- February 2007— Volume 20, Number 1
NOTE: SDCA email addresses here are no longer clickable to prevent roaming
spam servers reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience- 9/05
Card to SDPCA...
to all. We are marking two months for Noah today and wanted to wish
you all the best in 2007. Noah is doing well, just visited the doctor
and we were told he is close to 12 pounds and 23 inches in length.
Clearly growing fast with those Tongan genes
cannot believe that only a month remains until I return to work.
Soni is excited that his month off is only a month away. We are
looking forward to our bay area visit January 22-29th.
is cooing, smiling and doing his best to control his head. Here
is a photo from two months exactly. It is also a photo of the family
in front of our first Molimoli family Christmas tree.
to you all.
Elizabeth, Soni and Noah
Brown (Tonga 2001-2003) was editor of Pacific Waves 2004 - 2006.
Happy New Year to you three too! You remind us of the best in all
of us!! -ed]
your Continued Support
In recent years, generous grants
and other support allowed the National Peace Corps Association to revive
its advocacy program. Not long ago, Dave Hibbard, a past member of NPCA
Board and long-time advocacy leader sent us this message:
“Never in my memory
have we had such a sustained advocacy effort as what you have put together.”
This sustained advocacy effort
produced these accomplishments:
- Legislative Victories - Chief among them our successful
removal of Peace Corps references in a military recruitment program
- Support for Peace Corps Funding - Including a three-fold
jump in Representatives and Senators signing letters supporting a higher
level of funding
- Expanded Advocacy Options - Including resources
and action opportunities on trade justice, climate change, HIV/AIDS
and international development
- Capitol Hill Advocacy Day 2006 - Nearly 100 RPCVs
held 90 meetings with lawmakers on Peace Corps funding and trade justice
- Reaching Out to You - Advocacy staff visited 19
states and conducted more than 50 trainings and meetings with the Peace
We want to continue building
on these accomplishments. But we need your support to make sure that our
program continues without interruption.
If you are pleased with the
accomplishments of the NPCA advocacy program, please give generously.Visit
their website at http://www.npcaonline.org/npcassa.
Equally important, we welcome
your comments on how to further strengthen NPCA advocacy program. Please
contact firstname.lastname@example.org and share
With best wishes and appreciation
for your support,
Kevin F. F. Quigley
President, National Peace Corps Association
New PC Director Welcomed
by Moroccans and Volunteers
First Overseas Visit
D.C., November 15, 2006
– Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter traveled to the Kingdom of
Morocco from November 9-13—his first official trip—to meet
with Peace Corps Volunteers and government officials. Tschetter, the 17th
director of the Peace Corps, was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India from
1966-68 with his wife, Nancy, who accompanied him in Morocco.
Shortly after his arrival in
Morocco, Director Tschetter met with Peace Corps Volunteers serving in
a variety of programs in the four sectors of environment, youth development,
health, and small business development.
His first visit was to Lindsay
Kurlak, of Pittsburgh, who is working with a women’s artisan association
in a village near Marrakech, helping them to develop more marketable textile
products, a computer training program, and better business skills.
Lindsay Kurlak and Director Tschetter
stand in front of an embroidered cloth hanging, representing the work
of the women’s textile association.
In a meeting with Director
Tschetter, Atika Ait Nejjar, the president of the women’s artisan
association, and Kurlak’s local counterpart, said, “I want
to thank the Peace Corps for its help with the artisan community. Lindsay
has touched our lives and expanded our opportunities.”
Director Tschetter also visited
second year environment Volunteer Carly Edwards, of Fenton, Mich., at
her site. Edwards is serving as a liaison between the park staff and the
local people to assist with sustainable natural resource-based economic
development projects. During a nature walk around the lake, Edwards showed
Director Tschetter how she monitors regional bird species and works to
promote eco-tourism and environmental education practices. Edwards also
is involved with numerous secondary projects focusing on empowering girls
and women in Morocco.
Director Tschetter visited
another small business development Volunteer, Nam LaMore, who has over
15 years of Silicon Valley, Calif., marketing experience.
LaMore is providing training
to woodworking artisans to improve their sales profit and explore new
markets for their cedar wood goods
Nam LaMore and a local artisan show a carving from the wood working cooperative.
