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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter

July - August 2002 -- Volume 15, Number 4


Cultural Cuisine Cohort Forming!

E-Vite Needs Your E-Mail

Our Support for New PC Legislation Is Urged

Among the Paipai (continued)

From the President

Minutes of the Board

PC Newsbytes

In Memoriam: Susan Aronson

Gaddi Vasquez Visits So.Calif. RPCVs

Of Concern to Us Now!

Petition: PC 4th Goal

Letter to the Editor

Host Country Updates

Member-to-Member

Potpourri

Welcome Justin!

New Members

PC Palate: Karinya Thai & Vegetarian

Newsletter Credits


Editor
newseditor@sdpca.org

Cultural Cuisine Cohort Forming!

Do you like sharing a variety of cultural foods? The Social Committee is looking for RPCVs who would like to share their recipes and cooking talent with other RPCVs.

Initially, we are looking for persons from two geographic areas: West Africa and Southeast Asia/Asia. This could be a fun time to get together and sample foods from other countries and talk about food experiences.

If this works well, we will continue with other areas of the world. If you'd like to participate in the preparation, please contact our Social Chair, Gail Souare, at social@sdpca.org

--Gail Souare, Mali (1991-93)
 

Social E-vite Notices Need Your E-mail!

As Social Chair I have set up an evite account to notify members of special events as well as late-arriving updates on scheduled events.

If members have not given SDPCA their e-mail address and want to be included on the list, please send your e-mail IMMEDIATELY to BOTH:

We're hoping to improve communications and keep you updated on important events.

--Gail Souare, Mali (1991-93)


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From RPCV & SDPCA Leaders...

Our Support for New PC Legislation Is Urged

Dave Hibbard and Roger Landrum, Nigeria (1961-63) are leading an effort to pass newly drafted Legislation for the Peace Corps. Hibbard is an M.D. practicing in Boulder, Colorado, and a constituent of Congressman Udall, as well as a former Peace Corps Physician in India. Landrum is a former president of the NPCA and RPCV/Washington, and a key figure in the passage of the National and Community Service Acts of 1990 and 1993 (establishing AmeriCorps). SDPCA as an organization has endorsed the spirit of the legislation, but it needs individual endorsements.

Hibbard and Landrum ask you to join a coalition now, in support of the proposed new Peace Corps legislation that, in addition to strengthening the Peace Corps, provides huge new opportunities for RPCVs and RPCV groups! To be effective such an endorsement will need to include your name, address, phone number, and country and years of service.

Both Hibbard and Landrum are active members of the NPCA and have worked closely with the offices of Senator Dodd and Congressmen Udall and Farr in drafting this legislation, as well as consulting extensively with the NPCA leadership and an Advisory Group of RPCVs.

We Board Members of SDPCA urge you to read the draft legislation, determine your feelings about it and contact Dave Hibbard with your response. To view the legislation, go to www.peacecorpsonline.org and click on the button for the new legislation. You will need to download it onto your computer. If you don't have a computer (or a friend with one), you can access it through your local library. Hibbard can be reached at 303-604-5049; leave a message, he will call back, or email him at cdhibbard@indra.com.

You can also read Landrum and Hibbard's interview with Representative Sam Farr where they raise the questions that have been posted by RPCVs on their Message Boards, and read op-ed pieces by RPCVs commenting on the legislation. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of the Peace Corps. For this go to: http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1007930.html?1021931934

Basically, the legislation:

  1. Establishes a 4th Peace Corps goal "to help promote global acceptance of the principles of international peace and peaceful coexistence among peoples of diverse cultures and systems of government." (This aids RPCVs whose focus is international and who have been working on projects such as those of Liberian RPCVs trying to end the civil war in Liberia, or Ethiopian RPCVs working to settle the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea)
  2. Provides a fund of $10 million per year to be used by RPCVs "to develop programs and projects to promote the 3rd and 4th goals of the Peace Corps." (Now we would have significant, renewable funding for important programs and projects both in this country and in the countries in which we served.)
  3. Calls on the Peace Corps Director to more fully utilize RPCVs in opening and reopening Peace Corps countries.
  4. Keeps PC independent from the USA Freedom Corps.
  5. Calls for a very carefully thought out and safe expansion of PCV numbers.
  6. Calls for an expanded Crisis Corps.
  7. Calls for the creation of an Office of Strategic Planning, to bring imagination and creativity to guide the long term planning of the Peace Corps.
  8. Calls for a National Peace Corps Advisory Council composed entirely of RPCVs, which the PC Director would be required, by law, to consult regularly.
  9. Includes a global infectious disease initiative.

For the record, the SDPCA Board voted to support the spirit of the legislation in view of the highlights above. This does NOT give the legislation the individual endorsements from you members it needs to be presented in Congress.

