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On this special edition of Global Journalist, an extended interview with award-winning foreign correspondent and author Peter Hessler.

In 1996, the U.S. Peace Corps sent the Columbia, Mo. native to a city in central China to teach English at a teacher's college. During that period, few Westerners had spent much time in the city, and Hessler's experiences became fodder for his widely acclaimed 2001 memoir, "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze."

Hessler later returned to China and spent seven years as a correspondent for the New Yorker, becoming one of the most well-known foreign journalists in the country. Hessler went on to publish three other books, win a MacArthur "genius" grant, and eventually moved his family to Egypt to continue reporting for the New Yorker.


Trevor Harris / KBIA

Trainees headed for service in the US Peace Corps train in their country of service. It's been that way for years. For two years in the late 1960s, however, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture hosted trainees on campus and at land that is now Three Creeks Conservation Area. On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, we hear memories from a group of men who trained for the US Peace Corps right here in Boone County.


Coming up next weekend in Columbia, the Central Missouri Returned Peace Corps volunteers sponsor the ninth annual Third Goal Film Fest. Darren Hellwege talked with the festival's organizers and a filmmaker for a recent episode of Thinking out Loud.

Courtney Kiley / KBIA

MU students interested in joining the Peace Corps after college now have a way to prepare during their undergraduate careers.

Chancellor Brady Deaton signed an agreement between the Peace Corps and MU establishing a Peace Corps Prep program on Wednesday.