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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter

November - December 2002 -- Volume 15, Number 6

Letter from Bali

It's China All Right! part 2

President's Message

Board Minutes 9/3 - 10/7

SDPCA News Bytes

SDPCA Did the Dodgers

PC Newsbytes


ISF Fundraisers: Great Holiday Gifts!

Host Country Updates


New Members

Newsletter Credits

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Letter from Bali

Literally as the newsletter was being emailed to Ireland for layout, we received these sensitive thoughts from an expat of San Diego County who married a Balinese and immigrated there. The immediacy of the news and timelessness of the issues are so in line with our group values that we set aside other articles prepared and publish this one for your inspiration and consideration in these troubled times which demand the best of us all. For security reasons, names are omitted.

Hi, there--

I am getting many, many emails inquiring about our well-being and the situation here in Bali..

First of all, my loved ones and friends are all fine. Been a rough week though. As you know, details on the Bali bombings are coming out like molasses. News is very inconsistent, often inaccurate and biased. I watched a special on ___ International Monday night ("Terror in Bali"...ack! Well, at least they refrained from calling it "Terror in Paradise"). I was appalled that not a single mention was made of the Indonesians involved...the hundreds injured, dead or missing...nor their volunteer efforts. ALL interviews and data, and most visuals (with the exception of scary military shots and a few doctors) were focused on "white" foreigners as if they were the only ones there... either as victims or volunteers. The rest of the focus was actually a sales pitch to convince the viewing audience that this is clearly another Al Qaeda plot. Therefore I suggest when looking for news on this, seek any other news source rather than ____...such as Australian-based which is pretty up to date and less biased.

The basics which you already probably know is that three bombs exploded in Bali around Saturday midnight. Two, which killed and injured so many, in Kuta across the street from one another, not totally clear whether both were car bombs. The smaller one near Paddy's nightclub and the larger near the Sari Club...both buildings are gone and many more damaged. The third was near the US consulate's office in Denpasar with minor damage. There are around 190 known dead, hundreds injured, and hundreds more reportedly missing. Only about 40 of the dead had been identified Tuesday and even those have been retracted and rechecked. Forensic teams from Australia and possibly other countries are now involved and identification is becoming more systematic and hopefully more clear soon. The missing list is sketchy as it includes some known dead, some found alive in hospitals, some treated and released, many seemingly duplicate names with spelling differences, as well as people who were reported missing by families around the world who've since surfaced. Many are working to clean this up. Tuesday these lists were being maintained and updated by volunteers, based on hospital records, hotline phone calls, etc....not an easy job but processing as quickly as possible.

In terms of my own experience and thoughts....I actually heard the three explosions here in Ubud (30-plus km away) and thought it was distant thunder. Got the news at 4:00 am Sunday and spent the morning helping to organize rare blood type donors in Ubud (of which I am one). That group jumped into a couple of cars and headed to the government hospital (where most of the victims were taken) to give blood and help out. It was crazy down there, they certainly were not prepared for this scale of tragedy. Immediately lost most of my group into the chaos so went to find something useful to do. Spent most of the time alongside many others trying to organize volunteers; compiling and checking lists of patients, missing and dead; comforting victims and whatever else landed in my lap. I then spent a number of hours helping a group of young Australians trying to locate a brother and five other friends. The five were found in the morgue (not yet 'officially' identified) and the brother is still missing, assumed dead. One of the hardest things I've ever done.

On the other hand it was incredible to watch volunteers rally and organize. People from all over the world, many countries and all religions working side by side to do what was needed...restaurants, hotels, guides, translators, counselors, students, tourists, expats, visiting name it, they were there. People jumping in and doing the job no matter what it entailed...from comforting the living, to photographing and identifying the dead...a horrible job. I can't (read: won't) even try to describe the "morgue" situation except to say that there were almost 200 bodies (or what was left of them), crammed into three rooms and a porch, and a serious shortage of ice: this is where people were coming to look for and identify loved ones [in a tropical climate]. This has since been remedied a bit with the arrival of five ice trucks from Java and Australia and the formation of an international forensics team.

After many hours in chaos our small group finally hooked up again. Here are a few of their experiences: One American woman (who speaks no Indonesian) was holding the hand of a seriously burned and injured Indonesian woman in ICU. She didn't know what else to do, so spontaneously started singing, which she continued until the woman finally fell asleep. The patient awakened when the nurse came in and changed her drip. Her first request was could that nice foreign woman please come sing to her again...which, of course, she did. Another woman went from bed to bed with her handphone making calls to concerned families all over the world. Another friend spent four to five hours in the morgue helping to count and identify bodies. God bless him for taking on that job. These are just three stories from one small group, but there must be thousands more by now. It felt really good to do something (anything) but the emotional backlash is finally hitting me.

