July - August 2008 — Volume 21, Number 4
NOTE: SDCA email addresses here are no longer clickable
to prevent roaming spam servers reading them. Sorry
for the in
One Day In Peace
No Nukes Day
End Hunger Day
International Volunteer Day
Human Rights Day
an age where community involvement and partnerships with
civil society are increasingly being recognized as indispensable,
there is clearly a growing potential for cooperative development
and renewal worldwide." -- Kofi Annan
enterprises provide the organisational means whereby a significant
proportion of humanity is able to take into its own hands the
tasks of creating productive employment, overcoming poverty and
achieving social integration."
-- Boutros Boutros-Ghali
cannot and must not allow ourselves to have the message of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki fade completely from our minds, and
we cannot allow our vision or ideals to fade, either. For if
we do, we have but one course left for us. And that flash of light
will not only rob us of our vision, but it will rob us of our lives,
our progeny, and our very existence." -- Mayor
5 - CoOp Day
6 - No Nukes Day
(above-Kofi Annan) from http://www.betterworldcalendar.com
July 5 -
most people "CoOp" brings to mind a
local health food store which is owned and run by its members. This
is only one example of a cooperative. Cooperatives - community or
employee owned businesses or groups - can be formed for businesses
of any kind, including cooperative banks (called credit unions),
insurance and health care companies, day care, agricultural distribution
and housing co-ops. Cooperatives are much more popular than most
people realize -- almost a third of American farmers' products are
marketed through cooperatives, half of the electricity in rural areas
comes from rural electric cooperatives and more than 70 million Americans
use credit unions!
As mistrust of corporations grows in America, the cooperative
core values of honesty, openness, democracy, social responsibility,
and putting people before profits, is attracting more to consider
the CoOp model. More than half a million American workers have
chosen to take control of their lives and economic choices by being
part of employee-owned businesses. Welch's, Sunkist, ACE Hardware
and the Associated Press are just some of the many employee-owned
The cooperative movement is growing throughout the world. The
International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) was formed in 1895 - today
it has more than 200 participating organizations with over 800
million members in nearly 100 countries! In 1994, the ICA and International
Labor Organization (ILO) launched a global co-operative campaign
against poverty, Co-operating Out Of Poverty, urging the worldwide
cooperative movement to work together to fight poverty by helping
the poor to form cooperatives.
CoOp Day has been celebrated on the first Saturday in July since
1927 to help promote the cooperative movement and the concept of
cooperatives as an important community-building and economic model.
Since 1930, October has been observed in America as National Co-Op
Month to further promote the importance of cooperatives.
August 6 --
No Nukes Day:
August 6, 1945 the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima,
Japan, and three days later another one on Nagasaki. More than
100,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed instantly and for
years afterwards, from horrible burns and radiation sickness.
Fortunately, nuclear weapons have not been used again on civilians,
but they continue to remain a constant threat. Thousands of nuclear
weapons remain on alert, ready to be fired at a moment's notice.
These bombs could go off at any time by accident or at the hands
Recognizing that there are enough nuclear weapons to destroy the
planet, most nations signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
agreeing to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to work towards
eliminating them. The NPT went into effect in 1970, but the number
of nations with nukes has nearly doubled and there is still no
timetable to eliminate nuclear weapons. A people's movement has
grown to convince governments to rid the world of the nuclear threat.
5 regions, covering most of the Southern hemisphere and more than
250 municipalities around the world have declared themselves as
Nuclear Free Zones.
Many are also concerned about the growing use of nuclear energy
around the world. After over 30 years of building nuclear power
plants, there is still no safe way of disposing the contaminated
nuclear materials that are produced. These contaminated wastes
endanger our environment and the lives of countless generations
No Nukes Day, often called Hiroshima Day, is an opportunity to
raise awareness about the threat of nuclear weapons and the dangers
of nuclear energy. It's the perfect time to urge your Mayor to
declare your city a Nuclear Free Zone.
The RPCV Mentoring Program is really taking off. This
online system allows groups to match PCVs just returning from
service (“mentees”) with those who have been back
a while (“mentors”) for assistance with readjustment,
career options and engagement in Third Goal activities.
already have 90 mentors and 67 mentees signed up that need
to be matched! This is a great way to find those newly
returned PCVs and get them engaged in your group right away! You
may also find some more established RPCVs you didn’t
even know were in your area. To learn more (and to
register as a mentor or mentee), visit the website at http://www.rpcvmentoring.org
thanks to the NPCA Afilliate groups that are already using
the system! Contact: Brenda Terry-Hahn (SDPCA locally) and
Molly Doyle (NPCA
The MorePeaceCorps campaign is a broad and deep public awareness
and legislative campaign to tap the energy of Americans who
will provide public support for a rejuvenated Peace Corps doubled
in size and budget. The campaign was launched in 2008 by the
National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), a non-profit network
comprised of 90,000 Peace Corps alumni supporters.
Check out the website to find out and help shape what MorePeaceCorps
June 13-15, 2008, New York
The National Peace Corps Association convened a meeting at
the Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers
Fund to Re-envision the Peace Corps for its next 50 years.
Participants included some of the initial architects of the
Peace Corps, such as Harris Wofford and Bill Josephson, former
Peace Corps Directors Kevin O’Donnell and Carol Bellamy,
current deputy director Jody Olsen, leaders of exchange and
development organizations and numerous returned PC volunteers.
