Tunisia

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New books by Peace Corps writers | March — April 2024
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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) speaks at University of Mary Washington
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“A Road Not Taken” by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)
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THIS SALTED SOIL by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)
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Review — DISCOVERING TUNISIAN CUISINE by Judith Dwan Hallet (Tunisia) et al
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Peace Corps Was
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Helen Hildebrandt (Tunisia 1966–68, Senegal 1973–75)

New books by Peace Corps writers | March — April 2024

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 Third . . .

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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) speaks at University of Mary Washington

In the news Former Peace Corps Director Encourages Service for UMW Education Students by Lisa Chinn, UMW Voice October 10, 2023   When she arrived in Tunisia to teach English to a roomful of teenagers, former Peace Corps director Jody Olsen, then in her 20s, worried she’d made a mistake. “My first thought was to head for the door,” she said of the 1966 experience that ended up charting her course. Instead, “I said, ‘Good morning, I’m Mrs. Olsen,’ and my life began.” She shared her longtime relationship with service last week with students at the University of Mary Washington’s College of Education (COE) in Seacobeck Hall. Plucking tales from her lengthy career, including her time as Peace Corps director amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she wove a theme. International experiences — especially teaching abroad with the Peace Corps — can build the foundation for richer careers in the classroom. That’s . . .

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“A Road Not Taken” by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)

A Road Not Taken Jamie   Kirkpatrick (Tunisia 1970-72; APCD 1974-76) June 6, 2023 •   Now that I am of a certain age, I’m giving myself permission to occasionally recount a story that has been locked away in my personal vault. This is one of those times… It was nearly fifty years ago, and I was working on the staff of the Peace Corps in Tunisia. (I had previously served as a Volunteer in that country, but that’s another story.) One day, word reached me that a Volunteer who was under my supervision was absenting himself from his job, ostensibly taking some time to watch a movie that was being filmed at a location out in the desert, not far from his work site. It would be a long drive, but I thought this would be a good time to go visit some of my Volunteers in the south. . . .

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THIS SALTED SOIL by Jamie Kirkpatrick (Tunisia)

  This Salted Soil, by Jamie Kirkpatrick, tells the story of the North African Campaign in World War II, America’s first, but often-overlooked, involvement in the war against Nazi Germany that helped to shape and ultimately secure the Allied victory in that bloody conflict. Using both historical and fictional characters, This Salted Soil, is the story of the battle for Tunisia that took place between November, 1942 and May, 1943. The novel also explores two other related themes: Tunisia’s struggle for independence from France, and the role of Third World countries in the ideological struggle between East and West in the post-war era. Jamie Kirkpatrick served in Kasserine, Tunisia from 1970 to 1972. He was also the Associate Peace Corps Director in Tunisia from 1974 to 1976. Now retired after careers in international service organizations and education, Jamie is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, . . .

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Review — DISCOVERING TUNISIAN CUISINE by Judith Dwan Hallet (Tunisia) et al

  Discovering Tunisian Cuisine Judith Dwan Hallet (Tunisia 1964–66), Raoudha Guellali Ben Taarit, and Hasna Trabelsi; photographs by Judith Dwan Hallet and Stanley Ira Hallet (Tunisia 1964 – 1966) Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design, Inc December 2019 148 pages $36.00 (hardcover) Reviewed by Vana Prewitt (Liberia 1983–86; Peace Corps Response/S.t Lucia 2016 • Discovering Tunisian Cuisine is as much a table-top photo book as cookbook, and sized appropriately so at 9″x12″. One can see the artist’s eye in the exquisite photos of food, scenery, and people. The authors admitted to struggling over the photos until they got it right. It is a nice balance of interesting history, beautiful photos, family recipes, and stories. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I especially appreciated the insights to culture and history as it revolves around food. For example, there are three theories about the origins of Brik, a traditional dish of North Africa that looks a whole . . .

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Peace Corps Was

by Peg Clement (Tunisia 1975–77) This essay was first published in the November 2003 issue of PeaceCorpsWriters.org, and won Peace Corps Writers’ 2004 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award. • PEACE CORPS WAS two years of my young life, half my life ago. A time of long blonde braids, still-chubby cheeks, a hardy body withstanding weeks of tummy rumbles, pinkened skin before sunscreen became de rigueur. Quick reflexes, and a back hardened to floor sleeping. Easy laughs. Peace Corps was unexpected, and unplanned for, fun. Many times, it just happened — someone arrives descending feet-first from the louage, at the doorstep, or someone shows up at a beach disco. Instant friends, mix and stir. A prepackaged community, insurance premium against the loneliness of the Sahelian plains. Peace Corps was earnestness. Adults used the word altruistic. We tried to do good, and reached for change, big change — winds of change, . . .

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Helen Hildebrandt (Tunisia 1966–68, Senegal 1973–75)

Monday, November 21 6:18 pm MY NAME IS Helen Hildebrandt. I am from Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, Colorado. I was a kindergarten teacher in Sidi Amor Bou Hadjla, Tunisia and an English teacher in Bizerte, Tunisia from 1966 to 1968, and an English teacher in Ziguinchor, Senegal from 1973 to 1975. I have many vivid memories of my Peace Corps experiences. I can still see the Bizerte children happily playing barefooted at the community water faucet. I remember the frail Tunisian man who carried our two beds on his head all the way across the capital city of Tunis. I recall the 14-year-old Senegalese student who implored me to accept his homework paper in spite of the burnt fringes explaining that his young sister had knocked over the candle while he was studying and he couldn’t spare another sheet of paper. And I reflect on the Senegalese man who walked . . .

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