I can't get the image of this one young woman's determined face, as she stepped over badly burned bodies and inspected charred wrists for her brother's watch, out of my mind. I keep getting teary, then feeling guilty for being so self-indulgent when she was so incredibly strong. It's been horrific, depressing and sad. In a personal addition, another friend of ours (___'s and mine) died Monday morning after being taken to a private hospital during the night for complications in an on-going illness...not a doctor in the place, presumably because they were all at Sanglah hospital, and he died without receiving medical attention.

The whole experience has shaken my little universe, although I long ago gave up the illusion that Bali was particularly safer than anywhere else in the world these days. It has given me a vivid, and permanent picture of both the worst and the best sides of humanity, a picture I certainly did not ask for, and I'm not sure I want...and will hopefully learn to embrace someday. It has also helped me to reevaluate some priorities including the need to be more proactively working towards peace in the world. Not sure what that looks like yet.

What I know to be true at this moment is that this kind of violence must stop. No one should ever die at the hands of other humans in this or any other way. We don't know who did this. Fingers are being pointed all over the place. The US government, of course, favors the Al Qaeda/radical Muslim theory. The Indonesian government appears to be jumping on that one as well...don't forget, there had been bombings all over Indonesia for years before 9-11 and the international 'war on terrorism' those days it was an internal political issue (NEVER a religious one) and the ousted 'New Order' regime and military were the favorite suspects. Other speculations include conspiracies (CIA et al), while others are convinced elements in Indonesia are using the "war on terrorism" as an excuse to destabilize the country and bring back an authoritarian government. These are just a few of the favorites and all have pretty interesting arguments (based on political, economic or moral motivations). I wonder if we'll ever know for sure.

What I AM certain of and increasingly concerned about is that there are those who will exploit this to further their own agendas and justify other acts of aggression in the world. This is simply unacceptable. Violence is escalating in the world and the answer is NOT further violence. This message needs to be spread far and wide.

Although I already knew it, this has only affirmed my conviction that...

  • fear is an illusion, but a very useful tool as it immobilizes intellect and obscures intuition,
  • love and compassion are much stronger forces than fear (as witnessed at the hospital and streets of Kuta this week),
  • violence only begats more violence,
  • the only possible solutions to the current world problems MUST be peaceful ones, based on diplomacy, dialog and mutual understanding and respect, and
  • this can only start with me.

In response to the hundreds of messages from both friends and strangers alike, looking for information and asking what can be done to help, here is some information:

  1. To get on the mailing list for FAQs and on-the-ground updates: or
  2. Donation websites and addresses:
    http:/ or
  3. To give US tax deductible donations to Bali relief effort:
    Bali Hati Foundation, c/o Mr. Max Lloyd,
    401 El Caminito, Carmel Valley, CA 93924.

    Bali Hati Foundation is legally registered in the US under the umbrella of The National Heritage Foundation.
    (Make checks payable to Bali Hati Foundation; a receipt will be mailed to you.)

Thank you very much for your support.

In addition, my personal suggestion is to put this into a global context and do something to change the direction the world is heading. I believe we can change things: transform the fear in the world into compassion, understanding and peaceful action. This can be done in so many ways, from full-on political activism to something going to the nearest hospital, finding a stranger in pain and alone, taking their hand and singing them to sleep. I am so, so sad.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead.

Blessings to all.,

[Name withheld due to security issues]


Let us remember....


...fear...immobilizes intellect and obscures reason and compassion are much stronger forces than fear...
...violence only begats more violence... to the current world problems MUST be peaceful ones...
...this can only start with me.

--from Letter from Bali

When I despair, I have to remember that in the end truth and love always win. Always.

There may be tryants and murderers and for a time they may seem to prevail but in the end truth and love always win. Always.

--Mahatma Ghandi




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It's China All Right

Part 2

Marilea Swenson, Ethiopia (1971-73), a longtime member of SDPCA, here writing under the pseudonym of Madam Wu, shares with us a travel diary written home to family and friends on her 2001 (last issue) and 2002 (this issue) pilgrimages to China.

Second Journey

May 24, 2002: Oh, my gosh, what a trip!! We are here in Shanghai now after four nights on the Yangtze and then to Chongqing and Xian to the terra cotta warriors. It has been fabulous! I am exhausted from some good gawkin', some heavy-duty shopping and--hard-to-believe--dancing: one of the fellows in our group of 39 dances very well and we danced and danced at night in the ship's disco. Having been a dance hall queen some years ago, all those lessons and dance workshops paid off--finally! It was great and some of the group are really fun party folk. The beer here is 3.4% alcohol I think--very low (almost like soda pop), so the choices are beer, Coke and Sprite--or water. The water is, of course, plain jane, but it's what I drink mostly. However, to refresh oneself, there's a nice ice cold beer and it flows pretty well and doesn't do a lot of damage (being so low in alcohol).

There are hardly any internet cafes here in Shanghai. Maybe people have their own computers or maybe the libraries or schools have them, but here I am for one yuan a minute--maybe 12 cents a minute--on the computer at the hotel emailing. No time to respond to anyone's message as we have dinner for which I am already late and then a boat ride on the river, then tomorrow free day starting at six or seven am on the Bund, then to Pudong and Chinatown and People's Square and the Shanghai Museum. More later when I'm home.