This meeting examined the nearly 50-year model for the Peace
Corps and considered various options for making the Peace Corps
bigger, better and bolder as part of an overall “smart
power” effort to restore U.S. standing in the world to
better help address pressing global problems. The Conference
helped developed ideas for doing this which will be discussed
with the broader Peace Corps community through a variety of
electronic means. Then, these ideas will be distilled into
a policy paper that will be shared with the Presidential candidates
and, more importantly, the next President’s transition
Drafts give a sense of the discussions:
• Keynote speech by John Hayes
• “Not Towering Task 2” by Bill Josephson
• “What Peace Corps Could Do for the United States
and the World” by Kevin
F.F. Quigley and Lex Rieffel
Meet the 2008-09 Board
Marjory Clyne, President
Marjory Clyne (Samoa 1972-1974): Last year I was Vice President so I
was required to take over the President’s duties these last 6 months.
I am looking forward to being the “duly appointed” President this
never been one to sit on the sidelines, I have always raised my hand, spoken
up, volunteered, stood at the front of the line. I need to know what’s
going on and the best way to do that is get involved. So I suppose you will find
me most years volunteering on the board of the SDPCA!!
Mona Melanson, Vice-President
Mona Melanson was a Peace Corps Volunteer English Teacher (TEFL)
in Thailand from 1969-71. Subsequently, she earned her M.A.
on a full scholarship in a program like the current Peace Corps
Fellows. Mona began her Human Resources management career with
property-casualty insurance companies at offices in New York
City, Denver, and Campbell, CA. Mona then moved to Bank of
America’s World Banking
Division followed with international assignments in Hong Kong,
Manila, and Jakarta. Mona served on the Board of the NORCAL
RPCV group when she returned to San Francisco. From1992-95,
she was the Director of Returned Volunteer Career Services
at the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. Mona went on to diversify
her industry experience and when she returned to California,
she worked for a San Diego division of a global high tech electronics
manufacturing company. Mona was also selected for two short-term
Organizational Development and management training projects
in Honduras and Ethiopia by the NGO, ACDI/VOCA that strengthens
cooperatives in developing countries. Most recently, Mona started
Aviso HR Associates, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes
in providing talent management and organizational change management
services that are tailored to the critical business needs of
its clients. Previously, Mona was Co-Director of Social Activities
for the SDPCA and now wants to work on other programs as needed
as Vice President. Mona will also be glad to help review any
SDPCA member’s resume or give them pointers
about how to interview or conduct a job search.
Gregg Pancoast, CFO
Greetings. I have been involved with the RPCV group for several
years and enjoy the get togethers and supporting current volunteers
through the Int’l Support
I served in
Costa Rica during the mid-80s in Small Enterprise Development---and
ended up spending about 7 years in-country. My most treasured
momento is my 13-year old daughter who has dual nationality----and
sprinkles her Spanish with Mexican slang, which dismays her Costa
Rican family. Oh well...
Sharon Darrough, Secretary
I’m Sharon Darrough and I’m the Secretary of the group.
been on and off the board since returning from my Peace Corps service. I
was an agriculture volunteer in Thailand from 1989 - 1991 (wow,
coming up on 20 years since I went to training). I
now work at the International Rescue Committee in San Diego and
very occasionally, I get to use my Thai language skills. I love
those days. SDPCA is important to me - I met my husband
(Joe Darrough, Jamaica) through this group! I’m
looking forward to another great year for SDPCA - hope to see you
at the events.
Lisa Eckl, Communications
Chair & Membership
Hello SDPCA Members, I am your new Communications Chair. I am filling
in the large shoes of Lynn Jarrett and hope I can serve everyone
as well as she did. This
will be my second year on the board but my first year in this position.
year I served as the Global Awards Chair which was a lot of fun
but this year I hope to be able to help our SDPCA Community stay
connected by handling all the communication duties of the group. I
enjoy being on the board because it helps keep my Peace Corps experience
fresh and alive. It is a wonderful
way to connect with other volunteers on a personal level and share
I served in
East Timor from 2005-2006 as a Rural Health Promotion Volunteer. My
time in Timor was cut short because of civil unrest in the country
but even though it was short I still learned more than I could
have ever imagined during my time in East Timor. Aside
from the serving on the board, I am kept busy by being a full
time graduate student getting my Masters in Public Health at
SDSU, working part-time at the San Diego Humane Society, and
spending time with my boyfriend and two crazy cats.
Carl Sepponen, Chair
As the new fund raising board member I’ll be working with
Marjory who has been doing a great job in this position for many
years. I want to help
the SDPCA succeed and continue to offer the local RPCVs a place
to get together and support eachother.
I am a civil
engineer working as a consultant in the water/wastewater field. I
have worked in the private sector for 30 years and enjoy my work. I
got married in 1977 when I was PCV in Ecuador and we have 3 daughters. They
are now out of college and spread across the US. My
eldest daughter was a PCV in Nicaragua (without any encouragement
from us!); we didn’t
know about her application until she told us she was going to Nicaragua.
Addis, Speaker’s Bureau
Life is good. I currently help supervise a construction office
for the Point Loma Navy Base for their facilities projects. I recently
passed multiple tests to become a California Registered Architect
and am now pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) Accreditation. I am a happy California Condo homeowner and
look forward to starting some renovation work on my kitchen and
bathroom soon. I served in Tanzania, East Africa 1998-2000 teaching
Math and Geography, and loved it. As second year Speaker’s
Bureau Chair, I hope to continue coordinating speaking engagements
to promote the Peace Corps Third Goal as well as increasing my
outreach into the community to arrange speaking presentations.
Please let me know if you’d like to present! I have informational
presentation training DVD’s available.Contact me: .
