SDPCA Newsletter



San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter

November-December 2001 Volume 14, Number 6

Dilemmas of Change

¡Viva Bolivia!

Return to Africa

Invisible Knapsack

SDPCA and the Bats (Camping)

Day of Mourning

Build a Politic of Peace


President's Message

Minutes of the Board

PC News Bites

Host Country Updates



New Members


Entertainmeent Books

Newsletter Credits


As we enter this season celebrated globally in many forms, languages, and cultures as a Festival of Lights in the darkness of winter, we invite you to join us as a leader for peace and tolerance. We wish you the best this season and throughout life as we work together for global peace. --SDPCA Board

Kate Emmons, who was a PCV in Jamaica (1985-87) and also did work in Belize, offers us a short experience from her time in South Africa, 1995-1997. She can be reached at

In the "New" South Africa
Dilemmas of Change

We went to live in South Africa less than a year after the historic 1994 election. Finally, for the first time, all South Africans were able to vote. Cape Town was my husband's original home and after an absence of six and a half years, he was returning to a place greatly changed. Now he could visit any beach or restaurant that he liked, and wasn't restricted to living in certain neighborhoods or attending certain churches or schools. We bought a house in a formerly all-white neighborhood in Cape Town on a quiet street just a short drive from the long, golden beach at Muizenberg, which used to be "whites only." Yes, things had changed a great deal. But how had these changes affected the lives of those many South Africans who were living in poverty?

The scene from our window every morning told me a little about those lives, especially as I came to know some of the people I saw there. I could look straight out onto the small, clean Lakeside Station where several dozen people, mostly women, would arrive from the townships every morning. They would walk up Station Road and disperse into the surrounding homes where they would mind children, mop floors, iron clothes and wash windows. If the train were on time the women would be relaxed, walking in groups of three and four and their chatting, laughing voices would carry up to my window. When the train was late they would step quickly and the nature of their voices, although I could not understand their language, sounded more urgent.


Children crowding the door of Nomtha's house

Whether the train was early or late, I could always look out on Tuesday mornings and spot Nomtha, walking on her own with quick strides. Tall and strong, she was more slender than the full-figured women who generally made up the morning crowd. There she would be, up the steps and over the tracks, through the station office and parking area, turning along my street and to my door to say hello before walking on to her Tuesday job.

Did you find any work for me, Kate? She would ask. Finding new employers was continually a challenge and with only her Tuesday job to support herself, she earned about $10 a week. I helped her find the job by posting a notice of recommendation in a local shop. When she discovered she was to work for a young man, it posed a bit of a dilemma for her. She was accustomed to addressing her female employers as "madam." Must she call this new employer "boss" or "baas?" I tried to reassure her that he seemed to be a nice man and that he wouldn't mind being called "Patrick."

There are many such tensions in the relationship between employer and domestic worker in South Africa. When I first met Nomtha I was told her name was "Olinah." This was apparently her "English" name, given to her by her mother to help ease her entry into a world controlled by whites. White employers are not keen to use African names, even if they are easy to pronounce. They don't bother to find out that their employees often prefer their native names, and because they don't ask, they don't learn that their names have beautiful or unique meanings. Nomtha told me that her full name, Nomthawelanga, means "the light coming from the sun." The name most often chosen for male employees is "boy." Many employers are no doubt fair and kind to their domestic servants, but others treat them with a kind of matter-of-fact disregard. Nomtha had been working for a woman who called me one day and asked me to pass a message on to her. I did not mind relaying messages because I knew how hard it was for Nomtha to make and keep such contacts. The woman told me that "Olinah" must not come to her house on Thursday. She was moving with her family to Durban and she wouldn't need a maid in Cape Town any longer. When I asked why she hadn't given "Olinah" advance notice, she replied, "Well, you see, if you tell black people that you are moving, they will steal things from you."

I paid a visit to Nomtha's house. At first she did not want me to come. "No, Kate, Khayalitsha is a dangerous and dirty place." There was newspaper on her floor, she told me, and I could not visit for a cup of tea because she boiled her water in an old can on a kerosene flame. "It will make you sick," she said. Nomtha eventually changed her mind, but by that time I was eight months pregnant and somewhat unwilling to go touring in Cape Town‚the largest township. She seemed disappointed that I wouldn't be coming to see where she lived, so we got in the car and went anyway. We traveled straight from the Wynberg suburb down Landsdowne Road, a wide, well-maintained route that passed industrial and residential areas. The houses were at first painted brick with tile roofs, then the roofs became corrugated metal. Just a little farther along, the houses were much smaller and made of wooden boards. Finally we entered Nomtha's neighborhood in Khaylitsha's Site C, and I saw that many of the houses were just like hers: one room shacks made of ceiling board and plastic sheeting roof. The narrow, dirt road was full of potholes and thick with dust, and we parked where a woman was vending some vegetables. Her total inventory included 15 onions, nine small bags of tomatoes, a few bags of potatoes with four potatoes each, and a bag of sweets. Across the road a man was tending a vegetable garden that he had planted outside his shack. A plastic basin on a post by the gate seemed to call out, "Wash your hands, please." The exterior of the shack next door to his was a patchwork of canvas, plastic, corrugated aluminum, and pieces of wood. Nobody in Nomtha's vicinity had running water or toilet facilities.


Nomtha's neighbor: a township garden

Nomtha's house was tiny. It had been painted a bright blue, unlike the other shacks, which were dirty and dull. To build her house, she had to buy all the materials and then transport them to the site. She told me how a few neighbors and friends had gathered to build it and how she supplied beer for refreshment. On the inside the walls were lined with cardboard and colorful newsprint. There were no newspapers on the floor after all; instead it was covered instead with a spongy rubber material that looked quite new. There was a bed and a makeshift table with a kerosene burner and two cooking pots. Nomtha had no chair. The shack was dark inside, especially with the bodies of all the neighborhood children filling up the doorway. Nomtha did not own very much, but this was her very own house. It was clean, and in a way that is difficult to describe, it was special. I can only say that it was clearly "home" to her and was a place that she cared about.


