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September - October 2010 — Volume 23, Number 5

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

Index: click on your choice...
Sept-Oct International Peace Days

from NPCA: Education, Advocacy and more...
from PC:
50th Anniversary Activities

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

Tonner ISF Grant Award: Datanlí Latrine, Nicaragua
Looking Back at Laterite
Board Positions Still Open Our Third Goal
President's Message Potpourri
Tentative Coming Social Events Recrutier's Corner
Newsletter Credits

SDPCA.org emails may not be working for several weeks

NOTE: SDPCA email addresses here are not clickable, to prevent
roaming spam-bots from reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience

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International Peace Days:
Sept and Oct 2010
Great site for Peace-full things: 
Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.

Labor Day -
Literacy Day - Interdependence Day - Citizenship Day -
Peace Day -
Family Day -

Older Persons Day - Vegetarian Day -
World Habitat Day - Animals Day -
Disaster Reduction Day - Conflict Resolution Day - End Hunger Day -
End Poverty Day - Democracy Day -
Media Reform Day -
UN Day -
Disarmament Week - UNICEF Day -

* Date changes

September 7*
September 8
September 12
September 17
September 21
September 26

October 1
October 1
October 5*
October 4
October 14*
October 15*
October 16
October 17
October 18
October 18
October 24
October 24-30
October 31

each year

September 21 -- Peace Day
Peace is an ongoing process that requires our constant attention, but we begin to make our lives more peaceful the moment we decide to try to be peacemakers. When we convince the world to make working for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world our priority, we will create a culture of peace, and living peacefully will become the most natural way to live.

The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, is a celebration of our shared wish for a better world. It is an opportunity to look at the things that have been done over the year to help create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world, and to note the things that still need to be done. It's a time to rededicate our commitment to a more peaceful planet.

Peace Day is also an opportunity to spread hope for our wish to live in a world without war. All of the nations of the world agreed to the United Nations' call to create a global ceasefire on Peace Day. You can help create humanity's first day of peace. If we can live in peace for one day, we can learn to work together to create a peaceful world, one day at a time.

...Any definition of a culture of peace must address the problem of achieving justice for communities and individuals who do not have the means to compete or cope without structured assistance and compassionate help. -- Mahnaz Afkhami

"We want peace on earth! -- Robert Alan

October 16 -- End Hunger Day
More than 850 million people in the world are hungry, and as many as 35 million of them are Americans! Worldwide, some estimate that 40 million people die each year because of hunger and diseases related to malnutrition -- and many of them are children!

There is more than enough food in the world so that no one need ever go hungry. Those who wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world are helping to make ending world hunger a major priority. In fact, all of the world's leaders agreed to cut the number of starving people in half by the year 2015 as the first priority of the Millennium Development Goals.

World Food Day / End Hunger Day is an opportunity for the global community to unite in an effort to help raise awareness about the global problem of hunger. World Food Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1980 to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945 (resolution 35/70). The official goal of the day is to "heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty."

There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry. -- Ed Asner

School feeding notonly fills stomachs, but has a proven track record of boosting enrollment, attendance and academic performance. For just pennies a day per child, this program changes lives – and ultimately can impact the futures of poor countries around the world in a profound way. -- Drew Barrymore

Quotes, Pictures and Descriptions from

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from NPCA

New Online Lesson from the Choices Program

The Haitian Revolution Today, this is a free, online lesson for The Haitian Revolution that uses art, music, and literature to consider how Haitians today think about the Revolution.

This lesson is part of the curriculum unit The Haitian Revolution.The Haitian Revolution explores the development of the American colonial world and one of the greatest wealth-producing colonies in world history. Students consider the different groups involved in the conflict, draw connections between events in Europe and the Americas, and reflect on the legacies of the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world. Get the Free Lesson The Haitian Revolution at:

Announcing 2011-2012 Fulbright Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

From the Academy for Educational Development: http://www.aed.org/
Learn more about unique professional development opportunities with two Fulbright programs that are designed for K-12 teachers from the United States and other countries: The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program and The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program.

These two Fulbright programs are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and they are managed by The Academy of Educational Development (AED) under a cooperative agreement.

Visit our website at http://www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org for program details, requirements, benefits, and application forms.
--from Gobal ED News, August 17, 2010

2010 Advocacy Priorities

Global Volunteerism

Advocacy to promote expanded Peace Corps service and advance other initiatives to increase other global volunteer opportunities. Working with the growing Service World Coalition to advance this priority.

