1.12.09

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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
January - February 2009 — Volume 22, Number 1
Welcome to a NEW YEAR !!!
Index: click on your choice...
Ten Simple Things WE ALL Can Do Greetings from Ghana
Ideas for PC 50th Anniv in SD Greetings from Namibia
Kids4 Peace Hold Rally for La Jolla Seals

NPCA: PC Community to March in Inaugural Parade
PC Connect: Be a Beta Tester .........Letters Weigh in on New Director

From WorldView: A Better Place for the Peace Corps

ISP Grant Reports:
Santa Paula School Roofing, El Slavador .........Dictionary Project, Zaire

Holiday Party ..........Refugee Camp.......Casa Guadalajara
NOTE: SDCA email addresses here are no longer clickable to prevent roaming spam servers reading them. Sorry for the in convenience- 9/05

 
Editor
 

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International
Peace Days

http://www.betterworldcalendar.com/
Great site for Peace-full things:  Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.


One Day In Peace
Freedom Day

Women’s Day
Earth Day

Diversity Day
Interfaith Day

CoOp Day
No Nukes Day

Peace Day
End Hunger Day

Tolerance Day
International Volunteer Day
Human Rights Day

--January 1
–February 1

–March 8
–April 22
–May 21
–June 22

–July 5
–August 6

–September 21
–October 16

–November 16
--December 5
–December 10

"As they used to say 'What if they gave a war and nobody came?' How worthwhile if they declared a day of peace and everybody came."
-- Ed Asner

“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth. Peace is all of these and more and more.
-- Menachem Begin

"Anti-democracy...is a virus that exists, and pro-democracy is the antibody to that virus, and I think we have to become vigilant, and we have to stay on top of the issues of democracy and freedom."
-- Harry Belafonte

None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
-- Pearl S. Buck

January 1 - One Day in Peace

February 1 - Freedom Day

(left-Harry Belafonte) from http://www.betterworldcalendar.com

January 1 -- One Day in Peace:
This is the very idea behind two January 1 events - One Day In Peace and Global Family Day. A global campaign for One Day In Peace on January 1, 2000 helped inspire a UN Resolution and a joint United States Congressional Resolution, inviting January 1 to be celebrated every year as a day of peace and sharing. If we can live for one day in peace, then we can work together to make peace last, one day at a time.

The day has also come to be known as Global Family Day - a day for peace and sharing. Communities around the world come together for a shared meal on January 1 and talk about how they can help to create a better world. What can you do to help create humanity's first day of peace, ever?

February 1 -- Freedom Day:
Freedom is the most basic of all human rights, and yet throughout history many individuals and nations have had to struggle to be free. For this reason, the first ten Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the American Constitution to guarantee basic freedoms for our new nation's citizens.

The Bill of Rights was a tremendous milestone in the pursuit of freedom for all, and yet when our nation was founded, not all Americans were allowed to be free. Slavery is the ultimate loss of freedom, and it was nearly another 100 years before Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. National Freedom Day commemorates this momentous occasion on February 1, 1865.


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Take action now....

Ten Simple Things WE ALL Can Do to Save the earth

  1. Put on a sweater.   Remember, when you turn up the heat in wintertime, your furnace is probably burning fossil fuels. A sweater or a nice warm robe will keep you even warmer and will help conserve resources and reduce global warming.
  2. Put one foot in front of the other.   One hundred years ago, 99.9% of people got by without cars. They took the train; they lived near their workplace and they walked. Using fuel-efficient cars is important, but we can save even more fuel by simply driving less.
  3. Go for seconds.   Recycling doesn’t only mean separating your cans and bottles, it can mean using things a second (or a third) time. That nice padded envelope you got in the mail, for example: instead of throwing it away, scratch out the address, tear off the stamps and use it again.
  4. Watch your waste.   Items you may be throwing away can contaminate the soil and water for thousands or millions of years. Your community probably has special disposal procedures for things like used oil and batteries. Ink cartridges can probably be recycled where you bought them (Staples discounts new cartridges with empty ones.). And many of the new super-efficient lightbulbs contaminate so proper disposal is crucial. Check with the store where you buy them.
  5. Neither paper nor plastic.  Bring, your bags with you! By taking reusable bags to the grocery store, you can cut down on the 350 bags the average American uses each year, and reduce needless deaths to marine life caused by plastic bags that end up in streams, rivers and oceans.
  6. BYOB.  Last year Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles. Fill up a reusable water bottle at home and bring it with you. Don’t like the taste of your tap water? Buy a filter! (Remember, much of the bottled water sold today is filtered tap water, anyway.)
  7. Flip ‘em off.   In much of America we can’t even see the stars anymore due in part to all the electric lights. Keep the light on in the room you’re in, but keep the rest of your house dark. You’ll find the dark is soothing.
  8. Get in touch with your roots. Plant a tree! Good for the soil, good for the bird’s, good for reducing global warming – and good for the air you’re breathing!
  9. Get off.   Catalogs are great when they’re from companies you like to order from. But if you’re getting catalogs from companies you don’t buy from, call them and tell them to get you off their mailing list - and that’s an order.
  10. Support the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),
        1259 24th St, NW, Washington, DC 20037
        http://www.worldwildlife.org

