Author Archives: eerpcv

E&E RPCVs Group News

Gloria Curtis retires from E&ERPCVs board

Gloria in her Ethiopian t-shirt at a recent board meeting

Gloria in her Ethiopian t-shirt at a recent board meeting

Gloria Gieseke Curtis (Asmara 1963–65) has retired from the Board of Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs effective December 31st. Gloria was among the very first of our group to volunteer to serve on the Board many years ago, and her enthusiastic efforts in support of our many activities and projects have been invaluable.

Thank you, Gloria!

In tribute to Gloria’s penchant for storytelling we share the following from her:

My Hat is Higher Than Your Hat

During the school year of 1964-65, Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, along with Prince Phillip, came to visit the Emperor, Haile Selassie, in Ethiopia.  She visited several sites, and ended up in Asmara to a very warm welcome.  Because of security concerns, the original plan was to parade down the main street in a closed car.  However, because of the excitement to see the queen, plus the beautiful weather, a Cadillac convertible was borrowed from an officer at the U.S. Military Base — Kagnew. Now, as a side story, that base was such a secret that it officially did not exist.

This part is second hand information from Kagnew people to Peace Corps Volunteers, but I did witness the end result and my photos will verify the facts.

The queen arrived at Kagnew wearing a bright blue suit and a matching small cloche-style hat with a little net over the front of her hair.  The Emperor was dressed in his military finest with medals and ribbons hanging all over.  A square, sofa-type cushion was provided for him to sit on in the back seat of the car.  Then an assistant came up with a slightly higher cushion for the Queen. An aide handed the Emperor his military officer’s hat, and a lady-in-waiting to the Queen removed her beehive-style, chiffon-wrapped hat and positioned  it on the Queen’s head.  And then the parade headed for the main street where PCVs and others were standing taking photos.



From all reports, the Queen and the Emperor maintained a very good relationship for many years.  Before our PCV group left the country, a main street leading up to the Haile Selassie Secondary School was renamed Queen Elizabeth II Avenue in her honor.

Would you like to join the E&E RPCVs Board of Directors?

With the resignation of Gloria, the current board members would like to invite  RPCVs  who have served in Ethiopia or Eritrea to apply to serve on the board. Most of our business is carried on via email. Occasional meetings have been held around the country in conjunction with reunions or NPCA conferences. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization our topics of discussion mainly pertain to the RPCV Legacy Program, finances and planning for group gatherings.

Write to the Board at eerpcv@gmail if you are interested.


In Memoriam

Remembering a hero

Hello editor,

In the 1970s many Peace Corps people, including myself, served with the World Health Organization’s Smallpox Eradication Programme in Ethiopia. This man, this doctor, this humble giant, recruited us. And we worked hard and long for him and for the success of the programme, which it was.

Dr. Ciro de Quadros (center), working on smallpox eradication efforts, in southern Ethi­o­pia in 1971. At the left, PCV Marc Strassburg (Jimma 70–72) [photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute]

Dr. Ciro de Quadros (center), working on smallpox eradication efforts, in southern Ethi­o­pia in 1971. At the left, PCV Marc Strassburg (Jimma 70–72) [photo: Sabin Vaccine Institute]

The man is Ciro De Quadros. Ciro died on May 28th, 2014. Many, many RPCVs know and love this man, so I am asking you to consider posting his obituary in the next edition of the Herald.  Volunteers should know a legend has passed. His obituary, “Doctor helped lead eradication of smallpox, measles, polio” can be found at at the Washington Post website.

You will do many of us a great service.

Thank you,
Michael Santarelli (Ethiopia 1970-73)
Smallpox Eradication Programme: Ethiopia 1972-73, Bangladesh 1975-76, Somalia 1976-77


In Memorium

Joan Corboy (spouse of APCD Ed Corboy, 1962–64) —June 28, 2014

John Davis (Gondar 1962-64) – October 10, 2014

Peggy Davis (Gondar 1962–64) – October 17, 2014

Article published in 2011 about John and Peggy at the time of Sargent Shrivers death.