Third Goal of Peace Corps

Advocacy to educate, promote and increase activities related to the 3rd goal of the Peace Corps mission (“Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans”). We are currently hard at work to pass legislation to authorize a Peace Corps commemorative in Washington, DC, marking the unique and lasting historical significance of the Peace Corps and exposing millions of visitors to the ideals and values of Peace Corps service.

Universal Basic Education

Working with key coalition partners, we are engaging our community to support policies which promote and advance access to quality basic education for all citizens around the world. This includes advocacy in support of the Education for All Act.
--from Advocacy News, July 6, 2010

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from PC

50th PC Anniversary Events Locally in San Diego

Greetings!  As you may or may not know, Peace Corps is approaching its 50th anniversary, and the Peace Corps Los Angeles Regional Office and San Diego Peace Corps Association (SDPCA) are busy planning many local events to commemorate this momentous year.  You are part of the legacy and we want you to be involved and need your help!
Stay tuned for more details, but here is a brief snapshot and a few dates to save in year to come:

  • Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 7 – 8:30pm
    RPCV Panel, moderated by Dr. Dee Aker
    Joan B. Kroc, Institute for Peace & Justice, USD
    Light refreshments to follow
  • Sunday, January 16, 2011
    Martin Luther King Day March
    Together with SDPCA
  • March – April 2011
    Special events at UCSD and SDSU
  • Saturday, June 11, 2011
    Cultural Festival
    Houses of Hospitality, Balboa Park
  • July 2011
    Community Service Day
    In collaboration with Project Concern

You are invited to join us in planning these events!  Contact the SDPCA 50th Annversary Committee Chair Marjory Clyne by email marjoryclyne@att.net or 858-576-9909. 

We enthusiastically welcome your creativity and support.

Connecting and Sharing

Additionally, we are looking for RPCV artists (whether you consider yourself one or not) who are willing to contribute their work/artifacts/photographs from their PC service for display at a cultural exhibit.  If you are interested in contributing, please contact me at alung@peacecorps.gov and include your:

Country & Years of Service,
Mailing address
Art type (photograph/artifact/painting/etc.)

For more information about the 50th Anniversary, please visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/50

For information about the local San Diego Peace Corps Association, please visit http://edweb.sdsu.edu/sdpca, respond to contact on opening page or contact SDPCA at SDPCA.info@yahoo.com to be placed on their mailing list. 

Please contact me with any questions; I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks in advance for helping to share the Peace Corps story!
--Amber Lung, PC Receruiter-LA, alung@peacecorps.gov

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You Say Goodbye
and I say Hello

My name is Elisabeth Robles. I’m from Oceanside and I’m going to Peace Corps: Ukraine! I recently accepted an invitation to serve as a volunteer in the secondary education TEFL program, leaving September 17th.

My name is Courtney Taylor. Originally from La Mesa, I am now a RPCV who served as a TEFL Volunteer in Ukraine from October 2007-December 2009.

With just a few short weeks left in the States my preparations for service are progressing rapidly. There is much to do prior to leaving but my goal has been to remain relaxed and calm during this process and to spend as much time as possible at the beach! Although I am very eager to travel to Kyiv and start training, spending time with friends, family and enjoying all things San Diego while I still can are also important. Since accepting my invitation I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions, at times preparations can be intimidating or overwhelming, while other times I’m completely free of worry and wish I were leaving sooner. It has been good practice for balancing the array of feelings and emotions that will undoubtedly arise during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer.

When I had just a few short weeks left in Ukraine my preparations for returning to the U.S. also progressed rapidly. Comparable to my frantic process of packing for Peace Corps in September 2007, packing to come home was abominable. Months prior to my COS date I had made a mental packing plan. However, as the weeks dwindled I spent my time with friends, my new Ukrainian family, and enjoying all things unique to Volodymyr-Volynskiy. I wouldn’t typically call myself a procrastinator, but I realized that when I ran for the 11:55pm train to Kiev one last time, my identity would no longer be largely defined as a PCV. This was tough to swallow, and again I had an array of feelings that defined my emotional state during service.

The greatest challenge in preparing for Ukraine has been packing and planning for different weather. As a San Diego native I’m not accustomed to extreme climates but I am keeping my expectations open and I’m excited to experience changing seasons and snow at Christmas. Learning Ukrainian has also been difficult. It is like nothing I have ever studied, however I’ve heard great things about the Peace Corps Ukraine staff and the in-country language-training volunteers receive; I think I’ll be in good hands.

