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WorldView | Return to Service

Spring-Summer 2022

Return to Service

It’s a hopeful time for the Peace Corps community, as Volunteers return to service overseas — and we’re close to passing the most sweeping Peace Corps legislation in a generation. But as we show in a series of stories from and about Ukraine, it’s a time when the very existence of that nation is being threatened.

August 28, 2022

Here’s Where Peace Corps Volunteers Have Returned to Service

Two dozen countries have welcomed them back. And some fifty countries have issued invitations for Volunteers to return. By Steven Boyd Saum   Two years after all Peace Corps Volunteers were brought home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they began returning to service overseas in March 2022. We shared the exciting news in the previous […]

August 27, 2022

The Campaign to Pass the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act

Following on big news from the Senate, let’s ensure that Congress passes the most sweeping Peace Corps legislation in a generation. By Jonathan Pearson   In these times when division and discord define politics across the nation, recent months tell a different story when it comes to support for the Peace Corps. Democrats and Republicans […]

August 27, 2022

A Little Relief: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

At last, some good news for the Peace Corps community on Public Service Loan Forgiveness By Katie McSheffrey   Last October, the U.S. Department of Education announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). But that initial overhaul did not include proposals to help Peace Corps Volunteers. National Peace Corps Association […]

BIG PICTURE

Volunteers Arrive in Ghana: 1961 and 2022

Start with the big historic moment, there on the left: August 1961, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana — the first country to welcome Volunteers on the ground. On the right, mark the historic return: July 2022, the first group of Volunteers to return to service in Ghana touch down in Accra. It had been more than two years since all Volunteers were brought home because of COVID-19. The 13 Volunteers arriving here will work alongside partners in junior high schools and schools for the deaf, health centers, and farming communities — also partnering with efforts to provide COVID-19 education and access to vaccinations.

Left: Historical photo courtesy Peace Corps. Right: Current photo courtesy U.S. Embassy Ghana.

Everything Will Be Ukraine

July 14, 2020

From the Editor: Unfinished Business

The evacuation of Peace Corps Volunteers serving around the globe is unprecedented. So is the way our nation is coming to terms with the truth that Black Lives Matter.   By Steven Boyd Saum For most Peace Corps Volunteers, the news broke on the Ides of March: due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, every single […]

August 25, 2022

Bucha Was Home

A place where I lived and taught — with colleagues and students and a family, people who cared about me and I about them. Then the war came. By Sonia Scherr   Ten days before Russia launched its full-scale war in Ukraine, I awoke to a Facebook message wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day. It […]

August 23, 2022

Everything Will Be Ukraine!

More than 3,400 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Ukraine. Here are a few ways they have sought to help the communities they served as Russian rockets fly and bombs fall across the country. Logo by The RPCV Alliance for Ukraine   By Raisa Alstodt and Natalia Joseph   On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin launched […]

August 23, 2022

What We Mean by Friendship

With the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Friends of Moldova has stepped in to provide crucial support to thousands of refugees. by David Jarmul Logo by Friends of Moldova    Until this past February, Friends of Moldova was like many “Friends of” groups within the Peace Corps community: a loose organization of returned Volunteers sharing news […]

August 23, 2022

Ukraine Stories

A platform for citizen journalists, volunteers, and those working to deepen understanding of the war and efforts to help refugees. By Clary Estes Photo by Clary Estes   The Ukraine Stories newsletter started modestly. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who had served throughout Central and Eastern Europe asked […]

Poetry

August 24, 2022

Intimate and Lyrical Poetry by Ukrainian Poet Natalka Bilotserkivets. Her Work Has a New Resonance and Urgency.

Eccentric Days Of Hope And Sorrow By Natalka Bilotserkivets Translated from the Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky Lost Horse Press   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Prologue to this collection spanning four decades is the poem “ДІТИ,” or “Children.” It’s a word that readers have seen in photos from Ukraine scores of times since February. […]

August 16, 2022

Lines of Joy and Memory, Death and Rebirth: DEMO by Charlie Smith

DEMO | Poems By Charlie Smith W.W. Norton   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Early on in Charlie Smith’s recent collection comes the poem “Samsara,” lines of joy and memory and death and rebirth. How it begins: “The ocean, uncomfortable with itself, bangs and slurs, / mixing flavors, holding its own against infinity, scarred with […]

August 12, 2022

Sketches in Words and Images — and an Invitation to Dine with His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I

POETRY SKETCHES A PEACE CORPS MEMOIR By Eldon Katter Peace Corps Writers Reviewed by Kathleen Coskran   Eldon Katter sketches with images and words alike. He had the foresight to chronicle his time with the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia (1962–64) through short poems and drawings — both his and his students’. He […]

“The Peace Corps is one of the most impactful volunteer humanitarian forces in the world, transforming lives and forging international understanding. Its Volunteers represent the best qualities of American society and reflect the diversity of the American people.”

