January - February 2010 — Volume 23, Number 1
P O Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196-0565
NOTE: SDPCA email addresses here are not clickable, to prevent
roaming spam-bots from reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Great site for Peace-full things: Check
it out! Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.
One Day In Peace -
Global Family Day -
King Day of Service -
Season For Nonviolence-
Black History Month -
Freedom Day -
Language Day -
Perseverance Day -
Jan 30 - April 4
[*date varies each year]
January 1 --
One Day in Peace
New Year's is the perfect opportunity for those of us who wish for peace on earth to make a resolution to try to do our best to work to create a better world during the coming year. It's also the perfect occasion to hold an event that will spread hope for our shared wish of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. People will be celebrating anyway, and making resolutions about things they want to change about themselves in the coming year. Why not make it celebration with a purpose, and share a resolution that will help unite our local, national and global communities!
This is the very idea behind two January 1 events - One Day In Peace and Global Family Day. A global campaign for One Day In Peace on January 1, 2000 helped inspire a UN Resolution and a joint United States Congressional Resolution, inviting January 1 to be celebrated every year as a day of peace and sharing. If we can live for one day in peace, then we can work together to make peace last, one day at a time.
The day has also come to be known as Global Family Day - a day for peace and sharing. Communities around the world come together for a shared meal on January 1 and talk about how they can help to create a better world. What can you do to help create humanity's first day of peace, ever?
"It may seem sometimes as if a culture of peace does not stand a chance against the culture of war, the culture of violence and the cultures of impunity and intolerance. Peace may indeed be a complex challenge, dependent on action in many fields and even a bit of luck from time to time. It may be a painfully slow process, and fragile and imperfect when it is achieved. But peace is in our hands. We can do it." -- Kofi Annan
"As they used to say 'What if they gave a war and nobody came?' How worthwhile if they declared a day of peace and everybody came." -- Ed Asner
February 1 --
Freedom is the most basic of all human rights, and yet throughout history many individuals and nations have had to struggle to be free. For this reason, the first ten Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the American Constitution to guarantee basic freedoms for our new nation's citizens.
The Bill of Rights was a tremendous milestone in the pursuit of freedom for all, and yet when our nation was founded, not all Americans were allowed to be free. Slavery is the ultimate loss of freedom, and it was nearly another 100 years before Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. National Freedom Day commemorates this momentous occasion on February 1, 1865.
The first article of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the most important starting point for all human rights - "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Much progress has been made in helping to win freedom for all, throughout the world. But even though international law forbids slavery, it still exists in many parts of the world, where women and young girls and boys are trafficked as prostitutes. And even though all nations agreed to uphold basic human rights for their citizens, many people are not allowed these basic liberties. Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the victories for freedom that have been won and to re-dedicate our commitment to work for freedom for all.
World Freedom Day is observed on November 9 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, freeing the people of East Berlin and uniting the German nation. July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day commemorating when the American colonies won their freedom from Great Britain. Most nations were under the rule of another nation at some time in their history, so it isn't surprising that most nations also celebrate the anniversary of the date when they won their freedom.
None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free. -- Pearl S. Buck
"Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..." -- Jimmy Carter
Quotes, Pictures and Descriptions from http://www.betterworldcalendar.com
Still some 2010 Calendars!
We raise funds for ISF project grants by selling Calendars and Entertainment Books. Email Carl at for calendars & T-shirts. -- There are still some Calendars left!
2010 International Calendars
$12 - non-members
$10 - members
$2 ea to mail
Speakers Bureau Report
On October 14th, I spoke at the San Ysidro High School Perspectives Conference. Due to my inability of getting the help of other speakers I undertook the presentations myself. The format was two 45-minute presentations. This was accomplished with the useful help of the Peace Corps presentational video, a collage of my service events, and items of African carvings.
Attention RPCVs! There is a Girl Scout event on Friday January 8th at Park Dale Lane Elementary School. The Program Specialist would prefer a female speaker (male is okay).
