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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter

May-June 2001 Volume 14, Number 3


El Cañon de Guadalupe

Our Return to Honduras

Peace Corps Day

From the President

Board Minutes

Thanks to Our Speakers!

PC News Bites

Welcome, New Members!

Across the Atlantic

Host Country Updates

Member-To-Member

La Jolla Pannikin, March 17 Event

Potpourri

Newsletter Credits


Editor newseditor@sdpca.org


Hank Davenport Barberis (Peru 1962-1964) "doesn't feel, think or act" his age. He has traveled, attended school, lived and worked in countries in North, Central and South America along with some parts of Europe and North Africa and is a bilingual and bicultural Hispanic American. Here he recounts adventures in Mexico. Pictures are from the author. He can be reached at hankscpu@juno.com El Cañon de Guadalupe can be accessed at http://www.guadalupe-canyon.com

El Cañon de Guadalupe

Hi, everyone. I thought that I would share with you our trip into northern Mexico which was exciting, sometimes dicey, thrilling and, thankfully, safe.

My 12-year-old son Juan Carlos and I arrived in the small town of Tecate, Mexico, after about an hour through the mountains from San Diego. The roads to the center of Tecate were blocked off for some celebration to be held in the traditional plaza at the center of town. This left us challenged to find another way to Highway 2, the artery which crosses the entire northern end of Baja California Norte. Eventually we found it, and then decided to go on the Cuota (toll) road (an excellent four-lane, limited access highway which parallels Highway 2) instead of the 2, the Libre (free, local) road because of the time factor: I wanted to reach our destination before sunset if possible: we were heading into, for us, uncharted territory.

After 58 or so kilometers of heading east toward the state capital, Mexicali, we tried to follow the directions that we copied off of the campground's Internet site. Unfortunately they didn't work too well in determining where to turn off the highway. We had just come down from a windy, steep passage of approximately 4,000 feet in altitude to the desert floor of only a hundred feet, through an area called La Rumorosa, no doubt called that because the topography in my mind mirrored the circuitous route that rumors will often take. [Archeologists say it was named that by the indigenous peoples, related to the current Cuymaya, who lived and created grotto ceremonial rock paintings in the area, now protected in one of the best state parks I've ever seen anywhere. They thought the wind rushing circuitously through the large rocky grottos in their high valley moaned like faceless voices behind one's back, "rumors."-Ed.]

The instructions stated to look for the kilometer marker 28. Okay; we found it and there was nothing there. Up ahead was a wayside stand; we stopped and asked how to get to the road to El Canon de Guadalupe. A girl about Juan Carlos' age told us to go even further east and there would be a better entrance than the one we had just passed! Okay. My instincts told me that she knew what she was talking about. Sure enough, at kilometer 24 there was an opening in the fence to a trail that led down onto a huge, dry lake bed.

Down onto the lake bed we went, with neither signs nor a distinct, obvious way to go. Lots of markings had been left by off-road vehicles that went in all kinds of crazy directions. Our instructions were to go south for 28 miles. So, we headed south. No signs, no surety. In rapidly dimming light.

What a ride. An incredible expanse opened up before us. The lake bed was about 5-8 miles wide and seemed to stretch south forever. To the east and west were rugged foothills from which sandstone-colored rocky peaks pushed up their imitations of their Rocky relatives further north. Ever so often we'd come to an area that was still muddy from recent rains and I had to rely on years of driving on the Arizona deserts to make sure that we didn't get stuck, which meant that we carved a path through the mud, mud flying all directions as we plowed onward. Fortunately most of the lake bed was dry and well-baked, allowing us to make good time in those places. Every 10 kilometers or so we would spy a crudely made sign that had lettering on it that appeared to be created by a preschooler (actually a blessed trailblazer) telling us that we were still headed in the right direction. The desolation was intriguing with neither flora nor fauna anywhere. Not even the ubiquitous ant! The only sign of life was the huge rooster tail of dust that we made as we sped along, trying to beat the darkness to the campground.

Aha! Another crude sign appeared in the dusk, pointing west after approximately 28 miles of what seemed to us as aimless driving. So on to the edge of the lake bed and into a series of arroyos, dry sandy creek beds, washes and washboard roads. There were some areas that made me so grateful for smoothness that I had the fleeting thought of raising the rear of the pickup for more clearance (it has adjustable rear air shocks). There were boulders that we had to go around or over that could have torn the transmission pan off of the truck.

As we crept along now toward the foothills, darkness was fast approaching. Would we be able to find the campsites? With my trusty copilot and the spotlight I took from my boat, we did, finally, in the dark, inch our way up into the camp area, arriving there about 7:30 p.m. It took us four and a half hours to get there from San Diego. We made camp and had our dinner, went for a dip in the campsite pool and went to bed soon after. Not, however, before our special reward for the journey: I sat on a lookout bench over a precipice near our campsite and enjoyed the majesty of the canyon, lit by La Luna in her half-phase, whose light played on the large boulders, as the rushing of the stream through the campground interwove with the night love songs of the frogs, providing nature's symphonic serenade.

