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  San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter

January – February 2006— Volume 19, Number 1

Index: click on your choice...

ISF Grant Report:
New Computer System

3 Volunteers We Met in San Diego
Kendra Goffredo–Ecuador: Getting By On a Smile
Stephanie Cantrell–Mozambique: From Training to PCV
Katie Conlon–Mali: From Gao With Love & Poem

From NPCA: Gathering Rescheduled..... PC & Military Recruitment
From PCWash: 45 Years Anniv. – PEACE CORPS WEEK 2006

Nov. Community Action: Work Project with PRC .... More Pics
TJ Luncheon

Pres Msg: The New Year is Here

Board Minutes-Nov-Dec'05

Potpourri

New Members

NOTE: SDCA email addresses here are no longer clickable to prevent roaming spam servers reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience- 9/05

Editor

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“I Have A Dream”
by Martin Luther King, Jr.

...I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today...

Excerpt from speech delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.



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Does PC Need a Makeover?

Check out an op-ed that was published in the Monday, October 24 edition of USA Today entitled Peace Corps Needs Makeover by freelance writer Laura Vanderkam.

Read it at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-10-24-peace-corps-edit_x.htm

While we are always interested in looking at ways to strengthen and improve the Peace Corps, the NPCA staff feels that this op-ed devalues the meaningful development work that PCV’s do, fundamentally misunderstands the historic mission of the Peace Corps and misrepresents the Peace Corps experience.

Please share your opinions with USA Today. Letters to the editor can be sent electronically to USA Today and email NPCA below:

http://asp.usatoday.com/marketing/feedback/feedback-online.aspx?type=18

–Taken from Group Leaders Listserv notice from
Erica T. Burman (The Gambia 87-89)
News Director, NPCA email: news@rpcv.org


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Report to Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund

ISF Grant: New Computer System

This letter and pictures come from Erik Fritz, a PCV in Kyrgyzstan Republic. His community received an ISF Grant in 2004 for a New Computer System, in the amount of $525.-Ed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dear San Diego Peace Corps Association,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I write you this letter of appreciation and gratitude. It has been a long time in the making (two years), but with your generous support, we have finally finished the school computer and Internet center. In fact, the smell of new computers is still in the air as we just installed the final three computers yesterday. All of us at school #1 are so thrilled that we can barely contain our excitement!

Let me tell you more about this marvelous project. Even though we are one of the best schools in Jalal-Abad, none of our computers were operational, save for one computer that stopped working about a month ago. The poor students (around 1,100) would sit facing blank and dusty computer screens and write down computer theory from books made over a decade ago. Now, thanks to your help, we have eight brand new computers, a new printer, scanner and the best of all, Internet access. We gathered a total of $3,000 from sponsors across the United States. I was so touched at how giving my fellow Americans are.

In addition, our school director begged and pleaded with the parents of our school and amazingly garnered a whopping $2,000. It may not sound like much but for a place where a teacher’s average salary per month is around $25, it’s just short of a miracle

For the past few months, I have been working hard to bring teachers and students up to speed with the modern world. Over 15 teachers have signed up to my beginning computer course and they are such a pleasure to work with. One teacher said to me the other day, “Now I see why kids are always in front of a computer screen; it’s so addictive!” Teachers have already used word processing to make their lives easier by updating their class lists and schedules through the computer instead of rewriting everything from scratch each time.

Countless students have begun to reap the benefits of Internet access. One student, Nazgul aged 16, said, “The information I’m getting for my Economics class can’t be found anywhere else than on the Internet.” I have big plans to work with teachers to assign projects that will encourage students to work in groups to find and distill information from the Internet. Future plans include opening a beginning computer course for the parents of the school. The possibilities are truly limitless.All of this could not have happened without your support. Along with my director and entire school, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are eternally grateful.

With warm regards,

–Erik Fritz, PCV,School #1, Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan


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Kendra Goffredo was last spotted in Pacific Waves – while at the 2005 Super Bowl Party at Rudy’s. As of August 31, Kendra is an official Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador.

Getting By On a Smile

I have been a resident of Carpuela now for almost two weeks. I will be a resident of Carpuela for another two years. The reality of that statement hit me as hard as the stares from every man, woman and child I passed as I stumbled off the bus with more in my REI backpack than whole families in Carpuela will ever have, minus the huge pots families hang (fashionably?) on the walls of their kitchen. Those definitely would not fit into my backpack, or the suitcase I left at another volunteer’s house, not wanting to overwhelm anyone, including myself, with all the “stuff” I own.