–from Marjory Clyne, Samoa 1972-74.


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By now, welcome back to San Diego to August Konrad!  He was first stationed in Kenya. He was evacuated from Kenya.  In February he chose re-assignment to Ghana and has  now finished his term of service.

Greetings from Ghana

Tue, Nov. 18, 2008
GREETINGS! My time here is short. I’m looking forward to completing my work with the students. My time was well spent and appreciated. The teacher replacing me will implement some of my methods such as the reading club and the peer tutoring group. The reading club involves adapting the standard chemistry text as well as reading sessions. The peer tutoring group encourages youngsters to select and work with one of their peers to explain concepts and prepare for tests.

We have recently entered the season of the Harmaatan, a dry windy time with some fine dust from the Sahara, with the full impact in mid December when the heavier dust, the stronger winds, and the very cold mornings very cold.

A few weeks ago where there were fields of millet and ground nuts; rice and okra and running streams, now there is burned stubble and the streams are just dry rocks. The growing season is less than five months. In the future a corporation will come into the area to take full advantage of the dam, lake, and surrounding farmland. 

These pictures are from the recent cultural competion Gowrie was invited to. The large drums are from the Ashanti region in the central forest region. The smaller drum is the traditional instrument in this region. The dancers are from our school. The dance style is vigorous. The students are quite surprised when I can keep up with them(for a little while). I’ve also developed a few steps for a Chemistry dance that is becoming popular. It doesn’t help them learn Chemistry unfortunately. 

Sun, Dec. 07, 2008 – My Last Week
GREETINGS! Today is election day here in Ghana. There has been a sincere and aggresive effort by all concerned that the elections be free and fair. There are expected outbreaks in some areas noted for such things. Since the current president is in his final term there should be no real trouble.

I have completed all my responsibilities at the school and will have my physical exam these next few days, then home to California on Saturday. The students and school gave me a good send off with a dance presentation of course, but this time the primary school was included. These youngsters were very good at the traditional drumming. I’ve included a photo of them. Also included are some of the dancers from the secondary school. Often a photo shows the socio-emotional environment of a place more than words can. I’m glad to have caught these young women in this expressive moment.

The sunset is taken from an elevated dam that has caused the formation of a lake. I would often run in the early evening along this route and think about California. The agriculture is at present not very organized but it is expected to develope in the near future.

Bye for now.
–August Konrad, PCV,
  Ghana (2006-08) and    
  RPCV as of 12/14/08

(photos here from August Konrad.)


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Ideas for Peace Corps 50th Anniversary in San Diego

Here are the combined results of a brainstorming activity at the Holiday Party: we couldn’t eat until RPCVs grouped by decade of service had listed possible activities to kicking off Peace Corps’ 50th  Year Celebration in San Diego September 2010.
More suggestions welcomed!!

