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WorldView | Summer 2020

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 […]

July 14, 2020

Pandemic has changed our community forever. Another disease we must fight: racism itself.

By Glenn Blumhorst   DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE when you heard the news? That the U.S. Peace Corps had made the difficult and unprecedented decision to suspend programs indefinitely, evacuating 7,300 volunteers serving in more than 60 countries due to coronavirus, and informing them that their service had ended. That more than 100,000 […]

August 31, 2020

What Guides Us?

Equality and justice. Empathy and compassion.   Teaching health or English, working in youth development or fisheries, nurturing enterprises or advising in agriculture. Building friendships to help the world understand our complex and troubled nation, bringing understanding of a wider world back home. Navigating lives as individuals and parents, children and siblings, citizens and friends in a time of need.     Colt Bradley calls North […]

Coming Home

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.

ASIA

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: China

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. Photo: Family portrait with Andrew Avitt, right, and his host family, Mr. and Mrs. Zhen and host brother Yanyu. “We received a lot of instruction during training about language, culture, and teaching. Perhaps the most invaluable part […]

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: Mongolia

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. Photo: Ceremonial first haircut for a young girl. Volunteer and photographer Antonio Mercatante was invited to observe. Mongolia | Lucy Baker Home: San Francisco Bay Area As Volunteers were being evacuated from China, in Mongolia, Lucy Baker and others […]

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: Myanmar

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. Schwedagon Pavilion, Yangon. Photo by Dharma from Sadao, Thailand Myanmar | Quinton Eklund Overholser Home: Elko, Nevada “Hours before our flight, at our Close of Service conference, my country director asked me how I was […]

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: The Philippines

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.       The Philippines | Diane Glover Home: Valdosta, Georgia When Diane Glover arrived in the Philippines in July 2018, it was a sort of homecoming — to the country where she was born […]

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: Nepal

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.     Nepal | Jim Damico Home: Kansas City, Missouri I am a three time Volunteer. I previously served in Thailand (2014–18) and Mongolia (2018). In Nepal I had just finished my first school year. […]

August 12, 2020

Coming Home: Thailand

A Constricted Heart “I left behind my Thai family and community and my work. That’s everything.”    Thailand | Sierra Drummond Home: Thousand Oaks, California I was in Peace Corps Thailand, in the northeast region, sort of on the border of Laos. I had been there 14 months and was a part of a project called TESS […]

August 18, 2020

A Thousand Words: More Photos from Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuated from Around the World

Photos from Nepal, Timor Lesté, Guinea, and Jamaica Along with the dozens of stories we’ve shared from Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from around the world, here are snapshots from more Volunteers. They capture the friendships and communities left behind. And they capture the heartbreak of leaving.   Nepal | Eddie De La Fuente   When Peace Corps announced the global […]

CENTRAL ASIA & EASTERN EUROPE

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Kyrgyz Republic

Kyrgyz Republic | Jae Cho Home: Gloucester, Virginia Hello, my name is Jae Cho, and I’m from Gloucester, Virginia, and I’ve been serving as a Peace Corps volunteer since July 2019 in the Kyrgyz Republic. I’ve been serving as a TEFL teacher, teaching English as a foreign language at J. Mukambaev Secondary School in a […]

August 17, 2020

Coming Home: Moldova

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.     Moldova | Jeremy Male Home: Roswell, Georgia In a small village in the Soroca region near the Ukrainian border, Jeremy Male taught English at a secondary school alongside two Moldovan colleagues starting in […]

August 17, 2020

Coming Home: Ukraine

Ukraine | Kevin Lawson Home: Greensboro, North Carolina “When will you come back?” I wake up more and more to this question as the days go by since evacuation. I had been serving as a youth development Volunteer since August 2018. When we were evacuated I left behind the promise to play soccer with Dima, […]

August 31, 2020

We were evacuated from North Macedonia. So we set out to do work that reflects Peace Corps values at home.