By my estimate I looked like an overgrown turtle, carrying my home on my back. But to them I was just a white girl and nearly every child I passed felt it his civic duty to remind me, just in case I forgot, at the top of his lungs: “Gringita!!”

How I wished I were a turtle, how I longed to hide myself as a turtle can when he is scared, how I wanted to darken my white skin that immediately labels me as an outsider in Carpuela, an entirely Afroecuadorian community in the Chota Valley of Northern Ecuador where I am the only person who does not have black skin, the only one who is not a “negrita” as the Afroecuadorians prefer to be called.

I will not lie. Those first few days here I was ready to go back home, or at least back to uptown Quito where hotels have televisions, kids wear clothes and flies do not bite. I remember asking myself one night, as I tried to situate myself under my mosquito net in such a way that would prevent it from touching my skin, “Kendra, what the hell are you doing here?” It is likely I would have heard crickets, but he dogs were barking too loudly.

That third night in Carpuela, working out the logistics of getting back home as quickly as possible, I really only needed something familiar, something from home, something to carry me back to the comfort of the west coast, USA, but only long enough to remember whey I made the decision to come here in the first place. In every foreign land I have traversed, music has always held such power.

I have heard it drifting out of my indigenous guide’s guitar on a trek through the Karen villages of Northern Thailand, blaring from the $2.00 speakers of dusty pasals in the Nepal terai, and shaking the sidewalk stands featuring pirated CDs in the mercados of Guatemala City. In each of these places, Bryan Adams and Celine Dion have taken me back to the comfort of my homeland. How, I wonder, is it possible that the Thais, Nepalis and Guatemalans all have an affinity for horrible American music? How is it possible that Air Supply and Toto have stood the test of time in each of these corners of the world? How is it possible I actually enjoy this music outside the borders of the United States?

After hearing “Hotel California” in Cambodia, Costa Rica and Copenhagen, one can imagine I was hardly surprised to find this soundtrack of my life abroad tuning in above the crying babies occupying the waiting room of Carpuela’s health center. Sure as the biting flies, Don Henley’s voice carried me back home.

And in this same health center I was comforted by the unparalleled vision and clarity with which Cat Stevens described my new world. Baby, Baby, it’s a wild world. Three months ago a washing machine was washing my clothes, I was buying burritos made in under 60 seconds at a drive-through window at 11 PM. Heck, three months ago I was driving myself wherever I wanted to go. And now I am beating my clothes on a washing rock, eating homemade soup twice a day containing twice as many potatoes as I dreamed I could consume, and waiting on a highway for a bus driven by a man who would never even qualify to take the behind-the-wheel test at the DMV.

But while Cat’s chorus certainly begins with a prolific message, he had clearly never been to Carpuela. Indeed here in northern Ecuador, I am getting by just upon a smile.

I taught my first health lesson to the seniors at the local High School and I am pretty sure I would not have made it through without a smile. When I beat Don Octavio, the president of my community, in a pit-of-the-obito (an Ecuadorian fruit) spitting contest--twice--I definitely smiled way graciously through that experience. And again, when I do not understand 75% of the proceedings of a village meeting, but get called upon to give my opinion, I just have to smile

Yes, it is a wild world. And all the wilder now that I am in Carpuela. But I assure you that I love this place, these people, I no longer want to go home, and that I am getting by, at least for now, just upon a smile.
–Kendra Goffredo, PCV, Ecuador. Her homepage with pictures:
http://www.geocities.com/kendrainecuador/home.html


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From Training to PCV in Mozambique

So another week has passed and I only have a week more until I find out my site location. It is an exciting time, because in only one week I will know where I will be living for the next two years. Last night I lay under my mosquito net listening to the rain pour on my tin roof as I read my new favorite book, The Kite Runner. The water was dripping in through the cracks and spraying the bed. Nonetheless, I live in a sturdy cement house, and so I can only imagine what families in mud or reed homes were doing. You would think their homes would just slip away, and apparently they do. I was told those types of homes only last about three years, yet people continue to choose those homes to cement ones because in the moment they need a home and they cannot financially plan, so they do what they can, even if it is not enduring.

This last week was extraordinary, I love being in the classroom and I really felt connected with the students, after only a week I knew many of their names and now I am constantly seeing them around the village. My host mom has started calling me Ó senora professora; she is way too sweet to me. When I come home from school she grabs my arms, puts them around her neck and we share this awkward moment where she praises me.