The Case for Peace Corps Independence

In addition, Peace Corps Online has an op-ed piece by former Peace Corps Deputy Director David Searles: "For Peace Corps veterans the Bush administration's plan to consolidate several volunteer programs into a new office of volunteer activity named the USA Freedom Corps calls to mind the well-worn responses of 'been there, done that,' and 'deja vu all over again'" writes former Deputy Director Searles in this exclusive op-ed piece on previous attempts to merge the Peace Corps at:

--Editor


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Among the Paipai

(continued from last issue, a journey to a Native American Paipai village in North Central Baja)

Campfire conversations and Steve's instructional talks provided a brief history of the Spanish interactions in this area: Dominican missionary priests had entered the area during the Spanish Conquest and conscripted Paipai labor in the all-too-usual way; under their mandate, a mission within walking distance of our small community originally named Mission Santa Catalina had been built in 1798 of large local pink basalt-igneous (volcanic) rocks. In 1822 Mexico gained independence from Spain. In 1840 one of the local Paipai clans organized, revolted and destroyed the mission, killing all the priests. Today there is nothing left of the mission except the building footprint. The pink rock was repossessed, symbolic of lives reclaimed, shared among the Paipai families and now can be seen throughout the community in retaining walls, buildings, and gardens. Across the way the Paipai cemetery holds above ground family remains covered with similarly mixed rocks; the ground is too hard for grave digging.

But back to the campsite. After a miserable, cold, sleepless night due to an air mattress problem, I was bolted alert by soft rain at 5:30; we had left things outside under the clear night, and some needed rescuing. Up and dressed in the cold predawn anyway, I quietly made coffee, with comfortable soft snores all around, and later treated some in my group to coffee in their sleeping bags, highly touted.

After breakfast our day began by Steve forming small class groups of five or six, each of which would study with one teacher in her studio. My vanpool group remained together and would study with Tirza Castro Flores, except for Linda, the ceramist, who had studied with Tirza several times and wanted to study with her mother, Margarita Castro. Another group would study with Daria.

Tirza Flores Cruz lives with her husband, Cruz, and some of her daughters and granddaughters in a grouping of tiny huts on the main road through the community. Our class was held in a room which doubled as a bedroom in one of the tiny huts and was nearest the firing pit. We all squeezed in around a rustic table with our balls of clay and Paipai clay tools: a polishing rock, a wooden paddle, and a small sombrero-shaped clay tool called an anvil in English, a hongo in Spanish. Chickens, goats, horses and dogs often poked their heads in the door as we worked; the small and brave came in to see. Off to the side was a rustic shelf with Tirza's current pots for sale. Some tiny ones made by her children sat in front. Children wandered in and out, often carrying infants or toddlers.

Tirza showed us, by demonstrating and speaking through Diana, our interpreter, to make a large thick pancake shape from our balls of clay. Then we formed the pancake around the outside bottoms of inverted small ollas she had already fired and wrapped with knit-fabric rags for this purpose. As we smoothed the pancake around the bottoms, she showed us how to form them and to use our paddles gently patting to shape the clay around the pots. Then she ordered us to take a break so the clay could dry a bit. We had many questions which we asked through Diana, too many for answers, sometimes. After our break, Tirza showed us how to carefully remove our bowl shape from the fabric-covered olla; thus we had the bottom-beginnings of our own ollas!


Tirza demonstrates the use of the paddle

The next step was to form large coils out of clay, attach them to the top rim edges of our olla bottoms, and smooth them into the pot shape first with our fingers, then we used the paddles on the outside, with the clay supported inside by either our fingers or the sombrero tool. Coil by coil we added to our pots until we reached a point of decision: with what shape to finish it? Tirza offered her own pots as examples and left the choice to us. I, the experienced potter of the group, called Potato Chip Woman by a previous teacher due to the fatal (but mostly successful) thinness of my pots, again made this mistake and had to be rescued several times by Tirza. Others showed genuine talent in their ability to produce artful lines in the clay shapes.

On one break from potting, Tirza showed us how she processed the "raw" clay: she took small clumps of dry, very hard earth, broke and ground it on a metate with very hard poundings of a mortar, just as grinding corn but more difficult, then sifted it through four layers of fine screening. The result was about 1.5 cups of dry earth from about two gallons of clumps, not much payoff for such hard work.


Tirza demonstrates clay grinding on the metate.

I found the differences between this technique and that of my indigenous pueblo and Apache instructors was in the use of the paddle and hongo as well as of hands, the use of the olla's outside bottom as opposed to the inside of a basket or bowl, the size of coils added (Paipai coils are much larger) and the lack of decoration outside. All these potters burnish with rocks; but the pueblo and Apache spend much more time burnishing, achieving a glazed effect. After our pots reached another stage of critical mass, Tirza had us set them to dry outside. We took a break for lunch down the road on a local rocky outcropping knoll used for seed grinding by the ancient Paipai women, Tirza's great-great-grandmothers.

During this day of potting, a locally known hotrodder sped through the hamlet and hit--not one, but two--of Tirza's roosters who were pecking out by the road. We were all saddened, as Tirza had mentioned how much her animals meant to the family, and wondered what community consequences would pursue the known-repeated offender. Turns out, nothing. And because of the family relationship with the roosters, they were not eaten, but set aside for an unknown fate, in spite of endemic hunger among the families.