     —U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

on June 23, upon introduction of the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022
in the Senate — legislation which he co-sponsored.

Afghanistan

August 17, 2022

Afghanistan: For an Educator, a Journey Back to a Time of Peace

Afghanistan at a Time of Peace By Robin Varnum Peace Corps Writers Reviewed by Jordan Simmons Friends en route to a provincial school. Photo courtesy Robin Varnum   Afghanistan at a Time of Peace traces Robin Varnum’s years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, 1971–73. Varnum chronicles her journey into learning the place she came to call […]

August 17, 2022

Two Years in Afghanistan with the Peace Corps for Parents. And Two Deployments in Afghanistan for their Son.

A Few Minor Adjustments TWO YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN: A PEACE CORPS ODYSSEY  By Elana Hohl Independently Published     Reviewed by Jordan Simmons   Before Elana Hohl and her husband, Mike, traveled to Afghanistan to serve with the Peace Corps 1971–73, she had only been beyond her native Midwest a handful of times. The journey […]

August 17, 2022

A Study of Land, the State, and War in Afghanistan Raises Some Big Questions. For Starters, Could It All Have Gone Differently?

Land, The State, and War: Property Institutions and Political Order in Afghanistan By Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili Cambridge University Press     Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Could it all have gone differently in Afghanistan? That was the premise for a conversation last September with Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili about her recently published book, Land, […]

Biography

August 24, 2022

A Biography of Writer Michael Gold Traces an Anti-Democratic Thread in American Life

Michael Gold: The People’s Writer By Patrick Chura SUNY Press   Reviewed by Marnie Mueller    In the very last pages of his story of the life of Michael Gold, Patrick Chura writes: “Gold managed the challenge of proving the existence of another America, and how difficult it made his life.” An avowed and uncompromising Marxist, […]

August 17, 2022

The Swan Song that Truman Capote Did Not Intend to Write

Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era By Laurence Leamer G.P. Putnam’s Sons Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   “For years, Truman Capote had been proudly telling anyone within hearing that he was writing ‘the greatest novel of the age,’” begins Laurence Leamer’s latest biography, a tale […]

Books for Young Readers

August 23, 2022

Ten Hidden Heroes

A conversation with author Mark K. Shriver By Steven Boyd Saum   Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark K. Shriver teamed up with illustrator Laura Watson on 10 Hidden Heroes, published by Loyola Press, which aims to help children develop counting skills while learning ways to make the world a better place. It shows how acts of […]

August 20, 2022

His Family Fled the Nazis. In Ecuador, He Grows up Changing Names and Identities to Navigate an Uncertain Fate.

The Boy with Four Names By Doris Rubenstein IUniverse   Reviewed by Nathalie Vadnais   In Germany in 1935, just after the Nuremberg Laws were passed, a young Jewish man named Abie is confronted by Nazi soldiers while walking with his Aryan girlfriend in public. In self-defense, Abie attacks one soldier and, believing him dead, […]

August 19, 2022

Giving Voice to Refugees: Firsthand Accounts from Children and Teenagers — Some Many Years Later

Finding Refuge REAL-LIFE IMMIGRATION STORIES FROM YOUNG PEOPLE By Victorya Rouse Zest Books   Reviewed by Nathalie Vadnais   In the Newcomers Center at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, Victorya Rouse teaches immigrants from all over the world how to speak English. It’s work she has done for three decades, after she served as an […]

Art & Nature

August 17, 2022

Andy Warhol’s Cats, a Floating Subway Map, and More NYC Delights

Art Hiding in New York AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE CITY’S SECRET MASTERPIECES By Lori Zimmer | Illustrated by Maria Krasinski Running Press   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   In this compendium of delight, illustrator Maria Krasinski brings playful color and a lightness of touch to an exploration of art and artists whose work […]

August 14, 2022

‘A Virtual Explosion of Colors, Textures, and Life’

Coral Reef Curiosities INTRIGUE, DECEPTION AND WONDER ON THE REEF AND BEYOND By Chuck Weikert Dayton Publishing Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   Chuck Weikert served as a Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga 1977–79. He recounts a snorkeling excursion to the windward side. “The reef opened up in a virtual explosion of colors, textures, […]

News & Updates

July 20, 2022

Senate Committee Advances Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022

Less than a month after its introduction, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advance major legislation — with broad, bipartisan support — to further reform and improve the Peace Corps. By Jonathan Pearson   Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) came together on July 19 and agreed to advance Senate Bill 4466, the bipartisan Peace Corps Reauthorization […]

June 23, 2022

Carol Spahn Has Been Nominated to Serve as Peace Corps Director. Read Our Letter of Support — and Take Action.

