Honduras

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KANSAS KALEIDOSCOPE — a novel by Mark G. Wentling (Honduras & Togo)
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19 New books by Peace Corps writers — March and April, 2022
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Review — NEIGHBORS: Oral History from Madera, California, V.3 by Lawrence R. Lihosit (Honduras)
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Review — LETTERS FROM PEACE CORPS/HONDURAS by R. Scott Berg
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The Volunteer Who Went on to Become the Solicitor General of the United States — Drew Day (Honduras)
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Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert Forster (Honduras)
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Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert L. Forster (Honduras)
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Review — MAYA 2012 by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua)
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James H. McAuley (Honduras 1962-64)
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Journals of Peace — Patrick H. Hare (Honduras)

KANSAS KALEIDOSCOPE — a novel by Mark G. Wentling (Honduras & Togo)

  Kansas Kaleidoscope by Mark G. Wentling (Honduras (1967-69) & Togo (1970-73) Wild Lark Books August 2022 186 pages $4.99 (Kindle); $19.99 (Hardcover) • A young boy’s life in mid-20th-century America persistently and unpredictably veers off course in this novel.In many ways, 11-year-old Marky is a typical kid in 1950s Kansas. He collects baseball cards like other boys his age, goes fishing and hunting with his father, and has a good shot at winning his town’s annual turtle race. But his family is not immune to hardships. Marky and his siblings, for example, rarely see their dad, Boyd, who works the graveyard shift at an aircraft plant 30 miles away. Their mother, Gerry, is a manic-depressive; Marky adores her but is perpetually worried about her oscillating moods. After two decades of marriage and six children, Marky’s parents engage in arguments that escalate in frequency and violence. Intense fights send Gerry . . .

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19 New books by Peace Corps writers — March and April, 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 now include a brief description  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a 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 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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Review — NEIGHBORS: Oral History from Madera, California, V.3 by Lawrence R. Lihosit (Honduras)

  Neighbors: Oral History from Madera, California – Volume 3 Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77) Independently published February 2022 150 pages $16.00 (paperback) Reviewed by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965–66) • Madera, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, does not seem exceptional at first glance. The city (pop. 65,860) twenty-five miles north of Fresno straddles Rt. 99 on the flat plains of the Central Valley. There are no natural wonders or exceptional architecture. The population is a mix of Anglo-American, African, Native American, Asian, with Hispanic (78.4%) being the largest group. The median household income is $16,00 below the national average. But peel back the ordinary, and you find “bravery, loyalty, patience, persistence, what boxers call heart – the sheer will to get back up,” writes Lawrence Lihosit in his three-volume Madera trilogy. Lihosit, former Peace Corps volunteer (Honduras 1975-77) and travel writer, has lived in Madera since 1995. For the trilogy . . .

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Review — LETTERS FROM PEACE CORPS/HONDURAS by R. Scott Berg

  Letters from Peace Corps, Honduras by R. Scott Berg (Honduras 1976-79) Independently published 198 pages January 2022 $40.00 (Paperback) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • I was pleased to review this memoir of a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. It offered an opportunity to reflect on my own experience as an RPCV and learn more about Scott Berg and Honduras, which is why the author decided to share his legacy. The book is based on a series of weekly letters he wrote to Laurie, his love interest during the two-year long-distance relationship. At the end of his experience, they returned their respective letters in a shoebox. After that, he lost contact with Laurie, and he doesn’t know where she is today. The one hole in the narrative was the two weeks they spent together in Guatemala and parts of Honduras, which was a challenging time. . . .

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The Volunteer Who Went on to Become the Solicitor General of the United States — Drew Day (Honduras)

   by Jeremiah Norris  (Colombia, 1963-65) • After graduation from Hamilton College cum laude in 1963, with an A. B. in English literature, Drew S. Days III, inspired by the civil rights leaders of that time, then went on to earn a law degree from Yale in 1966. He briefly practiced law in Chicago before serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras from 1967 to 1969. Returning to the U. S. in 1969, Drew became the first assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. He worked there for eight years, litigating a range of civil rights cases. He was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, and in the states of Illinois and New York. In 1977, then-President Jimmy Carter nominated Drew to serve as the Assistant General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice. His tenure was . . .