The greatest challenge in preparing to leave Ukraine was deciding what to do next. A lot of my goals seemed long-term, and with my host country national husband immigrating shortly after I returned home, I knew Grad School and a full-time position were not in the cards for my first few months home. We moved in with my parents and began establishing a life for ourselves in the States. Now, over half a year back in my initial home, life seems stable. We’ve recently established career paths, moved into an adorable cottage, bought a car, and can attest to the fact that happiness is achieved through the accomplishment of small goals.

We both anticipate that the next two years, whether in Ukraine or San Diego, will be a thrilling adventure, filled with as many challenges as there will be rewards. While we are a little nervous about what those challenges may be, and whether we can overcome them, we think that’s the nature of Peace Corps and life in general. We like that the variables to our success are the ability to adapt to the unknown, and the importance in allowing your self to be changed and influenced.

Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing summer!
--Elisabeth Robles, PCV, and Courtney Taylor RPCV

We hope Elisabeth and Courtney will both share with us their further experiences as PCV and RPCV. -Ed.


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Tonner ISF Grant Award

Datanlí Latrine, $500
PCV Kara West, Nicaragua

Description of community: 
Datanlí is a rural farming community belonging to the municipality of Jinotega in the northern region of Nicaragua.  This region receives a lot a rain in a season that lasts 7 months. Primary income is made in agriculture which leaves many of the approximately 1000 citizens without a steady job and dependent on the seasons and markets.  Datanlí is largely impoverished where the majority of its citizens live with no indoor plumbing or running water, dirt floors, and in many cases plastic roofs and no electricity.

Volunteer’s primary assignment:
As a Peace Corps volunteer my primary assignment here is as an agricultural extentionist with an emphasis on food security.  However, as a volunteer, I feel my responsibility is to assist the community in realizing its needs and goals whether these pertain to agriculture or not.  Some of my on-going and successful projects here include: community banks, a school computer lab, a youth group, two women’s groups -- one produces natural medicines, and the second makes purses and accessories from recycled plastics found in the community, additionally I work with individual families in re-forestation, and family gardens.

Project proposal:
Community member and leader Eva Mayvec came to me to see if there was a possibility of doing a project that would provide latrines for 10 families, 60 individuals in total.  These 10 families are amongst the poorest in the community and live in sub-standard conditions.  Their only choice to relieve themselves is amongst the bushes and/or weeds near their homes.  For some, there is no privacy from their neighbors and they will often wait until the late hours of the night to relieve themselves.  The young children are not as modest and have at times defecated inside their own homes.  I myself was present in the home of a community member when I saw a child urinating in the corner of their own kitchen. 

These are great health concerns.  The spread of disease is commonplace here; amoebas, parasites, and bacterial infections are ever present.  Walking around my community one can easily find human fecal matter; in fact, I have to be wary of my own dog finding and eating feces.  Animals such as pigs and chickens that are also known to eat human feces run free as the custom of fencing in your animals does not exist.  Therefore, it is very likely that these animals are spreading human feces, along with the bacteria and parasites, around areas where adults and children will come into contact with it; such as gardens, wells and rivers, and even homes.  With the proper use of latrines these problems can be greatly reduced.  These 60 individuals and the community of Datanlí as a whole will greatly benefit from these latrines, enabling them to live in a more hygienic and safe environment while at the same time promoting better health standards.
--from Kris Slanina, Cameroon (1995-98)

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Looking Back at Laterite

Ed.: With prompting from Kris Slanina we have the following from a a former PC physician. “I’m Milt Kogan, M.D., an old Peace Corps Physician, who has recently semi-retired to a farm in the Oceanside area. Obviously, I’m new to the area and had not thought much of Peace Corps lately, but I’ve just spoken to Kris Slanina about a book I’ve written of the earlier years of Peace Corps when I was a doc for the then Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Niger in West Africa.  She said I should write a small piece about my book, Diary Of The Ouagadougou Doc, which is a collection of excerpts from a diary written while serving as a Peace Corps Physician with the United States Peace Corps in Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso).” miltonkogan@aol.com

Diary of the Ouagadougou Doc:
A Peace Corps Experience

by Milt Kogan, M.D.

