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PC changes "cash in lieu" travel policy PC changes "cash in lieu" travel policy
Read and comment on this memo from Peace Corps' General Counsel that explains the new policy for paying "cash in lieu" to Volunteers at their Completion of Service (COS). New RPCVs can still take the long way home, though they will likely have less money in their pockets because of the new policy. Peace Corps received $30 million more this year than in FY03 but is there a budget crunch now at Peace Corps? What do you think of the new policy?
This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.
Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry spoke to the Democratic National Convention about the Peace Corps: "To me, one of the best faces America has ever projected is the face of a Peace Corps volunteer. That face symbolizes this country: young, curious, brimming with idealism and hope and a real, honest compassion. Those young people convey an idea of America that is all about heart and creativity, generosity and confidence, a practical, can-do sense and a big, big smile." Here's a different view of what she said.
Director Vasquez Speaks Out Director Vasquez Speaks Out
Last month we reported on the Senate hearings on Peace Corps Safety and Security. Now Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed piece and says that Dayton Daily News portrayal of Peace Corps doesn't jibe with facts. Has DDN provided "slanted coverage" and "misinformation?" Read the editorial from the DDN, the Director's reply and leave your opinion.
NPCA endorses plan to Improve Governance NPCA endorses plan to Improve Governance
As requested by the Presidents' Forum last summer in Portland OR, the NPCA Board has studied ways to improve its performance by reducing the Board's size and changing its composition. On August 7, the President's Forum endorsed the plan and it will now be placed before the NPCA membership in the fall as an amendment to the Bylaws. Read the executive summary and the supporting material including NPCA's Challenges Today and Tomorrow and what RCPVs say about the changes, then leave your own comments.
Peace Corps Safety Issues Peace Corps Safety Issues
Are Assaults increasing for Peace Corps Volunteers? Read the complete series on Volunteer Safety and Security from the Dayton Daily News and the Peace Corps' Response to the Series. Then join RPCV discussions here, here, and here.

RPCVs remember the Peace Corps Fallen
PCVs who have died in the Peace Corps by Date, Country of Service, and Cause.
American Taboo American Taboo
Read the story of Volunteer Deborah Gardner's murder in Tonga in 1976 and how her killer has been free for the past 28 years with the help of the Peace Corps. Read an excerpt from Philip Weiss' book documenting the murder and coverup. Then read an essay by RPCV Bob Shaconis who says that Peace Corps' treatment as a "sacred cow" has exempted it from public scrutiny and that the agency has labored to preserve its shining reputation, sometimes at the expense of the very principles it is supposed to embody.
Promises not Funded are Promises Not Kept Promises not Funded are Promises not Kept
Read the op-ed on the President's promise to double the Peace Corps by 2007, why the Peace Corps is admitting that it isn't going to happen, and what RPCVs can do to help.
Election 2004 and the Peace Corps Election 2004 and the Peace Corps
Read our articles on what the candidates say they are going to do for the Peace Corps if elected, read which candidate's policies best support the Spirit and Mission of the Peace Corps, and take our poll of RPCVs for Bush or RPCVs for Kerry. Previous Poll Results are here at the top of the page.

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Peace Corps Online is an independent News Forum edited and published by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and has no affilation or connection with the federal agency, the US Peace Corps.

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Sarge's new biography
Read about the new biography of Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, an interview with biographer Scott Stossel, and - did Ted Kennedy "knife" Shriver in '68?.

Clash on the Five-Year Rule
Read our exclusive coverage of the Senate's Peace Corps Safety and Security Hearings and our editorial and statement to the Senate on a Critical Flaw in the Proposed Bill that would change the agency's Five-Year Rule.

Updates: Chicago, Reagan, Bolivia Investigation
Read our photo essay about the NPCA's August 5 convention in Chicago. Then read stories about the Peace Corps' appointment of an investigator in the case of missing Bolivia PCV Walter Poirier, and RPCVs remember Ronald Reagan.

Volunteer indicted under Sex Tourism Act
We previously reported on a volunteer whose killer has remained free for 28 years with the help of the Peace Corps. Now read about a volunteer who was indicted in June under the recently passed Sex Tourism Act.

American Taboo: A Peace Corps Murder
Read the story of 23-year-old Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner who was stabbed to death on the island kingdom of Tonga in 1976 and why the man who murdered her has been free for the past 28 years with the help of the Peace Corps.