The tour I can safely say is exhausting since I want to do it all (and I can't say no to a good time, either) so there are extracurricular outings after dinner or a show, like the other night five of us (two Chinese and three of us tourists) went for a hand/foot/leg massage. Which I understand is the thing to do. We were in Xian that night. Every night is something. The food isn't getting to me. You'd think that we'd have had enough Chinese, and some have, but I am fine with it. Some dishes are unrecognizable. And some just unappealing, but all-in-all, quite tasty and satisfying.

The driving is incredible. You don't need to pass a test to get a license, you just have to pay for it, so there aren't too many rules. Although some cities seem more orderly than others. Good thing we are in a big bus, but in a cab, oh my gosh, keep your eyes closed.

Anyway, I must go--the party's waiting--This has been an all-inclusive trip and way too much good information and we've even skipped a lot of sites and a lot of cities but, in China, a fully escorted trip is the way to go. Thirty-nine people are too many, but manageable, and I'm glad I'm not in charge. It's been fabulous and I'll be sorry to leave.

--Signing off, Madam Wu

This second trip, as I said, is a little different from last year's and seems to allow so little free time that I never get to an internet shop. The business centers in the hotels just can't get a good connection. I tried once and waited 10 minutes to connect to hotmail but then couldn't get in.

In short, it is great! I keep moving and kept learning and kept shopping. Last year's group purchased some nice things: jade, silk rugs, cloisonné, terra cotta warriors, miscellaneous and many souvenirs, but THIS year's group numbers some heavy duty shoppers. Many rugs, many Chinese paintings on scrolls, many jade pieces, many embroidered scenes on silk, pearls, scarves, clothes, tee shirts and the big item: Chairman Mao's Little Red Book. Tony, our tour guide in Beijing, entertained us with quotes (fabricated) from Mao, so we all were inspired to get Mao's Little Red Book and join in the fun. Unfortunately we didn't have time to read it. Our national guide, Forrest, loves to quote Confucius and the trick is to figure out what the real quotes are and what are the fake. He's going to send us a book of Confucius.

These tourist schedules are unbelievably full, but awfully easy. Your only decision daily is what to drink and how many beers to have at lunch and dinner. I--who'd rather eat my calories than drink them--had water most of the time. One lunch included some rice liquor, or something, which tasted like schnapps and made you shiver. At another meal there was Chinese saki, with same taste, and then the real shock: snake wine! Which tasted the same as the other two despite several pickled snakes in the bottle. When in Rome, you know....

On our return, there were some people who went through customs with thousands of American dollars, but they were waved right on through. So the $400 per person limit doesn't seem to hold true, at least for China. One thing, though, after returning to San Francisco from Shanghai, we then took a United flight to San Diego. Nearly every China passenger went through a search at the gate--searching through every bag for...weapons? drugs? explosives? I actually was routed straight through because perhaps the counter guy got distracted and forgot to mark my boarding pass "dangerous tourist." At the primary security search earlier however, they found my folding scissors--which had made it on two international and four domestic flights. When you go for a secondary search, they also have you remove your shoes to check for explosive powder (this now being standard). Everyone is polite and things run pretty smoothly. In Shanghai, as we waited to check our bags, there was a pair of Customs Officers with a dog who sniffed our luggage for drugs (they said). But that doesn't make sense, checking for drugs on the way out. My guess was explosives.

So, what we saw (yeah, see, I can hear you say "get to the point, what did you do in China?") was some of the same things in the same cities as last year, but some new places in each spot: we went to a pearl factory and a jade factory in Beijing that were new. The Peking Opera this year had a lot more gymnastic action type stuff (warriors fighting) than last year and I thought it was a lot better. We went to a different part of the Great Wall this time and it was packed with Chinese, as this was the last day of the May celebration which lasts a week. Then to Wuhan which is on the Yangtze and some hours away from Shashi where we actually get on the boat for the three-day, four-night cruise. Some of the same people from last year, some new ones, all real nice. Danced four nights with Heinz who was on the trip last year. There were actually three of us plus the group leader who were on last year's, so that's a pretty good testimonial for the tour. The dancing was disco and swing and waltz--the regular stuff--but the Macarena and YMCA are still alive and well on the Yangtze! Both of them get the crowd up and moving. The Three Gorges Dam is getting closer to completion.

Next June or so, they will close the river and start filling it up. The diversion channel that is being used for traffic now will be shut so they can add four to six more turbines. The locks, a series of five, one after the other, to get from one level to another, will be in place but the elevator which can take smaller vessels won't be ready for some years. This information may not be interesting to many except engineers, and, of course, environmentalists. The dam will provide electricity cleaner than coal, which they use a lot of in China, but it won't eliminate most of the coal use. It will control flooding and it will deepen the river so larger vessels can get farther inland.