Community Service:
• Build houses with Habitat for Humanity in San Diego and Baja
• Returned volunteers read stories in schools and libraries
• Sponsor 7th and 8th grade children in SD

Community Presence / Education:
• Activities in Horton Plaza
• Connect with local schools / districts
• Activities at World Beat Center – display regional dances, music from country of service
• Outreach to local TV, radio, do press release
• Create Peace Tree in public place – leaves have names of SD County RPCV’s / parents of RPCVs
• Have a BBQ in Water Front Park
• Hire one of those traveling trucks to advertise events and PC
• Candlelight vigil / march
• Vigil / remembrance for those who have died in service
• Larry Leamers interview (one of first PCVs; wrote Sons of Camelot)
• Troubadours – country dress
• Have displays in the city and county libraries: PC, volunteerism, multi cultural
• Work with the Peace Resource Center
• Work with USD Peace and Justice Center: lectures/presentations
• Host RPCV panel event(s) discussing aspects of PC service
• Establish House of Peace Corps at Balboa Intn’ Cottages
• Create world map display at Balboa Park with RPCV’s stand/post their country of service
• Take a harbor cruise
• Trip to Sacramento
• Plant a rose garden in Balboa dedicated to Peace Corps
• Link up with Jacobs Center to host celebration of diverse SD ethnic groups
• Link up RPCV’s with people from countries where they served
• Beach party
• Sightseeing for visitors: Old Town, Cabrillo Nat’l Mon., Missions
• Dress up your pet in the clothing from your country of service
• Reach out to kids using international pop icons (example: talk about Shakira and Columbia)
• Do “A day in the life of (insert country here)” event
• Join UCSD’s international week
• Share/Record “worst day” survival stories
• Host an international festival with cultural activities, food, etc.
• International obstacle course
• Have sand sculpture contest – international monuments, places, etc.
• Host sports tournaments with international sports
• Have an Iron Chef Contest with international foods
• Outreach to parents of current PCV’s
• Outreach to RPCVs in San Diego County
• Recognition of good works in San Diego by RPCV’s
• Reality Show
–Gathered by Jill Dumbauld, Ecuador (2004-06)

 


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From NPCA
PC Community to March in Inaugural Parade

On December 11 we learned that the Peace Corps Community’s application to participate in the Presidential Inaugural Parade was accepted. You can read the Presidential Inaugural Committee press release at link below.

 A total of 200 marchers spanning the decades of Peace Corps’s existence will carry flags from every country where Volunteers have served.

Our Community’s participation in the Inaugural Parade will showcase to the world the values of civic engagement and citizen diplomacy as embodied by Peace Corps, as well as spotlight the historic upcoming 50th anniversary celebration.  We’re honored and excited!

At this stage we don’t have many more details, but stay tuned to our website and that of The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC, which is planning several events during the Inaugural Weekend.

More updates at RPCVs Washington site:  http://www.rpcvw.org/mc/page.do

 


PC Connect: Be a Beta tester

We are still on track for a late January launch of PeaceCorpsConnect, the first online networking site connecting, informing and engaging Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), and people around the world--powered  by the NPCA.  

Created by us and for us, PeaceCorpsConnect is an inspiring and easy way for PCVs, RPCVs, or any individual or organization sharing the values of Peace Corps to connect with one another. Share your stories, photos, information, projects, and best practices. 

Are you interested in participating in the invitation-only beta?  If so, please e-mail pc.socialnetwork@gmail.com with “Peace Corps Connect Beta in the subject line by January 5th.   



Letters Weigh in on a New Director

This week, NPCA’s Board of Directors approved and sent a letter to the Obama transition team outlining key guiding principles that should be taken into consideration in selecting the new Peace Corps Director.

Our advocacy program also sent thank you letters to two outgoing RPCV Congressmen.  On behalf of the Peace Corps community, NPCA President Kevin Quigley thanked departing Congressman and Fiji RPCV Chris Shays (R-CT) for more than 20 years of service to southwestern Connecticut. A similar thank you was extended to Nepal RPCV Jim Walsh (R-NY) and his nearly two decades of service representing the Syracuse area of upstate New York.


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Kids4Peace Hold Rally
for La Jolla Seals

Children are taking a firm stance to save the harbor seals of La Jolla.  At a rally on Sunday, November 23rd, about twenty five children from “KidsforPeace” along with many of their parents joined with members of the “Save Our San Diego Seals Coalition” at Casa Beach to let their voices be publicly heard. RPCV Ellen Shively (Eritrea, 68-70), a Sierra Club conservation activist helped organize the various events.