Can Peace Corps help fix US image?
Read the op-ed by an RPCV who says that he was proud to serve in 1962 when Kennedy first inaugurated the program and that he would gladly serve in a United Nations Peace Corps but that it has become very difficult to reconcile one's conscience with American government policy in the current political environment.

RPCV Fern Holland slain helping women in Iraq
Namibia RPCV Fern Holland was one of three NGO workers who were killed in Iraq in March when their car was forced off the road and machine-gunned. Read about why she went to Iraq to better the lives of women in the country.

More Feature Stories here

Latest Issues from PCOL Magazine

Jack Vaughn writes: Inbred Deer in the Fudge Factory
Read an insider's look at foreign policy as practiced in the Kennedy and Johnson White Houses and provides a revisionist history of our relations in Latin America from his unique vantage point as a senior official in the State Department and later as Director of the Peace Corps.

NPCA's Strategic Plan
Read the NPCA's Strategic Plan and our interview with NPCA President Kevin Quigley about how the NPCA is executing the plan. Read our first talk with with Kevin Quigley after he just took office

RPCV warns of terrorism
Read why RPCV Congressman Chris Shays says it is irresponsible for government officials to make people think they don't need to take precautions.

Recruiting Younger Volunteers
Peace Corps' new program to actively recruit Community College grads and why some RPCVs think it may not be a good idea.

"A Remarkable Success"
CNN runs a documentary that says Peace Corps is "a remarkable success."

Peace Corps signs agreement with Mexico
Read about the historical agreement the Peace Corps has signed to send PCVs to Mexico.

A Volunteer reflects back on service in Turkey
One of the common characteristics of aging is to sweeten the memories of youth. The further away I get from my Peace Corps experience, the more I want to refresh that experience.

Colombia in Kabul
Director Schneider says that unless adequate numbers and the right categories of troops, arms and rules of engagement are made available, Afghanistan will fail and a corrupt narco-state, will once again be a base for terrorism.

RPCV Congressmen oppose Iraq Aid Bill
Three RPCV Congressmen voted against the $87 Billion Iraq Aid Bill - what were their reasons.

The Shrivers and Schwarzenegger's election
The Shrivers played a key role in Schwarzenegger's California election victory. Read what they did to help and read what Arnold says about his father-in-law, Sargent Shriver.

Peace Corps starts new Ad Campaign
Read about Peace Corps' new campaign to increase recruitment and take a look at their Web Site makeover.

USAID plagued by Staffing Problems
RPCV Congressman Chris Shays found critical shortfalls at USAID. What were they?

A Remembrance of Paul Conklin
Paul Conklin was the first official Peace Corps Photographer. Read a remembrance by Brent Ashabranner and see an exhibition of his work.

more top stories...

Feature Stories from Recent Issues of PCOL

Which direction for the NPCA?
Read three different views on where the NPCA is headed: First our interview with NPCA President Kevin Quigley, then John Coyne's Modest Proposal for the NPCA, and finally our story on changes in NPCA's bylaws that some RPCVs have proposed.

Does Bush really support the Peace Corps?
What is the substance behind the President's rhetoric of support for the Peace Corps?

RPCVs honor Jack Vaughn
Returned Volunteers met to honor and listen to the wisdom of Peace Corps legend Jack Vaughn. Then read the excerpt from his autobiography on the failure of the Alliance for Progress.

The Art of Being Globally Thrifty
Read Terez Rose's essay about one of the lessons she learned while in Africa - how to be patient and weather the storm of challenging times with dignity and grace.

Cultural Representation and the Peace Corps Museum
The Peace Corps Museum can be a place where cultures are respected with dignity, stories are told and where we can come together as a community.

House of Representatives passes Charter
The Peace Corps and the Returned Volunteer community celebrated a big victory when the "Peace Corps Act for the 21st Century" Act passed the House in July. Read what's next for the bill..

Investigation on death of PCV in Mali
The results of the investigation into the death of PCV Zachary Merrill in Mali.

President Bush meets PCVs in Botswana
The President met with PCVs in Botswana. Here's what he said.

Issues with the Peace Corps Bill in Congress
Read about the differences between the House and Senate versions of the "Peace Corps Act for the 21st Century" and decide which one is better.

Americorps' Failure
Lessons the Peace Corps can learn from Americorps' problems.

Bush creates "Volunteers for Prosperity"
President Bush has signed an executive order creating a new "Volunteers for Prosperity" program. Why can't he fully fund the Peace Corps?

RPCV is wheelchair basketball champion
The courage of a volunteer struck down by polio in Central America.