Each campsite had an area for a tent, a palapa for shade, a fire ring and stove and a wonderful hot mineral spring pool. Ours was somewhat elongated, 8' x 4' with a concave semicircle of boulders on one side (from which came the mineral spring) and a series of short palm trees on the outer edge providing shade and privacy. It was ideal and of course we went in every chance we had to enjoy the relaxing effect. (Juan Carlos noted instantly the smell of sulphur: "smells like rotten eggs, Dad"). After each time of bathing, I felt so invigorated - an interesting effect, some say due to the carbonation of the waters.

Saturday found us waking to the dawn in the east. We had breakfast and set out for our planned hiking and rock climbing, starting up the canyon, always followed by the sound of the rushing waters of the stream. After some testy rock climbing, we headed toward the stream.

What a magnificent, gorgeous spot! On one side there are a series of large boulders, then the actual fall that was perhaps 20 feet high; next a series of short palm trees and some grass.

We were told that there were waterfalls, which we set out to find and explore. There were a half a dozen, at different levels, each with its own charm and cascade of crystal mountain water falling into its pool. The best one was the last and highest at which we ended up spending most of our time. What a magnificent, gorgeous spot! On one side there are a series of large boulders, then the actual fall that was perhaps 20 feet high; next a series of short palm trees and some grass. Then the outlet to the pools below consisted of flat boulders, and completing the circle, a small, sandy beach. From where we were, it was high enough to view, down the canyon, the lake bed we had crossed far below.

We had great fun seeing how long we could lounge against the rock wall under the waterfall, from which the water was cascading, feeling the weight of the water falling on our heads and also the coolness! We spent most of the morning and early afternoon trying out the diversity of the waterfalls and their unique spaces, which we shared respectfully with hawks, condors and their nests, woodpeckers, doves, frogs, different types of dragonflies, a water viper and leeches (briefly on us) and many animal tracks, mostly coyote, with some small cats.

"We spent most of the morning and early afternoon trying out the diversity of the waterfalls and their unique spaces..."

We hiked back to a late lunch, walked around the campground and talked to the owner. He stated that the campground is world-famous and is in all of the major tourist books; that the lake bed is called La Laguna Salada(of course) and is Northern Mexico's version of our Great Salt Lake or the Salton Sea; that it is more than 80 miles long, starting in San Felipe! He spoke of offroaders, starting in San Felipe and four-wheeling-it north, all the way to the campgrounds. He mentioned that a man from Germany flew into San Diego, hopped a bus to Tijuana and then another heading East to the lake bed and WALKED the distance to the campgrounds!!! (I can't imagine anyone doing it other than at night because this is honest-to-goodness DESERT).

Later around our fire we played cards, UNO, and that rascal Juan Carlos was unbeatable (which he loved!!!) Had dinner, sat together on the bench overlook in the moonlight and just took it all in, talked quietly, marveled at the stars, occasionally peeking at them through the binoculars (especially the pulsars).

Sunday touched us at dawn again, having breakfast and breaking camp. I was so pleased to note that Juan Carlos took some responsibility to make sure that the campsite was left by us in better shape than we found it (Joy! when one's kids take on good values!). I wanted to get an early start so that we could drive on the lake bed before the hottest time of the day, not being so hard on the truck and if we had an emergency, avoiding at-risk situations. If the truck broke down while halfway through the lake bed, we would bake with no relief for who knows how long.

Speaking of baking, the campsite had a one-holer bathroom: a regular toilet enclosed by a somewhat crudely-made plywood box around it with no roof. One could do their thing at night and gaze at the stars at the same time! [We seem to recall a few PC bathrooms of similar design ;-) some even opening onto the winds and view of the Annapurna Range.] Anyway, the water for the toilet tank and bowl was the same hot spring water that filled the pools, at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. So, imagine sitting on the seat with your cheeks only inches away from this steaming cauldron: you could literally end up with baked cheeks if you stayed too long!!! By the way, there was no electricity nor potable water available. Fortunately, just to be on the safe side before leaving, I had bought a gallon of water to drink for $3.00! I didn't want us to be caught in the middle of the lake bed without enough water.

"We saw the funniest sight: a freestanding toilet bowl"

We inched our way back down on to the lake bed and had a fun ride back without incident. Halfway up the lake bed on the other side, we saw the funniest sight: a freestanding toilet bowl, sitting solo in the middle of literally nowhere, with a sign next to it saying, "DEPOSITO!" What a riot! We photographed Juan Carlos sitting on it, as if using it, with the absolute desolation of the desert as a background. Great fun for us and a wonderful sense of humor on someone's part. Even more curious was that we did not notice it when we were driving on the lake bed two days ago. How could we have missed seeing the only object above the lake floor for miles around? But who knows what original course we took in getting to the campground?

"I had never been out in nature and not heard at least some tiny something..."