Today National Peace Corps Association sent a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting Carol Spahn’s nomination to serve as the 21st Director of the Peace Corps. Here’s what we said. And here’s how you can help ensure a better and stronger Peace Corps for the future. By Jonathan Pearson Photo courtesy Peace Corps […]

August 22, 2022

Peace Corps Closes Post in Myanmar

Instability, unrest, and armed conflict led the agency to make the announcement in April. By NPCA Staff   The history of the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar is one that has been marked by moments of optimism and despair in recent years. In 2014, a hopeful time, President Barack Obama signed an agreement to launch […]

October 5, 2022

Explore Videos from the 2022 NPCA Annual General Membership Meeting: Peace Corps Reengaging with a Changed World

On September 24, National Peace Corps Association hosted its Annual General Membership Meeting online. Here are videos and resources from the event. By NPCA Staff   On September 24, NPCA was honored to host more than 300 members of the Peace Corps community for the 2022 Annual General Membership Meeting (AGMM). It was an opportunity to celebrate, share updates from staff and our […]

People & Ideas

May 20, 2022

Meet the Members of the Peace Corps Community Recognized with the 2022 JFK Service Award

Every five years, Peace Corps presents the John F. Kennedy Service Awards to honor members of the Peace Corps network whose contributions go above and beyond for the agency and America every day. Here are the 2022 Awardees. By NPCA Staff Photo: Dr. Mamadou Diaw, Peace Corps staff recipient of the 2022 JFK Service Award. Photos […]

August 28, 2022

Tales of Cartography

Mapmaking with fabrics and dances and sloths By Nathalie Vadnais    Consider the map. We’ve all used one to get from point A to point B, to navigate the geography of the place in which we find ourselves. We also live in a world profoundly shaped by the arbitrary drawing of borders on colonial maps […]

August 23, 2022

Peace Corps Posters: In Portland, Oregon, ArtReach Gallery and the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Host an Exhibit Spanning Six Decades

Posting Peace in Portland Peace Corps Posters 1961–2022 If you’re near Portland, Oregon, before October 16, be sure to visit ArtReach Gallery for the exhibit Posting Peace. Co-hosted by the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, it features six decades of Peace Corps posters and maps. The exhibit and an accompanying book are curated by gallery director […]

July 7, 2022

The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Wants to Share Your Story

With a growing collection of first-hand narratives, the museum connects people, places, and objects. Those all connect us — across nations and generations. By David Arnold    “Your Peace Corps service began when you entered training and embarked on your service in another country and culture,” says Patricia Wand (Colombia 1963–65), president of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. “We’ve […]

August 23, 2022

Silver and Saddles

My Tuareg silverwork reminds me of the hidden beauty amid the vast arid scrubland of the Nigerien Sahel. By Cathy Sunshine   During my second year as a health educator in Aderbissinat, Niger, my work partner and I had new saddles made for our two camels. The camels were our work transport, purchased for us by […]

June 28, 2022

Interior Design Colony: A Small Group of Volunteers will Finish the House of Urnebes in Serbia

An RPCV with a commitment to cross-cultural collaboration secures volunteers to help renovate and design House of Urnebes in Serbia. It’s meant to be a permanent gathering space where artists can meet in an atmosphere of creative free expression.   By Tiffany James Associate Editor of Global Stories Tiffany James talks with RPCV Gina Larson   After […]

In Memoriam

August 20, 2022

Congressional Leadership and Bipartisanship: Remembering Senator Johnny Isakson

Bipartisanship is “a state of being,” said Johnny Isakson By Catherine Gardner Photo courtesy office of Johnny Isakson   “The dedicated men and women of the U.S. Peace Corps work hard to help communities and foster goodwill around the world,” U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson said in 2018. The occasion was important but not exactly celebratory: […]

August 21, 2022

Madame Secretary: A Remembrance of Madeleine Albright

In her childhood, her family fled tyranny — twice. She went on to become the first woman to serve as secretary of state of the United States. By Steven Boyd Saum Photo courtesy Madeleine Albright   Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as secretary of state of the United States. Appointed by President Bill […]

August 20, 2022

The House of Yes: Remembering Paul Farmer

He founded Partners in Health and dedicated decades to focus on healing the poorest and the sickest in a dozen countries. By Catherine Gardner Sharing a commitment to helping the poor and a hug: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Paul Farmer. Photo courtesy Skoll Foundation Paul Farmer’s life was one dedicated to health, human rights, and ameliorating the consequences […]