German Peace Corps celebrates 40 years
The governance structure of the German Peace Corps differs from that of the US Peace Corps. Is it better?.

RPCVs dump ton of coal at US Capital
Read about RPCV Mike Tidwell's new book on environmental issues in the Cajun bayou and about the ton of coal his Chesapeake Climate Action Network dumped at the US Capital to educate the public on Global Warming.

Peace Corps TV Show
Last year Fox network created a pilot for a tv show about a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Although the show wasn't picked up, read RPCVs' many humourous suggestions for the title.

The Digital Freedom Initiative
The innovative new program to wire Senegal.

The Three Faces America shows the World
The Peace Corps, the Multinationals, the Military, and the sense that lately the balance has gone wrong.

"Unilateralism inspires distrust"
Former Peace Corps Director Mark Schneider says Bush's unilateral approach to foreign policy has inspired distrust in the world. Read why.

Bill Moyers on America's Future
Read what an early Peace Corps Deputy Director says about America's future.

Memorial to Fallen Volunteers
Families create an Internet web site with a Memorial to Fallen Volunteers.

Peace Corps and the Environment
Read what a former Peace Corps Deputy Director says about global warming and what RPCVs are doing about the environment.

Op-ed: The Future of the Peace Corps
Does the Peace Corps have a future in the age of the American Imperium? What do you think?

more top stories...

Are Rapes and Assaults increasing against PCVs? Read the entire series by the Dayton Daily News on assaults in the Peace Corps and why they are rising. Then what RPCVs say about the series

Remember with Honor
Read about one PCV's three years of captivity and how his name should be remembered with honor.

Improvements needed
...in Volunteer services. Read our exclusive story on what needs to be done to support volunteers and reduce attrition rates.

Tony Hall speaks out
Read what this RPCV says about the Dayton series, what needs to be done, why the Peace Corps may need an Ombudsman, and why the next director should be a Returned Volunteer.

Peace Corps census at Record High
The Peace Corps census is at the highest level in almost 30 years. Read our analysis of what this means and about concerns about maintaining the quality of programs and the volunteer experience and about changes in recruitment that the Peace Corps is taking to reach this level. Latest: Peace Corps admits Bush's 2007 expansion goal is unattainable.

Promises not Kept
Promises not funded are promises not kept.

The Vasquez Resignation
First he announced his resignation then did an about face. Read what RPCVs had to say. Latest: Does Vasquez plan to run for OC Sheriff?

Watch Director Vasquez on web tv
See the Peace Corps Director speak to High School students in Maryland.

Omnibus Bill passes
An update to our story on the bill with a 10% increase in Peace Corps funding. Congratulations Peace Corps. Thanks RPCVs.

Peace Corps Budget Victory
Read how RPCVs helped lobby to get Peace Corps their highest level of funding in history.

Sen. Norm Coleman is a strong supporter of Bush's full $359M budget request but wants greater accountability from the Peace Corps.

Send in the Peace Corps?
Should the Peace Corps be heading into Iraq and Afghanistan? What do you think?

Glimpses of Afghanistan
Read this memoir of a Country Director in Afghanistan in the 1960's then read about an RPCV working in Afghanistan today.

Volunteer Safety
Read the GAO Report on Safety and Security of Volunteers.

The Fourth Goal
Sargent Shriver's Fourth Goal for the Peace Corps and his call for an enterprise that is vastly improved, expanded, and profoundly deeper.

Peace Corps Charter
Read about the new Peace Corps bill going through Congress. Compare the Senate and House versions of the bill here.

The Numbers Game
Double the Peace Corps - but maintain the quality of the programs and the volunteer experience.

The Shrivers: A Special Legacy
The Founding Director of the Peace Corps and his future plans.

A Volunteer's Courage
After Sara Evans was assaulted she left the Peace Corps and returned to the United States. But her ordeal was only beginning.

Alcohol Abuse a big issue for PCVs in Central Asia
Read about the health hazard PC Staff is warning volunteers in former Soviet Republics about.

Peace Corps to add 1,000 AIDS/HIV volunteers
Director Vasquez's new initiative to expand the Peace Corps in Africa.

Protest at Peace Corps
Do volunteers and staff retain first amendment rights while working in the Peace Corps? Join the discussion.

RPCVs organize
Read how 1,800 RPCVs organized to place two half-page ads in the New York Times. Here's the email that got it started, how they met their goal and the ad as it ran.