I did want to do something while on the lake bed: we stopped, turned off the truck and just listened: nothing, absolutely no sound, not even an occasional breeze rustling. I had never been out in nature and not heard at least some tiny something: this was wondrous yet at the same time, eerie.

The rest of our trip back home was uneventful except for our recounting (with occasional embellishment, of course) our adventures and expressing the sincere gratitude we were feeling for having made a safe trip through desolation into an oasis under very interesting conditions.

-Submitted by Hank Davenport Barberis

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Annie Sibug Aguilar (Honduras 1995-97) works as a structural engineer for Martin and Associates. After marrying her wonderful Juan Carlos Berrios Aguilar, she gave birth to Katalina Angelica Sibug Aguilar on November 30, 1997 and to Estefani Fe Sibug Aguilar on November 27, 1999. Pictures are from the author.

Our Return to Honduras

We left for Honduras on December 18 for a sleepy-eye flight to Miami, where we missed the turn for our connecting terminal at 3 a.m. (PST), got lost, lugging around six hand-carried bags and two sleeping children. Katalina (3 years old) and mommy (me) slept for a few hours during our five-hour stop-over in Miami. Meanwhile Daddy (Juan Carlos) and Estefani (1 year old) hung out because baby was excited by the new surroundings; it was her first airport experience.

Overall, Katalina's response to the whole trip was that she loved the plane ride. She was okay with the transferring of planes. She wasn't consistently good about carrying her luggage. But overall the trip to Honduras was good. Estefani didn't like the confined space on the plane. Other than that, she did well also.

At last, we land safely in Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Central America, in case you are geographically challenged). After our last visit, everything looked pretty good. On our previous trip, we had arrived one month after Hurricane Mitch, so everything had been in chaos. Roads were closed, highways and towns had disappeared, Tegucigalpa was quarantined in some areas, supplies were low at the pulperias (local stores)... it was dismal. But today: the airport has been renovated and seemed to be more efficient than I remembered it. We did have two suitcases ripped open and taped back together again. Of course, things were missing. Later we found out we could have complained to American Airlines about the missing merchandise if we had reported it missing immediately. But since we had already left the airport, there was nothing to be done. The girls arrived with colds, and Tegucigalpa was freezing cold&endash;colder than San Diego, anyway. I wanted to get to San Lorenzo ASAP, to the town in which I spent two years serving in PC, where my husband and I met, where it's hotter than hot although next to the water, where there are exceptionally beautiful sunsets.

The following day we headed south in mi suegro's (father-in-law's) car. It was Honduran style: 4 adults and 2 children in a pickup with a camper shell with 3/4 of the bed full of luggage. It was interesting. Forget seatbelts. I was relieved to see the highway had been repaired with the exception of one short portion that needed serious remedial work because it runs through the ravine between two mountains. People seemed happy and high spirited, ready for the Christmas and New Year's celebration. This time of year is a time to be with family, eat, and dance. It's a happy time of year. I think it's a great time to visit, aside from the yearly carnival for San Lorenzo in August (that's where Juan Carlos and I met).

We didn't rent a car this time, so we pretty much stayed at home at my in-laws house. My sister-in-law had bought a house close by so we walked between homes so the cousins could play. She has 3 children: ages 6 years, 4 years, and 9 months old. It was great spending quality time with them. I got to know them more personally this time since we spent three weeks in Honduras.

So we finally got situated in San Lorenzo, Valle (the town where I served as a PCV for 2 years). It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and between 90 to 110 degrees during the day. Mid-day was the worst time to be out in the sun. No one played soccer during these hours&emdash;it was too hot. I made the mistake of walking to a friend's house with Katalina (my 3 year old) in her stroller during lunch to visit . Ugh, that was the last time I did that.

Katalina playing in the river...as only kids know how!

It was in San Lorenzo that Katalina started acting out of character; in retrospect, I think she was trying to get my attention because she didn't understand the language, the environment, or the culture. It took her about two weeks to acclimate. The food she liked; she got hooked on Coca-Cola real quick&emdash;it's all over the place and her cousins were drinking it, so naturally she jumped on the band wagon. I think she sensed the freedom in her environment and towards the end really enjoyed being in Honduras.

San Lorenzo had developed since we were last there. They had paved a couple of streets in town, majority of which are dirt roads, and water arrived in the water pipes more than once a week; sometimes we got it three times a week.

The day before we were scheduled to receive water, everyone would wash all their dirty clothes so that the water coming the next day would fill the water pilas (tanks).

It was so refreshing to have water. I think that's one of the pleasures of living in a third world country: one appreciates the basic needs in life such as water, electricity, and telephone. Not having them really makes me appreciate them when I have them. Anyway, I washed clothes everyday, by hand. With my 1 and 3 year olds, I had to wash frequently. I didn't mind. It cooled me off since I was near the pila.