“Nam is a great example of how relevant Peace Corps’ three
goals remain after 45 years,” said Director Tschetter. “Nam
has brought his training and unique background to the woodworkers and
has integrated into the community. Not only is Nam creating a better understanding
of Americans here in Morocco, but he has a deep appreciation of Moroccans
that he will bring back to the United States to share.”
U.S. Ambassador Thomas Riley,
a strong supporter of the Peace Corps, hosted Director Tschetter at a
reception honoring the Peace Corps, attended by many of Morocco’s
government officials, including the Minister of Health.
“I am very impressed
and pleased with the warm welcome of the Moroccan people, and the tremendous
work of the Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco. The Peace Corps Volunteers
are all serving at the grassroots level, providing valuable skills and
forming strong friendships with the Moroccan people,” said Director
Later, Director Tschetter visited
Tia Tucker, a youth development Volunteer from Sulfur, La. Tucker is teaching
English and developing youth programs in a mid-Atlas Mountain community
vocational school for girls.
Tucker observed how eager the young women in her community are to learn
English and experience American culture through her creative instruction
of film, handicraft projects, and the choreography of hip-hop dance.
Tschetter participates in Volunteer Tia Tucker’s English class
In addition to meeting current
Volunteers, Director Tschetter met many of the 54 Peace Corps trainees
in Morocco, who will be sworn-in shortly. The trainees include several
married couples, including one couple who will bring significant experience
to their work as Peace Corps small business development Volunteers.
Since 1963, more than 3,800
Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Morocco, one of the three Muslim
Arab countries in which Peace Corps operates. Today, there are 139 Peace
Corps Volunteers serving in Morocco. Currently, 20 percent of all Peace
Corps Volunteers are serving in predominately Muslim countries.
photos from eace Corps Website:
Director Tschetter discusses the Peace Corps program
in Jordan with His Majesty King Abdullah II and Her Majesty Queen Rania
Director Visits Jordan
As part of his first overseas
trip, Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter arrived in Amman on a five-day
official visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and met His Majesty
King Abdullah II and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. Director Tschetter
also met U.S. Ambassador David Hale, and spent much of his time in Jordan
meeting with government officials, and visiting with Peace Corps Volunteers
around the country.
The Jordanian government and
communities are strong supporters of the service that Peace Corps Volunteers
provide for their country.
In his meeting with King Abdullah, Director Tschetter said, “I am
here to thank you and the Jordanian people for the strong support of Peace
Corps Volunteers. The Peace Corps looks forward to continuing our friendship
with your country and expanding the program in Jordan in the near future.”
More than 300 Peace Corps Volunteers
have served in Jordan, since the Hashemite Kingdom invited the Peace Corps
in 1997. Currently 53 Peace Corps Volunteers are living and working in
Jordan’s rural communities, in the areas of youth development, teaching
English as a foreign language, and participating in special education
programs designed for the physically and mentally challenged.
–Text and photo taken
from Peace Corps Website: http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.media.press.view&news_id=1165
RPCV Returns to Ravaged Congo
KAMPONDE, Congo (AP), 25
and weary from 100 miles down a rutted dirt road, I was grateful when
signs of the village finally appeared: the sour smell of manioc root,
smoke from brush fires set to scatter the snakes, thatched roofs backlit
by the setting salmon sun.
Beth Duff-Brown and her former Peace Corps cook, Tshinyama Mwananzoi,
left, share lunch with other family members and friends in Kamponde, Congo.
I waved at barefoot children;
some of their faces froze in fear at seeing their first white woman. Women
in soiled sarongs, buckets of water or bundles of sweet-potato leaves
on their heads, bolted into the bush when the grinding gears of the 4x4
I saw no familiar faces. I
was not surprised. The average life span here is 50 years, and I had been
gone a long time. Would anyone know that I had kept my promise to return?
Since my last visit, civil
war had devastated the Congo. It wasn’t a war over ideology or religion
or tribal hatreds. It was a war over which warlord would get to exploit
the country’s vast mineral wealth. It was about power and greed.
Kamponde had escaped the fighting,
but there was no escaping the disease and privation that it caused. Nearly
4 million had died, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II.
Even today, 1,200 Congolese
die daily from the indirect effects of the war. How many, I wondered,
have been from this village of 5,000 — from my village?
I first arrived on their mud-hut
doorsteps in 1979, a freckle-faced Peace Corps volunteer come to teach
their children English. It was here in Kamponde that I first felt the
heady rushes of teaching a class and of dancing around a fire. It was
here that I prayed for rain so I could wash my long hair. I discovered
the simple pleasure of sitting alone, and walked behind mothers carrying
babies to their graves.