Nomtha teaching me how to properly carry my baby

Nomtha's search for work continued. I spoke to a lady from New Zealand who had advertised for somebody presentable who could greet children and their parents as they arrived for dance lessons. She told me it didn't matter whether she hired a "coloured" lady or an African lady (in South Africa, "coloured" refers to a rather broad racial category and includes both people of mixed race and the descendants of slaves from Asia or other African countries). "In New Zealand," she said, "we don't even worry about race. We are quite used to the Maoris and that sort of thing." Then she asked me about how Nomtha presented herself, "I certainly don't want a smelly one," she said. Nomtha went for an interview, but she didn't get the job. Sometimes Nomtha's clothes smelled slightly of the kerosene she used for cooking, but she couldn't help that. Most of the people who supply South Africa of cheap labor live just like Nomtha. They sometimes spend two hours traveling to work, using a combination of walking, mini bus taxis, and trains. When they turn up smelling not quite fresh, they could be out of a job. Some employers realize the problem and offer their domestic workers a chance to wash up.

The next potential employer asked me, "Is she fat?" The maid she currently employed, she said, was too fat and slow, and wanted too much to be "part of the family." She wanted someone who could come and do her work quickly and then go home again. It sounded like a good job for Nomtha and it paid quite well, but the woman never called back. Nomtha eventually found work, just for a day, with a woman who lived up the street from me. It didn't go well. The woman had brought in mountains of extra ironing from other people and did not pay Nomtha properly. On top of that, all she gave her to eat was stale bread.


Traditional healer's advertisement

I told a friend about Nomtha's predicament. Although sympathetic, the friend remarked, "I suppose she is used to that kind of life." It didn't look to me like Nomtha was getting used to it. It looked like she was getting thin. She was unable to send the money every month to support her family back in her rural village, which was in the Transkei region of South Africa. Her younger sister, who had two children of her own, had been relying on Nomtha for school fees so that she could finish high school. Nomtha also had a son who was being looked after by her parents. He was five years old and only saw his mother in December for two weeks out of each year, provided she had the money to go home during the holidays and bring the family's Christmas feast as well. It didn't look like she was going to make it this year.

Nomtha began to sell sweets and snacks on the train every Friday and Saturday for a little extra money. With some of the cash she would place an ad in the Newspaper that announced her availability to work. She listed my phone number. Each time she placed the ad, however, the only people who would call were other women who thought I was looking for a maid myself. They were looking in the wrong section of classified ads and thought "Domestics Looking for Work" were job opportunities. I wrote out a proper advertisement for Nomtha to take to the newspaper that was more likely to get the attention of an employer. It was more expensive, however, so I gave her some extra money to pay for it. Nomtha needed the extra money I gave her for food, and the next week the ad read the same as always: "CHAR, 4 days, Mrs. Emmons 788-6132." ("Char" is a common South African reference to domestic work). I got more calls from people looking for work.



In the afternoon the train station at Lakeside would remain fairly quiet. Most of the domestic workers would leave work between three and four o'clock. Those that lived deep in the sprawling township were too nervous to arrive home after dark, as it wasn't safe. So the maids and gardeners would arrive one by one at the station to wait for the next train, or I would see them running to catch the train that was just arriving. As it pulled out I would see them, packed into the few cars of the third class section. The first class section, formerly the "whites only" part of the train, remained off limits for these people. It had ample space, and was now perfectly legal, but the tickets were too expensive.

Can Nomtha look forward to a better life in the future? Most likely, yes, with electricity, telephones and water slowly arriving in the townships. Yet her ability to pay for such services depends on her employment prospects. There are many like her, and she must compete with young women who, unlike her, have finished high school and have an excellent command of English. When I last saw Nomtha, she had found two more prospective employers. They were perhaps unusual possibilities because they were both black. One was a doctor from the Ivory Coast who had moved his family to South Africa in search of better salaries and a more prosperous life. The other was a bright young manager who, despite the difficulties of growing up in the township, had excelled in school and attended university. For people like her, the New South Africa holds a promise that could not even be imagined before.

As for Nomtha, I hope she can continue to support her son and sister through school with what little she earns. That way they will eventually move on to employment, and as a member of a supportive extended family system, Nomtha should benefit as well.

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After All These Years...

¡Viva Bolivia!

Margery bounced onto the porch of Five Gables Inn, an elegant old bed and breakfast in East Boothbay, Maine, and cried out: "Who are all these old people!" The 19 of us laughed, beginning a 35th anniversary reunion of Bolivia Group 25, all rural teachers.

That Friday evening Ron Sandler, then the Peace Corps doctor in Santa Cruz, showed slides of this cow town in eastern Bolivia in 1966: old tile-roofed adobe buildings (similar to those in Old Town, San Diego), sidewalks raised a meter above streets filled with depths of dust or mud and navigated by jeeps, the first 'beltway' around the city. Now there are five concentric beltways and Santa Cruz is the biggest city in Bolivia, with paved streets full of cars, ultra modern buildings, swimming pools... His pictures of very malnourished children unfortunately could still be taken today. The gross domestic product per capita is no better; most new wealth has gone to the large ranchers and traders, including the now nearly eradicated cocaine producers and dealers.

Jim and Paul had brought the 'little green books' of training photos, our autobiographies and aspirations. Of 36 who began training, 17 made it to Bolivia, with similar cuts in the large agriculture and community development groups. We were joined at the reunion by Archi and Marty Bruun, Bolivia Peace Corps staff, who also served with Peace Corps in Bolivia. As we read about ourselves and caught up on people now, our loud chatter and laughing brought another B+B guest downstairs about midnight: could we be a bit quieter and let others sleep? Like a bunch of good school teachers we turned out the lights and slunk off to bed, tails between legs but still giggling.

After the most scrumptious blueberry cobbler with a crunchy top and full breakfast, we took off for Boothbay itself to sail on the Sylvina W. Beal, an 80 year old wooden fishing schooner. No longer loaded with herring, only us wrapped in blankets, the schooner and crew took us out among the many many islands on the Maine coast. It's as if the creative powers scraped Maine from northwest to southeast with glaciers, carving out long rivers and harbors, dropping the leftover boulders and soil in the edges of the Atlantic ocean.