Everything is bizarre here, I wish I could explain the random events that occur everyday, but it is something better understood with the eyes. This morning, for the first time, I realized how hard it was to open a can of jam, without a can opener. The simple things that are so essential to our life in the States are complete unknowns here. So I watched as my sister open the can with the only knife we have in the house. It is one of those internal moments where you go “Wow!” I prepared Mac and Cheese (compliments of Mama’s care package) and my family thought we were fine dining. They went crazy for it, especially the fact the cheese was powdered. It has been a while since I have eaten processed foods, and it was brilliant.

Mac and Cheese has never taken so long to make, especially when you have to build a fire by scratch, I can hardly do it with a Duraflame. And amazingly, they do it nearly five times a day. In moments like this I feel incredibly guilty for taking a warm bucket bath. Cold ones have started integrating into my day.

So next week, I teach a 45 minute lesson everyday. I will be working with students who have never had English before, so lots of gesturing and drawing will be necessary. I’ll have about 60 students and that is all I know until Monday. Tomorrow I will probably settle under an unripe mango tree in my family’s compound, sit on the mat a neighbor made for me and prepare my lesson plan.

I also have a meeting with the man in charge of site placement. I can’t decide whether I want a roommate or whether I want to venture off on my own. I know that I will integrate better and learn more Portuguese if I live alone, but I already feel so bonded to many of the volunteers. I try to remember that I came here alone and that I need to maintain that confidence in myself.

My host family really wants me to go to this island site, which is very close to them, tempting! They said they would visit me every weekend and that I can always come back to “my room.”

It is a beach community with a small, rural village feel to it. So we’ll see. At that location, I would be alone, but would have my “family” only a boat ride away. Like I said, very tempting. Nonetheless, I do believe I will be happy where ever I am placed, my experiences thus far have taught me that I am more adaptable than I thought.

So for Turkey day next week, I will celebrate with the other volunteers. It should be fun, but I have to admit...I will miss how my family does it up! Attached is a photo of my niece and I.

My host family was so excited that I wanted to learn how to carry a child in the “traditional” way. It was great, a bit nerve wrecking, because it’s just hard to believe it is secure, especially when it is someone else’s child. They tried to get me to run with her on my back, they are entirely crazy. Then they wanted to top it off with the bucket on my head, so there I am, Mozambican style.

–Stephanie Cantrell, PCV, Mozambique (photo from author)


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Katie Conlon is a USD Grad who also did volunteer work at the World Beat Center before her departure as a PC Volunteer.

From Gao With Love

So, I gave up waiting for a white Christmas to come. Now I’m singing Frosty the Sandman.

Hope you are all well, and enjoying the festivities–where ever you may be. I must say, Muslims don’t really get in the Christmas spirit, but I’m still having a good time here.

Life in Gao has been very busy for me. These first three weeks I feel like an ambassador when I ride on my bike waving and making salutations where ever I go. People are very friendly, and I am making headway in Songhai. I’ve been waking up before the sun rises to go running– the sun comes up when I’m en route in a shockingly bright orange. The scenery is sparse with Joshua-like trees and desert palms. Yesterday I saw a few Tuareg’s walking their camels to ????

There are definitely a lot of things for me to learn and discover here. I’ve already been invited over for lunch and tea at the homes of some of the artisans I work with. We sit around on mats, and ‘faajikaari’ (chit chat).

Family life for the Songhai is central to everything. It is very different for a woman to live alone, unmarried (unheard of) and I already feel like people try to adopt me - Which is good I guess, never a dull moment. I have permanent invitations to spend time at all the neighbors.

I bet I could even just camp out in their yard and they would be ok with it, and continue to serve tea into the night. The weather right now is very nice too, kind of like a honeymoon time. I guess I should not be deceived the real HEAT will come. My big battles for the moment are ants in my kitchen, birds in the garden (little buggers try to eat everything, but I will get a cat soon to solve that), and a reoccurring battle against some kind of bacteria that has found it’s way into my system. Gotta be more careful with what I eat I guess. No more picking up food after I’ve dropped it on the ground (just kidding, if I did that here, I’d really be in trouble!)