In 1981, when my two-year tour
was over, the Peace Corps shut down the post in Kamponde because of spreading
corruption and chaos.
The Peace Corps never came back, but in 1996 I did, renewing ties with
the people who’d looked after me when I was just a girl.
They were amazed to see me
then, but sad to learn I had no children of my own. Children are a symbol
of hope and the measure of prosperity here. As we said our goodbyes, the
people of Kamponde promised to call on their gods to bless me with child.
I was back again, fearing the worst but hoping to find a few familiar
faces—hoping there was someone who once knew me left to look at
pictures of Caitlin, my blue-eyed little girl. Someone I could thank for
The face I most longed for
was that of Tshinyama Mwananzoi, the sweet man who cooked for the Peace
Corps volunteers. I could still picture him wiping his hands on an apron
fashioned from an old flour sack, his amber eyes red-rimmed from the hot
coals that boiled his pili-pili pepper sauce and baked his sweet banana
bread. But he would have been well past the average life span by now.
Moments after I arrived, the
village priest gazed into the darkening sky and said the cook who had
worked for the foreigners had passed.
Then where was his grave, I demanded to know, with a bitterness that caught
both of us by surprise.
Elizabeth?” villagers murmured wonderingly. They were gathering
about me by the wooden doors of the red brick church as the moon rose
above the mango trees. There is no electricity here and few can afford
kerosene for their lamps, so the stars shone brighter than any I had seen
in many years.
Joseph, barefoot and trembling
in his threadbare white shirt, was the first familiar face to emerge from
the shadows. And there was Joseph’s neighbor, Placide, and their
elderly wives, too.
“I thank God for inspiring
you to come back, remembering the place where you once taught our children,”
Years ago, Joseph’s and
Placide’s children had peppered me with questions, letting me practice
my Tshiluba, the Bantu dialect spoken here: How does the sun stay up in
the sky? Is it true Americans have magic boxes that carry them from one
floor to the next? Was your president really just a peanut farmer like
Those children were grown men
and women now — those who had survived. One in five children here
die before age 5.
Ten years ago, people had too
much dignity to ask me flat out for money, for food, for the shoes on
my feet. Now, such demands exhausted me by the end of each day.
Nearby, the classrooms where
I once taught were a deathly quiet. Later, I sat at one of the wooden
desks where someone had carved sweetheart initials slashed by an arrow.
A gentle breeze came off the savanna through windows that had not seen
glass in years.
The school’s electrical
power and running water are now just a memory. The cafeteria had burned
down and the dormitories had been boarded up. But when I closed my eyes,
I could still hear the wolfish laughter of my first class of rowdy 12th
They had frightened and infuriated
me by making smooching sounds when I turned to the board, but won me back
by respectfully averting their eyes when a gust blew open my wraparound
Now, most of the students were
out in the fields, their backs bent as they planted peanuts, corn, manioc
and beans before the rainy season set in. The teachers, who had not been
paid in two months, were on strike.
Yes, it was unfair, the headmaster
shrugged, but sacks of government currency needed to pay them had not
arrived. It couldn’t come by train because the railroad was on strike.
It wasn’t coming by road because few commercial vehicles are moving
now. Not with the country’s infrastructure in shambles after the
long war. Not with the price of gasoline fluctuating as high as $15 a
gallon. When the payroll comes, it probably will be by bicycle.
Marceline Kanyi Mushimbi, 43,
and Kamulombo Mutongo, 46, lamented their status as unpaid teachers. Once,
they had been among my favorite students. She was shy but determined to
graduate as one of a handful of girls alongside hundreds of boys. He would
jump off his bench with a radiant grin to pick the pronoun or fill in
the verb. A married couple now, they work the fields to feed their eight
“We are intellectuals,
but our hands are all torn up from machetes, hoes and working under the
sun,” Kanyi said. “The villagers mock us: `Look at you, the
smart ones who went to school.’”
years ago, Marie Kabuanga Mutanga was a beautiful young woman who charmed
me into giving her some clothes and lipstick.
Now 28, she lay on a rattan
mat on the dirt floor of her hut, a tin cup with plastic rosary beads
and a twig of bougainvillea beside her balding head. She was too weak
to speak, but her hands plucked at the mat. Her bones poked painfully
into the hard ground.