Malcolm Donald (Addis Ababa 1962–64) — September 20, 2014

Jerry Lemert (Dessie 1962–64) — June 24, 2001

Ronald M. Urvater (Addis Ababa 1966–68) — October 14, 2013

Historical notes

Exhibit of Ethiopian icons

iconJohn Barnes (Addis 66–68) wrote:

I would like to publicize an upcoming exhibit titled,

“The Vibrant Art and Storied History of Ethiopian Icons”

at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Mass.
The exhibit runs from January 23 through April 18, 2015.
The hours are 11 am- 3 pm on Tuesday – Friday, and 9 am – 3 pm on Saturday.



Save June 4-6, 2015

Peace Corps Connect Conference – Berkeley CA

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and the Northern California Peace Corps Association (NORCAL) have announced that 2015’s Peace Corps Connect event will take place in Berkeley, CA on Friday and Saturday, June 5-6, 2015.

E&E RPCVs plans to have some programming on June 4. Stay tuned for more details.

Housing accomodations

A limited amount of low-cost housing has been reserved in a UC Berkeley dormitory where some to the conference programs will be presented. You must act quickly to secure a reservation. Go to for more information:

Hopefully many of you will be able to attend.


Editor’s Note

by Janet Lee (Emdeber 1974–76)

In this issue readers will find an article by recently returned Nikki Therrien (Masha 2009-2011 and Addis Ababa 2011-2013). Searching for a way to continue giving back to Ethiopia, she discovered United for Health Abyssinia, a nonprofit based in Boston, MA that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. Perhaps a Legacy Project is in the making.

We all know that Peace Corps Volunteers are innovative and creative, but who would imagine that one would discover his “Inner Wild Man” in a remote village? David Hunt (Debark 2008-10) did just that while working out in a local gym, using discarded car parts for weight. See how he used social media to raise funds for a versatile piece of exercise equipment called “Monkii Bars,” turning a passion into a small business.

Many of us have had opportunities to return to Ethiopia and have been blessed by the experience. Richard Sherman (Adigrat 1968—70) returned to Ethiopia in February, his tenth trip back since his close of service in 1970. In “Ethiopia Redux: An Extraordinary Month of Teaching,” Richard describes teaching a specialized course to a group of students at the Defense Engineering College in Addis Ababa as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life.

On occasion The Herald will reprint articles that have been published elsewhere. After reading “We Wait for the Sun: Fury is more tolerable than fear” by Carol Beddo (Bahr Dar 1964-66) and “The Lion in the Gardens of the Guenet Hotel” by John Coyne (Addis Ababa 1962–64), readers will surely agree that these pieces are worth a second look.

Dan Close (Bekoji 66-68), author of “The Glory of the Kings,” reviewed in The Herald in February, 2014  has once again had his creative juices flowing. We publish for the first time, a poem he wrote for the Ethiopia VII reunion in North Carolina, April 2013.

And last, but not least, Book Reviews! Two of the titles are by former Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn, whom I had the opportunity to meet at a presentation in Denver in February. Enjoy!

In Memorium

The Herald was recently made aware of the fact that Dr. Ed Cross (Medical Director PC/Ethiopia 62–64) died in August of 2012 at the age of 91. Dr. Cross made having tropical diseases less ominous with his cheerful demeanor and old-fashioned jokes. e.g. “When you find out what that [ailment] is let me know — my wife has it, too.” A terrific person.
Click to read Dr. Cross’s obituary.

Harris Mirkin (Dessie, Addis Ababa 62–64) passed away May 30, 2013. After his time in the Peace Corps he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science and a then became an associate profession for 45 years at the University of Missouri/Kansas City.
Click to read Harris’s obituary.

Nancy Guillet Winter (Addis Ababa 62–64) died August 30, 2013 after having been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (A..L.S. – Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2011.
Click to read Nancy’s obituary.