Pub: AuthorHouse -- May 2010
ISBN: 1452003408
$11.99 paperback (Amazon.com)

Unbelievable! Over 40 years since my sandals were covered in the red laterite dust of West Africa. My knees are rusty now, as is my French; and my More, the local language of Burkina Faso – it was Upper Volta then - has shrunk to a few remembered greetings. Naturally, those early Peace Corps memories burn brightly often and I realize easily that our almost experimental experience changed my character inexorably , but the nagging question still remains. Did I return anything to that country - that in the end did so much for me? Was our service worth anything to Africans?

Certainly, looking back, I didn’t demonstratively enhance much or change life around for those less fortunate – Burkina Faso continues among the poorest countries on the planet. But, I did put in my time with caring and concern and if anyone mentioned West Africa at any time, I constantly remained a fervent admirer and supporter. But, did I do anything?

I was sent by Peace Corps as a physician to care for the about 70 volunteers who were in country at that time. I served the volunteers as best I could; I created health programs that I know continue in-country to this day. I brought a young wife and two babies with me, one only 2 ½ years old and one just 6 weeks old, and we stood in Ouagadougou for years as a symbol that life there could be warm and excitingly experienced; though West Africa was full of health fears for new recruits – after all, it was once labeled “White Man’s Grave” – all could see that even the Kogan babies were handling it.

So maybe, I didn’t do enough despite my fullest effort, but perhaps I lent support to others who did more and I’m proud of that. In fact, I’ve written a book about our time there. It’s titled Diary Of The Ouagadougou Doc, newly published by AuthorHouse and available on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. The story supports why Peace Corps remains one of America’s finest forces for good in this world..for us..and for Africans.
--Milt Kogan, M.D., Burkina Faso (Upper Volta),1969-72
email: miltonkogan@aol.com

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Board Positions Still Open

Speakers Bureau
This position seeks an exciting community outreach specialist. Coordinate with Peace Corps to fulfill requests for speakers in the community. The Chair of the Speakers Bureau is contacted by public groups to arrange RPCV speakers.

Take notes at the monthly board/leader meetings and distribute notes to the board/leaders.

Coordinate newsletter content, published six times a year. Gather and edit articles, event write-ups, etc. Proof read once layout (done by someone else) is complete. Having a computer (PC or Mac) and Internet access is essential to doing this task easily.

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Our Third Goal

Peace Corps encourages all returned Volunteers to help achieve our Third Goal, helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans, by engaging in one or more of the following Peace Corps initiatives during Peace Corps Week (March 1-7, 2011) and throughout the year:

Peace Corps Digital Library
Peace Corps invites all current and returned Volunteers to share a story and photos from your PC service. Help us collect stories and photos from each country where PC has served, and from each decade of Peace Corps history.

Speakers Match
The Speakers Match program can help you share your Peace Corps experience in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges in your community.

Local Recruiting Events
As a returned Volunteer, you are our best resource for recruiting the next generation of Peace Corps Volunteers. Share your Peace Corps experience with potential Peace Corps Volunteers through one of our local recruiting efforts.

Third Goal Resources
Peace Corps has developed a variety of materials to help you share your Peace Corps experience in your community.

We receive requests from various organizations for speakers and want to expand our list of former PCVs who can help. Please let us know if you are available. Of course you are encouraged to get out and speak about your PC volunteer experience to groups on your own too.
--Sarah Fuhrmann, Guatemala (2007-09)

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We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. -- Will Rogers

from the President

A Standout Year

Lots of news this month, a new board with GREAT people. Everyone is easy to contact and very approachable. We still have a few openings, come join us -- we still need to fill the Newseditor position and head our Speakers Bureau. Contact me for details, this will be a great year for opportunities and networking

Wow! The 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.
This is a great accomplishment, something we should all be proud of. I would like to take this time to invite ALL Returning Peace Corps Volunteers, its nominees and invitees to participate in assisting to make this a dynamic celebration. In this newletter are the projected dates and events we have scheduled.

Please be sure to contact us if you want to be included in (or just wish to attend) the events. We want to make Washington take notice!

You can use the link on the opening page of our website to sign up for 50th Anniversary events and or SDPCA Events.

Please feel free to call or email me or any board member with your suggestions. Let’s make the 50th Anniversary a San Diego Standout.

Also this year we will be holding several new events to include hikes, camping, dinners and more. If you have any new ideas for events please let us know. The more people we get involved the more we will have to offer.

Please feel free to contact me with whatever questions, suggestions and feedback you may have. I look forward to hearing from you and even more to meeting more of you.
–Eva Rodriguez, Ecuador (2006-09)

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Board Minutes

Board Meeting July 27, 2010

Present were Eva Rodriguez, Kristen Slanina, Gregg Pancoast, Brenda Terry-Hahn, Sarah Fuhrmann, Carl Sepponen and guest Marjory Clyne.

