Category Archives: Letters to THE HERALD

Letters to THE HERALD

Share Letters of Peace

from Charles (Sam) Greer, Ethiopia 1966-68

In a recent article in the AARP Bulletin, an appeal for “War Letters” from Andrew Carroll, Director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in Orange, CA prompted me to write the following:

Where are the Peace letters? Over the last 50 years almost 300 Peace Corps Volunteers have died during service, but no one prints their letters. How much longer do we have to glorify war? Check out the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteer Project online.

— Sam Greer

To which I got the following reply:

Dear Mr. Greer,

Hello and thank you for your email. Please know that we absolutely seek out, archive, and promote letters concerning peace. Indeed, some of the most impassioned calls for peace are articulated by service members who have seen firsthand the horrors of war. We also are very interested in letters by pacifists. (I, personally, was educated in a Quaker school.)

Whenever people ask, “Why aren’t (insert subject matter here)-related letters in your collection??” my response is: Please help us find them!! So if you strongly believe that letters related to peace should be part of our collection (and again, some already are!), we would be very grateful if you would spread the word and assist us in finding more of these important letters.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us.

Andy Carroll

So please help me “spread the word” to get more Peace Letters into the Chapman University collection. Besides any letters that you may have, it would help to let your Country of Service groups know where to send any that they may have. The hard copy contact is Andrew Carroll, P.O. Box 53250, Washington DC 20009. Emails and scans can be sent to

My friends, we have a lot of sharing to do in order to match the 100,000 war letters already in the Chapman collection. Thanks — Sam

Letters to THE HERALD

More kinds words. More checks! And a lovely poem

We love all the praise, but, hey, where’s that famous Peace Corps contentiousness?  There must be something we are doing that brings out a strong, negative opinion

To the HERALD:
I  don’t know how I got to be on your email list, but I do appreciate receiving the HERALD. Thank you for sending it to me. I trust that the Herald will continue to reach a wider audience and do well.
Woody Carter (Harar 66-68)

Editor’s Note: We’re not sure how you got on there either since our email list has been cobbled together over the years from various sources. Peace Corps does not have a central record of RPCVs, to say nothing of an email database. Peace Corps is about to contract out a firm to reconstruct a list of all former PCVs.  But we are glad to have found you. Our list is very good, but not complete. So we urge all readers to send us email addresses of old RPCV friends  who would be interested in the HERALD. And, of course, don’t forget to send in your fee to support the HERALD, E&ERPCVs and the Legacy program.

To the HERALD:
Very nice looking issue!  Electronic is not only cheaper, it gives you formatting and appearance flexibility. I’ll start actually reading it soon.
Tom Andrews (Makale 64-65, Addis 65-66)

To the HERALD:
Thank you so much for the Herald!  I love it.  Makes me long for thosechallenging but wonderful years. Many years later, Peace Corps Ethiopia/Eritrea remains a touchstone for me!
Tom Kirchberg (Errer, Adua, Axum 73-75)

To the HERALD:
Great work on this and thanks to all involved. Enclosed in Check for $25 for three years.
Next year on the Mall!
Don & Jackie Schlenger (Woldiya 66-68)

To the HERALD:
Congratulations to Marian & Barry for your outstanding job on the online HERALD. Twenty-five dollars of the attached check is for a 3-year subscription and $25 is for the Legacy Programs.
Steve Cristofar (Asmara, Adi Quala 62-64)

To the HERALD:
Kudos to both of you for the online HERALD.  So convenient, inclusive, well-written that I read the entire thing over a cup of tea the minute it arrives.  Thanks for both your hard work/long hours making us “Ethio-phobes” happy.  It’s our main and best connection which keeps us informed and happy.
Fran Fisher LaCroix (Debre Berhan 62-64)

To the HERALD:
Enclosed is a check for $25 for the HERALD.
I am enjoying all the articles especially any mention of Endeber. I knew Mengy  (Journeys, March 30) well although I spell his name differently. No douubt due to my Boston accent. I imagine there are a group of former Ethiopian students now in their 50s who pronounce the number after three as if it were a two-syllable word: “Foe’ wah.”
Bernie Coughlin (Endeber 67-69)

To the HERALD:
The Peace Corps in Ethiopia gave me a great experience with a different culture from 1964 to 1966. The first year I taught English to middle school students in Yirgallem. The second year–after I married John Goulet–I continued teaching English in Debre Zeit and organized a small library for the community. I continued working as a teacher and a librarian after we returned to the U.S.
Below is a poem I’d like to submit to the HERALD. I’ve been tinkering with it for many years. Satisfactory final lines came to me only recently. I like the word “begetting” because it reminds me of the Coptic Church. “Birthing” might have been O.K., too.

Leslie Clark Goulet (Yirgallem, Debre Zeit 64-66)

• • •

Letters to THE HERALD

More thoughts on the electronic HERALD and a remembrance of  a memorable snow in Ethiopia

The second posting of HERALD stories brought a flurry of comments attached to stories (we encourage that) and some letters containing  interesting observations, a bit of flattery and some checks (we like that!) sent to support the HERALD and the work of the E&E RPCV

To the HERALD:
Thanks so much to Marian for all she is  doing and all she has done for E&E RPCVs. What Barry is doing with the electronic newsletter is terrific, too. Cheers,
Kitty Spalding (Sebeta 73-75)

Dear Heraldeers:
Interesting “publishing” of the Herald. I like it. Just scroll up & down & sidewise if you want. Read the whole HERALD in one computer session. Bravo. Here is my check in the mail. Thanks.
Jody Donovan (Adi Ugri 63-65)

To the HERALD:
What a wonderful surprise to at last receive the HERALD online. The layout thus far is great and I look forward to receiving future issues. Ditto for sending our dues online. I passed on this message to other RPCVs who would be interested in receiving the newsletter.  Thank you for the work you have done to make this happen. It is much appreciated.
Cynthia Tse Kimberlin (Adi Ugri/Asmara  62-64)

To the HERALD:
Regarding your story on snow in Ethiopia, I have this to report. It’s the truth, I didn’t dream it up.