Kris Slanina, ISF/Global Awards
I was a volunteer in Cameroon from 1995 to 1998) I recently
returned to San Diego after 2 1/2 years in. Atlanta, GA. It is
exciting to rejoin the board as Global Awards Chair. I previously
served as Social Chair for the SDPCA as well as CFO for the Atlanta
Area Returned Peace Corps Association. I am looking forward to
a great year!
Jill Dumbauld, Social Chair
My name is Jill Dumbauld, and I’m excited to be the new SDPCA Social Chair! This
year, I plan to keep up some of the successful SDPCA traditions, and maybe start
some new ones. This year I’d like to organize fun events throughout
the county, while also keeping our group’s “footprint” on the
small-ish side. I’ll try to provide public transit information on
event postings, and take advantage of Evite’s carpool service. As
I’m a newbie at this position, I’m open to any feedback/ideas you
may have. Thanks and see you at some events!
Dena Lewerke, Community Action
My name is Dena Lewerke and I just started as the Community Action
Chair this Spring. I am excited to serve as the chair because working in the non-profit
field and volunteerism is something I enjoy and I hope to involve each of you
in some enjoyable projects this year. I want to allow the SDPCA to give
back to the community and learn more about the activities of non-profits and
other groups here in San Diego in the process. This Spring up to now we
have assisted the Audubon Society with clearing a wildlife refugee of invasive
plants for the Lease Tern, as well as painting and restoring a sober living home
with Second Chance, and assisting at a water station at the recent San Diego
Rock in Roll Marathon (which I also ran in)! I hope to see you all at the
next community action event June 28th back at the Friend’s Center to help
with the community gardening project and also hope to receive suggestions from
all of you regarding what kind of volunteer projects you might enjoy. I
served in Armenia from 2003 to 2005 as a business development volunteer. I
am active in assisting the San Diego refugee community in my free time and am
also a member of the San Diego Refugee Forum Advocacy committee. I just
graduated with my MBA from San Diego State and enjoy reading and traveling. You
may contact me with questions or suggestions at .
Brown, Newsletter Editor
Liz Brown (Kingdom of Tonga 2001-2003). I like to say that I brought back
the best souvenir of my service, my husband, Soni. And, the next best thing
that I brought back with me from my days as a rural youth development worker
are all the memories. While in Tonga I was lucky enough to view the South
Pacific daily, interact with my neighbors and support a very active youth group
in my village with projects. Now back in San Diego I am a mother to Noah
(20 months), wife to Soni, and associate attorney for the Law Offices of Michele
Lowenstein. I served on the SDPCA board previously as the newsletter editor
and am happy to be back in the same shoes again this year. Please
feel free to submit any articles or current events to me at
An Update from Rudy
by Rudy Sovinee, Ghana
live away from the city, in a quiet valley near the top of a river’s
source waters, and crime is near zero. All that is required of
me is to learn a language to get by. My Thai lacks in grammar, yet
people now usually understand me beyond the simple situations. Progress
is slow since the local dialect isn’t
written. Boon and I do well in most conversations, but get stuck
when it gets complicated.
vacuum of details, I learn by experience. Over the recent Thai
New Years (it is now 2551) each day had a ritual. One day people
gathered at the plaza to give food packs to the monks and novices.
On other days we visited family elders, then community elders – again
bringing small gifts. There was a ceremony to cart buckets
of sand from the river to the temple. Throughout it all people
got drenched by well wishers who poured or tossed water at
have begun, especially during the week of the typhoon that
hit Burma. Those rains brought strong swirling winds necessitating
closing the “windows” (shutters)
despite meter wide eaves. Our property is at the outer edge of
the inner flood basin. There is a levy along the river, but who
knows what climate change will cause. I sold my scooter to pay
for landfill, my way of insurance against the river possibly flooding
to our doorstep.
on the floor for most meals and need to learn to eat things
I never imagined. It must be good, I’m
learning things daily and have lost 40 lbs from natural opportunities
in building our home like shoveling sand, digging a ditch or
bike rides for supplies. I say generally because for several
days I’ve struggled
with a pinched nerve where the spine leads to my left leg. A chiropracter
would fix it, but I don’t see a word for it in my Thai
dictionary, and likely the closest one is in Chiang Mai. That
is at least 2 hours away. (Any Thai RPCV readers, suggestions
welcomed) So there are pluses and minuses, and I basically
have far more pluses.
With work mostly done on the inside of the house, work continues
planted mango and jackfruit trees, beans, hot peppers, cherry
size tomatoes, lemon grass and various greens. Boon regularly
goes to the mountain slopes east of here and collects mushrooms.
There are at least four types that seem to have their own seasons
too. I’m convinced that the low
stress, organic, exercise filled lifestyle here is still only part
of the answer as to the health here. I think the green fermented
leaves and numerous bugs that they eat also add to their immune
systems. Many critters are seasonal delicacies. Seriously, Bo was
like a kid at Christmas, hopping around to say there were large
swarms of “flies.” Boon and her friend quickly went
out and gathered hundreds of swarming termites to have for snack
gone along with trying a few of such treats, but there are just
too many varieties for me to regularly accept as sources of protein.
The main health problem is alcohol. It leads to driving accidents.