Originally with an economy built on timber, ship building, and trading, Maine now hosts thousands of summer tourists escaping the East's heat and humidity to hotels and homes on many islands. Arriving back in Boothbay, we boarded a large motor ship to go to a Downeast Clambake on Cabbage Island, each of us served a huge tray of chowder, two steamed lobsters, clams, roast potatoes and corn, blueberry cake--it's a wonder the ship could make it back to harbor with all these very heavy people on board.


Feasting on lobster . (Remember salmon trout from Lake Titicaca at Max Bieber's in La Paz?)

Sunday morning we awoke to a light rain--so much for the hike planned on Moneghan Island ten miles off the coast! About half of us went to explore art galleries, including a Wyeth museum, and the others took the ferry to Moneghan. A few explored this one mile by half mile island, and the rest visited the light house and museum, where we learned a lot about the difficult life of lobster men and the more recent tourism and art colony.

I liked best the photos and tale of the 30 inch plus lobster, brought to the mainland, and carried from town to town in a wheelbarrow. Could they put rubber bands on its claws to hold them shut? That evening we enjoyed dinner at an upscale place--not exactly Peace Corps anymore!

Later, Kathy shared a poem written by staff for our COS in fall 1968.

[bracketed updated personal information]:


A toast to the group called Rural Ed
Tonight they'll get drunk and tonight they'll get fed
To each and every one we send our best
As they head to the north and they head to the west

It's Chau to Kundzin's the fellow called Paul
Some say he has guts, others say gall
Retired with fellow teacher/wife Maria in village Mexico,
a survivor of two serious cancers]

Miss Waters, an appropriate name she's got
Cause she was often in it, and it was usually hot
[Teacher, married an Iowa farmer, both retired ]

And Steve who on Vietnam is a dove
Will get it soon from his draft board-or his Japanese love
[ESL teacher, married his Japanese-Bolivian love ]

Goodbye to Margery, her tour is done
We'll always remember the Aunt Jemima of Camp Hardiman
[Teacher, wife, mother of two, organized the reunion]

Good luck to Garrison who'll make a fine preacher
Guess that's the only way to go when you can't make it as a teacher
[Art teacher, married Marilyn, 2 children, all visited Bolivia in 1999]

And then there's the fellow from Mataral who sure was no sucker
For he's going to marry Kathy, that sly little trucker
[Still married, one daughter, Kathy retired from from teaching
to manage their trucking business]

To Carla who had a few chills and an occasional shiver,
We hope she'll do well with her 1/4 liver
[Survived that long ago yellow fever, a secondary school

It's an extension for the Almquists in Guadalupe
So it's 3 more months before the poor town can say whoopee
[Bob retired from teaching and with Marcia works in low income
housing, 3 children]

Good luck to Sue who is moving to Cochabamba
For she just might need it with her high flying camba (cruceño)
[Returned to teaching in the U.S., retired after several years
due to health problems]

Larry's extending, I doubt it's to teach more school and not for money
I have a hunch it's for his Yapacani honey
[Married another Peace Corps volunteer, now a photographer]

Marilyn's leaving, we think it's right, it's holy
For soon there'll be 5000 miles between her and Rollie
[A librarian, married Jim two years later]

Ginny goes we know not where
Her experience with the Altiplano would make anyone swear
[Married an engineer, mother of two]

Lydia the strong, Lydia the brave
Found all the men in Cuevo just couldn't behave
[Counselor, one son]

I said nothing of Ibarras, I didn't have time
Besides with a name like that, how could I make it rhyme
[Ron's a CPA, Mary teaches Latin, two daughters]

The staff wishes you well with a handful of flowers,
But be out of town in 24 hours
So here's to the group called Rural Ed
We send you our best, what more could be said

...And there was me, Jean, who taught at a normal college [teacher training school] in the Andes, and retired after working with USAID education programs in Bolivia, Nepal, and Lesotho.

--Jean Meadowcroft, Bolivia (1966-68)

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Return to Africa

Lori Killpatrick (Benin 1993-95), former President of SDPCA and a math teacher at La Jolla High School, shares her recent experiences visiting Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania on a Rotary International Group Study Exchange. She can be reached at

It is the first school in the village. Around it, the silent hills come alive with families hoping one of their children will win the lottery and a chance to go to the school. For at Yetebon Elementary School in Ethiopia a student not only receives an education, but also oatmeal and a glass of milk for breakfast and a bowl of soup for lunch every day.

When a family wonders where their next meal will come from, whether the land will yield a good crop and how they will be able to provide for all of their children, this promise of food is a godsend. Health checkups are also provided. Combine this with an education and this lottery-chosen child is a family's only hope to get out of the village and poverty and succeed in the world.


Lori - me in the doorway of a school in Uganda

This is just one of the many schools we visited during our recent one-month trip to Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. As one of five teachers selected from San Diego and Imperial Counties to participate in a Rotary International Group Study Exchange, we visited schools in each country to learn about their educational system and identify particular needs. Upon our return, we prepared a list of 40 projects seeking assistance. Now, Rotary clubs in our district are being asked to help support these schools through grants or donations.


School - the team and others at Nakasero school in Uganda

In addition to vocational responsibilities, we also experienced much of the local culture. In Kenya, we went on safari for a day to the Masai Mara. We couldn't have asked for a better safari, encountering elephants, a leopard (rare!), cheetahs, water buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and more. We celebrated Easter in Ethiopia, on the same day as Orthodox Christians.


Kenya - me with 2 Masai tribesmen in Mombasa, Kenya

In Uganda, we visited the source of the Nile and the brand new American Embassy. We talked with the Peace Corps Director about the state of education in the country, where universal primary education (UPE) is guaranteed to every child. (Peace Corps has just returned to Uganda after a brief absence due to random bombings at night clubs in Kampala. During our visit they were training their first (since the return) group of new volunteers.) Uganda was by far the most progressive country we visited. Their constitution states that one-third of local councils must be women, and they are the only country in the world with a declining AIDS rate.

Finally, in Tanzania, we had a chance to visit the Spice Island of Zanzibar. Did you know that cinnamon comes from a tree (it's the bark)? And that vanilla beans grow on a vine?