The founder of RPCVs Serving at Home chronicles her work as a Volunteer — and launching a network to support communities across the United States. By Mia Richardson — as told to Cynthia Arata   I had wanted to serve in the Peace Corps since high school. I was really interested in the Cold War, […]

AFRICA

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Ghana

Ghana | Meg Holladay Home: Amherst, Massachusets   I was serving as a Peace Corps Health Extension Volunteer in southern Ghana, in a farming community of about 1,200 people. When we were evacuated, I had been in my community for a year and had one more year to go. I was the first Peace Corps […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Madagascar

Madagascar | Danielle Montecalvo Home: Rochester, New York   I had been serving since September 2018 as an English educator at University of Mahajanga. Here’s what I left behind: My 200 first-year engineering, computer science, and applied language students, as well as 275 university students returning for their second and third year. My host family: […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Malawi

Malawi | Danny Herres Home: Tryon, North Carolina Danny Herres found out about the evacuation at 4:30 a.m., via group chat on WhatsApp. Malawi is a landlocked nation split by the Great Rift Valley and the massive Lake Malawi, which nearly runs the length of the entire country. Herres had been serving as a community […]

August 17, 2020

Coming Home: Mozambique

Mozambique | Stacie Scott Home: Louisville, Kentucky My community, Metangula, is in the northern province of Niassa. I was a community health services promoter for 22 months, working in the community health center organizing HIV patient files. I formed an English club, an English theater youth group, and a Grassroot Soccer youth group. I also […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Namibia

Namibia | Charles Castillo Home: Medford, New Jersey Watch the video I put together about my unfinished business as a Volunteer and you’ll see and hear me speak a few different languages. The messages all begin: “How are you? My name is Charles Castillo.” First, in American Sign Language. In Namibian Sign Language. In Oshiwambo, […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Rwanda

Rwanda | Ana Santos Home: Atlanta, Georgia Ana Santos had been serving as a Volunteer teaching English since September 2018. After hearing about the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Rwanda, Santos started packing that Sunday, before getting the official evacuation order on Monday. And she began the emotionally taxing and logistically challenging process of […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Cameroon

Sasha Kogan | Cameroon Home: New York City Photo: Unbridled joy: kids in the village. Photo by Sasha Kogan January 2020 In the earliest hours of the morning, when the air is still somewhat cool, the sun brings with it the sounds of roosters calling and the cries of baby goats, indistinguishable from the cries […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Togo

Togo | Sarah Bair Home: Bethesda, Maryland The village of Alibi II is in the center of the country.
“It’s basically the Muslim capital of Togo,” Sarah Bair says. Working with a clinic, she focused on maternal and child health, serving some 3,000 people. “I went to mosque every Friday. I learned a lot about religion and […]

August 18, 2020

Coming Home: Zambia

Zambia | Amber Cohen Home: Washington, D.C. Area In the village of Itinti, a 15-hour bus ride from the capital, Amber Cohen assembled a meeting of the farmers with whom she’d built 27 fish ponds during almost two years. “It didn’t really hit me that this was the last meeting I’d be having.” Her work […]

August 18, 2020

A Thousand Words: More Photos from Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuated from Around the World

Photos from Nepal, Timor Lesté, Guinea, and Jamaica Along with the dozens of stories we’ve shared from Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from around the world, here are snapshots from more Volunteers. They capture the friendships and communities left behind. And they capture the heartbreak of leaving.   Nepal | Eddie De La Fuente   When Peace Corps announced the global […]

NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

July 30, 2020

Coming Home: Morocco

Morocco | Joshua Warzecha Home: Clayton, California Joshua Warzecha was an Arabic studies and linguistics major at Dartmouth College before joining Peace Corps in September 2018. He was on vacation with his family in the northern part of Morocco when he got the evacuation message and had to race back to his post in Tata, […]

SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN ISLANDS

August 19, 2020

Coming Home: Ecuador

Ecuador | Becky Wandell Home: Portland, Oregon By 10:30 Sunday night, March 15, I had settled into bed and checked my phone. I scrolled past messages exploding: Start packing. We’re going home. Not me — I’m extending for a third year! Besides, we’re on a “standfast,” schools are closed. I’m safe with my host family […]

August 19, 2020

Coming Home: Guatemala

Guatemala | Anna Zauner Home: Skillman, New Jersey Photo: Dressed in traditional Mayan traje, as is custom for Sunday  Mass. Anna Zauner, left, with friend Jackelyn Saquic.   We received the evacuation notice at 10 p.m., just hours after the Guatemalan government announced that all school would be canceled for 21 days. Forty-six minutes later I […]

August 19, 2020

Coming Home: Panama

Panama | Danielle Shulkin Home: Sharon, Massachusetts Photo: Mangrove reforestation, Los Santos, Panamá — the community where Volunteer Bailey Rosen served and took time to high-five with one of the students taking part. Photo by Eli Wittum   Köbö kuin dere! Ti kä Mechi Sulia Kwatabü amne ti sribire Cuerpo de Paz ben. I served in the […]

August 20, 2020

Coming Home: Peru

Peru | Aidan Fife Home: Lancaster, Pennsylvania When Aidan Fife arrived in the Ancash region in December 2019, he was the third youth development Volunteer to serve as part of a six-year project, stretching over the course of three cohorts. “Kind of a new thing for Peace Corps,” he says. Though Peace Corps is not […]