Then we went to Xian where the terra cotta warriors are. One of the farmers, who was digging a well in 1974 and dug up a clay head, which led to the discovery of the entire army, now sits in the museum shop, signs books and is living large with his fame and fortune. It rained that day, which didn't interfere with the schedule except that the shop with all the goodies was closed. Such restrictions on shopping risked a mutiny with this group!

After Xian (X = sh, therefore shi-ahn), we flew to Guilin where the limestone mountains are dotted so picturesquely along the Li River. Guilin's a small town of 600,000. Most of the other places we went were three or five or nine million, then there's Beijing with 13 million. Guilin was quite nice and rural and we had good weather. In fact last year it was fairly hot with no rain our whole trip. This year it was cooler, cool enough to wear a jacket occasionally, and it rained a few days. So we were finally able to buy our $1.25 umbrellas. Then to Nanjing and fortunately we didn't have time to go to the War Memorial where there are photos of the devastation done by the Japanese (yep, war is hell). There are a lot of Chinese--well, I think most of them--who won't forgive and don't want the Japanese to visit. (But they are good tourists who bring lots of money to China. And all the bad guys are dead.)

We saw gardens in Nanjing or Suzhou, Wuhan and Shanghai. Chinese gardens have four elements: rocks, pond, bonzai and building. The buildings are like reading rooms or retreats for reflection. The Chinese bonzai are not as small as the Japanese. The rocks are often a certain kind of rock with holes through them that rock farmers have drilled and then put in the river or lake for three to five years for the water action to enlarge the holes.

The Chinese claim to have invented gunpowder (which they use for fireworks), paper, printing and the compass. The three crafts for which the Chinese are known are porcelain, laquerware and cloisonné (in case you are ever on Jeopardy).

Then to Suzhou which is known for silk. Silk worms originated in China. We went to a silk factory--oh, yes, they make it very easy for us to buy things!--and saw the worms, cocoons and spinning. Farmed cocoons will yield 1200 meters of silk thread each. One must locate the end and unwind it. One finds the end with the aid of a brush but a machine will wind the thread along with seven or 11 others to make a thread suitable for weaving cloth (eight for women's clothing, 12 for men's). One thing they had there I have never heard of is a silk comforter, like a down comforter, I guess. But the cocoons are treated differently and the fibers are matted together and then stretched by four women to make a layer. In a comforter there are 20-30 layers. Is it as warm as down? I'll let you know.

Then finally to Shanghai for about 24 hours before we left for home. Another great trip. Carl, the fellow here who does the organizing with China Focus in San Francisco (, is planning on another trip next May, adding on, for those interested, Tibet and perhaps a Silk Road trip in September. I'm planning to do a part of Italy on a bicycle next June, so China is probably out for me (can't seem to negotiate extra vacation time in 2003), but I may be back in 2004. It's a wonderful experience in history, a great economic deal and an awful lot of fun--you just have to like Chinese food.



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He who forgives ends the quarrel. - African proverb

From the President

Still Much to Do

It is a pleasure being part of the SDPCA Board of Directors. We are buena gente and approach challenges with enthusiasm and humor.

There's still much to do, so please let us know if you are willing to help us out. We are continuing with the strategic planning process, working on establishing policies and procedures and building the committee structure. The new Social/Community Action Committee has been especially active and successful (see articles herein); make sure to check out the list of activities coming up through the New Year.

Speaking of the Board, Catherine O'Reilly, Board member and ISF chairperson, has informed us that she will not be able to complete her term (through the Annual Meeting in May 2003). Any member interested in joining the fun and taking on these responsibilities, please contact me via e-mail; the Board will vote on the replacement at the December 2 meeting. We are pleased to announce that the Board has decided to invest some of the association's cash reserve in the NPCA's international Micro-Enterprise Program. The program will use the capital to fund its services and pay us a better interest rate than available in the market. Our funds are making a difference!

We are in the midst of our fundraising season. Already calendar sales are moving and the Entertainment Books are available at the Postal Annexes (see page 5). Many thanks to Marjory Clyne for her efforts in increasing the number of Postal Annexes participating this year. Please review the list in this issue and give them your business. If you are able to assist her in any way, contact her. Cheers,

--Gregg Pancoast

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Combined Board Minutes 9/3 &10/7

Attendence: Tony Starks, Brenda Terry-Hahn, Marjory Clyne, Gail Souare, Justin Berger, and Frank Yates attended both meetings. Catherine Reilly and guest Rudy Sovinee attended the September meeting. Gregg Pancoast and J. Lopez attended in October.

President's Report: Greg reported that there is a Board vacancy: Catherine Reilly is leaving. He wanted to offer it to all members. Board agreed.

Financial Report: Frank made his report and distributed year-to-date Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement.

Membership: Frank reported that there were 160 SDPCA members (47 past due), 131 NPCA members, (34 NPCA past due).

Community Outreach: will be merged with Social on a trial basis.