We had a wonderful experience and, as teachers, are now presented with the challenge of sharing this information with our students. Even after serving in the Peace Corps, it is hard to imagine not having visual aids in the classroom, no running water, and a house made of mud walls that has no furniture. We take so much for granted and never really think about the skills we have (reading, writing, an education).

Just like the Peace Corps, this was an opportunity to learn more about the world in which we live. Now there are so many possibilities to make a difference. To help, log on to

--Lori Killpatrick


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The Invisible Knapsack

Considering the "Invisible Knapsack" essay on the cultural and racial baggage we may each carry, I am inclined to say: yes, O.K. You're right. I've been over-privileged and pampered in this society. I've been coddled, and and kowtowed and catered to, received gifts for no reason other than I am white, or I am male.

Maybe this is true.

Yet I have not seen the doors to experience open magically to me on all fronts as the author describes, nor have, in my experience, privileges always been heaped upon me just because my skin's lighter.

Growing up as the middle child with an older and a younger sister, I feel like feminism, in some ways, was ingrained in me. It was a given that my sisters should be able to do, and get, everything I could. I had no special privileges within the context of my immediate family.

At my grandparents' house, being the only male among the five grandchildren, I was expected to want to hunt, fish, and pick up the bird that died and was lying in the front yard. When I balked (being much more into baseball and drawing than any of these activities), my grandfather got angry with me, and treated me with some disdain. Was that a privilege? I don't think so. It feels like it was more a pressure to perform "as a male" which still affects me.

Shift to Swaziland. Africa. And my first experience of being alone and in the minority for an extended period of time as a Peace Corps volunteer. Kids would shout "mlungu" (siSwati for White person or European) at me as I walked past their homesteads. Their parents would not admonish them.

I attempted to recontextualize this in my mind: Had my friends or sisters and I seen an African adult male walking by our house in Ohio would we have shouted "Black man" or "African" as they went by?

I had to try to rationalize out some reason or understanding of their action because it definitely got under my skin. Perhaps there was offense, or intention of an offense, in it at all. Was I just so used to being in the majority and under the protection of white privilege in Ohio and the U.S. that I found it hard to accept when the tables were turned?

Sexism played a great role in what I experienced in Swaziland too. I was treated in ways that women volunteers were not. Men did not occasionally harass me, and it would have been far more permissible for me to have numerous affairs with women than for a woman to do so with men. On the other hand, the women volunteers were invited into a world of Swazi life I could never see. That of the boMake and boSisi. The mothers and the sisters. There they were shown the inside of a different joy. Was that a privilege for them? I think so.

Afterwards, I was happy that in the U.S. I was able to take an African dancing class with mostly women. Something I could not have done in Swaziland.

So the point I think I am trying to make is: yes, she could be right about this knapsack, but it doesn't work everywhere you go, and other people have their own knapsacks too, which they use can use to open doors I can't with mine.

I remember the guilt I felt in South Africa hitchhiking, and knowing I got picked up because I was white, yet taking the ride anyway. What else should I have done? She seems to be saying it is better to pass it up and walk... or take the bus.

And is it always the right thing to do?

--Bill Murray, Swaziland (1988-90)

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SDPCA and the Bats

"Stress is good; without stress there is no growth. But recovery is essential. It can come from a glass of water, a protein bar, a quick run up and down a flight of stairs, or a three-week vacation--anything that renews energy." (O Magazine, Oct. 2001). And for SDRPCV's, recovery represented an overnight camping trip in the Cuyamaca Mountains Oct. 6-7.



Our trip began with a trek from our various San Diego homes--east to NATURE. In true Peace Corps fashion, our adventure began later than the posted hours. Oh, well, we had no deadlines. We were now on "camptime." Westarted with an investigatory walk through the pines and were vastly impressed by our guide's vast knowledge. Dan pointed out tracks, plants, and wildlife and even taught us how to attract chickadees! The destination of our walk was some huge granite stones that the natives used for grinding acorns. We found the stones also worked great for sprawling out and basking in the sun. We stretched out like iguanas soaking up Vitamin D while the younger members of our group ran off their ceaseless energy.


It's a bird! Great Native American grinding stone

After our nature walk, we returned for lunch and to set up camp. This went rather smoothly, though our campsite was anything but smooth. (We would later discover just how unleveled it was when we tried to catch zzzs). Once camp was pitched, we each did our own thing. Some went off to tackle more challenging walks, some read, one bagged a peak, some relaxed, some played - but we all enjoyed the fresh air and the lack of "to do" lists.


Under the tree...

Gregg and daughter

As a group we decided on an early dinner so we could later venture out on our "bat walk." Surprisingly, even among limited resources, lack of food was not a problem. We shared Kelly's gourmet cooking, junk food, snacks brought by Brenda and Frank who joined us just for the evening and Gina's charcoal-flavored chicken, among other contributions.


Hold still! (slow camera)


Ann and husband

After we ate to our hearts' content, we set out on the bat walk. Donned with warm clothes, flashlights, and a bat detector, we were ready. Not only did we find many flying bats (though not close enough for Donna's liking), we also noticed the glorious night sky, clear from the light pollution of the city. We swapped Peace Corps stories as our bat quest continued. We even tried hooting for owls, but didn't seem to get any response from our nocturnal feathered neighbors.


 Rudy and Frank

Once we became thoroughly "batty," we returned to camp for the long-awaited campfire. The 10-foot long sticks that Dan had brought made excellent marshmallow roasters. (Unfortunately, they also made for dangerous torches for the children!) Once again, thanks to communal effort, there were plenty of ingredients for s'mores. Donna told us about banana boats. I'm sure we'll be making them on our next camping trip!


Roasting marshmallows on the campfire

Though we returned dirty, tired from a rough night's sleep, and dehydrated from not wanting to trek uphill to the bathroom; we were refreshed, rejuvenated, and re-energized - ready to face the work week and projects ahead. Next time you think you're too busy to relax - realize we're all too busy not to! Many, many thanks to Dan for getting the logistics in place and bringing his advanced nature skills!