August 19, 2022

Lifting Every Voice: William Robertson

William Robertson (1933–2021) was the first Black American to serve as an aide to a Virginia governor. He went on to serve five U.S. presidents and lead Peace Corps posts.   By Catherine Gardner   Photo of William Robertson courtesy University of Virginia Press   The first Black American to serve as an aide to a Virginia governor, […]

August 17, 2022

Scholar and Human Rights Activist, She Was Also Invited to Play Piano with Elvis Presley’s Band. A Remembrance of Jan Knippers Black.

Jan Knippers Black (1940–2021) wrote the definitive book on U.S. interference in post-colonial Brazil. By Catherine Gardner Photo by Elëna Zhukova   Professor emerita, world traveler, beloved role model and mentor to thousands of students, singer and songwriter, advocate and ally: These are just some of the many terms one could use to describe Jan Knippers Black, […]

August 16, 2022

He helped inspire the Peace Corps, then became a Volunteer: Douglas Kelley

In Memoriam: Douglas Kelley (1929–2022) By Catherine Gardner Photo courtesy the family of Douglas Kelley. Douglas Kelley holds a special place among those who helped inspire the Peace Corps. As a student at Berea College in Kentucky, he was committed to international cooperation and civil rights. In his senior year in college, in 1951, he began […]

August 15, 2022

Juliane Heyman Escaped the Holocaust in Europe. In the U.S., She Became the First Woman to Serve as a Peace Corps Training Officer.

In Memoriam: Juliane Heyman (1925–2022) By Catherine Gardner   Photo of Juliane Heyman courtesy Alana DeJoseph   Born in the Free City of Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland, Julie Heyman was 12 years old when she fled her home due to increasing Nazi persecution. After months of being disconnected from her parents, she and her family were reunited […]

Letters

August 11, 2022

Letters: Readers Respond to the Special Books Edition of WorldView Magazine

Letters, emails, LinkedIn and Instagram comments, Facebook posts, tweets, and other comments. We’re happy to continue the conversation here and our social media platforms. One way to write us: [email protected]           Cover to Cover I want to congratulate you and the whole NPCA team for producing an outstanding magazine. Yesterday I read through the two most […]

Masthead

August 11, 2022

Meet the Team Behind the Spring-Summer 2022 Edition of WorldView

The editorial and creative teams who put together the Spring-Summer 2022 edition of WorldView magazine for digital and print       PUBLISHER | Kim Herman EDITOR | Steven Boyd Saum EDITOR EMERITUS | David Arnold ART DIRECTOR | Pamela Fogg CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | John Coyne ASSOCIATE EDITOR, GLOBAL STORIES | Tiffany James DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER | Orrin Luc WORLDVIEW INTERNS | Catherine Gardner, Jordan Simmons     CONTRIBUTORS COVER  Design by Pamela Fogg. Illustration […]

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WorldView magazine brings you stories from and about the greater Peace Corps community, with connections to the wider world. We feature news, profiles, commentary and analysis, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.

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Current edition: Spring-Summer 2022

Previous editions of WorldView digital:
2022 Books Edition (April 2022) | Fall 2021 Special 60th Anniversary Edition | Summer 2021 | Spring 2021 Winter 2021 Fall 2020 | Summer 2020 | Spring 2020

More previous editions are available on the WorldView app. Print copies may be available as well upon request. Write us and ask.

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We welcome pitches and, on rare occasions, completed pieces. What are we looking for? Stories that speak to the Peace Corps community. That might be focused on work connected to Peace Corps, returned Volunteers, communities and countries where Volunteers have served, connections to experiences and work in the U.S. and globally. We’re interested in ideas and impact and stories that connect with readers on a human level.

 

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About the Editor

Steven Boyd Saum is editor of WorldView. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and in other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where he also directed the Fulbright program and hosted a radio show. Send a letter to the editor: [email protected].

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What Our Readers Are Saying

“I would like to thank you for all of the amazing work you put into WorldView magazine. Reading it gives me a great feeling of solidarity with other Volunteers and RPCVs around the world and always serves to remind me that I’m part of something very special, and something that is much bigger than I am.”

— Anna Waterfield (Tanzania 2012–14)


“I have read WorldView for years now and it was FABULOUS to get at post. It’s important to know someone, somewhere out there is doing what you are doing, with a twist, and that’s what keeps Volunteers serving and communities asking for more … this publication really does make a difference.”

— Rachael Miller (Benin 2006–08)


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