What else to say? I can’t help but feel like I have already gotten used to things here that would for others be cause for culture shock. Is it weird to listen to Takumba music with guys wearing turbans and selling large swords?? My response: No. Is it normal to have visit after visit of African neighbors, young and old, who just plop themselves down in your chairs, just to chill and see what you’re up to? Again: No. Is it true that I am starting to think in French now, instead of English? Oui ,I mean Yes. And the test question for if you can live in Gao: Do you know how to bike in sand and dodge blue motos at the same time? Of course! Ah, this life in Gao! I encourage everyone to come and visit if you’re up to the adventure.
–Katie Conlon, PCV, Corps de la Paix, B.P. 119, Gao, Mali

Also from Katie is this poem:


..Malian dreams... poetry from afar

green tea poured high
from silver kettles
relaxation comes
from hours spent
sitting and talking
low tables, low chairs -
or none at all.
close to the earth,
near to the stars
far from time run by machines -
converging out of the darkness
to this common place,
like sand shifting into new patterns -
wrapped in turbans and scarfs,
leather sandals on feet -
all who come
greet in earnest
and back towards these
mysterious directions we part,
as better friends
maybe to meet again
over tea.
–Katie Conlon, PCV Mali
.


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from NPCA

NPCA National Gatherng Is Rescheduled

NPCA has rescheduled its 45th Anniversary National Gathering. It will now take place Sept. 15-16, 2006. Please update your calendars!

 

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from NPCA Advocacy
:
PC and Military Recruitment

If you haven’t checked the NPCA website lately, we want to remind you that NPCA is continuing to keep you up-to-date on the PC military recruitment issue. Thanks to you and our membership-at-large, we are making real progress. NPCA President Kevin Quigley had an op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune that once again brings national media attention to this expanded Defense Department recruiting initiative linking PC service to military service.

Since the op-ed piece further action has taken place:

Dear Friends
It is with great pleasure that the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) writes to inform you of a congressional victory on the Peace Corps/military recruitment issue! We encourage you to share this message with other interested members of the Peace Corps community.

Late last night on a voice vote, the United States Senate completed congressional action on the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006**. Included in this comprehensive defense legislation is language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program. This action will end the link between military recruitment and Peace Corps that may have changed perceptions of volunteers and thereby affected their safety and effectiveness, as well as potentially challenging Peace Corps’ independence.

The Defense Authorization bill was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this week

Before the Defense Authorization bill becomes law, President Bush needs to sign it. While it may be several weeks before this occurs, all indications are that the President will sign the bill, thereby removing Peace Corps from the NCS program and ending this formal linkage between military recruitment and Peace Corps.

(**The Defense Authorization bill is different from the Defense Appropriations bill, which has been the subject of extended and contentious debate, primarily over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.)...

Thank you!

–Jonathan Pearson, Micronesia 87-89–Advocacy Coordinator

To take action, stay up-to-date, or to view Kevin’s recent op-ed piece on this NPCA advocacy campaign, visit our website at
http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org

For more information on NPCA Advocacy, visit the Advocacy Network webpage at http://www.rpcv.org/advocacy


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from PC Washington

February 27 to March 5, 2006
PEACE CORPS WEEK 2006

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, currently serving and former Volunteers-and their friends and families-will share their overseas experiences, participating in commemorative events that begin during Peace Corps Week, February 27-March 5, 2006, and continue through the end of the year.

Peace Corps Week provides an ideal opportunity for you to share your overseas experiences with your community. Register online http://www.peacecorps.gov/pcweek to receive a free presentation kit which includes informational resources and fun audience souvenirs to help you prepare for and promote your presentation. Visit the Peace Corps Week website for community outreach ideas, presentation suggestions from past participants, and online resources.

Please join us in celebrating the enduring legacy of Peace Corps service during our 45th anniversary celebration. If you have any questions, please email Peace Corps Week at pcweek@peacecorps.gov, or call 800-424-8580, ext. 1961.
–Cynthia R. Chenault, RPCV Kenya 2002-04
Peace Corps Week Assistant
1111 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20526

SDPCA Guide to set up to speak for PC WEEK 2006



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Peace Resource Work Party Nov. 19

On November 19, twenty-seven RPCVs, nominees, and friends got their hands dirty at the third work party for the San Diego Peace Resource Center. This was the largest group we’ve had so far so a lot of work was accomplished!

Among the participants of this volunteer event we had the gracious help of a few young men from the San Diego Choice Program and it was thanks to their hard work that so much was accomplished.