--Gina Covello, Bat aficionado, Costa Rica (1989-91)


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Rudy Sovinee, whose trip carrying One World Our World to Ireland we reported in the last issue, received this message from Richard Lindley, who hosted his spring trip to Ireland.

In Ireland...

National Day of Mourning

Friday [September 14] was a National Day of Mourning for every man, woman and child here in solidarity with the USA. All businesses, Government offices, Gas Stations, Supermarkets - in fact every commercial organization, closed for 24 hours.

This is unprecedented in our history. Over 30,000 people signed the Book of Condolences at the US Embassy here in Dublin on this special day--many lining up for over four hours to do so--and over six thousand are still in the line waiting for their turn. Thousands of floral tributes and red, white and blue wreaths were laid at the Embassy railings. Included was an NYPD baseball cap. Some even placed souvenirs they had bought on vacations in the 107th floor shop in the WTC.

An Irish Pilot left his uniform stripes with the flowers. Children lit candles at the base of a tall chestnut tree at the entrance. Dublin's Fire Department provided a special guard of honor to show their brotherhood with their NYFD colleagues. Tens of thousands of adults and children of all ages packed places of worship for special services. Several Americans, coming out of Dublin's Cathedral after a special service, stood on the steps and sang the American National Anthem.

The crowd spontaneously joined in full voice. Some Dubliners went to Dublin Airport to bring home Americans stranded there from cancelled flights. It was our saddest 24 hours in living memory.

Most moving of all were the radio broadcasts from families of those Irish people who perished in the World Trade Towers--so far estimated to be over 150. One story is particularly heartbreaking: Ronnie Clifford from Cork was working in an office just a few floors below the impact point in the South Tower. He took a big risk and used the elevator to escape. In the foyer, he found a woman who had 75% burns and managed to carry her clear of the building 30 seconds before it collapsed.

Moments later he discovered that his sister Ruth and her four year old daughter Juliana were on board the hijacked UA flight 175 which crashed into his office. Unbelievable tragedy--repeated for so many families. With over 40 million people of Irish extraction living in the USA, it is hard to describe the impact your pain has had on our small nation.

There must be so many families at this moment in the USA and elsewhere still hoping for miracles. Let's remember them in our prayers. There are testing times ahead--but if knowing you have friends helps in some way to ease the shared pain, be assured you have many.

God bless you all, Richard Lindley http://
MicroWarehouse Ltd, Dublin,Ireland.

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"It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run.

"I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. But how do we deal with hatred and anger, which are often the root causes of such senseless violence?"

--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in recent letter to President Bush

Build a Politic of Peace

As our nation struggles to figure out how to respond to the terror struck on Sept.11, I hope we learn from our nation's losses and fears, something Peace Corps experience taught me: that all nations share in each others' losses and fears. To bring "peace" back home, the "terror" of all war and conflict must end. As volunteers we saw that on a people-to-people level, the world already embraces peace. Following 9/11 the outpouring of concern and caring from people worldwide was so awesome--not even the media could distort its reality.

I can't help but wonder. Such an opportunity! A chance to "bring it back home." We must utilize the hope, faith and creativity we found in people world-wide to turn leaders away from a violent politics of "Striking Back" towards a non-violent politic of peace.

How? Share our ideas here!

For me some sites help and give ideas--check these out:

  • The Peacemakers Speak section of has been set up by laureate Jose Ramos-Horta for Nobel Peace Prize laureates to discuss terroist attacks on the US.The quote above from the Dalai Lama is in a letter posted there, as are comments by 17 of the living laureates. You can respond to them as well as read of world-wide events.
  • Only Time, by Enya, dubbed with words from the memorial service in Washington by the President and other members of state. Enya has heard it and is said to approve.
  • The World Mourns Image Gallery. Pictures from around the world
  • Seeing the Horror A jultimedia presentation by Digital Journalist & American Photo
  • Kodak's American Spirit PhotoQuilt is a place to share photos of support, courage, spirit and hope for the future. Pictures from thousands of people will be "woven" together to present a powerful vision of our nation.
  • Human American Flag done by San Diegans and KYXY radio at Qualcomm stadium. Poster sales benefit Red Cross:
  • Ty has 3 Beanie Babies whose proceeds are donated to charities for 9/11. America bear--benefits the Red Cross. Courage-a German shepherd-and Rescue-a dalmatian--benefit NY Police and Fire Widows' and Childrens' Fund.

-Don Beck, Bolivia (1967-69)

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Our thoughts are, as yours, with all those who may have been directly affected by the tragic events of September 11 and also with those in the countries in which we served.

In his inaugural address of January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps and challenged a new generation of Americans to join "a grand and global alliance" to fight tyranny, poverty, disease and war. Now, perhaps more than ever in recent history, the third goal of the Peace Corps, "to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans" has become critically important to the future of our nation and the world.

As our country unites to fight terrorism, we support the restrained response which the United States and its allies are applying to the terrorists and to those responsible and supportive of the attack of September 11. We have the opportunity to contribute our voice and valuable perspective

to the national and local dialogues. We offer as RPCVs an appreciation of the complexities and risks of inflaming the situation if we as Americans do not heed the underlying issues perceived by the Islamic nations.

There are thousands of returned volunteers living in San Diego County, many of whom have served in communities which were predominantly Muslim. The friendships we were privileged to establish while serving as volunteers helped to shape our world view and can now help us to contribute humane and truthful realities to thoughts and actions of those around us. Our unique experiences and commitments can help to create peaceful solutions to the challenges we face as a nation and build bridges of communication and understanding. As events of September 11 pass into history, we must determine individually that with them does NOT fade the depth of our individual recommitments to work for peace, among nations, states, groups, and individuals.

We thank Theresita Heiser, Acting President, Washington Peace Corps Association, and SDPCA Board members for the caring and compassionate thoughts contributed to this piece. For ways to renew your commitment to these goals, check this issue for the Teaching Tolerance list, Potpourri section,and the Global Thanksgiving for Peace, SDPCA Section.


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Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing. --Abraham Lincoln

From the President....

Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us---family time and parties and good food. I hope to take time to embrace and give thanks for the "good" in my life. This week as I harassed my daughter to get her teeth brushed and put her homework folder in her backpack, the radio news program in the background spoke of bombings and anthrax. To my six-year-old, the "bad" guys did it. If only it were that simple. We'll still be heading to New York for Christmas. My daughter is hoping for snow-and makes me hope for it too. The Board of SDPCA wishes much good for you and yours.

Updates: the camping event was great fun and an adventure for all. Many thanks to Donna and Dan-and the bats. SDPCA is again selling the new Entertainment Book and International Calendar to raise monies for ISF ...

Hope to see you at the Holiday gathering at the Clabbys on December 9

-Gregg Pancoast, Costa Rica (1985-86).

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Combined Board Minutes

9/4/01 & 10/1/01

In Attendance: Gregg Pancoast, Frank Yates, Rudy Sovinee, & Brenda Hahn attended both, Gail Souare was at September's and Paul Johnson and guest Marjory Clyne attended in October. Minutes each time were approved as written.

President's Report: Gregg provided e-mail announcements for a Colombian Displaced Farmer event, and about UNICEF. The NPCA is setting up an endowment for the Shiver Award. MMSP to contribute $100 of SDPCA funds, and to use newsletter to ask members to help.

Financial Report: Frank reported balances on accounts and provided a detailed statement of income and expenses. The budget for this fiscal year was approved in September. Of note, it will likely be in the red, drawing down past year's reserves. This is due to bringing ISF funding into a current mode by expending both this year's and last year's awards during this fiscal year.

Membership: Frank reported that the SDPCA membership is at 172 current, with 33 past due. NPCA membership is at 127 current, with 11 past due. (note: 1 ~ 2 dozen memberships are free, going to San Diego PCVs, and those within a year of COS)

Community Outreach: Gail heard a series of options as to historical activities of the community outreach committee, and agreed to accept this as her appointment. Though ill, missing the 10/1 meeting, she provided an e-mail report recommending two avenues of support to the Sudanese youth. The board favored, but had questions about mentoring/tutors. Can we arrange a way to be of part time help?

Fundraising: Paul and Greg sent out letters to Postal Annex stores in addition to those already participating. Rudy, Gail, and Former Fundraising Chairperson, Marjory Clyne, will follow-up. RPCV Helen Neal may take on the role of chairperson, for both the Entertainment Coupon Books and the calendars, as Paul accepted a job with Peace Corps. We received 250 postcard announcements for the calendars. Rudy will ask the county PTA to distribute the cards, suggesting them as holiday gifts for teachers. Without this chairperson, no other activities have been planned yet.

Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund (ISF): News of our request for proposals have gone out vie e-mail to all country directors. A copy of the letter is also available on our website. We have received new reports from two projects in Nicaragua and one from Ukraine. The first request has arrived in advance of the November 15th deadline for first round of projects.

Newsletter: MMSP to have one side of one 11 x 17 sheet printed in color for this issue. There was a meaningful discussion about the possibility and wording of a response/ comment regarding 9/11 events to appear in the next newsletter.

Social: Plans are for camping and 2 potlucks. Donna has not officially resigned, but has become too busy - as predicted. Rudy will seek her return, but expects to collect the records and folders. Without this chairperson, no other activities have been planned yet.

Speaker's Bureau: No report received. An announcement from Peace Corps was forwarded by e-mail, and hopefully will generate some volunteers. Without this chairperson, no other activities have been planned yet.

Old Business: Rudy will check with Hank as to his intentions to attend, and represent the SDPCA at the NPCA conference - postponed until the spring.

Next Meeting: 6:30 PM 11/5/01 at the home of Rudy Sovinee


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PC NewsBites

Forwarded from RPCVLA: who received it fromNPCA

To the Returned Peace Corps Community:

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have been a terrible shock for our nation, including our community. We believe it is important for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, staff and friends of the Peace Corps to continue to convey their message of peace and positive engagement with the developing countries. We had therefore hoped to continue with our Conference in Washington DC, making necessary adjustments for security.

Extraordinary Tension in Washington

While our goal has not changed, the situation of uncertainty and the local circumstances in Washington DC have forced us to reexamine the nature of our plans:

  • The situation in Washington is extraordinarily tense. The security perimeter around the White House has been greatly extended in the last day. Much of the area to be used by the Conference, including the Hotel Washington and the Mall, the American Red Cross, Department of Commerce, now falls within a greatly widened security perimeter. All persons entering the perimeter have to show ID's and are subject to search.
  • Military Police manning HUM-V vehicles are on every street downtown, including on L Street in front of the NPCA. Traffic is being directed by the National Guard, and there have been frequent bomb scares and evacuations of buildings. There have been statements from the Administration suggesting that military action might occur during the period in question. There is uncertainty about the availability of government buildings now scheduled to host meetings.
  • Despite a resumption of commercial flights, Reagan National Airport is closed indefinitely. Many of our registrants were scheduled to arrive at National. Reroutings and reservation changes are extremely difficult at this time. More than half of our registrants are coming from far away. It will be extremely difficult to ensure that even those registrants willing to come could get to the city without difficulty.
  • President Alejandro Toledo has reaffirmed his willingness to appear at the Conference. At the same time the Secret Service has informed the Peruvian Embassy that the presence of foreign dignitaries in Washington DC is not recommended. The Peruvian Foreign Ministry is concerned about his security and the logistics of the visit.
  • The Conference would likely be occurring at the same time as large numbers of funerals for those lost in the Pentagon attack. Some have expressed concern that such a juxtaposition would be inappropriate. The festivities usually associated with Country-of-Service reunions will not be appropriate to the occasion and would need to be scaled back.

Postpone Conference; Volunteer Day and Peace Vigil to Go Forward

Under these circumstances, the NPCA Board and I have reluctantly concluded that we have no choice but to postpone the Conference to an appropriate time in the spring or early summer of next year. (President Toledo has indicated his availability to come to a rescheduled Conference.) At the same time, we are not abandoning our plans to convey our special outreach to the people of the developing countries. We will go forward next week with at least two events that convey our message of peace and service: these are Volunteer Day on Saturday morning, September 22 and a Peace Vigil with country of service flags that evening at the Washington Monument. Those participating in these events will largely be RPCVs from the Washington DC/Virginia/Maryland areas.