Christmas and New Year's was nice. Their custom is to prepare "torrejas" which is kind of like French toast except the bread, which is a little different and can withstand the cooking, is soaked in honey and cooked. It's delicious. Dancing and drinking are of course part of it all as well.

The four of us enjoying our stay for Christmas.

We went to the local discotheque, an upgraded bar, that cost us $10/each to get in, very expensive considering two years prior we only paid $2 each to go dancing. (Granted, that place lost business since someone got shot one Saturday night and their competitor opened up.) I was impressed. It was a clean-cut crowd (of course, for a $10 cover, only people with money could get in). They had a huge video screen and two or three TVs. The music was great, we enjoyed ourselves, we saw a lot of familiar faces.

It's funny how time goes by and things in San Lorenzo don't seem to change much. For New Year's, they create a muñeco, a stuffed, life-size doll that represents the old year, and stuff it with fire works. At the countdown, they burn it and basically the thing explodes, bit by bit. Lucky us, we had three muñecos in our block. Lucky not!!! Katalina was scared to death. We stayed inside. I think she thought we were at war. I thought it was pretty dangerous myself. The fireworks are all hand-made without any safety standards. And people making these muñecos could easily overload on the explosives inside. Later, my mother-in-law told me that in the olden days people would fire their guns in the air and sometimes, the bullet would inadvertently come back down and hit someone. A few years back, it happened to my sister-in-law. In spite of the fact that it's very dangerous, it's a very happy time of year. We always enjoy the visit during this time of year. Especially since it is the coolest time of year in San Lorenzo.

-Annie Sibug Aguilar

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California HR 619 proclaims...

Peace Corps Day

The Honorable Howard Wayne, Representative of the local 78th Assembly District, and my husband, submitted (below) the Resolution to the California House in Sacramento , to declare March 1, 2001 Peace Corps Day "to recognize the achievements of the Peace Corps and honor its volunteers ...by joining in celebrating the 40-year anniversary of the Peace Corps..."

-Mary Lundberg, (Sierra Leone 1969-72)

(Special thanks to Representative Wayne. We appreciate those who acknowledge our service, its difficulties and rewards.)

Resolution Text

 

By the honorable Howard Wayne
Seventy-eighth Assembly District Relative to

The Peace Corps has become an enduring symbol of our nation's commitment to encourage progress, create opportunities, and expand development at the grass roots level in the developing world; and

More than 162,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers inmore than 130 countries since 1961; and

Over the last 40 years, 23,700 men and women from the State of California, including 15,400 from northern California, have responded to our nation's call to serve by joining the Peace Corps; and

Peace Corps volunteers have made significant and lasting contributions around the world in agriculture, business, development, education, the environment, health, and youth development and have improved the lives of individuals and communities around the world; and

Peace Corps volunteers have strengthened the ties of friendship and understanding between the peoples of the United States and the people of other countries; and

Peace Corps volunteers, enriched by their experiences overseas, have brought their communities throughout the United States a deeper understanding of other cultures and traditions, as well as an enduring spirit of community service and volunteerism, thereby bringing a domestic dividend to our nation; and

It is indeed fitting to recognize the achievements of the Peace Corps and honor its volunteers, past and present, and reaffirm our nation's commitment to helping people help themselves throughout the world, by joining in celebrating the 40-year anniversary of the Peace Corps: now, therefore, be it

Resolved by Assembly Member Howard Wayne, That he recognizes March 1, 2001, as Peace Corps Day,

Members Resolution No. 619
Dated this 1st day of MArch, 2001

[Howard Wayne]

Honorable Howard Wayne
78th Assembly District

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Work as though you don't need the money.
Love as though you've never been hurt.
Dance as though nobody's watching.
-Author Unknown

From the President
SDPCA 2000-2001 Accomplishments

In my last presidential message I wanted to tell all of you that being able to serve as your President has really meant a lot. Sadly, I will not be on the board next year, due to overload with school (graphic design) and work. SDPCA had some significant accomplishments this year that could never have happened without your support and our terrific Board Members.

Being able to serve with, and for, such terrific people has been an honor that has meant a lot to me. SDPCA has accomplished a lot this year, thanks to our hard-working board members and volunteers. Please find an opportunity to thank these folks (in person, on the phone, or even via the website) who give so much of themselves in order to support our RPCV community as well as PCVs in the field. Personally, I think the following accomplishments highlight our year:

Website: One of our biggest and most innovative: we now have a sleek new website, designed and maintained by Joseph White with additional support from Rudy Sovinee and Don Beck, enabling many RPCVs to find and connect with us more readily than before!

Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund: We were able to send the RFP forms via email directly to Country Directors who then forwarded them to San Diego-based PCVs in the field, resulting in a bigger response and better selection of projects requesting support. Historically, it has been very difficult to reach PCVs in the field. Take bows, Rudy Sovinee (again) and Julie Schwab!

Pacific Waves: Our newsletter continues to receive design and content accolades thanks to Brenda Terry-Hahn, Don Beck and Jeffrey Cleveland.