As part of the Peace Resource Center’s effort to promote earth-friendly living, they have included in this project a permaculture lot which will emphasize the use of renewable natural resources and the enrichment of local ecosystems. This lot will include a variety of local plants and many fruit-bearing trees. During this last work party, the San Diego Peace Corps Association and its friends worked together to clear the lot for this plot and even started digging holes for planting trees and trenches for laying the pipes for irrigation.

The Peace Resource Center was happy to have been awarded a grant for this permaculture project and is now excited about beginning the setup. The trees, some about 12 feet tall and many with fruit hanging, along with the amended top soil and fertilizer have just recently been delivered and the SDPCA is looking forward to planting these trees at our next work party scheduled for January 21st.

As always, we are looking for all the help we can get so please join this fun, educational and rewarding project. The Peace Resource Center is particularly looking for someone who could help manage and maintain this permaculture plot so if you have experience or interest in agriculture or gardening please let us know as we would love to have you involved.

If you have any questions or comments about this project please contact SDPCA’s Community Action Chair:

More Pictures


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No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame

Taken from: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/olds

The New York Times has hailed Sharon Olds’s poetry for its vision: “Like Whitman, Ms. Olds sings the body in celebration of a power stronger than political oppression.”

“...the poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital. Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at New York University, was invited along with a number of other writers by First Lady Laura Bush to read from their works. Three years ago artist Jules Feiffer declined to attend the festival’s White House breakfast as a protest against the Iraq War (“Mr. Feiffer Regrets,” November 11, 2002). We suggest that invitees to this year’s event consider following their example.--The Editors [of The Nation]...”

Award-winning poet Sharon Olds declined an invitation from the first lady to read at the National Book Festival in DC on September 24, 2005.

She wrote Mrs. Bush:

“...I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation... No thanks, there’s just something about regimes of blood...”
Not that Olds is hard up for cash or recognition but poets don’t often get the chance to read before 85,000 people– especially poets whose poems don’t rhyme.

Olds continues: “The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers...”

She then delivers this powerful condemnation that I wouldn’t excerpt if you begged me to:

“...I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made “at the top” and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism–the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.

“I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war.

“But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration

“What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting 'extraordinary rendition': flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.

“So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.”

–submitted by Brend Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-66)


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Fundraising

We have two wonderful ways to support our Global Awards Fund that make great gifts your friends and family will appreciate for the whole year.

The 2006 Calendars are here, ready for pickup ($10.00) or mailing ($12.00) and the San Diego Entertainment books are available at 18 Postal Annex+ stores (check the list) for $40.00.


What a perfect way to support San Diego Peace Corps Volunteers with grant monies for their village projects and conveniently get your holiday shopping done early. I would love to hear from every one of our members. Email me:

List of Postal Annex Store Locations:

  • Escondido, 970 W. Valley Parkway, #28, Escondido 92025
  • Poway, 13446 Poway Road, Poway, 92064
  • Rancho Penasquitos, 13223 Black Mountain Rd, SD, 92129
  • Penasquitos, 14391 Penasquitos Drive, SD, 92129
  • Rancho Bernardo, 11956 Bernardo Plaza Drive, SD, 92128
  • University Towne Center, 8895 Towne Center Drive, SD, 92122
  • University City, 3368-F Governor Drive, SD, 92122
  • Encinitas, 204 N. El Camino Real, Ste. E, Encinitas, 92024
  • Point Loma, 3960 W. Point Loma Blvd., SD, 92110
  • Shelter Island, 2907 Shelter Island Drive, Ste. 105, SD, 92106
  • Tierrasanta, 10464 Clairemont Mesa, SD, 92124
  • Poway, 11385 Poway Road, Suite 102, Poway, 91928
  • Clairemont, 7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 205, SD
  • Clairemont, 4203 Genesee Ave, SD, 92117
  • Bankers Hill, 415 Laurel Street, San Diego, 92101
  • Downtown, 645 Front Street, Suite 113, SD, 92101
  • Downtown, (Petco Park) 611 K Street, SD, 92101
  • Chula Vista, 374 East “H” Street, Ste. A, Chula Vista, 91910

–Sean Anderson, Romania (2002-04)


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Great Food and Fun at The Little Lizard

What new aromas, flavors and sounds would we experience this time?
Once again, with the anticipation of having an adventure, a group of 22 members of the SDPCA members and guests ventured out into the heretofore unknown culinary regions of Tijuana, BC, Mexico under the able and reliable guidance of Jerry Sadomka, who also took the pictures shown for this article.