Fundraising: Marjory reported 150 entertainment books are ready at $40 and that only six or seven people would be attending the Dodger game in L.A.. She also has PC calendars for sale. MMSP that calendars will be sold to members for $8 and general public for $10, creating a fee scale. Gail stated for the next dine-out, she has set $20 for members, and $25 for non-members and late RSVPs. MMS that for a six-month trial, members would be charged less than nonmembers to encourage membership. The motion was rejected. Many calendars are sold, more consigned, and 25 remain. MMSP--Frank to order another 100.

Mark J. Tonner ISF: Catherine reported that RFPs are out through PC Washington. She also announced she will be leaving the country soon and offered her resignation.

Newsletter: Brenda reported a decision to increase the S/O newsletter to 16 pages because she received five good reports on the conference. Also discussed: ensuring all members get the newsletter; mailing labels; and membership expirations. Justin volunteered to check member records at events for up-to-dateness. The next issue deadline is October 10. Brenda also requested a paragraph from each board member of a memory of PC festivity in his/her life. She reminded us the board last year approved one issue per year in color and asked whether this should be the holiday issue. After discussing finances, it was decided to postpone the color issue to a later date, if at all. She has several articles with pictures for possible inclusion in our next issue. Jeff's suggestion to hold a contest of photos/captions of 50 words or less with an award. All were in favor. Brenda will develop a plan. The N/D issue will be the first to be completed on-line, with one team member overseas.

Web Site: E-vites were sent out for the Korean dine-out. Need for a bulletin board on the web-site was again mentioned.

Social: Gail updated us on events: First Foreign Film Festival scheduled 9/27 and Korean Dinner on 10/22. Tony Starks announced a social mixer 11/14 at Tio Leo's. Gail Souare requested the board to approve up to $200 for a space rental for the holiday party, and the board responded with a request for a proposed budget. E-vite is working well, except for outdated e-mail addresses. Social committee has 10 members. Our holiday party will be at the Tierra Santa Rec Center 12/8. January 22 there will be a Philippine dine-out; in February, an outdoor event; May, the annual meeting; and June will see an action event.

Speaker's Bureau: Tony presented to the Kiwanis of Tierasanta on 9/18. Justin reported he presented at the Protrero library. He is meeting this month with the San Diego School District's Race and Human Relations rep to offer speakers. Unfinished Business: a) Frank reviewed NPCA's Micro-enterprise Program. He recommended we move our CDs into the NPCA program at appropriate times. MMSP. b) Gail reminded the leader of each area to contact her for action plan appointments.

New Business: None.

Next Meeting: 6:30 PM; 11/4/02 at the home of Greg Pancoast.


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SDPCA NewsBytes

Renew Now to Defer NPCA Dues Increase 1/03!

Membership in SDPCA and the National Peace Corps Association entitles you to a subscription to WorldView magazine and the Peace Corps alumni newsletter 3/1/61, discounts on travel and merchandise, and access to a number of members-only benefits such as the online directory. NPCA dues will increase by $10.00 on January 1, 2003 (SDPCA dues will remain the same). Membership forms must be postmarked 12/31/02 to qualify for current dues. You may also take advantage of NPCA's three-year membership ($110.00 individual/$155.00 couple) by joining or renewing online at or sending the membership form and your check directly to NPCA, which will automatically remit your SDPCA dues.

--Frank Yates, Ghana (1973-76), CFO/Membership Chair

Meet your new SDPCA Social Committee! (they're really hot!!)

Greetings to all San Diego area RPCVs. Your social committee is here to introduce you to new and interesting people, restaurants and activities. Do you have a favorite hobby you want to share? Is there a hidden restaurant you know the "we'll-eat-anything-once" crowd would love? Is there a group outing you've been wanting to plan but didn't know what crazy mix of people would be game enough to try it? .....Well, send US all your ideas and thoughts on mixing and mingling with other RPCVs. We do have some ideas of our own (dining out, camping, dining out, picnicking, dining out) and want yours, too. The social committee can be reached at

To introduce ourselves, each of us has painstakingly put together a mini-bio (below). We are ready for your input, so feel free to grab one of us at the next social and tell us your ideas. See you at our next event!