The children sang an original song, written for the occasion, exclaiming that the seals were beautiful and needed our protection.  Arranged in rows against the backdrop of about fifty seals lying on the beach basking in the afternoon sun, the children’s passion rang out crystal clear.

After the song, La Jolla Friends of the Seals docent Jerry Horna led the group out to the seawall and allowed the children to see the sleeping seals up close, while still keeping the twenty-five foot separation, a distance that seals are most comfortable with.  The children held up home made posters they had colored themselves carrying the message to “Save Our Seals” and “Kids love the seals and don’t want to swim here”.  It was a peaceful rally.  No seals were “flushed” or sent fleeing back into the water, even with the large crowd standing along the seawall. 

The seals have been using this specific location long before the seawall was built and those born here instinctively return or never really leave.  An interesting facet is that the colony has reached a maximum carrying capacity (comfortable number supported by the resources) of about two hundred, and have stayed at that number for several years.  Their presence at Casa Beach is an integral part of the living ecosystem, contributing to other forms of ocean life.

Upon their return to the rally point, the children signed a petition to the San Diego City Council declaring their wish that the Council improve on their efforts to preserve this rookery and beach as a safe haul-out site for the colony.  Plans are now underway for the children to make a presentation of the petition at a January session of the Council. Members of the coalition handed out flyers to the public urging them to contact their Council person with the message to do all they can to help in the campaign. 

The local chapter of “KidsforPeace”, a non-profit group located in San Diego County, is dedicated to uplifting our world through love and action. They may be contacted through their website at http://www.KidsforPeaceUSA.org.  Other features of their peace-centered efforts include learning about other cultures, playing cooperative games and performing a monthly Peace Challenge.  They speak and write to public officials to advocate a cause for which they want to be heard. The San Diego Save Our Seals Coalition is composed of members from the Sierra Club, La Jolla Friends of the Seals, Animal Protection and Rescue League, and a number of other interested groups and individuals.  They have organized tirelessly asking the City not to dredge the beach, to place the rope up during pupping season to protect the new pups and for public safety, and to request a local member of the state legislature to include seal-watching in the land grant as a legitimate recreational use of Casa Beach.  The group meets at the Sierra Club office.  Contact Ellen at (619) 479-3412 for further information.

 P.S. The local chairperson was interested in our organization and would love to have a speaker come to their group. The children often send care packages to contacts in a country needing help after hearing about that country first hand. If you can do this, please contact our speakers bureau.

–Ellen Shively, Eritrea, (1968-70),


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from: NPCA’s WorldView Magazine, Volume 21 Number 3  Fall 2008 [pre-election]

A Better Place for the Peace Corps:
The Case for a Corporation of International Study and Service
by Lex Rieffel

The Peace Corps is stuck in a rut. It remains the gold standard for international volunteer in but budget constraints have kept the number of volunteers in the field below 8,000. Today the Peace Corps is barely half the size it reached at its peak in the mid-1960s, despite President Bush’s request to Congress after 9/11 to rebuild to the 14,000 level.

A critical challenge for the next president of the United States will be to convince the rest of the world that we are more interested in being a reliable partner than a military superpower. The future security and prosperity of Americans will depend on the success of this effort, which can only be achieved through a mix of hard power and soft power instruments. The Peace Corps has been one of the most effective forms of American soft power since John F. Kennedy created it in 1961. Scaling up the Peace Corps to ten times its present size could be one of the smartest initiatives advanced by the next president. Based on policy analysis and deliberations carried out over the past five years, a bold move of this kind will require a new mission, a new funding model, and a new organizational form.

The new mission simply needs to reflect the immense changes in the world over the past fifty years, especially the rise of new economic powers such as Brazil, China and India. A bigger Peace Corps will only be attractive to these countries if it is more of a partnership, an exchange, a two-way street. The new funding model can be borrowed from our domestic volunteer programs. Instead of putting the full cost on American taxpayers, federal budget dollars can be combined with private sector funds: from NGOs, for-profit programs, corporations, universities, etc.

The most radical step required to have ten times as many Americans engaged in volunteer service overseas is probably the creation of a new organizational form. The task calls for an organization that will allow traditional Peace Corps service to remain the gold standard, but will accommodate a “family” of related international volunteer programs.