A parasite, insisted her mother,
one of the village prostitutes; but Sister Kapinga Clementine, the Catholic
nun who works in the village maternity clinic, said Marie was dying from
the “four-letter word.”
It’s a word no one here
likes to say out loud. And yet, AIDS is not Kamponde’s greatest
killer. More die of malaria, of parasites, of tuberculosis, of colds that
turn into pneumonia for lack of medicine.
With little moving by road
or rail, there’s no way to hitch a ride to the nearest hospital,
100 miles away. “Sometimes we try to take them by bicycle,”
Sister Clementine said, “and some of them just die on the way.”
Some medicines find their way
here, but few can afford them. At the village’s small pharmacy,
I saw a man pay 58 cents for a five-day supply of quinine for his malaria-infected
8-year-old daughter. That’s double the daily income for the average
Marie’s eyes, made larger
by her hollowed cheeks, pleaded silently. There was little I could do
for her. It brought back the helplessness I have often experienced here
-- the feeling of being useless, of raising hopes that will not be met.
At the village’s one
small shop, I order a foam pad to make her last days a bit more comfortable.
The shopkeeper dispatched a kid on a two-day bicycle journey to fetch
it from another village 45 miles away.
Later, before I left Kamponde,
another pretty young woman who cooks and cleans at the Catholic mission
sweetly asked me for some lipstick.
Hutu woman was stick-thin, with wild hair. She and her husband had fled
into the bush when I first arrived in the village.
They were refugees from the
genocide in neighboring Rwanda, where Hutus and Tutsis had slaughtered
one another in vast numbers in the mid 1990s. Thousands of Hutus had fled
to the Congo, pursued by Tutsis and a Congolese warlord allied with them.
Many were killed along the way. This couple, somehow, had made it to Kamponde.
She ran from me, Anatazi Mukaluzita
now told me, because she feared I had come to drag her back to Rwanda.
Her husband was still hiding, she said, but “I told him, ‘We
are already dead, so I might as well just talk to her.’”
She wept with relief when,
through a Swahili-speaking interpreter, I told her I only wanted to hear
her story. She wasn’t sure how she and her husband made it this
far, she said. She didn’t know the fate of her six children. But
she was grateful that the village had taken them in, allowing them to
work the fields in exchange for food.
Later, some villagers told
me the Hutu couple was forced to work like slaves.
one night, a man bicycled by moonlight for miles to catch me before bed.
I could not see him in the dark, but heard others greet him as he approached.
I tried not to cry as I listened to the elders asking him about his hunts,
his grandchildren, the village where he now lives.
He came toward me from the
shadows; we embraced awkwardly, a middle-aged American woman and an old
African hunter with a dark beard -- two people who never thought they
would see each other again.
“Ahh-ahh-ahh, Miss Elizabeth, I can’t believe it, you kept
your promise,” Tshinyama said in his singsongy voice.
The village priest had confused
him with another cook who had died several years ago. That made Tshinyama
furious. It was bad luck, he said, to talk of his death.
After I left Kamponde in 1981,
I had arranged for Tshinyama to move to Kananga and cook at the regional
Peace Corps house there. The job lasted until 1991, when the Peace Corps
abandoned the country altogether because of the rioting and violence.
Tshinyama walked home and intended
to go back to his fields. But, he explained, other family members had
taken over his crops. So he packed up his brood and, at age 45, moved
to Mfuamba Kabang, some four miles southeast of Kamponde, to start a new
life. By now, his Marie had given birth to 12 children, but had lost at
Later, someone would tell me
Tshinyama left Kamponde because he feared a spell had been cast against
his family, causing their babies to die.
We asked each other many questions
about friends and family, joked about who had put on the most weight,
grown the most gray hair.
“Maybe you can never
forget me,” Tshinyama said, “because your belly was always
returned from the forest balancing jugs of palm wine on sticks across
their shoulders. Cooks boiled manioc and corn flower to make hot mounds
of sticky bread known as fou-fou. A fat black goat was led toward the
big black cauldrons behind the church.
My party for the village cost
$100 -- double what I spent on a similar affair 10 years ago. Everything
costs more now, and people have less money. The per capita income in the
Congo is lower today than it was when the country broke from Belgium colonialism
46 years ago.
As bamboo xylophones and goatskin
drums warmed up the crowd, the men laughed and guzzled wine and corn whiskey.