While serving in Makale in December of 1971, just before Christmas, I was invited along with all of the other Peace Corps Volunteers to the Palace of the Governor of the Provence of Tigray, His Royal Highness,the Ras Mengesha Seyum. The purpose was the singing Christmas carols, and, in general, his wishing all the PCV’s in his provence a Merry Christmas. Having worked with previous  groups of PCVs, the governor knew that at Christmas we were all a bit homesick, if not a lot homesick. So the invitation went out, and to my knowledge, everyone went. Who wouldn’t go to Palace of the Governor of the State?

We walked from our house to the Palace at the appointed time. It was a very cold, crisp  Ethiopian night, cold enough to see your breath. As we walked we could see in the dim lights of the street, big flakes of snow ! It snowed hard for about five minutes. Wonderful wet snow on your face, in your hair, on your gabi, all over your shoulders. As we neared the Palace, it stopped. Just as abruptly as it had started. It was a wonderful time that I will always remember and I will treasure that memory every Christmas for the  rest of my life. It does snow in Ethiopia, iwnetegna.

Ernie Franz (Mikele 71-74)

To the HERALD:
Joe Adair (Lekempti/Ambo 62-64)

To the HERALD:
I’m sending my $15 subscription payment and looking forward to getting the HERALD regularly.  I’ve read the newsletter off and on, but have not been a subscriber before, so I’m eager to get news regularly.  Thanks for your work on keeping it going!

I was in Ethiopia from 1967-69, the first year in Maichew, Tigre province, the second year in Wollamo Soddo. I’m now living in Minneapolis where there are many Ethiopians, and some wonderful restaurants so I eat injerra and wat frequently.

Solveig Nilsen (Maichew/ Wollamo Soddo 67-69)

Letters to THE HERALD

Welcome back, HERALD!

In addition to comments that readers posted onto the stories in our first set of stories, we received a few other letters. A sampling

Good to have you back.  We look forward to a good read.
Timothy McDonald (73-76)

Terrific! Thank you very much. Words of praise, but more important, I’ll send money.
Karen MacDonald Rosenthal (Addis, Harar 67-68)

Just seeing the photo of Ethiopia made me cry.  Now I want to go back.  I was there from 1964 – 1967 in Debre Zeit.  I don’t’ think I can run a mile anymore however so I doubt I would make the cut.
Peggy Goetzke (Debre Zeit 64-67)

Thank you, Marian and Barry.  Thanks to this message I finally finished reading the last issue. I had bogged down at page 32.  Like you, I keep busy in retirement.  I appreciate THE HERALD very much. Just one comment:  You give all these good arguments for going electronic and then ask us to mail you a check for the Herald?  How about taking PayPal?
Joe Tenn (Addis 62-64)

•You have a good point. We are working on getting PayPal so that you will not have to mail that check to us. Thanks for suggesting it. Stay tuned.

Barry, I can hardly find a pay phone; I don’t subscribe to Face Book, My Space or Twitter and now I have to get THE HERALD exclusively by e-mail. THANKS!!!
William Seraile Makele (63-65)

hey barry…. i’m thrilled you are online with the herald. it’s brilliant! the links are wonderful and faceted. i owe back taxes; probably 3-5 years. can we pay online? we are working in france this year; daryle is head of the american school of paris in an interim position. the only constant in our lives is our email address. maybe that’s why im so stoked that you are now totally online. i guess marian is responsible for much of the layout/ internetability (like that word?) of the herald. thank god you’re all so tech savvy. keep up the great, fabulous, wonderful work; it must seem thankless, but be thanked!
ciao for now and thanx again for the herald. love it.
Dannie Gold Russell (Addis 63-65)

•It’s a delight–and an occasional puzzle–to see your no capitalization style again and we hope that you write for us at THE HERALD as you did a few years ago.

Whoopeee. Glad to hear THE HERALD is back in an electronic form. I do have a question. Will my membership to the NPCA country group cover the subscription to THE HERALD or is that separate?

I am starting to plan for attending the 50th anniversary in DC.  Know a lot can happen between now and then.

Thanks for your help.

Darryl Haynes (Merababaye, Gemu Gofa 69-71)

•Yes, if you paid the $15 to NPCA to add on your country of service group, that will cover your subscription to THE HERALD.


It was great to hear from you again.  This new version of THE HERALD looks like a really good start and a professional job that must have taken lots of effort.  It feels like my contact with Ethiopia RPCVs has been minimal over the past year.  I miss the connections with the group.   I look forward to the 50 year reunion and other activities.

I am disappointed with the first year of the Obama administration and with the Congress.  It’s scary to think what the world will be like when my one and only (so far) grandchild, Brooke, who just celebrated her 2nd birthday, grows up.  Over the years I’ve found that the group whose values and opinions I most value are Peace Corps volunteers.  It would be interesting to hear how others feel about what’s happening in the world today.


Ray Donaldson (Ambo, Debre Berhan 62-64)