Returning, we finished the necks of our pots, some with tall necks and some with low wide mouths. More drying, and then we finished for the day to take a "plant walk" in the dusk with Josephina Ochurte , the community curandera and Tirza's mother-in-law, with whom Steve had arranged a medicinal plant lecture and walk. All our pots except one had survived. We would return the next morning early for "firing," the baking of the clay pots in heat, in this case an outdoor "pit fire."

Josephina is in her 80s and considered an elder and leader as well as a healer. Steve told us that she could still gallop up the mountains for plants like a goat. Until last year she was also one of the pottery teachers; she had reportedly now given up potting due to arthritis in her hands and arms and a broken wrist in October which apparently had had no medical treatment, but later in conversations with individuals she indicated she was still potting and a few pots were in evidence, protruding wrist bones which were poorly healed notwithstanding.

She did indeed gallop up and down the high desert sage scrub, leading us with her knowledge of plants, their names, where they grew, their uses, and how to prepare them for specific medicinal use. Later around the fire Steve would tell us a "miracle story" about Josephina's cure of an large acute skin problem on his neck with running sores and blisters that baffled all his doctors. It had continued for some time and through his date to lead a group to the Paipai community, and when Josephine saw it, she offered to "fix it." She used a specific plant and showed Steve and a friend how to use it on his neck. Later she took over the treatment as the friend was not using the plant aggressively enough in the required rubbing. Steve said he "saw stars and almost passed out" in the pain the treatment produced but continued, sustained by faith in Josephina; very shortly the skin began healing, in 24 hours was remarkably better, and soon after was completely healed.

Returning to camp for the night, my group found our site ravaged! Food and utensils were thrown about, trash and food was scattered and partially consumed. Suggested culprits included crows, coyotes and donkeys, but no miscreant manifested itself in the evidence. After cleanup, dinner was again cooked in the dusk and this time my group had a gourmet feast envied by all, composed of chicken, veggies butter-broiled over the coals, fresh tortillas, green peas with onions, salsa and wine. This night, Steve warned, would be colder because it was so clear, and he was right: it was freezing, and everything was covered by ice the next morning.

After breakfast and breaking camp, we returned to our teacher's houses to fire our pots. Tirza showed us how to lay the fire of dried, thick yucca stalks in a shallow wide hole about one foot deep at the base of a tall rock outcropping behind her house. Again we had many questions, too many for all to be answered. Then she laid the pots on their sides on top of the stalks, then more yucca on top of the pots. She placed some fibers for kindling at the front, and lit them. Soon the pile was engulfed in flame. Both Apache and pueblo potters use pit firing, but the pueblo and Apache use hard and soft woods as well as animal droppings, in various mixtures, depending on individual and tribal preference, and either a deeper pit and/or a bigger pile of fuel.

No fuel was added during this firing, nor was the fire started gradually to preheat the pots, as during pueblo and Apache firings. We watched the flames, talked to Tirza, and waited. Some went to talk to Cruz, the horses, the grandchildren, the chickens, the dogs. Others went to "spy" on the group across the road with Margarita. Later, the fire was gone, and when the time arrived, Tirza carefully fished the pots out with a long stick. All survived the firing and were colored beautifully with the requisite multicolored burn marks indicating random reduction (lack of oxygen) at that spot in the fire.

After the firing, Steve caravanned all of us to the "quarry," the ancient riverbank source of clay used in the pots. This was part of our instruction and would allow us to help replace the clay used in the classes. Our group stayed and hardy ones dug with a pickax and shovel in turns to fill several bags with extremely hard dirt from the deposits! Then back to the hamlet. Goodbyes were said and gifts were left with teachers, especially by those with long-term relationships: both new and used clothing, food (much needed for survival) and special personal items.

This morning, two days home, for breakfast I splurged and had two of the dozen eggs I bought from Tirza with bacon and tortillas. Three were small and blue from her free-range hens, like those of the small south American breed (distant cousins to Tirza's?). Delicious.

--Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-66), Editor

You are encouraged to gather unused clothing and household goods for the Paipai which can be taken down by those in contact with them. Those who wish more information in order to support the Paipai may contact Dr. Steve Bouscaren <stevebouscaren@mindspring.com> or 619-388-3260. (mention my name and the Spring '02 pottery workshop). [Photos by author]


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You can't shake hands with a clenched fist. --Indira Gandhi

From the President...

Great News!

Another year (and Annual Meeting) has come and gone. A new Board of Directors is in place--- we have all nine members and the beginning of a committee structure. This is great news and we are enthusiastic about the year to come!

We know many of you want to participate (but reluctant to serve on the board). So, call any Board Chairs at the left (Social, International Support Fund, Community Action, Speakers Bureau) and ask about working on a committee. Some meet only once a year!

Thanks to everyone who attended the Annual Meeting and to Tony Starks, Panama (99-00), for providing the space. Jill Andrews of the Los Angeles Regional PC Office attended and updated us on expansion of PC, new countries of service and how RPCVs might play a role in this growth.