The women danced, and I got up to join them, provoking pursed smiles from
the nuns and cheers from others.
The men are mostly uneducated
farmers, but well-informed from hours of pressing their ears to transistor
radios. They had just voted in the country’s first multiparty elections
in 40 years, but were unconvinced that either candidate could rise above
warlord status and bring the stability they all craved.
As the night wore on, I stood
before the crowd -- a few hundred by now -- and thanked them for all they
had given me. I told them I would return again, if I could, and bring
Caitlin with me.
The women sashayed to the words
of a new song: An Elizabeth tree grew deep roots in their village. Its
seed, little Caitlin, had fallen far from this ground but remains the
fruit of Kamponde.
my last day, I set off on foot through the savanna to the village of a
few dozen square huts that Tshinyama now called home. I was apparently
the first foreigner ever to visit there.
Tshinyama’s home was
decorated with antelope antlers. A few yellowing magazine ads of Western
food on gleaming plates were tacked to his whitewashed mud walls.
We sat inside, eating with
our hands, as he showed off his homemade rifle. I gave Marie some Indian
cloth. I didn’t know if she could see the bright paisley patterns
through her glaucoma-clouded eyes. I left Tshinyama enough cash for a
new bicycle and a cellular phone. There’s now a weak signal in Kamponde,
and some clever types were making money selling phone calls.
We both knew that even if I
make it back to Kamponde someday, it is unlikely we will ever meet again.
“Washala bimpe, tatu,”
I choked, as we grasped hands to say goodbye. “Stay well, father.”
“Wayi bimpe, mamu”
-- “Go well, mother.”
RPCV Naturalist Leaves Corporate
Job to Snap Photos of Falcons: He’s Taking His Shot
By Marcia Manna, San Diego
Union-Tribune, November 8, 2006
Once he was a high-tech headhunter
who wore designer suits and traveled the world.
Today, Will Sooter’s
cell phone is at the bottom of the ocean, he almost never wears shoes,
and he considers his office to be the stretch of sand that snakes between
the Pacific Ocean and Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Sooter, 56, tracks and photographs
Photo by Sooter
Every day he’s on the
beach, squinting into binoculars for hours at a time. Park rangers and
lifeguards offer a familiar wave as he passes.
After four years, his constant presence has built a reputation, one that
draws what he calls the “falcon paparazzi.” Locals know –
if you find Sooter, chances are you’ll see a peregrine falcon.
When Sooter was 14 he was a
falconer, and he worked with a hawk that taught him to appreciate the
superior flying and hunting abilities of birds of prey.
Peregrine falcons are especially
desirable in falconry. With large, yellow-rimmed eyes, a striped breast
and slate plumage, the birds are among the world’s fastest creatures.
They are capable of reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour when
“stooping,” or divebombing, toward their prey. Falcons eat
other birds, which they capture in mid-air with razor-sharp talons. Bridges
and cliffs are a favorite nesting spot because of the vantage point to
a food source.
Photo by KC Alfred/Union Tribune
In the 1960s, peregrine falcons
were nearly extinct due to pesticide exposure. Restoration efforts by
organizations such as The Peregrine Fund in Idaho and the Santa Cruz Predatory
Bird Research Group helped to remove falcons from the federal endangered
species list by 1999.
When Sooter spots the birds
at Torrey Pines, he drops his binoculars and, with the dexterity of one
who has repeated the motion hundreds of times, switches to a large black
camera. Two peregrine falcons that Sooter has named Stretch and Xena live
on the cliffs that loom above the coast, just past the reserve entrance.
“See all the scars on
me?” Sooter asked, looking down at his tanned and weathered legs.
“That’s from chasing
birds. I ran into those logs over there full speed. I landed, did a roll
and kept running. I didn’t notice the blood and cuts until later,
and that’s the way it is every day. I get beat up.”
But the thrill of photographing
falcons, Sooter said, justifies leaving behind his corporate life of travel
“I went from caviar and
champagne to fava beans and beer,” Sooter said. “All for the
pursuit of what I want to do.”
Sooter, a Solana Beach resident,
hopes to increase awareness about preserving natural habitats by sharing
his photographs, many of which are sold on his Web site, http://www.sharpeyesonline.com.
For more than 20 years, though,
picture-taking was a peripheral pleasure while Sooter withstood the highs
and lows of working in two disparate industries.