Social Events: These included all kinds of adventures: eating Ethiopian food, touring undiscovered Tijuana! Thanks to Lisa Frankel for tireless efforts and kudos to the Clabbys, Jerry Sodomka and Sol Castellitto for talented support. (See, those of you who only read the newsletter, you're missing out.)

Fundraising: We now have an excess of funds thanks to the dedication and leadership of Sharon Kennedy and the Postal Annex stores (as well as the generosity of our membership). Because of this we are able to provide the Festivities for the Annual Meeting for all of you (and include friends and family this time!)

Finance and Membership: Frank Yates continued his skilled work keeping the financial and membership records within legally required guidelines as well as serving as informal parliamentarian.

Rudy Sovinee seemed to be the man for help with everything: web site, sending email bulletins to all of SDPCA, supporting a North County satellite group and the Speakers Bureau as well as recording the minutes from our meetings.

Jean Meadowcroft, despite the long-haul from Escondido, was able to attend meetings and is the main force behind our new Domestic Grants Program. Jean and Rudy also were able to coordinate many Speakers for Peace Corps Day. (Hey&emdash;we need speakers! Let us know if you have the desire and the means!) Rudy and Jean also are the force behind an emerging North County SDPCA group and a very successful event at the Pannikin in North County. However, we will need someone to spearhead this if you want this to continue! (North County folks, want to step up to the plate?)

We can also thank Hank Davenport and Craig Sherman for serving as our two Vice Presidents. Hank offered excellent leadership during his tenure and also gives sailing lessons for free which now some have taken him up on.

Please join me in thanking these leaders for their exceptional service!

We will need some new bodies on the board, so if you want to inspire others and contribute to a very special organization then consider being a board member. If that seems too much for you, then just let us know if you can help out occasionally. Help would be welcome, for example, for: coordinating and leading social events, telephoning former members to let them know about what's going on with us, hosting a board meeting, giving the out-going President a foot massage, etc.

Thanks again and namaste!

-Patti Eger, President

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Board Minutes: March - April 2001

In Attendance: Patti Eger, Frank Yates, Lisa Frankel, Brenda Hahn, Sharon Kennedy, and Jean Meadowcroft. Rudy Sovinee was in Ireland.

Minutes: Minutes of the previous meetings were approved as amended.

President's Report: Rudy and Joseph are discussing website logistics.

Community Outreach: No report, both meetings.

Financial and Membership: Balances in the accounts and CD reported. A statement of income and expenses was provided which also serves as the financial report for the fiscal year. Membership is at 134 current, 49 past due, totaling 183. NPCA membership is at 81 current, 31 past due, totaling 112.

Fundraising: The calendars are all sold out and Entertainment Books done as well. SDPCA received $8.25 instead of the expected $8 for Entertainment books.

Mark J. Tonner ISF: Julie coordinated and led a committee for reviewing ISF proposals and presented the recommendations; Board approved them. A detailed report was provided.

Newsletter: Current deadline is April 10 for publication 5/1. New: Jeffrey will try to print labels after Frank e-mails them. Brenda wants to highlight Rudy's trip to Ireland, beginning a discussion on supporting/highlighting local non-profits. Brenda requested pictures to be sent with submissions.

Social: Chinese dinner was a great success. Happy Hour had disappointing numbers but nice people. Coffeehouse event on March 17 was successful. Sharon and Lisa have been busy coordinating the performers and site for the May 6 Annual Meeting and Festival, a family potluck event with poetry, music and dance.Estimated cost is $365 (plus the special printing and mailing of announcements before April 15). The April 22 Vietnamese dinner has a few responses so far. Patti to contact Sal about a table for our group. MMSP to skip June: the May event will use a lot of our resources and the new board won't have time to coordinate and publicize a June social event.

Speaker's Bureau: There were 14 speaking events this year. MMSP to invite speakers to our Vietnamese dinner for free. There was a question of advertising our speaker events in the Reader or Union Tribune.

New business: The retiring board (Sharon, Jean, Julie, Patti) will be in frequent contact with the new board for the first month to ensure a smooth transition. Possible new board members were discussed and will be contacted.

Next meeting is the annual meeting on May 6 which will be very quick and mostly consist of electing a new board.

Minutes submitted by Sharon Kennedy and Patti Eger and consolidated by Brenda Terry-Hahn, in the absence of Rudy Sovinee.