As you can see in the minutes, we are planning some strategic thinking about goals and objectives. Gail Souare, Mali (1991-93), who has experience in strategic planning with a wide variety of non-profits, will be providing leadership in this area. By the time you are reading this, Hank Davenport and Frank Yates will have represented all of us at the National Peace Corps Association's "40th year Plus One" celebration in Washington, D.C. They will report on this to the Board in July and you should hear about their visit in the next issue of Pacific Waves. Please check out the social activities planned for the summer months and an interesting and fun Dodgers co-op event with the LA and Orange County Associations.

On behalf of SDPCA members, I extend our appreciation to Rudy Sovinee who has served on the Board in a variety of capacities since its formation in 1988. He remains active on the ISF Committee and still has the Historical Records (though he tried to give them away at the last meeting).

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


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5/19/02 & 6/3/02

Combined Board Minutes

Attendance: Gregg Pancoast, Tony Starks, Frank Yates, Gail Souare, Brenda Hahn, Justin Berger, Catherine Reilly, and J. Lopez attended both meetings. Marjory Clyne attended the first meeting and guests Rudy Sovinee and Sophia Pancoast attended the second meeting.

Officers/Assignments: For the current year, the following were elected or appointed

Gregg Pancoast, President;
Tony Starks, Vice President;
J. Lopez, Secretary;
Frank Yates, CFO;
Marjory Clyne, Fundraising;

Gail Souare, Social;
Brenda Hahn, Newsletter;
Justin Berger, Speakers;
Catherine Reilly, ISF; and
Tony Starks, Community Outreach.

By-Laws, Governing Documents & Precedents of the Board were signed out by each member of the Board.

President's Report (Gregg Pancoast): Dave Hibbard's e-mail to Gregg Pancoast and the membership summarizing proposed legislation, to add a fourth Peace Corps goal to the original three goals was discussed. Rudy Sovinee summarized the bill. MMSP that SDPCA supports the spirit of the legislation as outlined in the highlights. A decision was also made to forward this to the individual membership in order for them to act individually. We also invite the comments.

Financial Report (Frank Yates): Balances were reported for checking, savings, and CD accounts. A detailed statement of income and expenses was also provided.

Membership (Frank Yates): The SDPCA membership is at 184 current (including 83 free members), 50 past due, totaling 234. NPCA membership is at 150 current, 34 past due, totaling 184.

Community Outreach (Tony Starks): No report as the new chairman just received his packet of information.

Fundraising (Marjory Clyne): No report given since Chairwoman absent.

Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund (Catherine Reilly): No report as the new chairman just received his packet of information.

Newsletter (Brenda Hahn): The deadline is 6/10/02 for next issue. Brenda stated that she is very fortunate to have the committee that she does since the newsletter is the main method of communicating with our membership.

SD Insider Web Site (Rudy Sovinee): This site is presently inactive. Help from the membership to develop the site would be much appreciated.

Social (Gail Souare): A committee to help Gail is planning an ethnic dinner in July and a summer party or picnic in the park in the July-August timeframe. The committee's goal is to have four ethnic SDPCA dinners per year&endash;one per quarter. Additionally, Gail Souare would like to establish a designated monthly place to hangout. Drafted rules and responsibilities of the Committee were distributed to those present.

Speaker's Bureau (Justin Berger): Chairman received position's records and will review. He would like to have speaker volunteers for this year.

New Business: Board meetings will be held the first Monday of a month at the house of a Board Director. MMSP for SDPCA to hold a Strategic Planning meeting of two half day sessions. Gail Souare will find someone to lead the sessions or lead them herself. Dates: to be determined. The RPCV baseball game in Dodger Stadium this summer is an opportunity to get recognition and make some money for fundraising (50% of each ticket). We need more membership participation.

Next Meeting: 6:30 PM 7/1/02 at the home of Gail Souare, all RPCVs welcome.


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PC NewsBytes

Malarial Investigation

United Press International is investigating the anti-malaria drug Lariam and is interested in hearing from Peace Corps volunteers about any problems they may have experienced.

If you experienced psychiatric or other reactions to the drug either during or after your Peace Corps years, we would like to hear from you. We also are interested in hearing about any reports of volunteers not taking the drug because of side effects; what kind of warnings you received; whether your complaints about side effects were taken seriously, and how Peace Corps medical officers dealt with the issue of side effects. We also would like to find former medical officers or Peace Corps officials who would talk to us.

Also, we are interested in any information about suicidal thinking or behavior, or actual suicides or unexplained deaths, that might be connected with the drug. UPI published an article on side effects including suicide on May 14; you can read it by going to UPI.com and typing in Lariam, or at Newsday.com and doing the same thing (that is a shorter version).

You can e-mail me at dolmsted@upi.com Please include a phone number and indicate whether you would be willing to be quoted by name (we only use named sources in our reporting). We are taking the issue of side effects very seriously and are committed to full and accurate reporting about the situation.