With a degree in natural resources
management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Sooter joined the Peace Corps
and served in the Philippines before becoming a marine technician for
the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Photo by KC Alfred/Union Tribune
Ambition drove him to graduate
from school, and while studying data communications, Sooter worked for
a telecommunications startup and then for Amp Inc., a Fortune 500 company.
“For the next 10 years,
I ended up getting a very good education in all the latest technologies,
from digital voice compression to fiber and electro-optics,” Sooter
“I had some great jobs.
Then we went into the end of the Reagan era and a recession. I had a one-day
notice and the job was gone.”
Luckily, Sooter’s sister
had a cabin in Idaho, where he retreated, broke and stunned. He worked
at a fish hatchery for Idaho Fish and Game before taking a job as a senior
biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Can you imagine being
in high-tech and going back to working for the government? I stayed one
year. I’m a risk-taker, and I moved back to Southern California
in the early 1990s.”
Sooter borrowed against a credit
card to launch W.J. Sooter Associates, an independent retained-executive
search company for wireless communications companies.
By 2002, Sooter had earned
enough to retire and spend his days pursuing and photographing birds of
Scott Francis, a field research
coordinator for the University of California Santa Cruz Predatory Bird
Research Group, related to Sooter’s devotion to peregrine falcons.
Francis lives in Oceanside
and met Sooter through mutual friends who had seen his images. Both men
participated in the university’s 2006 peregrine falcon nesting survey.
Francis said that working with falcons can mean countless hours of tracking
and little reward.
One of those rewards, though,
was the day Sooter discovered two baby falcons near Black’s Beach.
He called Francis, who drove to the site and banded the fledglings.
“Will lives meagerly,”
Francis said. “He’s a guy who has given up on corporations
and the rat race and he’s done what he wants to do. In my opinion,
his priorities are in the right place because he advocates for environmental
awareness, and his photography is fabulous.”
-Text and pictures taken
from an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "He’s Taking
His Shot," by Marcia Manna, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 8,
to the Editor
Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), described below, is appropriate
to discuss and clarify issues about a topic that has currently been
bantered about without the dignity and clear consideration it deserves.
I would invite
all SDPCA members to consider supporting this position.
Don Beck, (Bolivia
Is A Moral Issue
Statement of Conscience of the National Religious Campaign
violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions
hold dear. It degrades everyone involved—policy-makers,
perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation’s
most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and
inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.
less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul
of our nation. What does it signify if torture is condemned
in word but allowed in deed?
America abolish torture now -- without exceptions.
endorse this statement, sign on at:
Global Awards Chair
monthly Board Meeting on first Wednesday of each month from 6:30pm
Request for Proposal forms for two funding cycles each year and
forward to Peace Corps Washington and Country Directors for distribution
proposals from PCVs and distribute to committee for review.
review scores and comments; make funding recommendation to Board
with Chief Financial Officer to distribute funds.
with the exception of monthly Board Meeting attendance, are completed
Nikol Shaw at if
you are interested.
Trip in October...
See What You Missed?
In the fall our SDPCA group
camped out together at Paso Picacho in the local mountains. A better campfire
was never had!
Picture a huge circled blaze
(kept going by our friendly alpha-male firebug), good tales of Peace Corps
service, friendly blues jamming a la Dylan (good voices, too!), excellent
conversations, and the fellowship of RPCVs and our tolerant family and
friends. The day included energetic hiking with deer, sunset on the peaks,
foot-long pine cones, stellar views, woodpeckers….
Photo by Kate McDevitt
And, of course, a feast: homemade
escalloped potatoes, homemade banana cake, mac and cheese, pasta salad,
rotisserie chicken, assiago cheese bread, roasted foot-long doggers with
horseradish no less, fire-baked Yukons with all the trimmings, homemade
chili, potato salad, coleslaw, and various drinks including Korbel, apricot
beer, and real Texas German beer. Top that with bedtime s’mores
and Kate’s darling rendition of professional personality typing
(wish I had taped it!). We had such a great time together!
Many thanks to Caterer Kate
for all the work to pull this off and provide the basics, and of course
to each gourmand! See ya next time!
Tom, Kate, Mike, Dena, Rudy,
Hank, Bev, Lisa R., Robin, Catherine, Jay, Lisa M., Brenda and Bear Angus
MacDuff [List does not refer to picture above]
Jaay is Wolof for “sells for ten” or
“Dime Store” - but it is actually a section of the open market
where used clothing from America are piled onto tables, roughly by size.