(photos from Lennox Miller)
If you are interested in speaking at future events, contact me! email@example.com
–Lennox Miller, Gambia (2003-05), Speakers Chair
Hey SDPCA members! Speak to students at Peace Corps Information Meetings, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, schools and groups throughout San Diego County, and more.
If you have any connections with local school organizations that would like RPCVs to share their stories...
from Peace Corps:
Peace Corps Response
For many of us in the United States, the month of December brings cold weather, icicles, and snowflakes to our midst. In many tropical countries, however, this time of year brings torrential rains, flooding, and mudslides. In the Philippines--a country which receives about 20 typhoons per year--a group of Peace Corps Response Volunteers recently experienced a storm they would never forget. You can read their first-hand accounts in this month’s special edition of Impact.
• Did you know?
There are currently 62 Peace Corps Response Volunteers serving in 11 countries.
• Upcoming Projects
Peace Corps Response hopes to fill these positions in the coming weeks! RPCVs possessing the needed qualifications are encouraged to apply, and all RPCVs are encouraged to see all of our open positions for more opportunities.
MAJOR NEED: RPCVs with a background in community disaster risk management and experience in developing training materials
PROJECT FOCUS: To work as a Disaster Risk Reduction Technical Officer for a local municipality and assist in the preparation of a community-based disaster preparedness training module
MAJOR NEED: RPCVs with a degree in physical therapy and experience working with children with disabilities
PROJECT FOCUS: To work as a Physical Therapist for a rehabilitation center for children with special needs and provide training and support to the physiotherapists
MAJOR NEED: RPCVs with Spanish fluency and experience in community development and strategic planning
PROJECT FOCUS: To work as a Small Business Advisor for a cooperatives association and provide training and instruction for members in project development and management, business planning, and marketing
• Featured Volunteer Stories
THE AFTERMATH OF TYPHOON ONDOY
Stories compiled by Sharon Keld, Philippines
On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) hit Metro Manila, Philippines, bringing a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours and causing flooding not seen in 50 years. Over 80 percent of the city was submerged, with 370,000 people relocated to evacuation centers. Typhoon Pepeng (international name Parma) hit Northern Luzon the following week, causing flooding and landslides and displacing thousands more. Six Peace Corps Response Volunteers in the Metro Manila area--found themselves immersed in disaster response with their host agencies...
To read this and other stories:
• Facts & Figures
From 1987 to 2000, the National Disaster Coordinating Council of the Philippines recorded 523 disasters, an average of 37 disasters annually, with total damages estimated at $3 billion. In the year 2000 alone, there were 259 disaster events noted, affecting 9,078,236 people. The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office has ranked the Philippines as the 11th most disaster prone country among 115 nations.
–More Info/Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
phone: 202.692.2250 fax: 202.692.2251
Peace Corps Headquarters – Attn: PC Response
1111 20th Street NW , Washington, DC 20526
The National Peace Corps Association has an Advocacy program run by Jonathan Pearson. These last few months we have been calling and writing our representatives in Washington to voice our support for a larger Peace Corps budget for 2010. And just this week a $400 million budget was approved. Now that felt good. The other big issue we are following are the global climate negotiations in Copenhagen. As I write this these negotiations continue with much disagreement, protests, and high hopes for success. Every RPVC knows personally that the poorest countries will suffer most from the effects of global warming. But you can make a difference for them. NPCA Advocacy members are voicing our concerns to the government leaders in Copenhagen, advocating for climate justice.
Be part of the solution! Our voice needs to be stronger and louder, so I encourage you to get involved, by emailing Jonathan Pearson at email@example.com.
–from Marjory Clyne, Samoa 1972-74, Past President SDPCA
January 9: Holiday Potluck
When: Saturday, January 9, 2010
5:30 pm -- View animals in adoption gallery
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Social Hour and Potluck
Where: San Diego Humane Society
5500 Gaines Street, SD 92110
Good food, good company, book sale, silent auction, raffle, white elephant, and more!