Sincerely,
Dan Olmsted, Washington Bureau Chief, UPI

 

Bridge-Building Trip to Iran:
NPCA and Friendship Force (Oct.19-Nov. 2, 2002)

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and Friendship Force International are pleased to announce an Exchange program to Iran from October 19 to November 2, 2002. This trip follows a previous trip in June 1999, the first in the NPCA's new Bridge-Building Program. All members of the NPCA are invited to apply to join us.

If you have previous experience in a Farsi language country of service, or special interest in the people and culture of Iran, you will want to consider joining us. This two-week trip will take us to some of the great cultural, historical and natural sites in the world, and offer opportunities to connect and reconnect with everyday Iranians on a personal level. This opportunity will be limited to a maximum of 40 participants.

The cost of the trip will be $3395 per person, which includes:

  • Round-trip airfare on Lufthansa from New York (JFK) to Tehran
  • All accommodations (double occupancy), meals, internal transportation by private coach and internal air flights as indicated on the itinerary, entrance fees, guides, etc.
  • Cost of obtaining Iranian visa

Your only expenses will be for personal items and transportation to/from New York.

Highlights of the trip include stops in Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Anzali, and Hamadan. While this trip of necessity is organized as a tour, we will be making special efforts along the way to connect with Iranian individuals and organizations to form ongoing friendships and relationships.

The Exchange Director is N. Bruce Nelson, who served as a TEFL Peace Corps volunteer in Taft, Iran from 1972 to 1974. All contact regarding the trip is with Bruce by email at mailto:nbn@glacierbay.com, or by phone at work at 1.510. 437.9100, or at home at 1.510.231.5854. He is located in the San Francisco Bay area in the Pacific time zone.

To apply for the trip, visit the NPCA website at: http://www.rpcv.org/pages/sitepage.cfm?id=205,
where you will find up-to-date information and all application materials.

 


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In Memoriam: Susan Aronson

Afghanistan (1963-65)

We are deeply saddened by the death of Susan Aronson on Tuesday, May 7, 2002. Susan and Dennis Aronson are RPCVs who lived in Poway before moving to the Sacramento area. While here, they were active in the SDPCA.It is a terrible loss for her family but also a great loss for the Returned Peace Corps movement, which she served so well, and for all Friends of Afghanistan. She helped the NPCA in gathering many of the stories used in the recent Afghanistan-focus issue of World View magazine. She provided strong leadership within Friends of Afghanistan and her work on the Friends of Afghanistan newsletter was a major source of information on that unhappy country before and after September 11. It has been one of our best newsletters. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.

An e-mail message from her husband, Dennis, on Tuesday, May 7th said:

Dear Family and Friends,
After a valiant fight, Susan lost her battle with lymphoma and passed away early this morning. She had been admitted to the hospital on April 26 and then last Friday took a turn for the worse. Our children, Michael, Bill, and Kathi, as well as her mom Betty and me, were able to interact with her during her last days. She was very comfortable.
A memorial service was held at the Elk Grove Congregational Church (UCC) on Friday, May 10. The focus of the service was a remembrance of her life and the wonderful things she did.
 
In keeping with Susan's wishes, the family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to:
ChildReach
115 Plan Way
Warwick RI, 02886-1099 (800-556-7918)
http://www.childreach.org
or to:
Help the Afghan Children (HTAC)
8603 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 230
Vienna VA 22182 (888-403-0407).
 
Love, Dennis


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New PC Director...

Gaddi Vasquez Visits So. California RPCVs

During SDPCA members' attendance at Earth Day in Balboa Park, new Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez was meeting with hundreds of RPCVs, nominees, family and friends at an event in Los Angeles. I was there to represent the SDPCA, hear what he had to say, and to report my impressions. This was particularly important to us, due to the intense lobbying that I and others had performed to challenge the Vasquez nomination while it was reviewed in the Senate.

While I still believe there were many RPCVs who would be well qualified to be director, I was very impressed with Gaddi. He displays a poise and charisma that I had not experienced in many of his predecessors, qualities much needed in a Washington leader. He was adamant in protecting the good name and record of the Peace Corps and the safety of its volunteers, while building its numbers and improving its working relationships with RPCV groups.

Other points to his credit were his history of private and NGO travel abroad, his early years as a migrant farm worker in the fields of Texas, and his definite edge in being fluent in Spanish. He shared these points both in a private meeting with group representatives and at a reception. In the small group, he easily answered challenging questions well, and said all the right things about caring for the Peace Corps, and not using it as a political career stepping-stone. Bottom line, if he does what he says, he'll be a good director. I personally wish him success, and give his initiatives the benefit of the doubt.

Lastly, let me state that it was very cool to be with so many RPCVs from throughout Southern California. The LARPCV group has the advantage of coordinating many events with the LA recruiting office, but their recent use of web tools like e-vite has greatly facilitated member participation in quickly creating and supporting many TGIF and volunteer events. Maybe the SDPCA board along with new committee helpers can soon build similar fun camaraderie here.

