions that Rockwell’s contact with the new agency was through Harris Wofford, a founder of the Peace Corps and at the . . .

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Featured in Tadias Magazine

Tadias is a New York based online magazine tailored towards the Ethiopian-American community. Established in 2003, Tadias features breaking-news, events, videos, interviews, sports, arts, entertainment, personality profiles, celebrity highlights, as well as opinions and editorials. The word Tadias is a popular casual greeting among Ethiopians. It means “hi,” “what’s up?” or “how are you?” This Monday they published, a review of his novel that is partially set in Ethiopia, Long Ago and Far Away. MORE AT: http://www.tadias.com/06/01/2015/review-of-long-ago-and-far-away-a-novel-set-in-ethiopia-by-john-coyne/

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Ethiopian Immigrant Plans To Join The Peace Corps, Awarded Gates Millennial Scholarship

African Immigration Trend Has A Strong Base In D.C. Area WAMU 88.5 By: Armando Trull May 20, 2015 Over the past 40 years, the number of black immigrants coming to the United States has quadrupled. The majority of them have arrived from Jamaica and Haiti, but now the origin countries are changing. Africa is now represented more than ever before. The new trend has already taken hold in D.C., where African immigrants have accounted for much of the growth in the region’s black immigration, says Mark Hugo Lopez, research director at the Pew Research Center, which recently released a study on the data. “The growth in the number of African immigrants, black African immigrants has really been the driver in the growth of the black immigrant population overall, which now stands at 3.8 million,” Lopez says. In the D.C. region almost 15 percent of blacks are foreign born – that’s . . .

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The Denver Lion's Foundation Hosts Screening of Mel Tewahade's “Peace Corps in Ethiopia” on May 17th

Mel Tewahade (Center), the filmmaker of “Peace Corps in Ethiopia,” during a tour of Ethiopia in 2012 of 101 former Peace Corps volunteers gathered from all over the U.S. (Photograph: GEAA) Tadias Magazine Events News Published: Sunday, May 10th, 2015 Denver, Colorado – The Denver Lion’s Foundation will host a screening of Mel Tewahade’s documentary Peace Corps in Ethiopia on May 17th at Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Denver. The event is also a fundraiser for people affected by the Nepal earthquake, which so far has killed over 5000 people. “A full Nepal buffet cuisine will be provided and cash bar,” organizers announced. “We at the Lions Foundation and members of the Ethiopian community in Colorado are proud to work together to uplift our brothers and sisters in Nepal in this moment of challenge.” Peace Corps in Ethiopia documents programs to improve education there during the 60s and early 70s. The film . . .

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Video Class on How To Write A Novel in 100 Days

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR JOHN COYNE’S SKILLSHARE CLASS I want to mention that I’ve recorded a video class at Skillshare.com entitled How To Write A Novel in 100 Days. The class is about one hour long broken into 10 short videos. You can check out the site free and see if you want to take the class. The class is based on my book How To Write A Novel In 100 Days. Skillshare is a fascinating site. You might want to take other classes, or teach a course yourself. But if you are thinking of writing a novel-or know someone who might be interested–go to Skillshare and check out my course. You can do it for free, but you do have to look at my face and hear what I have to say. Well, nothing is totally without hardship. Thanks. Here is a link for free enrollment into the class: http://skl.sh/1EvgvdC It can . . .

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A letter from Kristi Davis (Ethiopia 1969–72)

Kristi Davis was a TESL teacher in Debra Tabor, Ethiopia from 1969–70, and then a game warden at Lakes Shalla and  Abiata from 1970 to 1972. Here is a letter she wrote to her parents from Debra Tabor  Oct. 10, 1969 shortly after she arrived. • It’s more amazing here every day . . . the atmosphere, that is. I look out the window while I’m steaming plum pudding and see men riding by with capes flying back and scarves tied in back that look like white wigs, and I think I’m living in an early American time . . . or I can walk into the living room and it will be the old West with a large fireplace, skin rug, and kerosene lamp . . . or I can pull seeds out of cotton and become a pilgrim beginning to spin, or 1600 Salem and the witch scare when the wizard next door starts . . .

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Neil Boyer's (Ethiopia 1962-64) Christmas Letter Home

What parents, siblings, and friends loved most about our Peace Corps experience were our letters home. Of course, today, there is little need for such letters, given cell phones and the Internet, but in the first years of the agency, letters home (and received) were treasured by all of us. Recently Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64) sent me an email about his first Christmas letter home. Neil wrote: “My cousin Barbara Duhamel recently supplied me with some of her archives, and they included the holiday letter that I sent from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December 1962 — the first of many letters.  From the distance of 52 years, some of the contents of this letter seem a little exaggerated and perhaps overly optimistic, but it’s pretty clear I was enjoying my introduction to the Peace Corps.” I asked Neil if I might reproduce the letter for others to share and enjoy. . . .

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The Peace Corps and America's Most Serendipitous Man: Harris Wofford

The November 2014 special issue of the New Republic is their anniversary issue (One Hundred Years of Politics & The Arts) that features articles on America’s great and infamous, and has much to my delight (and to all of us who were with him in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia) an article written by Jason Zengerle, the senior editor at The New Republic entitled, “Wofford Was Here: The Twentieth Century’s most Serendipitous Man.” Spotting it today when the magazine arrived in the mail I thought: Well, it’s about time. There are two photographs, one of Harris with Kennedy on the White House lawn greeting PCVs training in Washington, D.C. in the summer of ’62. (Those PCVs just happen to be the Ethiopia I Volunteers) and another photograph of Harris and his wife Clare and Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the Oval Office. The article charts Wofford’s long life, some . . .