We are asking that those attending bring a dish to share. Be thinking of your favorite holiday or ethnic dishes. (Photo: 2004 Holiday party)
Potluck Dishes - By first letter of last name, please bring:
G-L: Main Dish
S-Z: Drinks (Wine, Beer or non-alcoholic)
At the SDPCA Annual Holiday Potluck and Party, we will be collecting donations for two nonprofit organizations that provide vital services to two different target populations: refugees and homeless pets.
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
The IRC provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom. Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination. The IRC helps them rebuild their lives. In San Diego IRC resettled 1,300 refugees.
IRC donations: Items can be new or used (in clean, good condition), toiletries (full or hotel size), cleaning supplies, and school items for refugee families settling into San Diego County.
Items most needed:
- dish soap
- laundry detergent
- diapers (any size)
- shampoo and conditioner
- maxi pads
- toilet paper
- dishes, pots and pans (in good condition)
small appliances: clocks, lamps, irons, and rice cooker
San Diego Humane Society
Serving San Diego County since 1880, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA provides vital services to animals and people alike.
San Diego Humane Society donations:
- cat and dog toys
- cat and dog food
- used towels and blankets to keep the animals warm and cozy this winter season until they find a warm home of their own with a new family.
Please RSVP by Jan. 2 to Katie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations contact Jennifer: email@example.com
A Helping Hand - Mano a Mano
From the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s Minnesota Magazine. March-April 2009 Alumni Profile
By Danny LaChance
When Joan Velasquez’s husband, Segundo, first moved to Minnesota from Bolivia in 1969, he was amazed at the amount of perfectly usable goods Americans throw away. A manager of technical operations for an airline at the time, he would return home from work lugging surplus tools, machine parts, and other items that were headed for dumpsters. “It was repulsive to him almost,” she says. “It was always, ‘How could you throw this away? Somebody in Bolivia could use this!’”
Joan (Ph.D. ’79) had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia in the late 1960s, when she met Segundo, and had seen firsthand the devastating effects of the country’s poverty. With 95 percent of rural Bolivians living below the poverty line, the country has the highest rural poverty rate in the world. Ten percent of newborns die in their first year and the average family makes less than $300 annually. Few have access to clean water and health care.
In 1994, when she retired as a social work administrator in Ramsey County, she and Segundo—who was still collecting surplus goods—decided to formalize what he had been doing informally for years. They co-founded Mano a Mano (Hand to Hand), a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that collects and ships discarded but serviceable American goods to Bolivia. Originally, Mano a Mano focused on sending surplus medical equipment.
But the Velasquezes knew their impact would be limited if rural Bolivians did not also have access to health care, so they also began raising funds to build free medical clinics. To date, 94 clinics have been opened, giving more than 700,000 Bolivians health care access for the first time. More than 2.5 million pounds of gurneys, wheel-chairs, and stethoscopes that were otherwise destined for American landfills have also been sent.
Last year, the National Peace Corps Association recognized Joan with the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service (pictured at right). The annual award is named for Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver and recognizes returned Peace Corps volunteers who continue to make contributions to humanity.
Much has changed since Velasquez first walked from door to door as a young volunteer in rural Cochabamba trying to gauge the needs of its residents. Then, she says, villagers would tell her stories of immense hardship and conclude with “si Dios quiere” (roughly translated, “if it be God’s will”). “There was a sense that there’s not much you can do to have an impact on the world or on your life,” she says.
Velasquez believes that programs like the Peace Corps and Mano a Mano have changed that outlook by emphasizing local involvement in everything from planning to building. Last year, rural Bolivians logged 80,000 hours building clinics and completing other community development projects with Mano a Mano’s assistance. And Mano a Mano has expanded into an organization that underwrites the construction of roads, reservoirs, and schools in addition to medical clinics. Si Dios quiere isn’t as prevalent these days, says Velasquez, who continues to co-direct the organization with Segundo. “Once people get that sense of ‘we did this’ then they come back and say, ‘We need to have our children go to school. Can you help us build a school?’”