Also, because the hard water is more calcium than iron laden it
causes kidney stones, especially for the many alcoholic males.
ask when we’ll get internet in our home. We have electricity
but not phone lines. Our electric lines are at risk by a bamboo
stand on the corner of our neighbor’s property. The rains
weighed down the upper reaches and the stalks began lying upon
the wires. I tried talking to the neighbor, but it wasn’t
viewed as urgent. The utility company said they would come out,
(I anticipated that one.) The mutual solution was me stringing
heavy rope high-up around the stand, cinching it tight like one
might a load on a truck. Four weeks later and the bamboo stand
as a whole is now leaning over.
this tells you a little about our different cultures. Americans
see situations and attempt to affect the future string of events.
Thai in general seem much more at ease letting things unfold,
not taking action until the last moment. This difference is
the one I most struggle to handle. Often I’ve worried
for naught and Boon tries to help me understand their ways. In
general, the warmth, hospitality and humor of Thai far outweigh
my views about Thai safety. I am delighted to have chosen here
for me to make a new home.
from author. More Pictures from Rudy are online at:
from Ellen Shively,
Visiting Costa Rica for two weeks under the auspices of the Sierra
Club and visiting a working Peace Corps site proved to be a
rewarding experience recently. Two weeks in a country does
not an authority make. But I came away with a feeling that
this small nation has a heart for the planet, and has had some
success in halting run away expansion and depletion to a remarkable
Rica could be an example for environmental leadership in neighboring Latin American
The government divested itself of its military in order to funnel tax revenue
and gross product profits into preservation and conservation of natural resources.
That is not to say that pressures have not stopped all growth and development.
Far from it. You can see miles and miles (kilometers is the local measure) of
Del Monte banana plantations, Dole’s pineapples, coffee trees and trucks
loaded with hard timber. On the other hand, we learned that coffee can be grown
more sustainably in the shade of the forest, eliminating the need to cut trees.
By buying the beans from a near-by Youth Hostel with the “Fair Trade – Grown
in harmony with the Cloud Forest label” I felt I was contributing in a
small way to the country’s conservation efforts. (email: email@example.com).
early instructions were to pack lightly with three changes of clothing,
binoculars, bug repellant, rain gear) and a camera. We
used everything we brought (several times) and came back loaded
with rosewood salad bowls, carved exotic animal replicas, bags
of coffee, tee-shirts blazoned with a photo of Buttercup, a three
fingered sloth we visited, post cards written with the country’s
motto: Pura Vida (the good life) and more fresh fruit, rice and
beans swirling in our bloodstream than most of us had ever consumed
in our entire lives.
Ellen Shively (second from left) with compadres. Photo from
We also came back with
phenomenal mental and visual snapshots of exotic plants and animals
we may or may not have known existed. One memory is of a rhinoceros
beetle as large as a western belt buckle perched on a cane segment.
The man selling coconuts which he deftly opened with his machete
assured us that the beetles were easily captured in the cane
Every day brought a
different experience. Early in the trip, we were staying near
the Arenal Volcano and were given the option of touring community
enterprises or rappelling down three waterfalls, followed by
caving nearby. You’re
sure to see bats and albino bugs we were assured. It was a hard
decision, but I chose the community tour. I’m glad I did.
One can repel down a waterfall and walk miles into a cave any day.
Our first stop was to a woman‘s paper making enterprise.
Four years ago, ten women decided they could boost their family
incomes after learning to make paper from one of their children.
They secured a contract for shredded paper from the local hospital
and other businesses. A bucket of this is soaked for several hours,
mixed with coconut fibers and manually pressed in a thin metal
screen to the desired size. After it dries, it can be made into
picture frames, scrapbooks, or stationery The women have
bought a store with a workroom, sell brewed coffee and sweets and
provide the women in the vicinity a place to come and socialize
and receive group counseling.
Our next stop was an
ecological reserve, Proyecto Asis. With a nice array of animals
we had never seen before-caymans, spider monkeys, resplendent
Quetzels, and toucans. They accept
donations, but also sponsor foreign language immersion programs
for families, engaging students with local people in cultural and
environmental immersion experiences. They say, “learn, serve
and share in harmony with nature.” Our last stop was
at an organic farm where we were served a delicious organic, vegan
lunch The tour guide was an ex-pat American who had come to Costa
Rica thirty years ago and stayed. He and his partners are cultivating
an organic farm and produce many plants used in herbal medicines
We arrived in Tortuguero
looking for the elusive leatherback turtle egg laying beaches.
Sure enough, beginning at 9 pm we walked down the relatively
isolated beach and found turtle body markings in the sand. Once
you see the pattern, it is unmistakable. We were lucky. It is
too early for depositing her eggs in the sand, but we did see
one very large green turtle on the beach. We seemed to disturb
her, as she turned her big body around and headed seaward when
our guide pointed his red light on her. We hope the mothers are
not disturbed by these tours when it is actual egg laying season.
Like so many animals, turtles are constantly pressured by human
I had only one visitor
in the two years I was in Eritrea as a Peace Corps Volunteer(PCV).
All forty-two of us trooped over to the Collegio Tortuguero (High
School) to meet four Peace Corps volunteers. Jenny and Dustin
Stucky are leaving, and are “orienting” their
replacements, Guillermo Mazier and Noelle Robertson. Guill’s
mother was a PCV in Honduras and married a Honduran. He was raised
in Phoenix. I could see the excitement in the new couple as they
are making plans to not only help in the schools curriculum, but
also working in the community. The RPCV couple on our tour, Philip
and Lara Clarke, (Kenya, 71-73) and I particularly enjoyed meeting
back into life in the U.S. difficult, asked Dustin? We
assured them it is easier than adjusting to life at your assignment.
I told the couple about our funding program for our San Diego
volunteers who applied for special projects in their communities,
and how they could institute such a program once they found a
RPCV group in their region. They seemed happy that they could
continue ties to the place they had served.