August 19, 2020

Coming Home: Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic | Benjamin Rietmann Home: Condon, Oregon Photo: Build your dreams: Ben with two students who competed in the Peace Corps “Construye tus Sueños” competition, where they presented business plans trying to win seed money to start businesses. The young woman wants to make and sell yogurt, and the young man wants to start a […]

August 18, 2020

A Thousand Words: More Photos from Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuated from Around the World

Photos from Nepal, Timor Lesté, Guinea, and Jamaica Along with the dozens of stories we’ve shared from Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from around the world, here are snapshots from more Volunteers. They capture the friendships and communities left behind. And they capture the heartbreak of leaving.   Nepal | Eddie De La Fuente   When Peace Corps announced the global […]

PACIFIC ISLANDS

August 20, 2020

Coming Home: Fiji

Fiji | Cynthia Arata Home: Napa, California   Photo: Moala Island — one of the most remote islands that is part of Fiji. Photo by Cynthia Arata   If you type “Moala Island” into Google, a number of misleading images will populate your search. Make no mistake: there is no tourism on Moala Island. Despite mislabeled […]

August 20, 2020

Coming Home: Tonga

Tonga | Natalie Somerville Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   Photo: Mangrove forest, Tonga. Photo courtesy Natalie Somerville.   Mālō ‘etau lava. Ko Navi au. Na’a ku nofo i Tonga. On the beautiful island of ‘Eua, where I was serving as a Volunteer, I’m known as Navi. When we were evacuated, here’s what I left behind: coconut trees, […]

The Unprecedented Evacuation - As told by counterparts, country directors, and Director of the Peace Corps Jody Olsen

August 5, 2020

Shoulder to Shoulder

Every Volunteer has a counterpart. That’s Peace Corps lingo for one person in the community tasked with helping make this endeavor possible. Interviews Edited by Steven Boyd Saum and Cynthia Arata Photo: Sharmae Stringfield (left) Chippie Ngwali. Courtesy Sharmae Stringfield.   Malawi | Sharmae Stringfield, Volunteer Home: Virginia, United States The day I had to leave my […]

August 14, 2020

This is Not a Drill

When times are good, being a country director for Peace Corps may be the best job in foreign affairs. This has not been such a time. As told to Steven Boyd Saum   Photo: Vyshyvanka Day, when schoolchildren don the traditional Ukrainian shirt — and here, pose as one. Photo by Kevin Lawson   Kim Mansaray […]

July 14, 2020

Our Peace Corps Evacuation Journey

The Director of the Peace Corps chronicles the events that led to an unprecedented global evacuation of Volunteers. And the hardest decision she’s had to make in her life.   By Jody Olsen   I will always remember 2 p.m. on March 15, 2020, as the moment I made the most difficult decision of my […]

Crisis and Reentry - How the community stepped up — and a new program National Peace Corps Association created to help returning Volunteers

August 10, 2020

Evac Support via Facebook

A group to link evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers with the help they need. Sometimes that’s just someone to listen — and hear. By Steven Boyd Saum     The day after Peace Corps informed Volunteers around the globe that they were being evacuated, a new group took shape to help them: Returned Peace Corps COVID-19 Evacuation Support […]

August 13, 2020

Global Reentry: A Bridge between Peace Corps Service and a Lifetime of Peace Corps Ideals

Global Reentry: A Bridge between Peace Corps Service and a Lifetime of Peace Corps Ideals By Dan Baker   Just days after Peace Corps Volunteers began a global evacuation in March, National Peace Corps Association officially launched a program that had long been in the works — but was suddenly urgent: the Global Reentry Program to support the Returned Peace […]

August 13, 2020

For the Community

Volunteers had projects and grants to fund them. They had to leave and the money was frozen. But that’s not the end of the story. By NPCA Staff   Photo: Katherine Patterson and students of Bumbuta Secondary School in Tanzania. Patterson started the Save the Rain project to provide clean water for the school community.   When Peace Corps Volunteers were […]

August 10, 2020

Work on the Hill

Here’s how we’ve been advocating for evacuated Volunteers — and a Peace Corps in a changed world. By Jonathan Pearson and Steven Boyd Saum   The coronavirus pandemic and temporary suspension of all Peace Corps programs marks the greatest existential threat to the agency in its history. When Volunteers were evacuated, they were ripped from communities […]

August 10, 2020

Lawmakers ask: How can we help?

