Peace Corps

One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo

We're surrounded by people whose basic philosophy seems to be "I've got something, at least, and I'm going to protect it at any cost! Keep away!" They remind me of lines by Aldous Huxley from Ape and Essence:

The leech's kiss,
The squid's embrace,
The prurient ape's defiling touch:
And do I like the human race?
No, not much.
THIS MEANS YOU. KEEP OUT!

Dress it up in whatever religious piety you want, it still seems a rather squalid view of life.

"One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo"

Jane Albritton, series editor and guiding force behind the "Peace Corps @ 50" series, tells me that the publisher is about to send the proofs of One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo off to the printer--which means that it should be in stores in March.  As usual, there are further changes I would like, but that's only a sign that I have become more and more passionate about the book as time has passed and want it as perfect as I can make it.  Jane also tells me that pre-orders from bookstores are strong, another reason for making it as good as I can.

There are seventy-six essays in the book, all of them first-rate.  They cover the Peace Corps experience in Africa from its earliest days.  What pleases me most is that they don't seem like a jumbled collection of different thoughts, but something closer to a continuous narrative.  Though I had to work hard to pare things down to the point where I could fit all the stories I wanted into the volume but two (which are both long and rather too complex to withstand the type of cutting that would have been necessary--and which will both appear on the website, I hope, as will stories that have come in since we closed the volume and as will additional stories by many of the writers represented), I think the book is actually better as a result.  There is no single volume, at least not one I have seen, that encapsulates as much of the Peace Corps experience in Africa as this one does.

 

Support Our Peacemakers

In the face of widespread public disenchantment with the war in Iraq, “Support Our Troops” car stickers and banners defiantly proclaim a fierce sense of patriotism. So why don’t these supportive folks rally behind other national security figures? But when’s the last time you saw a “Support Our Diplomats” sticker or “Support Our Peace Corps” banner?

This is a serious disconnect in America.