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Many Thanks to Our SDPCA Speakers

Over the last year SDPCA has responded to many invitations for speakers about our Peace Corps experience. Also, many returned volunteers reached out to their communities to speak about the countries they served. We spoke to elementary and secondary school classes, college students, and a community group. Here are some of the comments:

"The stories made the information come alive for us."
-an International University student in public health

"I dressed up about six kids in colorful shirts...one girl in particular has her life planned and Peace Corps is a part of it."
-speaker for a 6th grade class

"I explained Peace Corps volunteers live simply and I...did not have a refrigerator or the type of sanitation one has in the US. Some of the kids were turned off...so I asked why they thought someone might join Peace Corps...One boy said he thought it might be a wonderful opportunity to do good things for people."
-speaker to middle school students

"It was a great experience to hear you talk. The Peace Corps is a job that would interest people who like to travel and learn about different cultures....Our teacher couldn't wait for you to come. I wasn't that excited ...(and) thought it was going to be a lecture, until you put on the vest from India..and started talking about India."
-a middle school student

Deep bows to all those who helped "bring the world back home" for listeners in the San Diego area:

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PC News Bites

PCV Disappeared in Bolivia

A recent news notice appeared announcing that Walter Poirier, PCV in Bolivia, had disappeared in February and was feared dead in Bolivia, where he served. No other details were available.

 

In Memoriam

Dr. Carolyn R. Payton, Peace Corps Director 1977-78, died at her home in Washington, D.C., on April 11 after a heart attack at the age of 75.

Dr. Payton was the first female and the first African American Director of the Peace Corps. She believed strongly in reflecting America's diversity in the corps of Volunteers and worked tirelessly to convince young people that Peace Corps service would enrich their lives.

Dr. Payton also served as Country Director in the Eastern Caribbean, Director of Counseling and Dean of Counseling and Career Development at Howard University.

-excerpted from Charles Baquet, Acting Director, PC

Thai RPCV Reunion

Several of us from Thai 34 and 35 have organized a reunion for any interested Thai RPCVs to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 10-13, 2001. See our website at http://wiverweb.com/reunion_home.html which provides registration information and nostalgic glimpses of our time in Thailand
-Carolyn Nickels-Cox, Thai 34

 

Tu Tierra Te Llama, Pues [Your Land is Calling You]

YACHASPA, the newsletter of Amigos de Bolivia y Perú, now has a direct connection with PC Bolivia and country reports in each issue. It also has websites and news, reconnections, mini biographies from RPCVs, the Biblioteca Andina with books on Perú and Bolivia, news about Bolivians living in the U.S, and about the small projects that the Kantuta fund carries out through current PCVs.

The editor would like a correspondent on Perú so Peruvian news can be increased (d_dolson@yahoo.com) or David Dolson, 9 Nautilus Court, Sacramento, CA, 95831-1413). Dolson traveled to Bolivia in April and brought back more news. He also welcomes your material in English, Spanish, Aymara, or Quechua!

You are encouraged to join Amigos through the website at http://www.acrnet.com/boliviayperu, or Amigos de Bolivia y Perú, P.O. Box 901, Flora Vista, NM, 87415-0901. Dues are $15 individual, $20 family, $8 student or retired.
-Jean Meadowcroft, SDPCA Chair, Speakers Bureau

 

NPCA Employment Openings

1. Membership Director to develop and implement membership expansion plans and programs for members and 130 affiliate groups;

2. Advocacy Coordinator to head its program of advocacy for the Peace Corps and its budget and for an engaged and humane foreign policy. Work with NPCA staff/affiliate groups to organize Advocacy Day at National Conference September 2001.

For complete information or application on either position, contact NPCA, 1900 L Street NW #205, Washington DC 20036; fax 202.293.7554, admin@rpcv.org

Update on NPCA 40th Anniversary Conference Plans

NPCA affiliate groups are now focusing on their participation in the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps, September 20-23, 2001, in Washington, D.C.

For basic information about the conference, I refer you to the web site at http://www.rpcv.org Click on Celebrate the 40th, which will take you to all the 40th-related information. The Conference will include:

  1. Country updates,
  2. Embassy receptions,
  3. Booths and displays,
  4. Workshops,
  5. Habitat for Humanity House (Volunteer Day activity),
  6. Finding your friends,
  7. Advocacy Day, and
  8. Procession to Arlington Cemetery honoring those
    who lost their lives in Peace Corps service.

You can register for the conference online at: http://www.customconference.com/npca

If you prefer not to register online, you can request a paper registration packet from Custom Conference Solutions by email at pc40@customconference.com or by toll free call at 1.866.324.7103. Any registration questions should be directed to Custom Conference Solutions.

The website also has support information on hotels, meals and travel. And volunteers are needed to help staff the conference! To help the RPCVs of Washington make the celebration conference a success, contact Krystal Williams at kwilliams@cmusa.com

-Sandra Lauffer, NPCA Affiliate Groups Liaison

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Welcome, New Members!

We SDPCA members and board members extend a warm welcome to our newest members. (If we received your membership late because you joined us through NPCA, this is beyond our control but we apologize anyway.) We've seen some of you at our events already and we want all of you to get involved in our activities. Let us hear from you!! You can reach us by the contact information listed in contact section of this site. Old members, use this section as your SDPCA Membership Directory update.

New members are listed (whenever this information is given) by name, country and years of service, current occupation, and area of residence. Where San Diego is the area of residence, zip code is given for possible SDPCA neighborhood contact and carpool possibilities.