Four organizational forms have been considered. The one that offers the greatest advantages is a Corporation for International Study and Service that includes the Peace Corps, essentially as it is today, among half a dozen or more volunteering options.

The alternatives that appear less attractive are: keeping the Peace Corps as a federal agency but mandating it to establish several new programs with a range of service requirements; spinning off the Peace Corps into the private sector (with a basic commitment of federal funding) where it would be free to innovate both on the funding side and the program side; and enlarging the mandate of the Corporation for National and Community Service -- CNCS (which administers AmeriCorps, Vista and other domestic programs) to include the Peace Corps and various new international programs.

Here are some of the benefits to expect from creating a Corporation for International Study and Service -- CISS:

  • Like the CNCS, the CISS would have a policy-making Board of Directors dominated by private citizens. This will make Peace Corps governance more bipartisan and more visible.
  • With a fresh and broader mandate, the CISS Board would appoint as CEO a charismatic personality who could more effectively “sell” international volunteering to the Congress, to Americans seeking service opportunities overseas, and to the leading emerging market countries that will be the major drivers of global economics and politics for the next fifty years. The CEO could be The Peace Corps would have a better “home,” less beholden to the White House and the State Department. It will be at the heart of the CISS: recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers for two-year assignments, as it has been doing successfully for almost 50 years. It will contribute country knowledge and operational experience for the new programs to be established by the CISS. The goal of doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers by 2011 can be more easily reached as part of a strategic approach to building bridges with the rest of the world.
  • Two existing “sister” programs would also find better homes in the CISS. One is Peace Corps Response, which sends returned Corps Volunteers to “hot spots” for short-term (six month) periods of service. With co-financing, it could easily grow from 100 volunteers per year today to more than a thousand per year. The other is Volunteers for Prosperity, a “match-making” program now administered by USAID. The CISS would also be the logical home for the Global Service Fellowship Program that is now under consideration in the Congress.
  • The CISS would be free to add and drop programs as the supply of volunteers and the demand from foreign countries evolves. An absolutely critical step will be to create a program to place foreign volunteers at useful sites in the United States, as science and language teachers in our public schools, for example. An obvious winner will be a new program for “Baby Boomers” that might involve shorter but repeated commitments at sites tailored to their skills and experience.
  • The Peace Corps was born on a university campus. Sargent Shriver’s vision included an intense partnership with American colleges and universities. It did not materialize, but today the prospects may be better. In-service learning is booming here and in other countries. Academic leaders have been working to scale up international study. The synergies between international study and international service are clear and immense. Bringing the two together in the CISS will help both movements achieve what neither can achieve independently: more funding, greater volunteer interest, better service opportunities, and better post-study and post-service employment opportunities.

Will the next President of the United States be prepared to take a bold step of this kind? The answer depends in large part on what the candidates hear on campuses and in communities across the country this fall. That is how the Peace Corps began. The time is ripe. Use your voice and vote voice and vote.
Lex Rieffel (India 65-67) is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. The views expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the NPCA.



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Alison West is a PCV-Namibia from San Diego. She received a 2007 ISF Grant from SDPCA for a Security Improvement Project. She finsihed her service with the year end. --Ed.

Greetings from Namibia:
Update from PCV Allison West

Hi Everyone,
Just a quick hello. I haven’t written because hotmail is being funny and not working right. I wanted to email as so much has been going on -- and I will be home so soon.

A week ago my school and community threw a huge farewell party for me on and it was OUT OF CONTROL!!!! I cannot even describe how amazing the day was! So many tears were shed and so many smiles. Many people; many speeches. Kids performed cultural dances and sang songs. A goat and 20+ chickens were slaughtered, and I was spoiled with gifts. My colleagues ushered me away to present me with a beautiful cultural dress. They dressed me in it and escorted me back to the party while kids and memes danced and sang. Like I said, it was nuts! When speeches were over, we enjoyed a wonderful feast, had a champagne toast, and danced. My friends Jenn and Sheyi came also. The day was so perfect -- I am thankful to have such great farewell memories. I really feel better about letting go (a little) of my life here and starting with the next exciting thing.

I have been busy making final visits to neighbor’s homes -- I visit those I’m really close to, about 6 or 7 in the past 2 weeks! Its lots of walking too! One was almost an hour walk from my home.  I’ve been taking tons of pictures, soaking up every moment.

