The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2023 25 George Staples. The two were married, and she encouraged him to apply for the U.S. Foreign Service. Their first posting together was in the 1980s in El Salvador, where the author details daily life as an FS spouse. She also shares experiences from their life at their other posts, before going on to describe her life in retirement, which includes an attack by a grizzly bear in Alaska. Jo Ann Fuson Staples is married to Ambassador (ret.) George Staples, who served as the Director General of the Foreign Service from 2006 to 2007. As a 26-year Foreign Service spouse, she was assigned to San Salvador, Montevideo, Malabo, Nassau, Harare, Manama, Kigali, Yaoundé, and Mons. Tell the Truth … Until They Don’t Like What You Have to Say: The Abridged Testimonial of a US Constitutional Oath-Taking US Department of State Survivor Michelle L. Stefanick, Trine Day, 2023, $24.95/paperback, e-book available, 480 pages. On Aug. 7, 1998, Michelle Stefanick was serving as the Financial Management Center director at U.S. Embassy Nairobi when terrorists set off a truck bomb outside the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. She was traveling regionally in Kenya on the day of the attack that killed many of her colleagues, yet the experience profoundly affected her. She began to suspect a conspiracy involving numerous officials throughout the government, including in the State Department, the FBI, the military, and elsewhere. This book represents her attempt to convince others of her theories. Michelle Stefanick joined the Foreign Service as a financial management officer and served in Cameroon, Kenya, Russia, Sudan, Germany, and Washington, D.C., before retiring in 2013. La Dolce Italia: Tasty Food, Amazing Travels, and the Sweet Life, Vol. Red Mikkela Thompson, Blurb, 2023, $22.00/paperback, e-book available, 124 pages. In this third volume of her La Dolce Italia trilogy, Mikkela Thompson details the foods she found in various cities and towns across Italy. She also offers her perspective on Italian people and culture, and provides lists of seasonal fruits and vegetables by month. Part memoir, part travelogue, the book lays out Thompson’s favorite restaurants and shops in Amalfi, Sicily, Umbria, and elsewhere. She recalls her favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and beaches. She even includes a chapter on Parmesan cheese production. Mikkela Thompson joined the Foreign Service as an office management specialist in 2011. She has served in Dhaka; Bogotá; and as an OMS rover out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Caracas, Nassau, Vancouver, Santo Domingo, and Port of Spain. She has also worked at the Family Liaison Office and the American Foreign Service Association. As the child of an FSO, Mikkela lived in Denmark, England, Finland, Korea, Sweden, and the United States. She is currently assigned to eDiplomacy, where her job is to help her colleagues with technology and knowledge management. HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY A Legacy of America’s Global Volunteerism: International Voluntary Services, 1953–2002 Edited by Gary Alex, Mike Chilton, and Frederic C. Benson, Peace Corps Writers, 2022, $20.00/paperback, e-book available, 370 pages. From 1953 to 2002, more than 1,300 young people worked overseas for the International Voluntary Services (IVS), a precursor to the Peace Corps and other U.S. government volunteer programs. A Legacy of America’s Global Volunteerism tells the inside story of IVS, with former volunteers sharing both personal stories and the origins and structure of the program, along with lessons learned by its architects. Volunteers write about the risks they faced, avoiding land mines, charging elephants, poisonous snakes, and gunfire. But they also discuss the success of their work teaching English and improving agricultural projects, translating for injured Northern Vietnamese soldiers, teaching metalworking techniques in Papua New Guinea, and preventing malnutrition in remote villages in India. Many of the volunteers served in or near Vietnam during the Vietnam War, risking their lives as they went about their workdays. Others served in more stable yet still difficult environments, such as rural health clinics and villages without potable water. Some relate romances that led to marriage and children.