For any of you planning
a trip to Costa Rica, I would be happy to advise you on a wardrobe
and national parks we visited. Bring a good camera and lots of
stamina. And stop at Tortuguero. The turtles will be laying their
Irwin Herman, “The Bookman, ” (in
center, front row) holding his Global Awareness trophy, surrounded
by SDPCA members at the Annual May celebraton/meeting. [Photo
from Carl Seppanon.]
At our annual meeting
on May 17th I had the privilege of awarding a very deserving
man and his organization the Global Awareness Award, SDPCA’s
award for local organizations that follow Peace Corps’ goals
at home. Irwin Herman, The Bookman,
was our honorary guest and attended the party with his lovely wife. The
Bookman‘s mission is to get books into the hands of any person
that wants them. He uses a donated warehouse full of books
(they estimate 50,000!!!) located at 37th and El Cajon that is
run totally by dedicated volunteers. The Bookman and its
volunteers is kept busy by distributing books around San Diego
County, receiving donated books and keeping the warehouse organized
with 2-3,000 books being handled every day. Since the Bookman
started in 1990 he has put over 8,000,000 books into the hands
of people around the world!!!
The Bookman wants SDPCA
to spread the word what his organization has to offer to all
our members and he wants all of you to know that if you ever
need books to just contact him and he will be more than willing
find out more about The Bookman visit his website at http://www.thebookman.org.
--Lisa Eckl, Communications Chair
Oh What a Night!
The May 17th SDPCA Annual Meeting
by Mona Melanson (RPCV Thailand 1969-71)
You probably have heard the ancient Chinese saying about how each journey begins
with the first step. My first step to the SDPCA’s annual meeting this year
was taken over 30 years ago. At the risk of sounding like someone at the Academy
Awards, first, I’d like to thank the Peace Corps for helping me find San
Diego. The Peace Corps flew me across the United States to San Diego for the
first ten days of my Peace Corps training. More precisely, those first days of
training were held in a remote site in the hills overlooking Escondido. That
experience left a lasting impression on me and I vowed that someday I would come
back here to live. I made good on that promise to myself in late 1999. Okay,
so it took me over 30 years to find my way back here. Next, once here, it took
me a few months to find the San Diego Peace Corps Association or SDPCA. Internet
search capabilities and the World Wide Web were not as good back then as they
A lot has changed since
then here in San Diego and the San Diego Peace Corps Association
or so I thought the night of the SDPCA’s Annual Meeting.
It was one of those absolutely magnificent evenings that continues
to remind me how lucky I am to be living here. Thank you San
Diego Chamber of Commerce! It had been a perfect weather day,
not the more typical “May Gray” and
chilly kind. The evening was simply one of the best so far this
Another change I noticed
that evening was the actual location of the Annual Meeting. It
was held at the San Diego Humane Society, a new meeting place
for us and one I thought I knew how to find. I’d seen the
building in my many previous trips to a nearby printing place
I use for all the photocopies I need for training programs I
conduct or professional association meetings I help arrange.
Not being a pet owner, I hadn’t
realized that the San Diego Humane Society had moved about a mile
away to a larger brand new facility on the San Diego Campus for
Animal Care near the County Animal Shelter. Thankfully, there was
a small sign by the old building with a map on it that directed
me to the new building, or so I thought it would. Instead, I wound
up having another one of those experiences of getting lost in San
Diego. These were more common in my early days here. So, maybe
I still have a ways to go in my quest to become a real San Diegan.
Alternatively, maybe I need to better check out the address and
directions given on the SDPCA’s
website or in those wonderful Evites we get. I love the Intranet
even if Al Gore didn’t really invent it.
By the time I finally
found the new San Diego Humane Society facility near the University
of San Diego, the Annual Meeting was already in progress. Marjory
Clyne was already starting to make an announcement. I was glad
to recognize Marjory, Sharon and Joe Darrough, Brenda Hahn, and
Carol Whelan and see that quite a few of the others in attendance
were mostly new to me. Seeing so many new people is a good change
I thought, more new friends to make. Sharon and I often seem to
be the rare two that served in Thailand, although years apart.
I began looking around for those who may have served in Krygystan
where my youngest sister, Leslie Reed and her husband Scott served
in 2005-2006. They make Peace Corps run in my family and bring
serving more up-to-date for us. Some aspects of Peace Corps have
certainly changed over the years, but based on their emails, there
seem to be more things in common then there are differences. Seeing
all the people new to me also reminded me that it’s been
a while since I’ve been
able to come to an SDPCA event. No matter, I sat down where there
was a seat with some people I’d never met before and soon
felt like I’d known
them for a long time. SDPCA events always seem like this to me,
warm gatherings of people who don’t remain strangers for
very long. Most of the participants were sitting at the tables
outside in the area known as Rocky’s Doggie
Café. After a little while there was a break, so I was able
to get some of the delicious food people had brought for the Pot
Luck while there was still some left. (One of these days we should
create a cookbook of dishes from our countries of service as a
fund raiser, now there’s an idea looking for
a bunch of volunteers to make it happen!)
Unfortunately, I had missed the earlier tour of the San Diego Humane
Society. I think the tour might have been led by SDPCA’s own Lisa Eckl, (RPCV East
Timor 2005-06) who told me after the event that she works at the SD Humane Society.
Thank you Lisa for arranging it so the SDPCA could hold its Annual Meeting at
such a great place!