Below are excerpts from the Mano a Mano International website at http://www.manoamano.org
Mano a Mano has been guided by the simple yet powerful premise that groups of committed volunteers can reach across national boundaries to make a dramatic difference in the lives of others. The power of this premise has been demonstrated by the extent to which the organization’s scope and accomplishments have in such a short time expanded to exceed even our most ambitious dreams.
For many years, one of Mano a Mano’s founders carried small medical donations to his native Bolivia when making yearly visits to his family. Having extensive personal contacts with health care providers there, he could see first-hand the desperate need for these gifts and know how they were used. His contacts with Minnesota hospitals and clinics made it clear that many of them store and then ultimately discard usable supplies, instruments and equipment because they cannot afford to pay staff to sort it for use or resale.
Over the years other interested persons began to assist in this effort to redistribute medical surplus. In October, 1994, that group of volunteers incorporated Mano a Mano (Spanish for Hand to Hand) as a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization and began to dramatically increase the scope of its activity.
The organization’s accomplishments have since grown to include building an infrastructure for health care, education and economic development in Bolivia that is constructed, supported, and ultimately run by Bolivians. Mano a Mano operates through a uniquely effective, largely volunteer network. Its administrative and fundraising costs remain at less than 5%.
Submitted by Marjory Clyne, Samoa 1972-74
I heard about this website on Rick Steve’s travel program on KPBS. It is http://www.couchsurfing.com. Basically, a place to stay, cheap, while traveling. Perfect for the poor ex-Peace Corps volunteer! People have to vouch for you, so it seems pretty safe and fun.
Below are excerpts from the couch surfing website at
What is CouchSurfing?
CouchSurfing is an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals in over 230 countries and territories around the world. Since 2004, members have been using our system to come together for cultural exchange, friendship, and learning experiences. Today, over a million people who might otherwise never meet are able to share hospitality and cultural understanding.
Our mission as an organization is to create inspiring experiences: cross-cultural encounters that are fun, engaging, and illuminating. These experiences take many forms. CouchSurfing’s initial focus was on hosting and ‘surfing’ (staying with a local as a guest in their home). Alongside these core experiences, we now also facilitate a growing array of activities and events.
We have a vision of a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Each CouchSurfing experience shared by our members brings us closer to that vision.
How does CouchSurfing work?
CouchSurfing members share hospitality with one another. These exchanges are a uniquely rich form of cultural interaction. Hosts have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without leaving home. ‘Surfers,’ or travelers, are able to participate in the local life of the places they visit. We also give more people the chance to become travelers, because ‘surfing’ lowers the financial cost of exploration.
The CouchSurfing community continues to expand its horizons. Members are always finding more ways to connect and learn about each other. Every day, people across the world share coffee, camping trips, meetings, language exchanges, discussions and all sorts of other experiences.
Join Us at Community Service Events
Feeding America - SD
When: Tuesday February 2nd
from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: Feeding America-San Diego
9151B Rehco Road, San Diego, CA 92121
What we’ll be doing:
Each month Feeding America-San Diego relies on volunteers to clean, sort, bag and box more than 1,000,000 pounds of food donations that are used to feed San Diego County’s families in need.
Please remember the following:
- Closed-toed shoes are a must (sneakers, work shoes or boots
preferred). No one is permitted in the warehouse in high-heels, open-toed shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
- Wear clothing you don’t mind getting dirty.
- The warehouse is not temperature-controlled – dress accordingly
- No eating or drinking is permitted in the warehouse.
Directions to Distribution Center:
From the 805 Freeway, exit Miramar Rd/La Jolla Village Dr. go East, take a Left Camino Santa Fe, take a Left at Carroll Road, and take a Right at Rehco Rd. Go all the way to the last building on the Right, take a Right into the parking area. We are located at 9151 B Rehco Rd.