We found Chargers apparel, Kearny High shirts (Bill Clabby’s alma
mater), and various inappropriate slogans being bought and worn by muslim
–Joan Clabby (Senegal 1985-87)
means “It serves you right!” –but it’s so much
more satisfying to just spit out Gat!
It is one Diola word my kids know well.
–Joan Clabby (Senegal 1985-87)
ao le aoauli.
Samoan has a lot of vowels. I always liked the sentence: “Ua
ao le aoauli “ which means “It’s a cloudy
–Jonathan Kahn (Samoa 1984)
sure how it was spelled.) This was something said for a minor injury,
an “Ow!” in English. Always thought it was more colorful than
“Ow!” and I sometimes still use it. Not sure if this is Spanish
–Don Beck (Bolivia 1967-69)
- What was your favorite word
in your host language?
- What does it mean, and why
is it your fave?
- Is it the way the word sounds
(there are some fun tongue-twizzlers and ear-ticklers out there), a
common word you used all the time that just “brings you back”,
or something that really represents the culture?
- Or is it a word for which
there is just no good English word?
Send answers to:
your best words each newsletter!
–Joan Clabby, Senegal (1985-87), Editor
act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract
sentiment in the world.
Radcliffe, Mysteries of Udolpho (c.1794)
As I write this, I have just
returned home after spending a wonderful afternoon at the Annual Holiday
Potluck with so many of you and our friends and family. The turnout this
year was wonderful, and I enjoyed seeing many friendly faces from past
events, as well as some new faces. We also welcomed a very nice group
of Nominees and Invitees, and I was pleased to see so many of you having
a delightful time answering their questions and sharing your experiences.
I know it is sometimes rare to find those individuals whose eyes do not
glaze over after five minutes of Peace Corps stories, so we RPCVs have
to take advantage of the opportunity! Sharing stories and experiences
is also a wonderful way to meet the Third Goal, as well as encourage others
to think about the experiences they will have pursuing the First and Second
I also want to thank all of
you who donated school supplies for children in Tijuana. The generosity
was fabulous, and I hope that generosity and spirit of giving to others
will continue throughout the New Year. Sometimes we forget that the simplest
things have much larger impacts for not only individuals, but for our
global community as well.
Many wishes for peace in the
Shaw, Mauritania (1999-01)
Board Meetings November-December 2006
Lynn Jarrett, Gregg Pancoast, Sharon Darrough, Nikol Shaw, and Sira Perez
in attendance. November minutes missing.
- Holiday Potluck - Sunday at 1 pm. Committee members are planning to
be there early to help set up. Schedule: Greeting (Nikol) at 1:15 and
invite everyone to eat. Then announcements. Lynne would like to bring
up the membership costs at the event. Marjory will sell t-shirts. Nikol
will introduce everyone. Lynn will make her announcements - then Sira,
Kate, Lisa, Marjory, etc. Board members should plan to stay and help clean
up. Lisa will bring photos from Rudy to display. Rudy will be there on
Sunday and perhaps he can talk about 1WOW. Kate will bring her stereo
Action - January 5th - Film about the PCV at UCSD.
Bureau - Sira - general information meeting today and Lennex
Miller (Zambia) spoke and at the last one, Lisa and Sira spoke. There
is a request for a male RPCV to speak at the Boy Scouts. Some names were
Report - Gregg handed out financial report. In November, calendar
sales were $444, E-Books sales were near $2,000, and there were some t-shirts
sales, too. Good job Marjory! YTD $600 profit. Still have more $ coming
from various fundraising projects. $20 was received from the parents of
Mark Tonner to the ISF fund.
- Lynn - Current 116, 15 are free, 71 are NPCA, and past due for 6 months
is 31. Regarding the new annual renewal system, we will never have everyone
on the exact calendar year as there will always be people who are joining
in the middle of the year. If someone is past due, SDPCA should ask the
person to pay the past due amount but if the person is reluctant, let
them start where they are. Don sent an e-mail saying that pro-rating is
likely to be a mess. There was a short discussion about the transition
from the current system to the new system. This will be the most painful
part and then everyone will get used to it. Holiday party is a good chance
for people to learn about the new system and start paying.
