January 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Afghanistan: Third Goal: The Saratogan: John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Afghanistan: Peace Corps Afghanistan: The Peace Corps In Afghanistan: January 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Afghanistan: Third Goal: The Saratogan: John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 12:03 pm: Edit Post

John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

ALR takes an Afghan journey with 'The Kite Runner'
SUSAN D. VANRAALTE, For The Saratogian
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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- For people reading 'The Kite Runner' as part of Saratoga Reads! and who have only a vague idea of the whereabouts of Afghanistan, help is on the way.

On three consecutive Wednesdays, Feb. 16, 23 and March 2, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Academy for Learning in Retirement, a community link with the Saratoga Reads! program, is offering a course designed to fill in the gaps about Afghanistan's history, culture and current concerns. The course, entitled 'Unraveling the Kite Runner: An Afghan Journey,' is offered free of charge and is open to the first 90 people to sign up.

ALR welcomes all students, whether retired or not, to attend. The only requirements are an eagerness to learn about Afghanistan, a willingness to participate in group discussions and a commitment to read 'The Kite Runner,' by Khaled Hosseni. The book will be discussed in three parts with the first 10 chapters assigned for Feb. 16, the first session.

The timeliness of the subject matter is matched by the quality of the teachers leading the classes. Each has first-hand knowledge of Afghanistan and provides different but overlapping areas of expertise.

John Borel, a longtime member of ALR and leader of several ALR programs, provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965. After his stint in the Peace Corps, he stayed on in Afghanistan to serve as director of the Afghan-American Educational Foundation, a Fulbright Program, from 1965 to 1967.

Borel's experiences in Afghanistan pre-date the Communist take over in the 1970s and later the Taliban take over in the late 1990s. As a result, he brings to the course a sense of what Afghanistan was like as a sovereign state, with its own culture, traditions and desires. Borel plans to set the stage and help students place 'The Kite Runner' in perspective with help from the photographs and slides he made while in Afghanistan.

Connie Frisbee Houde, a photojournalist who traveled to Afghanistan in 2003 and again in 2004, will focus on Afghanistan today. Her slide presentation, which includes a multimedia production of the sites, sounds and voices she experienced during her travels, will help illuminate the current conditions in Afghanistan.

Jeannie S. Minch, who taught history at the high school level for 34 years, plans to provide course members with an understanding of how the history and geography of Afghanistan has influenced the current political, economic and cultural conditions. Minch, a longtime member of ALR, has facilitated the American foreign policy seminar 'Great Decisions,' which focuses on current world topics and issues.

Claire Olds, chairwoman of the executive council of ALR, has led several courses on literature and writing. Olds, who is the lead organizer of 'Unraveling the Kite Flyer,' will be both moderator and discussion leader.

Those who wish to participate in this course must register by Feb. 7. Registration will be accepted by sending your name, address and phone number to Marcia.Greenson@esc.edu. Registrations with the above information may also be sent directly to: ALR Saratoga Reads Program, 111 West Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

The course will be taught at the United Methodist Church, at the corner or Henning Road and Fifth Avenue.

For more information, call the ALR office, 587-2100, ext. 415.

©The Saratogian 2005

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

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Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
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Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
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Story Source: The Saratogan

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Afghanistan; Third Goal



By florence tomczyk porter ( on Saturday, May 06, 2006 - 6:53 pm: Edit Post

john Borel, 5/6/06

I am a ghost from the past. Florence Porter,
I was your secretary in l965 in Kabul, when you were dirctor of Fulbright Program. I have thought of you many times during these horrible times we are living in...Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and wonder what your sentiments are about this and the world in general. I do not have an internet connection at present but in a few months I will get one. In the meantime if you drop a line to me at 191 Verano Ave. Apt. ll0, Sonoma, Calif. 95476....telephone is 707 996-2713.
My maiden name was Florence Tomczyk,,,,Ava Boswau stopped in Kabul for 6 month during our around the world journey...which ended in 1966. I'd love to hear from you...I'm afraid Afghanistan has had a terrible 30+ years. I did read the Kite Runner, plus another book written by an Afghan teen ager living in California now...that was good also.. Hope all is well with you and I hear back by note or even by phone.

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