From the 15 Freeway, exit Miramar Rd and go West, take a Right at Camino Santa Fe, take a Left at Carroll Rd. and take a Right at Rehco Rd. Go all the way to the last building on the Right, take a Right into the parking area. We are located at 9151 B Rehco Rd.
For more information about Feeding America-San Diego please visit: http://www.feedingamericasd.org
Calling for Volunteers
APRIL 18 - EarthFair San Diego in Balboa Park,
• Volunteers needed in 2-hour shifts from 9:00am
Contact Marjory Clyne at 858.576.9909 or
email her at MarjoryClyne@att.net
JUNE 6 - Rock N’ Roll Marathon Water Station
• Volunteers are needed to help hydrate runners
as they rock n’ run 26.2 miles.
If you have any ideas or input for upcoming volunteer projects, please contact Jennifer Arrowsmith at
Suggestions are more than welcome !
SDPCA at Holiday Bazaar
(above) Carl Sepponen working our table! (photo from Mae Hsu)
SDPCA sold 14 calendars at the December 12th Peace on Earth Bazaar in North Park. An additional $73.50 was raised from book sales. All proceeds will go to the Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund awards for current San Diego PCVs.
(above) Marjory (Samoa 1972-74), Carl (Bolivia 1970-72, Ecuador 1971-72 and 1977-78), and Roger (Dominican Republic 1969-71)
December Social Hour:
Mosaic Wine Bar
Thanks to all who joined us at Mosaic Wine Bar in North Park on December 17th. About 25 were in attendance, with a strong showing of recent RPCVs from Malawi.
There was a diverse crowd, with multi-generational volunteers from Lesotho, Grenada, Tanzania, Ecuador, Tonga and Nepal. It was coincidence that both the most recently returned RPCV (2007-09) and the “wisest” RPCV (1967-69) served in Malawi. It was refreshing to see so many new faces at the Happy Hour event, as well as current and ex-board members. A few prospective volunteers chatted with various RPCVs to get a feel for the Peace Corps experience.
We even sold about 10 calendars to help support the ISF Award funds.
Looking forward to seeing you at the January Happy Hour!
(above-left) Mary (Honduras 2005-07) and Erin (Malawi 2007-09)
(above-right) Tracy (Tanzania 1998-2000) and Jen (Samoa 1998-2000)
(below) Malawi RPCVs - Esther (1967-69), Erin (2007-09), Linda (2007-09), Alex (2007-09), Jenn (2006-08), and Dominic (2006-08). Photos from Mae Hsu.
Develpment in Gardening
Submitted by Gregg Pancoast, Costa Rica (1985-86)
A San Diego RPCV, Steve Bolinger, is co-founder of Development in Gardening (DIG). The organization does good work.Below are excerpts from the website at
DIG is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to improve the health and well-being of HIV-positive and other at-risk individuals in developing nations. We do this by teaching the skills and providing the infrastructure to create sustainable community gardens, thereby empowering people to improve both their nutrition and earning potential.
Through the cultivation of urban vegetable micro-gardens, DIG is able to provide sustainable nutritional support to patients, create income generating opportunities, and offer a safe space for affected individuals to gather, which fosters community strength and empowerment.
DIG’s roots can be found in Senegal, West Africa, where three urban-garden projects have been established and directly impact over 6,000 patients every year. Two sites were placed within the grounds at the Fann Hospital, the first of which feeds the patients of the hospital’s infectious disease ward where over 70% are living with the advanced stages of HIV.
The second garden exists at the CTA Outpatient Center which serves a relatively healthy and functioning HIV community from Senegal and its surrounding countries. This garden along with DIG’s third site in the southern city of Ziguinchor, at the Silence Hospital, are built and maintained by healthy HIV affected populations. Outpatients gain the skills and technical information needed to maintain the sites, replicate them, and serve as urban-gardening educators to their larger communities.