PCVs honor Royal Marines
The Friends of Malaysia honor the Royal Marines who saved a Peace Corps Volunteer from terrorists in 1962.

Children of Kennedy
Do you remember when - and why - Peace Corps Volunteers were called "the children of Kennedy?"

A Modest Proposal
Read the op-ed by John Coyne on how to expand and revitalize the NPCA and what you can do to help.

Become a Peace Corps Advocate
Join the NPCA's nationwide network of RPCVs who will lobby Senators and Congressmen on behalf of Peace Corps legislation.

From Russia with Love
The story behind the departure of the Peace Corps from Russia.

RPCV Spy dies in Moscow
The strange story of the RPCV who defected to Russia.

The IDPA: PC Forerunner
The IDPA, a forerunner of the Peace Corps, created in 1951 to place people with indigenous organizations and governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Guess how many RPCVs are in the top 21 staff positions (political appointees) at PC Headquarters.

George and Jack
RPCV Chris Matthews talks about the parallels between JFK and President George W. Bush including the strong support of both Presidents of the Peace Corps.

JFK's Character
Read this op-ed on the pain and suffering that forged JFK's character.

The Lariam Files
Read about the anti-malarial drug thousands of volunteers have taken - and its potential side effects.

Winning the Hearts and Minds?
Collin Tong led the RPCV effort to place two anti-war ads in the New York Times. Now read his op-ed about the situation in Iraq today.

Peace Corps opens Career Centers
Last year RPCVs asked Peace Corps to reconsider the rule limiting the usage of Peace Corps Career Centers to only 1 year after Completion of Service. Here's what happened

PC is "truly hardcore"
A Marine Sergeant visited his daughter who is serving in Nicaragua. Read what he says about the Peace Corps.

The Case for Peace Corps Independence
Why the USA Freedom Corps doesn't make sense by former Peace Corps Deputy Director David Searles.

Preservation of an Independent Peace Corps
Returned Volunteers insist that the Peace Corps must remain an independent agency to do its job.

Author Message
S.G. (
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 4:25 am:   

Hi there,

I am looking for a good friend of my dad's who used to be a Peace Corp volunteer in Malaysia from 1967-1971. His name's Don Louis Kuechmann, he's German-American and he and my dad (Ganapathy Gopal) were friends and teaching in a secondary school in Nilai here in Malaysia back in 1967. They also travelled to India together back in 1969.
Unfortunately my dad lost touch with Don after Don moved back to America in 1971. My dad would like to contact him again though and rekindle the friendship. We know that Don's last known address was Milwaukee, Wisconsin and that his hometown is Iowa...would be very grateful out there who knows him could point us in the right direction. Please do write to me at realhappyguy03@yahoo.com if you are in touch with Don. Thanks much....

tim griffin (cache-dtc-aa07.proxy.aol.com -
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:56 am:   

:oking for Eric Saavedra Yemen 1991-1994 please e-mail Tim at griffin2233@aol.com
Pontip (ip68-179-74-202.globaldial.com -
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 10:05 pm:   

Tim Ryan served in the peace corps in Phrachurb-kirikhan, Thailand. My mother Pontip would like to get in touch with him
Jason Kauffeld (proxy.aic.net -
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 4:55 am:   


Doris, today on July 13 I found your message dated June 2003 that you were trying to find me.

My email is jasonkauffeld@hotmail.com

Hope all is well.
Robin Rynarzewski (pcp09534271pcs.towson01.md.comcast.net -
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 10:25 pm:   

Looking for Bill Aldrich RPCV from Bechem School for the Deaf in Ghana (1997-1999). He was my former track coach before joining the peace corp and relocating to Ghana. I know that he was planning to return to the states in 1999, but I'm not sure what happened to him after that. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Please e-mail me at, crzybeans2001 AT yahoo DOT com.
RamSharan (
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 10:11 pm:   

Looking for Mark E. Russ (NEPAL)

Mark E. Russ used to work for Bonneville Power. I think wife's name is Lara. Is an Environmental Engineer. Likes to Trek and Rock Climb.
Please contact Ramsharan DOT Harisharan AT Standardchartered DOT np DOT com
Mike Matewere (
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 7:05 am:   

Looking for Doug Schneider and Wife Diana.You have been my Math and English and volleyball coach.Teacher at St Charles lwanga in the Years 1989 to 1991, Balaka,Malawi. I have been looking for you people for a long time. May you please communicate if you get this.My email address is mikeiwc@hotmail.com.
Mike Matewere.

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