Two weeks ago my lovely neighbor, Meme Laimi, brought me a beautiful traditional dress as a gift!  Meme is so special to me, she has been teaching me Oshiwambo from the beginning.

Time is flying by! Yesterday I started sketching the HIV/AIDS mural I will paint on the entrance wall at the school -- a gift from me to my school. I’m completely done with school work, so all next week I’ll just paint. It should be a great final week. So many activities to go to in saying my goodbyes!

So...as my life here is wrapping up...it will all be new and crazy the moment I land in San Diego. I’m so sad to leave but at the same time, I’m really starting to get excited about whatever the next exciting thing will be! 

– Ali West, PCV 2006-2008,  Uukwiyoongwe Village, Namibia
   http://www.namibiamericaproject.org

[Ed: Welcome back Ali! Thanks for sharing your emails!]


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ISP Grant Report:
Santa Paula School Roofing,
El Salvador

• Robert Alvarez, Peace Corps/El Salvador
•  Santa Paula Elementary/Middle School, Village of Santa
   Paula, Municipality Apastepeque, Department San Vicente,
   El Salvador

From report submitted by Robert Alvarez: 
For the past 2 years, the leaking roof has caused students and teachers to work in poor and unsanitary conditions during the rainy season. This problem has now been resolved thanks to the funding provided by the SDPCA Tonner Grant of $504. The high quality of the newly installed Duralite will give many years of service.
Oversight of the project was done by the School Director Rodil Flores, and the Small Projects Committee of the school. We would have been done sooner but were delayed in getting the full delivery of roofing panels.  The new panels were a different size from the original materials and had to be stored a distance from the school.

The installation of the new roofing panels took two days to complete under a blistering sun and saturating humidity, with the help of two technicians and a total of six volunteers from the community, including the PCV.  An additional eight community volunteers helped in storage and retrieval of the panels. The roofing panels are now in place and working properly.

Once we had all the materials the actual construction work was done quickly -- in just two days  on October 12, 2008.

The project has been a grand success!


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(above) The Mwala Basic School with the flag of Zambia.

ISP Grant Report:
Dictionary Project, Zaire

• Koh Tanimoto, Peace Corps/Zambia, 2007-09 Rural
   Education Development Volunteer
• Mwala Basic School, Manje Zone, Chadiza District,
   Eastern Province, Zambia

From report submitted by Koh Tanimoto
Due to the fluctuation in the exchange rate, the total monies received from the $467 USD Grant from the SDPCA was 1,548,806 Zambian Kwacha.  The staff members of Mwala Basic School and I decided to buy slightly different priced dictionaries than what was written in the proposal.  We decided to buy three different types of dictionaries due to their availability at the local retail dealer and the recognition that various levels of students would benefit from different dictionaries.

5 copies of the Longman Active Study Dictionary, 13 copies of the Basic English Dictionary, and 13 copies of the Oxford Junior Dictionary were selected to provide enough diversity to cater to the varying reading levels of the students and community members.

The Active Study Dictionary was picked so teachers could reference more advanced versions during the preparation of their lessons.  The Basic English Dictionary is intended for students in grades 4 through 7, while the Junior Dictionary is intended for students in grades 7 through 9.  The total purchases amounted to more than our grant, so the teachers from Mwala Basic School paid the difference.

(above) back-row: Mr. Mulgena Sonkwe, Mrs. Naomi Mbewe, Mr. Caphers
Hatukupa, Mr. Greyson Ziwa (Headmaster), front-row: Mr. Johnathan Chiyenga (Deputy Headmaster), Mr. Emmanuel Ndhovu (Senior teacher).

The dictionaries are now available to students and the community members.  Since Mwala basic School is the nearest school to my house, I have frequently visited the school to check on the status of the dictionaries.  

Initially, there was a problem where the students were able to check out the books to bring home, meaning there were no available copies when I visited.  However, I spoke of the important of always having a few copies available in the library, so the guidance teacher who is in charge of the library has changed the policy to ensure there is at least a few copies remaining.

Currently, Mr. Anderson Mbewe and I have been writing letters to various organizations throughout the world to request the donation of more reading material to the library.  The procurement of the dictionaries was a great start for the library, but much more work lies ahead. 