  • Majory discussed plans for the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary in and around San Diego; four major events are being planed – at UCSD, USD, SDSU, and the Martin Luther King Birthday Parade.
  • Brenda described the “welcome packet” she previously sent to new members. Everyone agreed it is valuable. Brenda and Carl will work on updating the packet and have it ready to send to new members.
  • Sarah described the many social events upcoming.
  • Still need someone to do Speakers Bureau.
  • Kris announced an ISF award for $506 for a latrine project in Nicaragua. She is checking if Western Union or Moneygram is better to send money abroad.
  • Carl has calendars for sale and the Entertainment Books will arrive next month.
  • Still need a Newletter Editor.

Next meeting at Gregg’s house on August 10th

Board Meeting August 10, 2010

Present were Carl Sepponen, Sarah Fuhrmann, Courtney Taylor, Eva Rodriguez, Celeste Coleman, Sharon Kennedy, and Gregg Pancoast. Amber Lung, the San Diego Regional Recruiter, and Don Beck, the SDPCA webmaster, were guests.

  • Discussion regarding a new website. At present the web addresses for the Board members do not function; this should be resolved soon. The Board decided to form a group for Board members on the PC Connect website to facilitate Board communication.
  • The newsletter position is not yet filled. We need someone to help with this function. Carl will edit the upcoming September issue.
  • Carl reported that Brenda Hahn is updating the new member packet with a focus on recently returned PCVs in the San Diego area.
  • Discussion on how to reach PCVs in the field to let them know about the ISF awards that SDPCA gives to fund volunteer/community projects.
  • Reviewed Social Calendar (see page 4). Highlight September 25 as Day at Mission Bay with drinks and hot dogs. Eva may bring kayaks.
  • Community Action calendar reviewed.
    Look for evite announcements.
  • Fundraising will sell calendars and entertainment books again this year.

Next meeting September 14 at Sharon Kennedy’s house in La Mesa.
--Sharon Kennedy, Thailand (1989-91)
--filling in

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“Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service... All works of love are works of peace.” – Mother Teresa

Tentative Coming Social Events

All ideas welcome as well as help in organizing each event. Please contact Sarah Fuhrmann to join in planning and making it happen!

  • November 6 -- Camping Trip -- with Inland Empire PC group
  • November 18 -- SDPCA 50th Anniversary at Univ. of San Diego
  • December 5 -- Annual Holiday Gathering

PC Comprehensive Report - June 2010

The report released in June is online at SDPCA site if you would like to download and read it. It is a .pdf file, about 3.6 MG.
http://sdpca.org/PC.Comprehensive.Assessment.pdfeace Corps

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Recruiter’s Corner

A big year in San Diego!

With an increase in applicants, a search for even more, and big 50th Anniversary celebrations being planned, your help is needed!

Info Sessions & Socials

Come to an information session or Social Hour and share a little about your service!  It’s always nice to give prospective applicants a snapshot of many different experiences.  These days, info sessions are filled with upwards of 30 and 40 people, and sometimes more.  With many questions, it’s helpful to have RPCV’s around.  I will also be holding more Social Hours and inviting current applicants and nominees to SDPCA Happy Hours.  To find local San Diego events, click on the link above and please email me for more information – alung@peacecorps.gov.

50th Anniversary

I’m sure the 50th Anniversary of Peace Corps is being mentioned in other parts of the Newsletter, but this is my plug as well.  Please get involved in the planning and reach out to other RPCV’s you know in the area who are not active with the SDPCA.

Update your contact information

Have you moved since you last updated your contact information with Peace Corps?

Please update your contact information (mailing address, phone number, or email) by going to http://www.peacecorps.gov/rpcv and click “stay connected.”  Encourage other RPCV’s you know to do the same!

I look forward to getting to know more of you this year and appreciate all of your help and support in the last six months.

–Amber Lung, PC LA Regional Recruiter
Contact me at: alung@peacecorps.gov or 310-356-1102

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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 (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:

Carl Sepponen, Acting Editor

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck

Contributors this issue are:
Celeste Colman, Kris Slanina, Sharon Kennedy, Sarah Fuhrmann, Amber Lung, Kirsten Radewagen, Eva Rodriguez, Elisabeth Robles, PCV, Courtney Taylor, Carl Seponnen, Milt Kogan


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