Later in the evening, an RPCV Mom showed me around a little on
the inside of the building. I met her inside as she was walking
her little girl around to see if they could still see one of the
dogs featured in a special little room with a big window for observation
purposes by prospective animal adopters. The three of us peered
through the glass at the darkened room and could make out a fairly
big dog blissfully sleeping on a doggie bed in a corner.
children and adults of all sizes and ages must love coming to this
place to drop off animals, adopt a pet, or get training for one.
That RPCV mother and child told me that it is not a place only
for dogs and cats but for rabbits, gerbils, birds and perhaps other
types of animals too. When I returned home, I checked out the SD
Humane Society’s website and it states that it started
in 1880 and is one of the County’s first non-profit organizations.
Among the many services it provides, I found it particularly interesting
that it shares animals though Pet-Assisted Therapy and provides
rescue animals in emergency situations.
And The Award
For five years, the Annual Meeting is the event where the SDPCA
presents its Global Award to a person or organization in San Diego
that embodies the ideals and goals of Peace Corps. This year the
Global Award was presented to a very deserving guy in San Diego
that started with a good idea and a garage. This kind of story
has almost become a cliché in California. However, what this
San Diego resident has done is just as impactful as what the legendary
men with good ideas and garages in Northern California have accomplished,
perhaps just not as widely known. According to California corporate
lore, Silicon Valley started when two men with a good idea and a
garage started what became Hewlett Packard. Later, in the 1980s,
another guy in the San Jose area had a good idea and used his parent’s
garage as a worksite. His effort gave birth to Apple Computer.
in San Diego in 1990, a retiree who moved here from Chicago had
a different kind of good idea. Luckily for us and others elsewhere
in the world, he also had a garage. This guy was Irwin Herman,
a seemingly unassuming yet energetic former appliance repairman.
Although Herman liked living here, he didn’t
take to retirement very well and soon began doing volunteer work.
One thing led to another for Irwin Herman as a volunteer just as
it has for many current and former PCVs. In Irwin’s case,
he started by giving away used books to people with little or no
access to them such as people in prisons and hospitals. Soon, he
was using his own garage to temporarily store books until he could
give them away to someone. Then Herman spread out to the garages
of neighbors until he ran out of garages to use. Luckily, Jack
Grace heard about Irwin Herman who by then was already becoming
known as “The
Bookman.” Jack owns
a large building on El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights that had
been a Bekins storage facility. Initially, Jack let Irwin use a
floor of that building. Now The Bookman organization operates out
of a 5,000 foot warehouse at 4275 37th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.
Today, The Bookman organization
gives away about half a million books a year. The Bookman doesn’t
judge books by their covers and Irwin told us that they accept
virtually all types of books including textbooks of all types
of genres and languages, hard backs and paper backs. The books
come from individuals like you and me and from all sorts of different
sources. A couple of publishing houses and COSTCO regularly sell
Herman their surplus new books at very, very low rates. Irwin
said he winds up having to buy most of the books that are in
Spanish as so few of these get donated. About one third of the
warehouse holds children books. The organization still donates
books to prisons and hospitals and has expanded over the years
to giving books away to many different schools here and overseas,
and to other charities or public services for the homeless, senior
citizen centers, mental health services, and so forth. The warehouse
has another special section for “Teachers’ Supplies.” The
bookman raises money through contributions and sales of donated
antiques and new remaindered books at reasonable prices. The website
explained that on a weekly basis, The Bookman also gives away books
for free at the San Diego City College bookstore.
The SDPCA gave
Irwin Herman, known as “The Bookman” of San Diego
its Global Award this year for all the great work he and his organization
does for our community, country and the rest of the world. The
Bookman has collected and distributed over 8 million books to
all types of organizations in all 50 states and over 80 countries.
All the labor is performed on a volunteer basis and Herman explained
to us that he has many volunteer helper “elves.” In
fact, the main person in charge of children’s books is Kenny “the
Elf” Pearlman and another key volunteer or elf is Don Schultz.
On The Bookman’s website there is only one condition to this
book donation program and that is that a person or persons must
pick up the books or arrange to have someone else or some agency
handle that for them. The Bookman accepts donations of books and
money at its site. A lot more information about the organization
is available on its website. Irwin Herman told us at the Annual
Meeting that if someone was interested in sending books from The
Bookman organization to a foreign country that they would have
to donate or raise the money to cover the shipping costs. A professor
at Pt. Loma Nazarene University was able to arrange for a book
shipment to his native Ghana by finding someone able to contribute
the funds for the shipping expenses.
Today Irwin Herman is
a vibrant 75 year old non-retiree who said that he still goes
to work at the warehouse five days a week and goes around on
Saturdays collecting books. He quipped that “staying out
of the house” is
probably the key to the success of his marriage of many years to
his wife Shirley. She was there that evening alaso. He is truly
one person who is making a difference in San Diego and beyond.
One person can make a difference. Thank you to The Bookman of San
And Now A Word From
The San Diego Peace Corps Association nominates and elects its
new Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting. You did not have
to be present to win and depending on who you are, you may have
been nominated to the Board or a committee. There is more information
elsewhere in this newsletter about who the new Board members are.
If you’ve been a member for at least a few years like I have,
you may have noticed that there has been a significant increase in
the number and array of events and activities that the SDPCA offers.
If you are a brand new member, we hope you are already impressed
with the quantity and quality of the programs that we sponsor and
arrange. The truth is that we cannot continue to do all of these
without more help from our members. Yes, this means you. We need
all the help you can give, whenever you can give it, even you can
only help every now and then.
