Latest broadcast locations, dates and times…

Here’s the new information I’ve received:

  • KTOO (Juneau, AK) will air the show 9/5 at 3pm;
  • KWRG (Las Cruces, NM) has it scheduled for 9/25 at 3pm;
  • WPTC (Williamsport, PA) indicates they’ll air it, but I don’t know when;
  • WCPN (Cleveland) now has it slated for 9/23 at 10 pm.


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Peace Corps Voices is now available!

The documentary is produced and uploaded. Stations can get it and preview it and air it at will.


If you’d like to hear it on the Internet, you can create an account on PRX and listen here.

Now I must produce those web extras that I promise in the broadcast…


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More stations and air times, listen up!

This just in…

Peace Corps Voices is airing on Saturday Aug. 27 at 5 pm on WCBE in Columbus, Ohio (where I can only hope my 102-year-old grandmother will be listening!).


KTEP in El Paso, TX will be airing it on Sunday Sept. 25 at 6 pm (does anyone know whether that signal reaches Las Cruces, New Mexico?).

Tri-States Public Radio out of Macomb, IL has it on the schedule for Thursday Sept. 22 at 1 pm.

And this update about Vermont Public Radio: it’s airing the show on Monday Sept. 5 at 4 pm.

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More station information…

Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR-Hartford) will air the show on Sept. 18 (don’t know what time).

Vermont Public Radio plans to air it (don’t know when).

KBSU at Boise State (Idaho) will air it Sept. 25.

KRFYin Sandpoint, Idaho will air it sometime in October.

Meanwhile, production is trucking along and stations will be able to preview the whole show beginning Aug. 26.

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WFCR’s all talk station will air Peace Corps Voices!

So pleased that my local NPR affiliate, WFCR (Amherst, MA) will air Peace Corps Voices on its all-talk station, WNNZ (91.7 FM and 640 AM) on Saturday 8/27 at 2 pm. Tune in!

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Two more stations…

Fort Myers, Florida and Buffalo, New York are the latest stations to schedule Peace Corps Voices. Will it play on your favorite public radio station?

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What have you read lately?

After Peace Corps, 200,000 Americans entered the eternal realm of “returned Peace Corps volunteer.” A dozen of them will tell their stories on my radio show in another few weeks. For some the Peace Corps experience gets parlayed into a career, or a novel, or a memoir. There may be a limitless number of books out there with a Peace Corps connection (or author). Here are just a few that I’ve come upon, directly or indirectly, while working on this project.

Eve Brown-Waite’s First Comes Love then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Stole My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life.

Josh Berman’s Belize and Nicaragua travel guides and Living Abroad in Nicaragua

Americans Do Their Business Abroad (an anthology about personal “business”)

Emily Arsenault’s novels In Search of the Rose Notes and The Broken Teaglass

When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First 50 Years by Stan Meisler

And here’s a blog where former Peace Corps volunteers write about all kinds of things.

There are plenty of others—add your favorites in the Comments below! (And note: these are not endorsements.)


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A word about old sound

Mired as I am now in producing this hour of radio, I thought it was a good time to share the variety of original formats I’ve been working with. When I began my radio career in 1997, I learned to cut tape with a razor blade. We used cassette tapes in the field to record our interviews, but then we dubbed the audio onto reel-to-reel tape during the production process. That required cutting the tape and splicing pieces back together. By the end of that semester, though, we’d started learning digital audio editing. My first job, at KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1998, required the razor-blade skills, though not for long.

The material I gathered for Peace Corps Voices includes tiny reel-to-reel tapes recorded on a portable machine nearly 50 years ago. I found an engineer and a studio at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut where I was able to playback the reels and digitize them. Another Peace Corps volunteer offered me a giant box of similar tiny reels, recorded in Chile in the late 1960s, but I wasn’t able to score time in another studio with the right hardware to fit those tapes into the documentary (I can only spend so long in Hartford, alas, and the studio I found at WMUA in Amherst, Mass. didn’t have a reel-to-reel machine that played back at the right speed).

From the Sierra Leone volunteer who served from 1967-1969 through the Nepal volunteer (1994-1996), I received cassettes (or digital files that the volunteer had created from cassettes). I had the technology in-house to digitize cassette tapes, so that was easy. I also picked up a cast-off VCR (remember those?) and bought a nifty little converter so I could dub the audio off a video cassette—also from the mid-1990s—and into my computer.

By the 2000s, most of the volunteers I heard from had documented their service digitally. There was just one more, who served in Haiti, who tossed me a throwback. He’d recorded his adventures on minidisks. That was the second field recording technology I’d owned (after cassettes). Unfortunately, the minidisks didn’t covert into adequate digital files for broadcast (they were an early effort to improve upon cassettes, but their time was short-lived). All sorts of digital recorders rule the day now—and I, too, have upgraded to a device that records on flash memory cards (just like your digital camera).

Although I’m not nostalgic for razor blades and splicing tape, I did appreciate the fact that I still knew what to do with them. And the fact that it’s increasingly difficult to playback older audio formats is part of what inspired this documentary. Some of the people who sent me cassettes no longer even have a way to hear those (never mind the reel-to-reel tape). So, whenever possible I’ve tried to give the volunteers a CD with their digitized recordings. And I’m reminded of how durable and reliable my old Sony cassette deck is–much more so than either of the minidisk recorders or the digital recorder I’ve had since.

There’s one more outdated field recording technology that I am glad I did not encounter during this project: Digital Audio Tape. Now there’s a technology that never caught on!


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Stations are signing on…

The first group of responses is in. So far, the following stations have said they plan to air Peace Corps Voices (times below could change and not all stations have indicated air times):

KDAQ (Red River Radio) Shreveport, Louisiana

KEOS College Station, Texas (8/28/11 at 4 pm)

KWLC Decorah, Iowa (8/27/11 at 4 pm)

KUMC LP Rupert, Idaho

Utah Public Radio

WPCA LP Amery, Wisconsin

WXXI Rochester, New York (8/28/11 at 10 pm)

Don’t see your local/favorite station on the list? Call them up and tell the program director you’d like to hear Peace Corps Voices!

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Now it’s out there…

This morning, CreativePR sent a message to the hundreds of public radio stations in its database announcing Peace Corps Voices. That means in the coming weeks I’ll be hearing from stations that plan to air it. Watch this space (or Facebook or Twitter) for updates.

You can encourage your station to air it–just call up and let them know you’re interested. (Then, tell others in your area to do the same.)

Broadcast should begin on or around Sept. 22, to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations in Washington, D.C.

Thanks for your ongoing interest and support!

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