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Second Time Around

by Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965–67) The following essay was published in September, 2007 at PeaceCorpsWriters.org, and in 2008 received the Moritz Thomsen Award for Best Short Work about the Peace Corps Experience • I JOINED THE PEACE CORPS at 21 because I was restless for adventure and after two years in Ethiopia, discovered that true adventure lies in the relationships and routines of daily life. I was delighted to live in a tiny mud house with the tin roof, thought the sound of roosters in the morning and the whoop of the hyenas at night exotic, learned to prefer fiery food that made me sweat and cry, but the surprise was my students. I fell in love with them — 75 kids in an unlit classroom with mud walls and a tin roof, 75 kids who walked an hour or more to get to school, kids whose parents I never . . .

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April & May & June Books by Peace Corps Writers

Connecting Two Worlds: An Environmental Journey From Peace Corps To Present by Anthony Simeone (Burkina Faso 1971–73) A Peace Corps Writers Book, $19.95 132 pages March 2013 • Africa on My Mind: Educating Americans for Fifty Years, Living Peace Corps’ Third Goal by Angene Wilson (Liberia 1962-64) A Peace Corps Writers Book $10.00 (paperback) 210 pages February 2013 • Gimme Five (Poems) by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65) Blue Light Press $15.95 55 pages 2013 Strange Stones—Dispatches from East and West By Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) Harper Perennial trade paperback; $14.99 354 pages May 2013 • The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn (Nepal 1973–75) Crown Publishing, $26.00 300 pages April, 2013 • Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04) A Peace Corps Writers Book $14.95 (paperback) 288 pages May 2013 • The Price of Justice: A True Story of Greed and . . .

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Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) Remembers: Norman Rockwell Slept Here (Maybe)

Memory and history are tricky. So tricky that it’s amazing that history gets anything right, even a matter as seemingly uncomplicated as a minor moment in Peace Corps history. In April this year nearly 30 RPCVs from the Ethiopia II training group that served in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1963-1965 met in Florida to catch up with what was happening Ethiopia — and with each other.  At one point someone recalled the visit that Norman Rockwell made to Ethiopia to do some sketches for a project he was preparing for Look magazine on President Kennedy’s legacy. “Right,” I blurted out, “Rockwell slept in my bed.”  As everyone laughed, I explained that when Rockwell came to Debre Marcos, the town where I was teaching along with seven other PCVs, we made plans to turn over some of our rooms to the Rockwells.  Debre Marcos, you’ll understand, was not renown for four star . . .

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Ethiopian RPCV Carol Beddo Wins Two Travel Writing Awards

In 2003 Carol Beddo (Ethiopia 1964-66) returned to Bahar Dar, Ethiopia, her Peace Corps village on the shores of Lake Tana, and overwhelmed with memories of being a PCV teacher there in the mid-sixties she began to wonder: Who was that young woman? While writing about herself as a young woman, she came to understand how the Peace Corps experience provided a foundation for the rest of her life as a community activist and as a consultant in public policy, political campaigns, and elections. Since this 2003 visit to Ethiopia, she has continued to write about her experiences in the Peace Corps and numerous essays have been published in the San Jose Mercury News, as well as in several travel anthologies. Two of her essays were recently selected Solas Award winners by Travelers’ Tales and they can be read at  http://BestTravelWriting.com on the following links: http://www.besttravelwriting.com/btw-blog/great-stories/travel-memoir-gold-winner-fear-and-bitter-justice/ http://www.besttravelwriting.com/btw-blog/great-stories/my-ethiopian-tent/ Congratulations Carol for this, and for all your writing . . .

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Talking with Publisher Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965-67)

JUST NORTH OF THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL of Dessie in the Debub Wollo Zone of Ethiopia is a small road-side town called Haik (or Hayq), wedged between low range hills and Lake Hayq. It is famous for being the home of the Coptic Church’s Istifanos Monastery, and for being the Peace Corps site where Tom Weck taught 7th and 8th grade English and math from 1965 to 1967. Tom was the only PCV in Haik, though a dozen or more PCVs (including his future wife) were stationed in Dessie, 28 kilometers south on an all-weather gravel road that bisected, north and south, the Empire of Emperor Haile Selassie. Haik was a town through which everyone — from missionaries, tourists, lorry drivers, and the Ethiopian government officials — raced. There was nothing in Haik, beyond the monastery and a 1930s Italian graveyard for the bodies of dead Blackshirt soldiers of the brief . . .

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Waiting for Stan Meisler's History of the Peace Corps

Next month Stan Meisler’s book on the Peace Corps When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years will be published by Beacon Press, but you can order it now at www.amazon.com (be the first RPCV on your block to own a copy!) We will also have a review of the book next month done by Robert Textor who was an early consultant to the Peace Corps, and editor of one of the first studies about the agency, Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps, published in 1966 by MIT Press. Meanwhile….For those who don’t know, Stan Meisler…was a reporter for AP who came late to the Peace Corps.  “I was not there at the madcap, exciting, glorious beginning. I started my work at Peace Corps headquarters just after the election of Lyndon B. Johnson to a full term as president, a year after the assassination of . . .

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