  • Gina Covello served in Costa Rica (1989-92) teaching English. She liked it so much, that that's what she does in real life. She's currently involved in a grant which aims to teach English through community involvement and looks forward to planning more dinners, camping trips, and adventure outings with the social committee.
  • Lisa Frankel worked on NGO Development in Estonia (1997-99), then was a Crisis Corps volunteer with a UN "Work for Food" program in the Dominican Republic. She's currently the Human Resources Development Manager for Kimberly-Clark in San Diego. She's passionate about salsa dancing, running and travel---and doesn't mind enjoying a cold beer once in a while!
  • Xandra Garanzuay served in Honduras (1999-2001) as a water/sanitation volunteer--a terrible title but great work-- building gravity-fed water systems. She's now an environmental engineer and newly arrived in San Diego after living most of her life in the southeast. She seconds the vote for salsa dancing, too!
  • Carl and Beth Petersen served in Nigeria (1963-66) teaching secondary school. Now retired and doing quite a bit of travel, Carl is active with the 1WOW (One World, Our World) group headed by Rudy Sovinee. He also enjoys running and hiking. Beth keeps things more or less organized at home.
  • Gail Souare, Chair, served in Mali (1991-93), in small enterprise development on a team with a USAID-funded Peace Corps project involving all sectors, and stayed on to work with USAID through the end of the project. She's currently a Senior Program Officer for the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, which funds healthcare non-profits who serve the underserved in San Diego County. She's worked extensively with the East African community to develop the capacity of community-based organizations' skills to serve themselves. ("This is probably more than you want to know.")
  • Tony Starks served in Panama (2000-01), at the age of 56, being the most senior volunteer in his group, which essentially colored his entire experience down there, good and bad. Since returning, he has gone back to my family law practice and is looking forward, if that's the word, to another 20 years of divorcing people. He has two grown kids and lives in Normal Heights where spare time fines him reading, watching TV, riding his bike, playing pool and studying Spanish. "Amen.."
  • Dan Taylor: As a PCV in Belize (1986-88), Dan was the first director of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve. A University of Montana and Northern Arizona University graduate, he was a forest service biologist in Arizona, Montana, and Oregon after his PC service. For the last six years, he's been a biologist for Bat Conservation International, including conducting bat research in Ghana's rainforest canopy. He has a ten year old son and lives in the mountains of Descanso, about 40 miles east of San Diego. An avid outdoors person, he'd be glad to share his local knowledge of sea kayaking, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and hot springs.

This newest SDPCA committee is a great example of the fun you can have--and the good things you can do--when you get involved!

--- Xandra Garanzuay

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

  • Resume review and Career Counseling
    Mona Melanson, Thailand (1969-'71)
  • Local Teacher Career Info
    Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-'66 )
  • Professional Sailing Lessons
    Hank Davenport-Barberis, (Peru 1962-'64)
  • East County Boondock Outpost, Info &/or Guide
    Dan Taylor, Belize (1986-'88)
  • US Foreign Service Career & Exam Information
    Sandor Johnson, India (1966-'68)
  • Speaking Skills / Presentation Coaching
    Susan Murphy, Colombia (1976-'79)
  • Bicycling Skills (Fit, Purchase, riding improvement)
    Steven Fox, Philippines (1982-'84)

Do you have a special skill? Want to help out other members?
Please note these are FREE services members are offering to other members.

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SDPCA did the Dodgers!

While we left San Diego under clouds and a light rain, the trip up the freeway went by quickly and we arrived to find the sun and warmth of RPCV gatherings - on a large scale. Here's a peek at some photos (by Rudy Sovinee)

-- Rudy Sovinee, Ghana (1970-73)


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PC NewsBytes

Update: Peace Corps Legislation

As this issue went to press mid-October, the PC legislation had just passed the Senate.

See "Breaking News" in


Friendship Force-NPCA Trip to Iran

NPCA and Friendship Force International journeyed on a second Bridge-Building Exchange program to Iran from October 19-November 2 following previous trip in June 1999. Highlights included stops in Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Anzali, and Hamadan. Special efforts were made to connect with Iranian individuals and organizations to form ongoing friendships. Exchange Director was N. Bruce Nelson, former TEFL Peace Corps volunteer, Iran (1972-74),


Update on PCV Security

The July GAO report on PCV safety generated a critical story in the New York Times, which cited that the incidence of major assaults increased from 9 per 1000 "volunteer years" from 1991-93 to 17 per 1000 in the period from 1998-2000. The balanced GAO Report notes that PC has adopted policies to deal with security threats through training, secure housing, information dissemination, and monitoring; that PC is trying to cope with significant underreporting of crime by Volunteers; that security is disadvantaged by rapid staff turnover due to the legislative "five-year rule." It concludes that performance is uneven on guidance, staff training, and application of oversight-- a common GAO criticism of Federal agencies.

Peace Corps alumni agree that--while the safety and security of Volunteers must be a very high priority for the Agency, particularly given the global terrorist danger--it is not the only priority. Most RPCVs are wary of the imposition of new measures which might--in the name of safety--constrain PCVs from doing an effective job relating to colleagues and community.

For more, visit:,report GAO-02-818.

--NPCA listserv


Crisis Corps Opportunities

There are Humanitarian Assistance Assignments in Guinea and Malawi as well as a variety of HIV/AIDS Assignments in Africa. Crisis Corps is actively recruiting for all of these to place volunteers in November and would be pleased to consider applications from qualified RPCVs with appropriate regional experience.

For more: call 1-800-424-8580.or online:



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International Support Fund

Great Holiday Gifts!

Entertainment Books Support PCV Projects!!

Entertainment books are available at the 22 Postal Annex stores listed below throughout the county. They are still the same price as last year, only $40.00. GREAT holiday gifts! GREAT savings at hundreds of merchants like Hollywood Video, Seaworld, San Diego Symphony, Carnival Cruises, Amtrak! AND 50% off at hundreds of local restaurants too! Our part of the purchase price goes (100%) to support San Diego-based Peace Corps volunteers' projects through our International Support Fund. So visit one of the Postal Annex stores listed here to purchase your book. And thank your great Postal Annex folks for helping us in this worthwhile project!!