We will be in touch with you as soon as possible about future plans and registration fees. We wanted to get this message out as quickly as possible so that you could reexamine your travel plans this week-end.

In peace and with great regret,
Dane Smith, President, September 15, 2001

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Host Country Updates


Dear SDPCA Committee,

I am pleased to inform you that the Soglassie AIDS/Narcotic Consultation Center Project has come to a successful close. With the funds donated by SDPCA, Soglassie was able to repair a site for the consultation center that previously was considered unsuitable for use, including:

  • Recruiting volunteers for construction work
  • Purchasing of materials, repair ceiling lamp
  • Reconstruction of floor and north & south wall
  • Sealing floors & resealing of outside south wall
  • Covering and Securing of door leading to hospital (to prevent break-in)
  • Painting all walls, ceilings, and windowpanes

Although the project took more time than initially anticipated, Soglassie accomplished all project goals. Starting this month [September 2001], group meetings will move from a stuffy office to our spacious, comfortable accommodations. Volunteer meetings have commenced in the new center. We have located a donor for furniture, so soon Soglassie's consultation center will be more comfortable than ever.

Concurrent and Future Plans for Consultation Center include a number of activities. Volunteer groups will continue to be one of the most important resources of Soglassie. Self-help groups will increase in size and frequency; example: the self-help narcotics group has doubled in size in two months. Recovered addicts will continue to lead these groups as a resource for newcomers. These groups will advertise around the city and encourage the community to get involved. (Now that Soglassie has a large facility, they can afford large numbers!)

Currently Soglassie is conducting a community education project where volunteers travel around the city and hold sessions with high school teenagers. These sessions are geared to introduce the subjects of Sexual Health and Drug Prevention. These volunteer groups have already been recruited and now have a facility to use for training.

It is exciting to see the affects our newly renovated center has had on the organization and the members: one of the narcotics self-help group members brought in a plant to help decorate; two of the volunteers created a poster to hang in the center; when Svetlana, the director, receives a guest into her office she always insists on conducting a tour. The feeling around the office is that we are really getting somewhere. Spirits are high. Motivation and excitement are higher.

Thank you for the opportunity you have supplied to Soglassie and the Mykolayiv community. They have better chances for fulfilling futures because of it. If you have any further questions regarding the project, please feel free to contact Melanie Taton by phone- (038) 0512-46-38-33 or by email- Also, I have created an internet-accessible website which has many photos you and your colleagues will be interested in taking a look at. The address is:

- Melanie Taton, U.S. PCV, Mykolayiv, Ukraine

[Melanie included a detailed listing of expenditures with this report.]



According to the Times of London: On May 23, 2001 the Taleban authorities in Afghanistan confirmed that all Hindus will be required to wear a strip of yellow cloth sewn onto a shirt pocket in order to identify themselves. They claim that the measure is for their "protection".

The Taliban's record on respecting other religions gives great cause for concern that their ultimate aim, upon which they are intent, is "religious cleansing". They have already demonstrated their distain and intolerance for other religions and traditions by the desecration and destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues, our collective heritage, within Afghanistan. Whatever your religion, or even if you have none, we hope that you will agree that this fundamentally wrong. Remember,"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". Contact or see further:

Nicaragua, ISF Report


Students receiving college scholarships frim ISF award

Teri Woods, Cuerpo de Paz, Rivas, Nicaragua, who received a recent ISF award of $500 for youth college scholarships, sent her thanks, a thorough report of expenditures and major decisions, and photos of the youth as well as photos of their new schools.

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

  • Resume review and Career Counseling
    Mona Melanson, Thailand (1969-'71)
    --(h) 619.692.4138
  • Local Teacher Career Info
    Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-'66 )
    --(h) 619.479.6620 email:
  • Professional Sailing Lessons
    Hank Davenport-Barberis, (Peru 1962-'64)
    --(h) 858.565.1060
  • East County Boondock Outpost, Info &/or Guide
    Dan Taylor, Belize (1986-'88)
    --(h) 619.445.9766 (tel/fax) email:
  • US Foreign Service Career & Exam Information
    Sandor Johnson, India (1966-'68)
    --(h) 760.635.0963 (tel/fax)

Do you have a special skill? Want to help out other members?
Please note these are FREE services members are offering.
To be listed here, e-mail to or call 619.491.1801

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 With every true friendship, we build more firmly the foundation on which the peace of the world rests. -- Mohandas K.Gandhi

Books for Your Host Country

I received a call yesterday from this organization that recycles books in large quantities for shipment to 3rd world countries. I was asked and now agree that it looks like a worthy site to list on the 1WOW school site, but am pointing it out specifically to you as well:

--Rudy Sovinee, SDPCA Secretary


Give Back

Medicines for Nepal director Janice Belson aims to inspire the many travelers who visit the remote areas of the work to give something back by delivering basic, but desperatelky needed, first-aid supplies. She has started her quest in Nepal, where, if even a fraction of visitors made deliveries of Band-Aids, gauze and antibiotic cream, health posts would be assured of a steady trickle of first-aid supplies. She has recruited dozens of sponsors, including Mountain Hardwear, Lowe Alpine, Sierra Designs, Helly Hansen and Cascade Designs. "Forget the pens, pencils, candy and balloons. Instead, tick rehydration salts, hydrogen peroxide or any other first aid item into your backpack". This fall, the group plans to take drugs and equipment to the Mustang and Annapurna districts in Nepal.

--Salt Lake Tribune, 9/11/01, Ron Ranson, Nepal (1964-66)


Teaching Tolerance after 9/11

  • Make a personal life-commitment to go beyond your individual comfort zone. Reach out to form a friendship with at least one person who is different from yourself.
  • Begin to form a local connection, neighborhood relationship, or colleagueal connection that crosses borders of language, religion, culture, lifestyle, generation.
  • Make an effort to understand some small part of the "other's" perspective. Become a living memorial to peace.
  • Frequent "minority"-owned businesses and get to know the proprietors.
  • Start a "language bank" of volunteer interpreters for all languages used in your community.
  • Establish an ecumenical alliance. Bring people of diverse faiths together for retreats, workshops, or potluck dinners. Be welcoming to agnositcs and atheists, too.
  • Sponsor a conflict-resolution and/or mediation team.
  • Donate a tape recorder to a school that is conducting oral history projects. Suggest a focus on local struggles for civil rights.