There is still a huge lack of a wide variety of books that students can borrow, so we will continue in our pursuit of acquiring more reading materials.

(below) Greyson Ziwa (Headmaster of Mwala Basic School) in his office showing the Longman Active Study Dictionary. (Photos from Koh Tanimoto)

From report from Jonathan Chiyenga, Deputy Head Teacher
The school was opened in 1966 by the Government Republic of Zambia.  The current total enrollment stands at 254 boys and 261 girls, making a total of 515 pupils.  The school is manned by 3 female teachers and 8 male teachers.  The school draws its pupils from five surrounding villages namely, Kumadzi, Chimkuyu, Mpeta, Changuma and Khulika and to some extent from isolated settlements in the outskirts of these villages.

During one of the teacher meetings, members of the staff identified reading as one of the problems learners were facing.  This was also supported by the poor reading skills exhibited by learners in various classes.  Therefore, the school decided to promote the reading culture in the school by opening a Library using the available supplementary readers and HIV/AIDS information booklets.  Mr. Mbewe approached the Zambia Library Service offices in Chipata to find out how they could assist the school.  Their response was positive and 240 assorted books were provided to the school.  A room was identified and Mr. Mbewe was put in charge to run the library.

Mr. Mbewe approached Mr. Koh Tanimoto regarding funding for more resources.  A grant was received from the SDPCA.  At the moment the dictionaries have been bought and are displayed in the library were pupils, teachers and adults from neighboring villages could access them.  It is hoped that dictionaries will go a long way in improving the reading levels in the school and the surrounding villages at large apart from adding a variety of reading/reference books the library could offer.


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Dec 13: Holiday Party

A great seasonal gathering!  Though weather was wintery, our group was warm spirited at the San Diego Humane Society facilities near Morena Blvd. Early arrivals got a tour to see some of the animals: available for adoption, including -- of course --  dogs and cats, rabbits, hamsters and rats!!  THANK YOU for donating toys, food, and used towels and blankets to the Humane Society.  These will keep animals warm and cozy this season until they find a warm home of their own with a new family.

We collected 135 pounds of food (canned goods, soups, cereals, pasta, etc).  This equates to roughly 113 meals!!! During the current economic crisis, there is an increasing need for the San Diego Food Bank’s services. Our food drive will benefit so many in-need families this holiday season and it couldn’t have succeeded without your help.  So THANK YOU!!!.

The room was abuzz with much talking, including many children exploring all over!  Visitors came from as far as Australia. 

Silent Auction items were displayed to one side, including a Bolivia poncho, an Ecuadorian scarf, artwork from Honduras and Tanzanian batiks, a food basket, mango wood bowls from Thailand, a vase from Germany, certificates for massage, restaurant gift certificates and hostel membership, and many more interesting items.  The auction raised about $310.

  A book corner was set up as well with a wide variety of books for sale ranging from Barbara Bush’s memoirs to international cook books to children’s books.  A $5 donation was requested for each book; donations for books raised about $70.

After some announcements, to kick off the evening, folks met by decade of service with the task of brainstorming some ideas for activities for San Diego in 2011 relating to Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary.  Much lively discussion and many exciting ideas were gathered ranging from a Bay Cruise to cultural activities in Horton Plaza -- see full list on page 11.  Please add to and expand it -- send ideas to any board member!

And of course many varieties of food dishes from around the globe! After a fine repast, folks voted on their favorite platos with prizes to the top three choices.

Food contest winners were Mary Dulatre and her friend Theresa.  They won an Entertainment book for their chocolate pie with chocolate topping. Conratulations to all the culinary expets!

In any case, a great time was had by all!  Thanks to everyone who helped set up, run, shared things and helped celebrate the season! 

Thanks!


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Nov 8: Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City

I’m sure many of you have heard of Doctors Without Borders. Their brochure describes them as “an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural & man made disasters…” On any one day, they have more than 27,000 doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals in the field providing assistance to people caught in crises around the world.

What would it be like to be a refugee? Where do I go when war starts? Where can I be safe? Where will I find water? Food? What about malnutrition? Cholera? How can I protect my children from disease? How will I cope? How long will I be stuck in this camp? Will I ever be able to go home?