- Sharon will continue to monitor the voice mail. Newsletter deadline
- Marjory - T-shirts, calendars, and Entertainment Books will be at the
Holiday party. She doesn’t think we will sell as many E-Books as
in the past year. They still have lots of discounts but not the high-end
restaurants and they aren’t selling as well. Marjory will try to
finish up asap to get the bonus by turning in the remaining books early.
Have sold close 100 books so far. Last year we sold 200. The women’s
T-shirts are selling well. We may have to find other methods to raise
money. The raffle at events is a good way to raise some cash.
- Nikol, Lisa, Sira, and Lynn will review. Nikol will send them out this
Friday. Nikol has received two proposals - both from Honduras. The reviewers
will try to read and comment on the proposals within one week. Next proposal
deadline is for March.
- January 10th (NOTE: 2nd Monday this month), 6:30 pm,
at Marjory’s House - 4969 Paguera Court, San Diego, CA 92124
Thailand (1989-91), Secretary
must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind...War will exist
until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same
reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” -- John F.
SDPCA T-Shirts Available
What a great way to celebrate your years of service and your involvement
with our local Peace Corps group!
I have ordered more T-shirts, this time in baby blue with a dark blue
logo. And now we have a ladies fitted style too! They are nice!! Sizes
are medium, large, & xlarge for men, and small, medium, large, and
xlarge for women. The price is the same, $15 each. “Viewing”
is by appointment. Email your order to .
You’re going to love these, I guarantee it!!
–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972-74), Fundraising Chair.
Support current Peace Corps volunteers from San Diego by purchasing the
2007 Calendars. All profits from calendars and shirts go into our International
Support Fund to help these volunteers with in-countryprojects.
International 2007 Calendars
are available from Marjory at $10 each, or $12 if you want them mailed.
––Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa, (1972-74) Fundraising
From the PC Palate...
Lai Thai Restaurant
1430 E. Plaza Boulevard #E10,
National City, 619-474-5546.
Just west of 805 in the Big
Lots shopping center. Open lunch and dinner daily (Tue-Sun 11:00 am-9:00
pm, Fri 11:00 am-9:30 pm, Sat11:00 am-9:00 pm). Inexpensive to moderate.
Lai Thai has gained
a respected place in its neighborhood under the gracious Summawadee Bubpha.
Prices are reasonable, yet the food comes on such beautiful platters and
with gracious, attentive service. One excellent recommendation to observe
is the ongoing patronage of the Thai community, regularly seen at tables
large and small.
The soups, tom kah
(spicy coconut), and tom yum (hot and sour), are especially good,
as is the house Lai Thai Fish (usually tilapia) in delicious
panang coconut-curry sauce. Other curries and the BBQ chicken are equally
delicious, as is the large steak platter. Spiciness is adjustable from
1 to 10. Lunch deals are especially reasonable. Be sure to note the Thai
art on the walls, some for sale, and the homages to the Royal Family.
If you spent your Peace Corps
years in southeast Asia, and have the occasional whim of nostalgia, re-immerse
yourself in the culture of Thailand in an area largely populated by Southeast
–Brenda Terry-Hahn (Nepal 1964-66) & Ellen Shively (Eritrea
Donate to a School or Group...
Recycling Your Computer
Ask around; someone you know
may want your old computer. A charity can refurbish your machine and give
it to someone in need.
Charities won’t take
any old computer. The machine should be able to run modern software. If
your machine is less than four years old, it will be usable. Working machines
are obviously preferred.
To find the proper organization
is key, contact the National Cristina Foundation which has affiliates
in all 50 states. It accepts Macs and PCs alike. http://www.cristina.org
Share the Technology allows
you to list computers for donation, or find an organization in your area.
UsedComputer.com lists companies
that will recycle old computers and electronics. http://www.usedcomputer.com
-Ellen Shively (Eritrea
SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members. 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!
- David Andrew
Threats, Jamaica (2004-2006); Associate Project Manager—ODPEM
Lindholm, Albania (2004-2006); TEFL,
Castillo, Paraguay (2004-2006); Educator
- Robb Hill,
Cameroon, (2004-2006); Agroforestry
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, Lynn Jarrett
this issue are:
Nikol Shaw, Brenda Terry-Hahn, Marjory Clyne, Marcia Manna, Lisa
Rivera, Elizabeth Brown, Don Beck, Sharon Kennedy Darrough, Kevin Quigley,
Lisa Rivera, Sira Perez, Kate McDevitt, Ellen Shively, Joan Clabby, Lynn
Jarrett, Jonathan Kahn