  • Steve Anderson - Kenya 1976-1978
  • Jenny Bost
  • Randa Chichakli - Chad 1995-1997
  • Scott Fay - Papua New Guinea 1998-2000
  • Kathryn Hanley - Senegal 1998-2000
  • Patricia Hayward - Kenya 1980-1980
  • Laurence Hofreiter - Turkmenistan 1998-2000
  • Garrick Jones - Mauritania 1998-2000
  • Michael Jones - Honduras 1998-2000
  • Tiffany Lee-Youngren - Cameroon 1999-2000
  • Kelly McDonald - Eastern Caribbean 2000-2000
  • Jamie Mossay - Gabon 1998-2000
  • Susan Napierala - Cote d'Ivoire 1997-2000
  • Dawn Nicholson - Cote d'Ivoire 2000-2000
  • Craig Norman - Ghana 1998-2000
  • Alexander Orland - Russia/Vlad 1996-1998
  • Rosemary Scott - Armenia 1999-2000
  • Douglas Sommerville - Guyana 1999-2000
  • Heather Sommerville - Guyana 1999-2000
  • Linnea Trageser - Nepal 1998-2000
  • Jeffrey Velasquez - Guyana 1998-2000
  • Andrea Webb - Niger 1997-2001
  • Scott Webb - Niger 1997-2001
  • Elaine White - Turkmenistan 1998-2000

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[Rudy Sovinee, SDPCA Secretary, filed this report online from a recent journey to Ireland for peace work. Here are excerpts specific to Irish culture and peace. One can almost hear the Irish brogue.]

Bringing It Home...
Across the Atlantic

I arrived at Dublin Airport aboard Aer Lingus direct from Los Angeles. My host Richard Lindley, who invited me to come to Ireland after seeing me receive a peacemaker award in San Diego for the One World, Our World program, has put me up in the Village Clandalken, on the southwestern edge of Dublin and two miles from Micro Warehouse ("MW"), Richard's company and Ireland's largest distributor dealing in PCs, Macs, and software.

I'd been handed £50 [Irish"punt"-about US$57] for the evening, but that didn't go far. Further, the banks were closed for the holiday, my flatmate was away for the weekend, and the phone and heat for the flat was not connected. Thus I spent the first weekend sort of PC-camping and walked the town to keep warm. This was valuable, since I learned most streets and landmarks.

I'm sharing a duplex with a MW employee, have a small company car, am learning to drive on the left, and several people at MW prepared a high speed laptop that I will use for presentations while here. Mick O'Toole, senior tech guy, was merciless in his teasing of me: things like asking if I'd also want a nuclear reactor to grill a steak. I also learned from Father Dan O'Connor, of Cardinal's House and Dublin's Catholic Education officer, that "Trocaire" means Mercy, and Dublin is homebase to the Sisters of Mercy, who taught me K-9 in Bound Brook, NJ-an interesting coincidence.

In the weekend, Richard's brother Ron was on crutches (from a hotdogging accident showing off for ladies) and called me to drive him to a late birthday party in barely a living room that grew into quite an event of 30-35 people. Beer, cigarettes, pretty young ladies, matching young men- oh, well, it was good to be invited and not completely shuffled off as an elder. I left early, only 3 a.m....and people were still arriving!

Dublin and Ireland entered Daylight Savings Time that weekend, a week ahead of the USA. It was then 9 hours difference between Ireland and San Diego.

- Rudy Sovinee

[Continued next month with pictures and the experience of teaching peace across the atlantic.... -Ed.]

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Host Country Updates

Turkey

A major hunger strike which began mid-March is being led at press time by state prisoners and their relatives to protest persecution and mistreatment in the state prison system. Interviews with relatives have been held, as prisoner interviews are not allowed. Many of both sides have already died.
- BBC News

 

West Africa

A boatload of hundreds of African slave children, captained by a known slave trader and being sought by international police, is missing at press time on the Eastern Atlantic. When one suspected slaver docked in Benin and no children were found aboard, it was suspected that the trader had been tipped off and had thrown the children overboard. Poor parents in impoverished African countries have recently sold their children to the traders to sustain the remaining family.

UNICEF interventions were being attempted, and at least one African chocolate-producing country which actively imports slaves to work the plantations has been pressed to admit its use of child slaves and only then said it would accept none of this boatload.
- CNN International

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SDPCA Mark J Tonner
International Support Fund Awards 2001

Each year the greater portion of your membership dues, as well as funds the SDPCA raises, go to support projects of San Diego-based PCVs through the Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund. A member committee led by the ISF Chair reviews proposals and recommends to the board funding of clearly presented PCV projects which we feel have a valuable possibility for the host community but do not have adequate funding in-country. We also require local shared funding or in-kind contributions and a detailed summary report of the expenditures and results, preferably with pictures.