On Saturday, November 12 we were to go and have lunch at a restaurant called La Lagartija, The Little Lizard. We piled into three taxis at the south side of the border and began our adventure. Upon our arrival, we knew that we were in for a “different” treat. The restaurant didn’t appear any different than the neighboring shops and houses! Trusting that our senses would be tantalized, we clamored from the taxis through the narrow door and into what may have been a past living room/dining room area. Our hosts greeted us with incredible affability and so commenced our gastronomical adventure.

What seemed to be an endless array of tasty delights native to Mexican cuisine was presented to us over the next two hours. To add to the warm and “filling” ambiance, a musician, Guadalupe “Lupe” del Villa skillfully serenaded us with a variety of Latin music on authentic instruments. Our mood was so lightened by the feasting and merriment that initially a few of those present were able to join in the musical menu. Before long, the whole group was heard (who knows what the neighbors thought), flexing their tonsorial muscles with a certain glee only encountered in similar aeries where RPCV’s are known to inhabit.

After being satiated, we all agreed that our adventure was exceptional and that we looked forward to when we will have another opportunity to spread our bellies to the delightful and teasing menus provided by restaurants such as the Little Lizard. (La Largatija, Rio Colorado No. 10121, Col. Revolucion, Tijuana, Baja California. Tel. 686-39-56)
–Hank Davenport-Barberis (Peru 62)

Tijuana Trip
There were 22 of us who completely filled the tiny, fresh-faced, brightly colored La Lagaritija (The Lizard), on a quiet (at least til we arrived) side street, undiscovered and only blocks away from the main drags.

As usual, Jer outdid himself, and as usual, the buffet of central Mexican cuisine was out of this world. Dishes none of us had ever sampled, delicate seasonings and perfect preparations. Jose and family were excellent cooks and attendants, always on the spot just when one was thinking of ordering something or asking for a refill.

And–ta dah–a charming, very skilled and talented solo musician, Lupe, whose authentic medieval (1500 CE) instruments (two made of armadillo shells) and music thrilled us all. ALL of us were singing along, and a few courageous ones danced ! A truly enchanting afternoon!
–Brenda Hahn, Nepal (1964-66)


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We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers. –Bayard Rustin

From the President...

The New Year is Here

I missed seeing many of you at the SDPCA events in November and December, but I was with you in spirit! I had the opportunity to deploy to Louisiana in support of hurricane relief efforts and spent some time overseeing construction of temporary levee repairs and the new morgue facility where the remains are identified.

The devastation in Plaquemines Parish, my first stop, was quite amazing. I think my awe was much like that of a newly-arrived PCV, though it was the ruin caused by “mother nature” holding my attention this time, rather than poverty or lifestyle. But much like my Peace Corps experience, it is the people I have met and work with that give me such great memories and make me glad that I was able to participate and help in some way. The experience was just what I needed to end 2005 and “jump-start” 2006, and a reminder that there are many ways to continue with the Third Goal, whether in Mauritania or in Louisiana

I look forward to sharing more with you in an upcoming PacificWaves, but until then, Happy New Year!

–Nikol Shaw, Mauritania (1999-01)


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Board Meetings 11/02/05 & 12/07/05

Minutes

In Attendance: Sean Anderson, Lynn Jarrett, Gregg Pancoast, Sira Perez, and Lisa Rivera attended both meetings. Don Beck, Liz Brown, Marjory Clyne, and Rudy Sovinee attended in November.

Minutes were approved as amended.

President’s Report: See committee reports.

Financial Report: Gregg provided members with financial reports up through the end of November. Revenue is coming in from sales of calendars and entertainment books, however total profit will be less due to money owed the publishers. Gregg also reported that Katie in Nicaragua finally received her award money.

Membership: Lynn reported that the SDPCA membership is at 179, with 51 past due, 24 free members, and 9 new members within the last two months. There are currently 118 NPCA members. For North County, satellite leaders Patsy and Cindy have been sending out letters asking members to verify contact information in order to update the database.

Community Action: Screening of Save the Children went well, possible upcoming second event. The 3rd Peace Resource Center event was held on 11/19/05 with 27 volunteers, the most to date. The Snow Goose Thanksgiving Celebration was held on 11/20/05. Next Peace Resource Event is tentatively set for 1/21/06.