-Rudy Sovinee, Ghana (1970-73), former SDPCA Board Member [photos from author]

In addition, from Peace Corps Online there is an interview with Director Vasquez by Orange County Congressman Chris Cox about the mission of the Peace Corps, its role in the war against terrorism, and the plan to double the number of Peace Corps volunteers over the next five years.

You can find it at: http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1008025.html?1022693436 I
f you have trouble, just go to
http://www.peacecorpsonline.org and follow the links.

 


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Of Concern to Us All

Why Peace Corps Needs a 4th Goal

Sargent Shriver first articulated a new fourth goal for the Peace Corps in his speech at Yale University last year. Congressman Sam Farr has included the fourth goal in the new Peace Corps legislation he and Senator Dodd will soon be introducing in Congress. Now read an op-ed piece by Ethiopia-Eritrea RPCV John Rude written exclusively for Peace Corps Online on why the Peace Corps needs the Fourth Goal and what it will mean for the Peace Corps at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1008052.html?1022971160

 

The Peace Corps Fund

Morocco RPCV Barbara Ferris and Ethiopia RPCV John Coyne were two of the strongest advocates against the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez as Peace Corps Director. Now these two founding members of the "Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps" have formed "The Peace Corps Fund" to provide grants to help promote RPCV efforts to advance the third goal of the PC. Read more about the Peace Corps Fund at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1008060.html?1022973880

 

Amerisnitch?

With President Bush's Executive Order, the Peace Corps was brought under the umbrella of the USA Freedom Corps with a number of other volunteer programs. Among them is TIP, the Terrorist Information and Prevention System, whose mission is to "report suspicious activity." Learn more about this "sister" program to the Peace Corps, how it will help Americans "identify terrorist activity in their neighborhoods" and tell us what you think at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1008055.html?1022971444

 

PC: Independent & Autonomous as Ever?

Peace Corps Online published an op-ed piece in March raising concerns about provisions of last year's antiterrorism bill&endash;the USA Patriot Act&endash;and how one interpretation of the new law is that it could allow confidential Peace Corps information to be disseminated to the intelligence gathering community.

Peace Corps has sent us their official response in a piece called "Peace Corps as Independent and Autonomous as ever." Read the original op-ed, the PCs' view and our response at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/7461.html?1016305449


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Petition: Keep the PC As It Is?

Buried in amongst all of the articles in the latest Peace Corps Online newsletter is a petition for keeping the PC "as it is and has been," an independent agency free of the new Freedom Corps and that organization's control. It can be filled out online in less than a minute. There is also a section available for comments as well:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/632965389?sign[partnerID]=1&si

-Jeffrey Cleveland, Belize (1997-99),
SDPCA Pacific Waves Production


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A Letter to the Editor:

Dear Editor,

I don't usually react but I felt compelled to say something in response to Bush's speech in the Peace Corps Online update I received
[at
http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/7649.html?1019040950]

I felt a strong reaction [to President Bush's comparison of the War on Terrorism] with images of pre-WWII Germany and calling on volunteer groups to guard American values... "secure our homeland" ... "find the enemy within" ... "spread America's values."

When I hear a rhetoric of "hunting down. . .these people who hate America" --- the reference is to 9-11 and I don't argue it. But whipping up a mob mentality in the name of PREVENTING further terrorism blurs our purpose from reacting to beliefs TO imposing beliefs.

I am fightened to hear Peace Corps bandied about as a way to "spread American values." Makes it sound more like an infection or ideology. It sounds more like "imposing beliefs" rather than "serving beliefs."

Peace Corps is an opportunity for Volunteers to understand the humanity in all cultures through service to others. In service we were to EXEMPLIFY those values... and IN RETURN learn the vast wisdom of a multitude of cultures... to come home with a deeper human understanding of peace.

I am sad to see the emphasis on "giving out of values" when the most valuable part is what WE got in the experience of service.

--Donald Beck, Bolivia (1967-69), SDPCA Newsletter Layout/Webmaster


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Host Country Updates

Afghanistan

On approx. May 10, 2002, seven top-level members of an Afghan Interim Administration delegation met in Syria to discuss ways to revive Afghanistan's economy through agricultural research, on-the-ground relief, education, and extension programs directly involving farmers. Afghan Deputy Minister of Agriculture discussed the Afghan Interim Administration's way forward. For the full news release visit the Future Harvest website at:

http://www.futureharvest.org/news/afghanistan3.shtml

And: read and comment on this op-ed PeaceCorpsOnline piece by the last Peace Corps volunteer evacuated from Afghanistan in 1979 who advocates that the Peace Corps return to Afghanistan&endash;but only if the administration agrees to extend the mandate of the international peacekeeping force there, and expands it to cover the provinces.

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/7422.html?1016030269

Plus: "Soldiers are doing more than firing their weapons in world trouble spots. They're also handymen, math teachers, well diggers, road builders, a kind of Peace Corps," says a recent Army Times story. What do you think?