If you missed the SDPCA’s
annual meeting and want to learn or do more with the featured
organizations then please first go to their websites to learn
more about how.
The SD Humane Society http://www.sdhumane.org
The Bookman’s website is at: http://www.thebookman.org
from Marti and
Ronn Kilby, parents of a PCV who is an ISF Grantee from San
Diego now serving in Namibia.
Update about Nambia
When I spoke to our
daughter Ali West (PCV, Namibia) on Sunday, she told me that
the raffle tickets for the goat are selling well, and the students
are doing a good job of collecting donations. And,
she has negotiated free labor from the fence materials supply
company and organized volunteers in the village to assist in
Thus far, total funds
collected are enough to build about 130 meters so we still need
to raise fund to cover an additional 300 meters. Every
$10 helps! If
you are able to contribute, please take a moment right now to write
a check payable to Ali West and send to: Marti and Ronn
Kilby, 28640 Myers Country Lane, Valley Center, CA 92082
to meet our goal by July 15, so again, please don’t hesitate
to get the word out to your family, friends, and co-workers. If
there are any organizations that need a copy of the documentary
DVD, please let me know and I’ll be happy to send as many
copies as needed.
Also, I am sending a
thank you note to everyone who contributes. If you
have sent a check and not received a thank you note please let
me know via email or phone. In the past we’ve had some
issues with our mail delivery and I just want to make sure that
checks aren’t missing.
--Marti and Ronn Kilby, 619-846-9249, firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteered at: Water Station #14 at Mile 19.8
We were blessed to work
with the Flood Church and USC Alumni again this year. Boy were
we organized, enthusiastic, and worked well together.
cups were filled before the first runners sped by, and all those
thousands of cups were picked up soon after the last participants
past our tables. So many of the runners thank us for being there,
for all the work we do. I laugh since it is nothing like running
Until I get home. Eyes
close and sleep is so sweet. Thanks to this year’s
volunteers: Sharon Darrough, Vicki and Laura Fields, John Fulton,
Mike Peloquin Congratulations to our own Dena Lewerke on completing
the marathon. Join us next year for all the fun at Water Station
--Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972-72)
from Don Beck
(Bolivia 67-69) & Brenda Terry-Hahn (Nepal
Quotes have been useful to us over the years in teaching.
Sometimes they can be nibblets of wisdom – only a few
words but saying so much to so many. A few catch our interest
and become a label for a time. One favorite comes from John
Kennedy’s inaugrual speech–it challenged a generation:
so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can
do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My
fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will
do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom
of man....” --John F. Kennedy
in finding more such quotes, an election year brings many
speeches and possibilities of a new phrase or quote to
refocus us on things to come, that we can help make happen.
We heard one such already and look for more. Barack Obama,
replaced Ted Kennedy to speak at Wesleyan University graduation.
His speech rekindled fresh challenges. He spoke of Peace
Corps at length [hear entire speech at YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYQNEtU0F4 ] and a generaton that was caught up in idealism, of making
changes for the better.
a time of war, we need you to work for peace. At a time
of inequality, we need you to work for opportunity. At
a time of so much cynicism and so much doubt, we
need you to make us believe again. That’s your
task, class of 2008.”
for more “quotes” to share here!
Board Minutes --May
- June, 2008
May 28, 2008
Present: Present: Marjory Clyne, Sharon Darrough, Gregg Pancoast,
Carl Sepponen, Kristen Slanina, Liz Brown, Jill Dumbauld, Mona Melanson
New Business: Discussion of the duties of
positions. Selection of Board Officers was made
June 26, 2008
Present: Sharon Darrough, Gregg Pancoast, Lisa Eckl, Liz
Brown, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Kristen Slanina, Jill Dumbauld
President’s Report: Marjory has 150 of the
2009 calendars, will go to Carl. Marjory has asked Brenda
Hahn to respond NPCA re: mentor program.
ISF – Global Awards: Kris reported that the committee suggested
5 out of 9 applications for a total of $2,277 representing Zambia
(2), Niger, El Salvador, and the Philippines. All were approved
though they need to get more information from one applicant about
his San Diego connection.
Membership: 113 current; 9 past due for 6 months; 42 past due for
12 months; 5 new members; 13 free members. Discussed changing database
to something more user friendly. Lisa & Jennifer will look
into this. Discussed about the annual payment system.
Community Action: Dena not present, next event: Friends Center 6/31;
then Beach Clean Up 7/26
Social: Jill reported the happy hour this month went well – 7
people showed up. Next event is the Blue Sky hike 7/5. Free concerts
7/10 in Balboa Park and 7/11 in Carlsbad. 3rd Thirsty Thursday 7/11
in OB. Del Mar Races 8/9. Happy Hour 8/21. Idea:
attend a Padres Game.
Finance Report: May Balance Sheet – we have $13,000. $4,600
of the money is in the Calvert Foundation. Restricted:
$8,000 for the ISF. FY to date – we have a small
surplus Gregg filed 990N to IRS and annual state renewal.
Motion made moved and seconded to eliminate the voice mail number
and save $13.95 per month.
Fundraising: Carl not present; no report
New Business Suggestion that we try to be sure that digital photos
are taken at all events!
Next Meeting: Thurs., July 24, 6:30pm. at Sharon’s.
-Sharon Kennedy Darrough, Thailand (1989-91)
make jokes. I just watch the government
and report the facts.
from the President
to a New Year
A warm welcome to a new
and exciting year with The San Diego Peace Corps Association. We
have elected and installed a new board and I am glad to see some
new faces sitting at the table. We have lost a valued, dedicated
board member, Lynn Jarrett, who moved to Orange County a few months
ago. Her responsibilities were many. Most importantly, keeping track
of our membership, collecting your dues, updating files, etc.