Postal Annex Stores Supporting SDPCA ISF Fund:

  • 2840 Fletcher Pkwy., El Cajon
  • 1264 Avocado Ave., El Cajon
  • 1286 University Ave., San Diego
  • 374 East H Street, Chula Vista
  • 3368 Governor Dr., San Diego
  • 8895 Towne Center Dr., San Diego
  • 7514 Girard Av, Ste. 1, La Jolla
  • 10464 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Tierrasanta
  • 2514 Jamacha Rd. #502, Rancho San Diego
  • 6343 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego
  • 7710 Hazard Ctr Dr., Ste. E, Mission Valley
  • 2307 Fenton Pkwy. #107, Mission Valley
  • 5620-C Paseo Del Norte #127, Carlsbad
  • 204 N. El Camino Real, Ste. E, Encinitas
  • 449 Santa Fe Dr., Encinitas
  • 197 Woodlands Pkwy, Ste. 104, San Marcos
  • 11956 Bernardo Plaza Dr., Rancho Bernardo
  • 14781 Pomerado Rd., Poway
  • 970 W Valley Pkwy. #28, Escondido
  • 12265 Scripps Poway Pkwy., Poway
  • 2907 Shelter Island Dr., San Diego
  • 3960 W. Point Loma Bl., Sports Arena, SD

PC 2003 Calendars Now on Sale!!

Make your Christmas shopping easy and contribute to the International Support Fund for our San Diego PCVs' projects in the field with your purchase. Your family and friends will appreciate this beautiful gift throughout the year. It's especially appreciated by those who support peace and are interested in worldwide cultures. The calendars are only $8.00 each.

Contact Marjory Clyne at 858-576-9909 or email:

If you would like to sell the calendars at your office or through other associations you belong to, Marjory can help you with that too.


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Host Country Updates


"Bhumai: She Who Can Not Be Abandoned" is a one-hour documentary profiling Tibetan women refugees' lives in India, Nepal, and the United States in digital video. It includes rare footage shot in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, historical footage and photographs. Many documentaries have been done on the Dalai Lama and Buddhism, but only Bhumai looks at the role women refugees play in Tibetan cultural survival. An exclusive and delightful interview with the Dalai Lama on Tibetan women and his mom is included. Bhumai is a personal look that foretells the continuing viability of traditional Tibetan culture-in-exile and is a rare look at the indigenous knowledge Tibetan women hold.

To see more:

--World Tibet Online


Researchers recently announced that attempts to salvage Afghanistan's national crop seed collection had apparently failed, despite efforts by scientists to quietly stockpile hundreds of seed samples during the Taliban era. Apparently looters had destroyed the collection. However, the war widows are playing a vital role in preparing wheat seed for distribution in Afghanistan this fall.

--Future Harvest, at

South Africa

Practical, real-world solutions to food production and biodiversity conservation can feed the world's poor today and satisfy the projected 40- to 60-percent increases in global food demand over the next few decades, according to a study sponsored by the Future Harvest Foundation and IUCN--The World Conservation Union--released recently.

--Future Harvest, at

Benin, Togo, and beyond

A research team from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (a Future Harvest Center), and the University of Leeds, UK, announced that young African children show the kind of stunted growth usually associated with malnutrition when they eat food contaminated with fungal aflatoxins, a toxic byproduct of molds on corn and peanuts stored in hot and humid conditions. The study of nearly 500 young children (aged nine months to five years) from 16 villages in the West African countries of Bénin and Togo appears in this week's prestigious publication, the British Medical Journal. The research shows for the first time an association between aflatoxin and growth effects in children.

--Future Harvest, at


(1) Mr. Pushkar Shah, a Nepali who is on an 11-year bicycle journey around the world, spreading a message of peace and hope wherever he goes, was in Southern California in September. He was welcomed in Los Angeles September 21 by the American Nepal Society-California.

You can read more about his remarkable journey at or you can visit America-Nepal Society of California online at

--American Nepal Society-California

(2) Since July 2002, 483 persons have been killed by flash floods and massive landslides in Nepal, and 110 others are missing; 32,000 are homeless and 300,000 have been badly affected in 48 of Nepal's 75 districts. Emergency relief supplies are exhausted; the Nepali Red Cross has made an international appeal for US $1.77 million. Donations can be made through the American Red Cross, designated for the "Red Cross-Nepal."



Darryl N. Johnson, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, returned to the small school in Lamphun earlier this year where he taught almost 40 years ago as a young PCV. The Ambassador met old friends and students at the Chakkhamkhanaton School, most of the latter now in their 50s. Accompanied by his wife Kathleen, Johnson kept smiling under the burning sun. Johnson must be feeling very content and proud: when he left Lamphun in 1965 he vowed to come back one day--as the US ambassador. "Today is a special dream of coming back as the ambassador has come true," he said in fluent Thai. "I am glad to meet you all again. It's like I'm coming home," Johnson said.