Fundraising: Sean reported sales of entertainment books and calendars are going well. Please contact Sean Anderson if you are interested in purchasing entertainment books and/or calendars.

Global Awards: Global Awards Committee is reviewing proposals. SDPCA’s Global Awards are gaining recognition; the Assistant Director of Peace Corps, Judy Olson is aware of these awards. Committee will review packets Nov. 26th through Dec. 10th and reach a decision by Dec. 15th.

Communications: Next newsletter deadline is 12/10/05. Rudy Sovinee will check the voicemail for the month of December.

Social: Past and present activities are covered in newsletter stories.

Speaker’s Bureau: Panel discussion on Business RPCVs was held on 11/17/05. Please see article.

New Business: Newsletter will be available in paper form and online.

Next Meeting: 6:30 PM, 1/11/06, at the home of Marjory Clyne.

–Sira Perez, Kazakhstan (2001-02)


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“The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy. –Martin Luther King Jr.

 

2005 Newsletter & Website Award Winners
NPCA is pleased to announce the affiliate group winners of this year’s website and newsletter awards! We received nine award nominations for group website and ten nominations for group newsletter.

2005 NPCA Website Award [Both are AWESOME-Ed]
...Winner: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles
................http://www.rpcvla.org/
...Honorable Mention: Friends of Ecuador
................http://www.friendsofecuador.org/

2005 NPCA Newsletter Award
...Winner: Friends of Burkina Faso
...Honorable Mention: Friends of Nigeria

 

Recruiter’s Corner
Upcoming Panel Discussions in the San Diego area
...All panels: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren,
...
3850 Westgate Place, San Diego.
...February 2, 2006–Thursday: Being a Health Volunteer
...March 2, 2006–Thursday: Serving in Africa
...May 4, 2006–Thursday: Teaching in the Peace Corps

San Diego Community General Information Meetings
...All information meetings from 3:00pm to 4:00 pm at San Diego
... Downtown Library, 820 E Street, San Diego, CA 92101
...January 29, 2006–Sunday
...March 19, 2006–Sunday
...May 21, 2006–Sunday

-Rudy Sovinee, Ghana (1970-73)

 

NPCA Online Survey:
Virtual Community
NPCA would like to create an online community where you can engage with others around critical global issues, share your Peace Corps stories, reconnect with friends and more. We are asking for as much input from the Peace Corps community and your group membership as possible.

Go to: http://www.rpcv.org/pages/survey.cfm?id=58 to complete our limited-time online survey. At last count, more than 1200 surveys had been completed, but we want to ensure that each of our group leaders takes a few minutes to share their feedback too. We want to hear from you! Thank you.

Brand New Affiliate Groups
NPCA is pleased to announce two brand new affiliate groups: Friends of Pakistan and Friends of China. Their group webpage is now available for viewing, and will continue to be updated in 2006. Welcome aboard!


Samoan Music Link
This link has great Samoan Music all day long.
http://polycafe.com/mp/


DEPLOYED FOR PEACE T-shirts:
Limited Supply Remaining!
NPCA’s long sleeve “deployed for peace” t-shirt featuring the refreshed NPCA logo is still available in a few, remaining sizes. But, we are almost sold out! Let the world know where you stand on the initiative to tie military recruitment to Peace Corps service!


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Welcome New Members!

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members. We’ve seen some of you at events already, and we want all of you to get involved in our activities. Let us hear from you!

Henry Loeser, Czech Republic (1993-96)
Pearl Ly, Honduras (2002-04)
Monica Isaza, Bangladesh (2002-04)
Andrew Poundstone, Suriname (2003-05)
Jennifer Winston, Madagascar (2003-05)
Jeremy Parker, Niger (2002-04)
Karen Parker, Niger (2002-04)
Roberta Robledo, Kyrgyzstan (1997-99)
David Gehl, Senegal (2003-05)
Carl Sepponen, Bolivia (1970-71), Ecuador (1971-72 and 1977-78)

–Lynn Jarrett, Ukraine (2001-2003)


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Newsletter Credits

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

Contributions are encouraged: e-mailed text file on disk- Mac preferred, or typed copy.

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

Editor
Liz Brown

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck

Contributors this issue are:
Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nikol Shaw, Rudy Sovinee, Marjory Clyne, Sira Perez, Lisa Rivera, Kendra Goffedo, Katie Conlon, Stephanie Cantrell, Sean Anderson, Hank Davenport-Barbera, Erik Fritz, Lynn Jarrett

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