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1007694.html?1019105140

 

East Timor

Read this on the opening of East Timor to the Peace Corps. The first twenty volunteers were currently serving elsewhere and were selected to transfer to East Timor in mid-June. Congratulations to the Peace Corps on opening a program in the world's newest country. Read the story at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1008022.html?1022693340

 

South Korea

The PC departed from Korea in 1981 but many RPCVs stayed in country and made lives for themselves there. Read this story written for a Korean newspaper which looks back on the legacy of the Peace Corps in Korea and what a few thousand volunteers accomplished between 1965 and 1982:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1007759.html?1019573138

 

Madagascar

Peace Corps has completed pulling all volunteers out of Madagascar. Fighting has been sporadic for the past several months since the contested election results in the presidential election held last December 16 and claims by the opposition that the elections were rigged.

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1007756.html?1019493910

 

Turkmenistan

Seven Turkmenistan-9 volunteers arrived back in Turkmenistan on April 17 for the reopening of the Peace Corps Program in Turkmenistan. Read the story at:

http://208.234.30.110/messages/messages/2629/1007806.html?1020222812

 

Guatemala

Larry Lee, a 41-year-old American journalist, embraced the new life he found in Guatemala because it gave him freedom and simplicity he could never find back in the USA. But this ended in blood: on Dec. 28, 1999, the police found the young American, naked and slashed, on the bed in his apartment in the capital. Although from the start the case offered many telling clues, two and a half years after the death of Mr. Lee and despite increasing pressure from the United States, his family in Missouri still has no idea who killed him.

If the record of Guatemalan law enforcement is any guide, Mr. Lee's relatives may never know what happened. Only five percent of urban homicides in Guatemala are ever solved, and more than 500,000 other criminal cases, from robberies to kidnappings, languish without resolution in police files. The lawlessness is a grim legacy of long years of military rule, supported by the United States and ushered in by a coup backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1954. It took more than 40 years to begin to curtail the power of the armed forces and achieve peace, with a United Nations settlement in 1996. But in Mr. Lee's case, the past is proving more powerful than the present. After decades when military power substituted for law, killers and criminal gangs, some of them in complicity with corrupt former military officers, still operate with few constraints.

Human rights advocates noted that if authorities were incapable of solving the high-profile American cases, the chances were slim that hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans would find justice for atrocities during the civil war or even common crimes.

--David Gonzalez, New York Times

 

Indonesia

On a Friday just before noon prayers in the simple wooden mosque, soldiers stormed into the village, herded the people together and, according to two residents, marched them toward a neighboring hamlet, setting fire to houses as they went. After six weeks, the village elder, Bin Ali, 52, and his neighbor, Agus Salim, 35, summoned the courage to return to the ashes of their life's possessions. In the debris of Mr. Bin's home, only a white porcelain serving dish, a present to his wife, survived intact.

This is the dirty war in Aceh, the northernmost province of Indonesia, rich in natural gas, where an insurgency, spearheaded by separatist guerrillas of the Free Aceh Movement, or GAM, has ebbed and flowed since 1976. In its current phase, the guerrillas are on the defensive, pushed back from urban centers now thick with soldiers and police patrols. The military, recently reinforced and deployed in far greater numbers than anywhere else, is under orders from the central government to wrap up the war once and for all.

But civilian killings have also increased in recent months, Western officials say, and rights groups report deaths, torture, disappearances and arbitrary arrests almost daily. Congress has approved a plan for the United States to help Indonesia create an elite counterterrorism police unit. Later the administration is expected to ask for funds to help the Indonesian military create a peacekeeping unit for use in the internal conflicts that rage in several parts of Indonesia.

--Jane Perlez, New York Times


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

  • Resume review and Career Counseling
    Mona Melanson, Thailand (1969-'71)
    --(h) 619.692.4138
  • Local Teacher Career Info
    Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-'66 )
    --(h) 619.479.6620 email:
    bhahn@cts.com
  • Professional Sailing Lessons
    Hank Davenport-Barberis, (Peru 1962-'64)
    --(h) 858.565.1060
  • East County Boondock Outpost, Info &/or Guide
    Dan Taylor, Belize (1986-'88)
    --(h) 619.445.9766 (tel/fax) email:
    dtaylor@batcon.org
  • US Foreign Service Career & Exam Information
    Sandor Johnson, India (1966-'68)
    --(h) 760.635.0963 (tel/fax) email:
    sandorjohnsonfso@yahoo.com
  • Speaking Skills / Presentation Coaching
    Susan Murphy, Colombia (1976-'79)
    --(h) 619.293.3559 email:
    socalrose@earthlink.net

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


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QUOTE: The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. --H. L. Mencken

News Flash!!

Members, note: please send your email address to both members@sdpca.org and secretary@sdpca.org in order to receive Board-approved immediate news flashes from the Secretary. We have an active email notification of news that occurs between the newsletter mailings.

You will ONLY be notified of important things and your email address will NOT be shared with other groups.

 

For You Websurfers

Here's a cool little site for busy activists! They send you a letter as often as you like, only on subjects you've indicated, and then you click to have letters e-mailed for you to appropriate legislators. Or not, as you choose.