Don’t worry, Lisa Eckl has taken on those duties as the
new communication chair and will also do a good job of notifying
us when it’s time to pay those dues!!! I look forward to working
with all the board members to create a rewarding year of participation
for SDPCA members both here at home and in supporting San Diegans
serving as volunteers abroad. Feel free to share your ideas on how
we might better engage in our community to make a difference.
–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972–74)
government is like a baby’s alimentary
canal, with a happy appetite
at one end and no responsibility at
the other. -Ronald Reagan
AYUSA Host Family
AYUSA is a non-profit, educational exchange organization designated by the US
Department of State and approved for listing by CSIET. By linking foreign high
school students with American host families and communities, AYUSA promotes
the idea of world peace through international friendships.
Peace Corps alumni
are excellent people to participate in student exchange hosting
as they have a broad global view and commitment to cultural awareness.
As a local coordinator
I supervise and monitor the students for the duration of their
stay (5 or 10 month program). You can learn more about our program
Thank you very much for any support you can provide. Your role
in facilitating such wonderful opportunities for international
students brings us a step closer to world understanding and is
very much appreciated!
For more information contact: Ami Adkins, San Diego Community Rep,
AYUSA Global Youth Exchange PH: 619-504-9768, FAX: 619-562-0333
out National Parks this Summer!
The National Park Foundation, chartered by Congress in 1967, strengthens
the enduring connection between the American people and their National
For more information, please visit http://www.nationalparks.org.
National Monument, located on Point Loma at the south end of Catalina
Blvd., is open daily from 9a.m. until 5p.m. Public transportation
(#84 bus) is available to the visitor center. For additional information
call 619-557-5450 or TTY 619-222-8211, or visit the Cabrillo NM
web site at http://www.nps.gov/cabr/
RPCV Archival Project
The Project acts in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy Library
to afford the greatest number of former Peace Corps Volunteers
the opportunity to include their stories in the National Archives
and to assure that related memorabilia are preserved as part of
the public record. The Project organizes the taping of oral
history interviews. The Archival Project is endorsed by the
National Peace Corps Association and operates primarily through
You can visit the project online at
Mentoring: SDPCA Ahead of the Pack
Update from Brenda Hahn
The mentor exercise for newly returned RPCV’s (which Anne Baker of NPCA
recently announced -- see NPCA above) we at SDPCA have had in operation for
three to four years.
The Welcome Packet (which
every recently returned RPCV new SDPCA member receives) has an
entire page devoted to listing SDPCA members (about 45) who have
agreed to be career resource mentors for the new RPCV’s
and offer their contact info.
The mentors are listed
by their career fields, since the new RPCV’s told
us this is what they wanted.In addition, the SDPCA satellite coordinator/buddy
of the new RPCV’s residence area is given their contact information
(and vice versa) and the coordinator is asked to contact and welcome
the new RPCV.
If you are a member
who is not yet part of the mentor program and interested in participating,
please contact Brenda Hahn, our New Member Chair.
Corner – July - August
Hello RPCVs! I hope you
are enjoying the San Diego summer and keeping your plates full
of fun activities. I just got back from a trip to Peru and Ecuador,
where the natural beauty and humble cultures gave me a renewed
energy to find future PCVs. I really want to get one of my applicants
to the Amazon basin so I can arrange a long-term visit to the jungle!
fall, for our recruitment in the region we are going to make a
heavy push to get into university classrooms. Among our most successful
outreach tactics is to give short 3-5 minute presentations to students,
usually at the end of a class. You’d be surprised at the number
of students that have never heard of Peace Corps, or didn’t
know that we had job assignments directly related to their interests
(like it or not, we need business majors).
Getting into classrooms
is the tough part. Most professors are pressured to “get
through all the material,” and aren’t willing to sacrifice
class time. Luckily, we have some wonderful RPCV professors at the
San Diego schools that help us out. Of course, there’s plenty
of need to find more Peace Corps friends on campus!
Do you know of any professors at area schools that may be willing
to share a few minutes of their class time so that we can inform
their students about the opportunity of Peace Corps? Still keep in
touch with any of your college professors? If so, please email me
their contact info: email@example.com
Class talks are going
to be especially important for us to keep our number of volunteers
growing. The declining dollar overseas is making our budget very
thin, so we need to maximize opportunities to reach students
at no cost.
Thanks for your help,
and your continued service to Peace Corps!
--Saludos, Jacob Hall, Regional Recruiter, Nicaragua, ’00-‘02, Regional
Recruiter, SD County firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome: New Members
a warm welcome to our newest members, as of November 2007. We’ve
seen some of you at events already, and we want all of you to get
involved in our activities. Let us hear from you!
- Danielle Kehm, Early
Education, Paraguay (2004-2006)
- Alicia Criado, Honduras (2006-2008)
- Mary Dilligan, Azerbaijan (2005-2007)
Garrett, Guatemala (2003-2005)
Waves is published six times a year by the San Diego PeaceCorps Association
which is fully responsible for its content. Except for copyrighted material,
articles may be reprinted without permission with credit to the SDPCA.
are encouraged: e-mailed text file on disk- Mac preferred, or typed copy.
send to Editor, SDPCA, P.O. Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or e-mail:
Don Beck, Lisa Eckl
this issue are:
Clyne, Marti & Ron
Kilby, parents of PCV, Ellen
Kennedy Darrough, Kate