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Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert Forster (Honduras)

  Mariantonia: The Lifetime Journey of a Peace Corps Volunteer Robert L Forster (Honduras 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers 2021 218 pages $19.99 (paperback); $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by: Donald E. Dirnberger (Eastern Caribean-22/Antigua, West Indies 1977–79) • Building bridges is a thought formed into words by the narrative memoir of fellow RPCV Robert L. Forster in his book Mariantonia – The Lifetime Journey of a Peace Corps Volunteer. Inspired by the vision of John F. Kennedy, who eloquently challenged our generation to seek out bold new frontiers by going forth to serve as men and women dedicated to the progress and peace of developing countries. In a time of turmoil JFK spoke of opportunity and optimism that somehow touched the very soul of those who would answer his call. Robert was one of them. Interwoven into his book he tells of life before, during, and after his Peace Corps days, both . . .

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Review — MARIANTONIA by Robert L. Forster (Honduras)

  Mariantonia : The Lifetime Journey of a Peace Corps Volunteer Robert L Forster (Honduras 19671–73) Peace Corps Writers 2021 218 pages $19.99 (paperback); $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras) — first published on Amazon.com. • Robert Forster has succeeded in writing and publishing a stellar Peace Corps memoir. Well organized, clearly written and superbly edited, it describes his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed along Honduras’s western frontier bordering El Salvador only two years after the “soccer war.” This is the first such memoir to quote war survivors and describe the war in such a personal manner. The book includes excellent photos (rare for early Peace Corps accounts), maps, a bibliography, a glossary of Spanish words and phrases, as well as sections of the book that elaborate on local history and offer insights into ongoing Honduran social problems. For Peace Corps aficionados or a general audience, this . . .

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Review — MAYA 2012 by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua)

Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998–2000) Moon Travel Guides 128 pages $7.99 (paperback) October 2011 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77) TRAVELERS WHO PLAN TO EXPLORE the Mayan world this coming year need this book! Even the seasoned trekker with a worn and patched backpack, creased boots, frayed hat and a passport bulging with extra pages will want to buy Maya 2012 before it’s sold out. It has it all: great maps, background information, descriptions of tours, transportation and discount hotels. It also contains conversion tables, an index, Mayan words and phrases, interesting interviews with important Mayan scholars and even a suggested reading list. This ain’t no guide to overpriced hotels and do-dads, but a book written for us serious wayfarers. For those with only a whiff of Mayan history, this book will convince you that the place . . .

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James H. McAuley (Honduras 1962-64)

Monday, November 21 5:12 pm I AM JAMES H. McAULEY from Cleveland, Ohio. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 6/62 to 6/65 in LaCeiba, Honduras with the Honduran National Social Welfare Agency. John F. Kennedy gave each of us as citizens of this (great) country and to each Peace Corps Volunteer a gift, his vision that people from around the world could interface with each other in a personal, human way for their mutual betterment. President Kennedy has given us an energetic, vibrant, living vision of hope that people who would dare to risk sharing divergent values and cultures could improve the human condition of all mankind by working to solve social/economic problems through relating to each other as other human beings. A vision of people of one country sharing with people of another country life’s joys and sorrows. A vision that people who stumble through language barriers . . .

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Journals of Peace — Patrick H. Hare (Honduras)

Journals of Peace Patrick H. Hare (Honduras 1966–69) Monday, November 21 6:15 pm • ED CALLED WHEN I was gearing up for a business trip and a presentation, cleaning up my desk and my mind for the trip and leaning into it the way the plane would lean into the take-off the next day. Papers for the trip, getting cash, and polishing shoes hurried through my mind like a drive-thru meal. When I knew Ed in the Peace Corps, we made time to talk. Most Volunteers did. Savings and loan co-ops, check dams for erosion-control, and raising money for sewers in my barrio had the same urgency as the trip I was going on now. But the landscape was different in Honduras, and lonely. There were hills with stunted corn and young rocks seeded together up the sides. The hills had trees on top. They were small, unfamiliar, cone-like hills, . . .

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