Pass it on: http://www.progressivesecretary.org/

--from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship

 

SDPCA Lost and Found

Found at annual membership meeting: white dish with blue trim.
If you left this behind and would like it back, call Gail at (619) 284-3151

.

Earthday: April 21, 2002

I want to acknowledge a great group of volunteers who spent a few hours at our SDPCA Earthday booth to talk with the hundreds of people who came by. We met 13 RPCVs who are not yet members of our association and many potential future volunteers who got excited about becoming Peace Corps volunteers. So thank you, Ron Ranson, Bob and Darlene York, Lori Killpatrick, Lisa Hall, Sandy Johnson, Jim Clyne, Gregg Pancoast, and Julie Schwab. Thanks also to Michaela Brehm at the Los Angeles Peace Corps office for sending us some great CD Roms and posters to give away.

--Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972-74), SDPCA Fundraising Chair

 

Rudy shares with the Girl Scouts

I did a presentation as an SDPCA speaker in April (it was a last minute arrangement and couldn't go through channels). The SDPCA voicemail message indicated that inviting an RPCV to speak is an option written into the Girl Scout Multicultural Badge. I explained that I had some experience in the area and would be available to present a "show-and-tell" session, with artifacts from lots of countries. I then tied it to the regular concepts of looking for similarities among cultures as developed for the 1WOW assembly program. The girls were very attentive! (photo from Rudy Sovinee)

Their leader sent the following thanks:

"Hello Rudy,

The picture is great! Yes, the girls have mentioned your talk several times. I think it made a big impression on them. Thanks again for providing us with such a great experience, Patti Nash"

--Rudy Sovinee, Ghana (1970-73), former SDPCA Board Member

 

International Support Fund (ISF)

The next funding cycle for the ISF is beginning now. Notification is going out to San Diego volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps to request help with funding small overseas projects. If you know anyone that would qualify, or if you would like to help to evaluate the next round of applications, please contact Catherine Reilly at 618.280.3250 or cereilly@cox.net The deadline for these applications is November 15, so we'll need your help in late November. It will be fun!

-- Catherine Reilly, Panama (1994-96), ISF Chair


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Welcome to Justin!

Hello everybody! My name is Justin Berger, and I'm the new SDPCA Chairman of the Speakers Bureau. I'm fresh out of "The Corps," having just returned from Ecuador in December, where I worked on the "Urban Youth Development" program. I spent half of my service in a large coastal city, Manta, and the other half in the middle of the Amazon jungle in a little town called Ahuano (so much for the "Urban" part).

Before going Jungle, I was a clean cut young preppie, graduating from Yale in 1999. Before going Ivy, I was a laid back San Diego boy, born and raised. I graduated from Morse High School in 1995. I'm currently back in the nest, living in my parents house and working (if anyone knows of a cheap apartment for rent, let me know--not that living at home isn't great and all...). I look forward to meeting all you wonderful Peace Corps people, and hope I do a good job of representing you this year.

--Justin Berger, Ecuador (1999-01)


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Welcome, New Members!

We of SDPCA extend a warm welcome to our newest members. (If we received your membership late because you joined us through NPCA, this is beyond our control but we apologize anyway.) We've seen some of you at our events already and we want all of you to get involved in our activities. Let us hear from you!! Contact information listed in Contact SDPCA

  • Ted Finkel, Venezuela (1967--1969), SD 92101,
  • Jan Le, Guatemala (2000--2002), Spring Valley 91977
  • Tina Schuster, Namibia (1999--2001), SD 92120
  • Nita Upadhye, Namibia (1992--1996), SD 92122


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The PC Palate

Karinya Thai & Vegetarian Cuisine
825 Garnet Street (1/2 block from Mission Boulevard),
Pacific Beach, 858.270.5050, lunch and dinner daily.
Parking validated for lot immediately behind Karinya on Hornblend.

It's time to remind old-timers and teach new folks about Karinya. Lovely and soothing in Thai artistic decor and quiet Thai music, the elegant surroundings are an oasis in the center of beachtown but will graciously accept informal attire. Karinya has a large variety of delicious Thai cuisine made to your taste of hotness, water and iced tea are left in carafes at your table, and homemade Thai ice creams are there for dessert. Service is sweet and unobtrusive. One entree will serve two moderately, but order more, they're delicious! There is also a large separate room for traditional shoes-off dining on cushions. Dinner entree prices start at $7.95. Enjoy!

 


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Newsletter Credits

Pacific Waves is published six times a year by the San Diego Peace Corps Association which is fully responsible for its content. Except for copyrighted material, articles may be reprinted without permission with credit to the SDPCA.

Contributions are encouraged:

  1. e-mailed
  2. text file on disk- Mac preferred, or
  3. typed copy.

Please send to Editor, SDPCA, P.O. Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or e-mail: newseditor@sdpca.org

Editor
Brenda Terry-Hahn

Layout / Production
Don Beck, Jeff Cleveland

Contributors this issue are
Stephanie Palau, Hank Davenport Barberis, Rudy Sovinee, Frank Yates, Marjory Clyne, Joan Clabby, NPCA Listserv authors

 

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