In addition to legislation to support evacuated Volunteers, members of Congress have also taken time to share encouragement.     Peace Corps Volunteers dedicate two years of their lives to serve their country abroad and are an important component of American foreign policy and international aid efforts. I’ve been a proud supporter of the Peace […]

August 31, 2020

We were evacuated from North Macedonia. So we set out to do work that reflects Peace Corps values at home.

The founder of RPCVs Serving at Home chronicles her work as a Volunteer — and launching a network to support communities across the United States. By Mia Richardson — as told to Cynthia Arata   I had wanted to serve in the Peace Corps since high school. I was really interested in the Cold War, […]

Our Changed World - Grappling with racial injustice — and re-imagining Peace Corps after COVID

August 13, 2020

I’m Tired

Reasons why. And some serious advice. It’s a matter of life and death. By Missi Smith   ON MEMORIAL DAY a Black man named George Floyd was senselessly murdered in broad daylight on a Minneapolis street corner by a now former police officer. In the immediate wake of this completely avoidable tragedy, Minneapolis was rocked by […]

August 27, 2020

Black Lives Matter: Voices and Scenes from Protests with the Peace Corps Community

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Elijah McClain. A fraction of a terrible litany of Black lives taken by police. Since Memorial Day Returned Volunteers have been on the streets to join protests—and lead them.     “Racism cannot be cured solely by attacking some of the results it produces, like discrimination in housing or […]

July 6, 2020

The Peace Corps in the Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 upended systems. Now we’re focused on structural racism like never before. So how can Peace Corps help this nation live up to its ideals? By Lex Rieffel Illustration by Sandra Dionsi / Theispot The COVID-19 pandemic that erupted at the beginning of this year massively disrupted behavior that has for a long time been taken for […]

In Memoriam

August 10, 2020

One Idea a Minute: A Remembrance of Bill Haddad

He shaped the beginnings of the Peace Corps — and so much more. By William Josephson   William F. (Bill) Haddad died on April 30. He was 91. He was the subject of long obituaries in both the Washington Post and New York Times. Bill was an extremely important early Peace Corps person. He created the inspector general […]

August 10, 2020

Groundbreaking Work: Richard Paul Thornell in memoriam

By Jonathan Pearson and Steven Boyd Saum Richard Paul Thornell was only 24 years old when Sargent Shriver and Harris Wofford sent him to Ghana as director of the Peace Corps Africa Regional Office. “For him, it was a lifelong sense of pride,” his son Paul Thornell told the Washington Post. “The Peace Corps is the thing […]

July 30, 2020

Michael McCaskey: In Memoriam

Longtime Chicago Bears leader, his service in Peace Corps in Ethiopia changed how he saw the world. By Jonathan Pearson and Steven Boyd Saum Photo courtesy the Chicago Bears Michael McCaskey was the grandson of the legendary George “Papa Bear” Halas and inherited the mantle of leading the Chicago Bears football team for nearly 30 […]

July 30, 2020

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean: In Memoriam

By Steven Boyd Saum She was a mother and wife and human rights attorney. She was granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and daughter of David Lee Townsend and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. She was a woman of boundless energy and an avid advocate for social justice and human rights, with […]

You can make a difference.

August 31, 2020

Where We’re Going

We’ve got some learning and some work to do. That’s true for the Peace Corps community. For this nation. For this planet. We’re facing hard questions and grappling with systemic injustices that have been centuries in the making. We envision a vibrant and united community, here at home and around the world. What we do know: Working together as partners is essential. Rok Locksley is […]

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About WorldView

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: Summer 2020

Previous editions of WorldView digital:  Spring 2020

 

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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 came on board as editor of WorldView in January 2020. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning national recognition for writing, design, photography, illustration, and overall excellence. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally.

Steven is a native of the Chicago area and has lived on both U.S. coasts and in the South, with a good part of the 1990s spent in Central and Eastern Europe—starting with his Peace Corps service in Ukraine (1994-1996) as an assistant professor at Lesya Ukrainka East European National University. He also hosted a radio show and directed the Fulbright program and other academic exchanges for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. He has lived and worked in the Czech Republic, and he serves as a consular officer for the Czech Honorary Consulate General in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He has served on the board of the Northern California Peace Corps Association, appeared on panels representing returned Volunteers, and regularly serves as an election observer with the OSCE.

Steven studied English and philosophy at Emory University and writing at Johns Hopkins. He speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, German, and some Slovak. He was a three-time champion on Jeopardy! and has it on good authority that hieroglyphics is not a language. You can reach him at [email protected].

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