Due to stricter enforcement of the privacy policy, Peace Corps Washington was not able to supply the addresses of San Diego-based PCVs to whom we annually offer this opportunity, an ongoing problem for us. However, this did not hinder our outreach, thanks to Rudy Sovinee and updated technology, who undertook a full-scale email campaign, sending the application form and guidelines to all Country Directors and requesting they inform all their San Diego area PCVs of the opportunity. We received many grant applications and are grateful to Rudy for proving, in the true spirit of a Peace Corps Volunteer, that there's always a way!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my extremely wonderful ISF Committee for their time and sincere and thoughtful deliberations: Steven Fox (Philippines '82-84), Michele Lagoy (Togo '88-90), and Terri Schoeneman (Gabon '96-98).

The 2000-2001 Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund Awards recipients are:

  • Lithuanian/English language dictionaries
    PCV Cy Kuckenbaker - Lithuania ($300)
    Purchase Lituanian/English dictionaries to support school classrooms and the school library so that both students and teachers may advance their studies of English, locally considered the most important foreign language to learn.
  • Blood Pressure testing equipment
    PCV Sally Laviolette - Latvia ($330)
    Purchase blood pressure testing equipment to increase prevention and early detection of cardiac disease.
  • Text Books
    Joana DiPaola - Nicaragua ($500)
    Purchase specific text books for the local cultural center so that students may do homework and continue their studies after school outside of the classroom.
  • Latrine Project
    Timothy & Alexandra Fox White, Ivory Coast ($352)
    Project to build latrines for a local school which currently only has two latrines for 230 students.
  • Provide Scholarships
    Teri Woods, Nicaragua ($500)
    Provide business/vocational school scholarships for students from an isolated island community.

Please join us in congratulating all of our grant recipients! We look forward to publishing their stories about their projects in a future issue.
- Julie Schwab (Zaire 1987-89), ISF Chair

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Member-To-Member

From one SDPCA member to another: professional, skilled and free support

Resume review and Career Counseling
Mona Melanson (h) 619.692.4138

Local Education Career Info
Brenda Terry-Hahn (h) 619.584.0186

Professional Sailing Lessons
Hank Davenport-Barberis (h) 858.565.1060

Do you have a special skill?
Want to help out other members?
Please note these are FREE services members are offering.
To get listed here, e-mail to
info@sdpca.org

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Coffee & Brunch At La Jolla Pannikin , March 17

Below: Jerry Sodmka, Sharon Kennedy, Patti Eger, Lisa Frankel, Juan Carlos Davenport and Hank Davenport Barberis enjoy brunch and coffee at the Pannikin in La Jolla (photo by Frank Yates)

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"For strong souls live like fire-hearted suns, to spend their strength in furthest striving actions."
-Walt Whitman


More Websites for you Surfers

And Some Career-Oriented Sites:

Cultural Restoration Tourism Project Needs Volunteers

I came across your website through NPCA. I am the Director of the Cultural Restoration Tourism Project (CRTP). I founded this project after participating in a long-term volunteer position myself and noting that there were not enough short-term volunteer opportunities.

If you would like to find out about our current project in Mongolia take a look at: http://home.earthlink.net/~crtp/

-Mark Hintzke, crtp@earthlink.net

 

Take Note, SDPCA Outdoor Freaks

Are you into mountain-biking, kayaking, hiking etc.? Do you need an outpost if you are going out to the boondocks? You can use my place that is near a wonderful wilderness area. I live nine miles from Alpine in Descanso. Email me at dtaylor@batcon.org to visit me and frolick in the wilderness.

- Dan Taylor (Belize 1986-88, director, Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve)

 

Computer Haiku, Continued

Imagine if, instead of cryptic, geeky text strings, your computer produced error messages in haiku. They would read like these:

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.

Windows 95 crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down

 

Signs You Live in the Year 2001...

  1. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
  2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  3. You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He emails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"
  4. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site.
  5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa,but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor yet this year.
  6. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains Echinacea.
  7. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
  8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
  9. Every commercial on television has a web-site address at the bottom of the screen.
  10. You buy a computer and 6 months later it is out of date and now sells for half the price you paid.
  11. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.
  12. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.
  13. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
  14. You get up in morning and go online before getting your coffee.
  15. You wake up at 2 a.m. to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
  16. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
  17. You're reading this.
  18. Even worse; you're going to forward it to someone else

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Newsletter Credits

Pacific Waves is published bimonthly by the San Diego Peace Corps Association which is fully responsible for its content. Except for copyrighted material, articles may be reprinted without permission with credit to the SDPCA.

Contributions are encouraged:

  1. e-mailed
  2. text file on disk- Mac preferred, or
  3. typed copy.

Please send to Editor, SDPCA, P.O. Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or e-mail: newseditor@sdpca.org

Editor
Brenda Terry-Hahn

Layout / Production
Don Beck, Jeff Cleveland

Contributors this issue are
Annie Sibug Aguilar, Hank Davenport-Barberis, Patti Eger, Lisa Frankel, Sharon Kennedy, Julie Schwab, Ellen Shively, Rudy Sovinee, Frank Yates, NPCA Listserv authors

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