“Every human being is important and all human beings owe something to their fellow inhabitants of this planet.”
-- Wallace Campbell
from the President
2010 – A New Year
2010 – Happy New Year! It’s a new year, new goals, fresh starts, we always promise ourselves to do better this time. This holds true for me too and some of my goals this year are to increase our membership, meet more RPCV’s, and increase attendance at our social and community activities.
It would be great for all of you to meet our board members, I have just know them a few months and think they are really special. We also are getting ready for the big 50th Anniversary. Please join us in celebrating this event; your ideas and input are essential. Let’s hear from San Diego, and more importantly, let Washington D.C. hear from San Diego!
I wish you the best in the year to come and hope to hear from you soon. Call me 619 741-6300, I’m very interested to speak with you.
–Eva Rodriguez, Ecuador 2006-09
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. –Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)
November 11, 2009
Present: Katie Clark, Kristen Slanina, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Lisa Eckl, Mae Hsu, Gregg Pancoast
Absent: Lennox Miller, Eva Rodriguez, Carl Sepponen, Laura Vento
Financial: For this fiscal year (April 2009-October 2009), Gregg reported balances of $3,120.05 in the checking account and $4,164.82 in the savings account. There is a total of $4,953.96 in Unrestricted Assets, $5,034.14 in Restricted Assets for ISF Awards, and $2,000 in Restricted Assets for Community Action, Speaker, and Social (CASS) funds. The bank signature card needs to updated as Gregg is the only current board member on it. The group proposed the following three members to sign: President, Vice President, and Treasurer.
Membership: 84 current members (1 new, 7 free members). 71 are 12 months past due.
Community Action: Lisa and Laura visited the Peace Resource Center and met one of the directors. They think it would be a great place to volunteer, as well as to host events once it is complete.
Fundraising: Calendars, entertainment books, and other books will be sold at the Annual Peace on Earth Bazaar on Dec 12th in North Park.
Social: A dinner at an ethnic restaurant will be scheduled for 2010.
Other: Shane Mathias will be the PC recruiter until mid-December and is then moving to San Diego.
December 9, 2009
Present: Jennifer Arrowsmith, Lisa Eckl, Mae Hsu, Lennox Miller, Eva Rodriguez, Carl Sepponen
Absent: Laura Vento, Katie Clark, Kristen Slanina, Gregg Pancoast Guest: Marjory Clyne
President’s Report: Marjory Clyne will chair the 50th Peace Corps Anniversary Planning Committee. There was discussion about NPCA Advocacy emails and ways that SDPCA can participate (both as an organization or through its members). Eva will contact the Peace House to see if we can arrange community action events every other month.
Eva will cold-call members and invite them to participate in SDPCA events.
Membership: 83 current members (0 new, 7 free members). 72 are 12 months past due
Community Action: The January event will be combined with the Holiday Party to benefit the International Rescue Committee and the Humane Society.
ISF-Global Awards: 1) PCV Jessica Robertson was consolidated and will possibly be evacuated from Niger. Funding will be held until we hear more news. 2. A PCV from Botswana just submitted an application and it is currently under review. 3) Three other PCVs have been in contact with Laura and plan on applying.
Speaker’s Bureau: There is a Girl Scout event on Friday January 8, 2010 at Park Dale Lane Elementary School. The Program Specialist would prefer to have a female speaker.
-Mae Hsu, Tonga (2001-03) Secretary SDPCA
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 (articles, letters, photos, etc.) welcomed! Easiest if already a text or Word file on disk, Mac or PC -- BUT typed copy is fine too. Photos: 300-600 dpi best, Mac or PC formats welcomed.
Please send to NewsEditor, SDPCA, P.O.Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or email to:
this issue are:
Lennox Miller, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Greg Pancoast, Danny LaChance, Marjory Clyne, Carl Sepponen, Mae Hsu, Katie Clark,