--101 Tools for Tolerance, National Campaign for Tolerance


To help children with 9/11

There is a direct link to 21 excellent resources for teaching youth in a compassionate way about 9/11. Check the One World, Our World website:

-- Rudy Sovinee, SDPCA Secretary


ISF Review Committee Forming

One of the most interesting activities of the SDPCA is to receive, review and approve proposals for funding from current PCVs in the field. The committee that does this is now forming. It will meet at 6:30 PM on Monday, November 26th to carry out the current round of project reviews.

This year the SDPCA will fund projects received by November 15th and by March 1st, thereby allowing more PCVs to be eligible, i.e. not too close to COS date. Details are at our site, under programs.

If you would be willing to help in this committee, please e-mail me at and I will use e-mail to then forward those proposals, which arrive by e-mail, allowing everyone a better opportunity to thoroughly review the proposals. If others who have served on this committee before cannot attend a meeting on 11/26, but would want to review e-mailed proposals--please let me know. I will add you to the distribution list for proposals.

--Rudy Sovinee, ISF Chair, Ghana (1970-73)


The PC Palate

Thai Time II,

3545 Midway Drive, Suite M
(just behind Mervyns and Home Depot)
Daily for lunch and dinner except Sunday
Phone: 619.224.3245

Lovely, elegant Thai decor and presentation with excellent cuisine. Reasonably priced, great service, and Thai television programs muted/low volume. There is also traditional shoeless dining on cushions in a platform area, including a private room upstairs for 15-20.

Share a favorite Spot with us at:


Sargent Shriver Award Endowment

The NPCA has recently established an endowment fund for the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service, which was inaugurated in 1986. This award is a regular recognition to a selected RPCV individual who continues distinguished humanitarian service. NPCA leadership encourages RPCVs and groups worldwide to contribute to make it a lasting award out of appreciation to Shriver and his many years of public service as well as those of us who have made outstanding contributions. SDPCA has made a contribution to the endowment, and encourages its members to make individual donations as well. They may be sent to NPCA/Shriver Award Endowment, 1900 L St., NW, Suite 205, Washington, DC 20036.


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Welcome, New Members!

We of SDPCA 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!! Contact information listed in Contact SDPCA

  • Bonnejo Beagle, Guatemala (1999--2001),
  • Michele Brzezinski, El Salvador (2000--2002),
  • Matthew Burks, Panama (2001--2001)
  • Rachel Cook, Moldova (1998--2000),
  • Joseph Darrough, Jamaica (1979--1981)
  • Lance Grindle, Ecuador (1973--1975)
  • Lynn Jarrett, Ukraine (2001--2003)
  • Timothy Martin, Malawi (1999--2001)
  • Susan Moss, Uganda (1964--1967)
  • Reed Palmer, Panama (2000--2002)
  • Kimberly Perez, South Africa (1999--2001)
  • Rebecca Raymond, Tonga (1999--2001)
  • Melanie Taton, Ukraine (2000--2002)
  • Jennifer Toro, Bolivia (1999--2001)
  • Hy Vu, South Africa (1999--2001)

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2002 International Calendars

Order yours from SDPCA

Send your check for
$10 per calendar to:

P.O.Box 26565
San Diego, CA 92196-0565

Come to the SDPCA
social events and
take home calendars
for only $8 each,
while supplies last.

Send inquiries to

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On Sale Now

2002 Entertainment Books

Entertainment Books are our main and most successful fundraiser to support current San Diego volunteers with their special projects in country. None of the ISF projects we fund (see some current reports in Host Country Updates) could have been supported without your help. So, once again, we are asking for your help to make this year's fundraising efforts a success.

As in years past, we are selling Entertainment Books for the 2002 year to the public. Each book contains many various coupons and discounts for goods and services worth thousands of dollars throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. For each book we sell at a cost of $40.00, SDPCA receives $10.25 for the International Support Fund. The books pay you back for themselves in only four or five coupons' use.

So how can you help? You can find interested parties that would like to buy one or several books. These include your family, friends, relatives or even local business that would be willing to sell the books, on behalf of the SDPCA to the public. We will provide all the necessary materials and information.

You can show your support by purchasing a book, maybe even an extra one as a great Christmas gift for someone. It is still the same price as last year, $40.00. What a deal!


You can purchase them at the Postal Annex stores listed below.

  • 4203 Genesee Avenue, San Diego 92117
  • 2907 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego 92106
  • 3960 W. Point Loma Boulevard, San Diego 92110
  • 3368 Governor Drive, San Diego 92122
  • 8895 Towne Center Drive, San Diego 92122
  • 7710 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego 92108
  • 374 East H Street, Chula Vista 91910
  • 1264 Avocado Avenue, El Cajon 92020
  • 9640 Mission Gorge Road, Santee
  • 11956 Bernardo Plaza Drive, San Diego 92128
  • 197 Woodlands Parkway, San Marcos 92069
  • 14781 Pomerado Road, Poway 92064
  • 449 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas 92024

Your generous support will go a long way to assisting our San Diego PCVs achieve their goals in their host country communities. For further details on how you can help, please contact Marjory Clyne, Fundraising Interim Chairperson, email: or Gregg Pancoast, President of SDPCA, email:

--Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972-74)

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Newsletter Credits

Pacific Waves is published six times a year 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:

Brenda Terry-Hahn

Layout / Production
Don Beck, Jeff Cleveland

Contributors this issue are
Gregg Pancoast, Rudy Sovinee, Donna Urdiales-Carter, Almira Von-Willcox, Frank Yates, Gina Covello, Marjory Clyne, Bill Murray, Don Beck, Kate Emmons, Lori Killpatrick, NPCA Listserv authors, LA RPCA


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