More at:

--Peace Corps Online


A Harvard University student, whose computer program detected China's block of Internet access to search engines Google and AltaVista, said Friday that hundreds more websites had been cut off. Ben Edelman, a first year law student at Harvard, told AFX Global Ethics Monitor, an AFP subsidiary, that he had engineered a system that anyone could use to find out if a particular website is blocked.

"In China, the contents of the block list to date remains more or less secret," Edelman said. "With this project, we hope to list a substantial portion of sites blocked, allowing interested internet users to discuss and analyze China's filtering policies." His program has already detected hundreds of blocked sites, Edelman said, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as media websites like the New York Times, BBC News, CBS News, British newspaper The Guardian, the US federal court system, the Hong Kong Voice of Democracy,,,, and even The program sends a message to a computer in Beijing, which then tries to access a website via a local internet connection. The program has generated a list of hundreds of blocked websites, and more are added every day.

--Peace Corps Online


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Every culture enriches our lives with its own unique beauty and wisdom. Yet we all share the same hopes and dreams, the same need for love and home and kinship. These are the common threads that bind us together as one family in one world.
--Common Threads, Hallmark

Let George W. Know Your Views on the War with Iraq

Phone the White House at 202-456-1111 between 9-5 EST. A machine will answer ("Please hold; your call is very important to the President") and then a pleasant live operator will thank you for saying "I oppose" or "I approve of" the proposed war against Iraq. They ask you what state you're from, and that's it. The president wants to know. Tell him. Time is running out.

--CA Community College Part Time Faculty Union listserv

Gift Ideas...

This is the season we struggle to find appropriate gifts for our loved ones, while maintaining our personal values regarding commercialism, environmental issues and third world needs. Here are four unusual gift opportunities that can be made with PC values in mind :

  1. Make a Harvest Contribution!
    Celebrate the Harvest Season by helping us continue our work in the World's fields and planting a seed for next season. For drought stricken Burkina Faso, the "Zai" farming method of collecting water and building nutrients in the soil is taught by World Neighbors partners.

    In Nepal, women keep their vegetable gardens alive with water taps made possible by piping funded through World Neighbors. In Mexico, farmers learn terracing techniques to prevent erosion that promotes reforestation of barren areas. World Neighbors promotes sustainable agricultural training and water system materials. For a gift contribution in the name of a loved one, see:

  2. Adventures with World Neighbors!
    Looking for adventure with a purpose? Look no further than culturally sensitive Study Trips with World Neighbors! Spend time in amazing villages with locals and their World Neighbors partners working in agriculture, health and training programs. You'll change the way you look at the world. For schedule see:

  3. Host an Exchange Student!
    Continue the service you began in the Peace Corps! Hosting a high school foreign exchange student is a very rewarding experience. Both students and host families have the opportunity to learn and share cultures and promote international friendships. Students from all over the world will be submitting applications for the 2003-2004 academic school year or semester.

    The ASPECT Foundation seeks families or individuals 25 or older to make dreams a reality. To be a part of our team, see or call 1-800-US-Youth or Shaunna Snow at 714. 633.4813.
    --ASPECT Foundation

  4. Peace on Earth Carolers want You!
    For the 20th year, the Peace on Earth Carolers will be performing traditional and contemporary holiday carols in Dickensian costumes at various venues in the San Diego area, such as shopping malls, the San Diego Symphony, private parties and several seasonal events. Fees collected for performances are donated to the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (YANO) and Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD).

    If you would like to make music in this fun and effective fundraising activity, OR request the group to perform for you event during the holidays, call COMD at 619.265.1369 or Project YANO at 760.634.3604.

    Rehearsals have started and will continue through early November. Besides singing voices, we welcome instrumentalists to provide accompaniment on guitar, Autoharp or other acoustic instruments.


I am seeking my dear friend Sharie (spelling may be different) Morgan who served as a PCV in West Africa, Liberia 1986-88 and was from California. I lost her contact information while a refugee of the civil war. Any information appreciated.

--Bee Cee Daniels, Washington State,


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Welcome, New Members!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!! You can reach us by the contact information listed on page 2. Old members, use this section as your SDPCA Membership Directory update.

New members are listed by name, country and years of service, area of residence.

  • Glen Leff, Guatemala (2000-02), SD 92106
  • Katherine Melcher, Togo (1995-97), SD 92104
  • Jennifer Otano, Paraguay (2000-02), Southington, CT
  • Lenore Wade, Russia (2001-02), El Cajon

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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:

Brenda Terry-Hahn

Layout / Production
Don Beck, Jeff Cleveland

Contributors this issue are
Gail Souare, Gregg Pancoast, Rudy Sovinee, Frank Yates, Marjory Clyne, Marilea Swenson, Xandra Garanzuay, Peace Corps Online, NPCA Listserv authors, Letter from Bali author, Jay Lopez


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