Our guide through the mock refugee camp tried to answer these and many other questions. We saw real examples of tents, toilets, medical supplies, and even tasted the high protein biscuits distributed in the camps. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem (42 million people are currently uprooted by war right now) but also inspired and humbled by these dedicated people who frequently work in the most remote or dangerous parts of the world.  

You can get more information at their website:
                  http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


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November Social Hour at Casa Guadalajara

On November 19, SDPCA members and friends met up at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town!  It was our first venture into Old Town for quite a while, and Casa Guadalajara’s free Happy Hour appetizers were a big hit.  

The usual crowd of returned volunteers and friends was joined by some new faces, including recent ‘returnees’, interested ‘do-gooders’, and some students from UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.   

We look forward to seeing you all again in January!


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Peace Corps Week Coming
Sun-February 22 to Mon-March 2

• Make a Presentation – to a friend or a group!
• Help plan activities – ideas gratefully accepted!
• Contact Speakers Chair: Tracy Addis .


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Membership Renewals DUE!

All memberships are renewable each January, so if you havent sent in your renewal for the 2009 year, please do. You can use the form on page 11 of the newsletter or download the membership form, print it out, fill it in and mail it in with your membership fee.


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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.    

Barack Obama

from the President
Let's Work Together!

Happy New Year to All!

Thank you for making our holiday party a big success. A new year brings resolve to accomplish great things. I do hope Barack Obama succeeds in that. I think our group can harness the enthusiasm of inaugurating a new President to work on some new and exciting goals for this year.

Let us know your ideas.

Let’s work together and make it happen.

–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa (1972–74)


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The peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: My country right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ---–Senator Carl Schurz (1829-1906), US Senate Feb. 29, 1872

Call for Submissions: 
Next WorldView Magazine on Language

Language has always been an integral part of the Peace Corps experience and WorldView magazine is looking for submissions for publication relating to the subject.   Whether it’s learning a new one or working to save one, WorldView magazine wants to hear your story about language. 

  • Do you have a surprising tale about learning a native tongue? 
  • Did you find that the language you learned told you more about the culture of the area in which you served than you expected? 
  • Did teaching English change your perspective on learning a language? 
  • Is there a language instructor in your host country who could offer insight into the challenges and rewards of teaching Peace Corps volunteers?

The next issue of WorldView hopes to explore these questions in addition to taking a look at language preservation, Peace Corps jargon, and language instruction at PC. 

Send your submissions and suggestions to news@rpcv.org or visit WorldView magazine for more information.

Shriver Peaceworker Program     
Everyone who successfully completes PC service has lifetime eligibility for the Shriver Peaceworker Programs around the country. These programs that support RPCVs as they earn graduate degrees while engaging  in community service at home.  The Peaceworker Program was founded by Sargent Shriver’s family to continue his remarkable legacy of service leadership and help  bring it all home!  

8-10 RPCVs are selected yearly for our graduate service-learning program with full graduate assistantship packages of two years (tuition, stipend, health benefits valued at over $25,000/yr).

Fellows  can choose from a number of grad programs.   Peaceworker Fellows receive significant financial support (start to finish),  engage in rich service internships.

Application deadline is January 15th, 2009 for Fellowships for the 2009-2010 academic year. Full program information can be found on our website at  http://www.shrivercenter.org/peaceworker  

All RPCVs are eligible, and current PCVs can also apply from the field as their COS approaches (Our home university even waives the grad school application fee for current PCVs!).  

Please contact me, Joby Taylor or my colleague Jennifer Arndt (jarndt@umbc.edu or 410-455-6313 )

–Joby Taylor, Ph.D., Director, Shriver Peaceworker Program
   joby.taylor@umbc.edu
   410-455-6398  cell: 410-917-3270  fax: 410-455-1074
   The Shriver Center, UMBC
   1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore MD 21250
   http://www.shrivercenter.org/peaceworker

Free Rice
Check out the website: http://www.freerice.com  It’s fun, clever and effective in helping to feed the hungry.  Answer questions: for each correct answer, 20 grains of rice is donate through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. 179,797,660 grains of rice donated yesterday.

Over 55 billion grains donated to date.
–Link provided by Frank Davenport,

Peace Corps People Wanted
You can visit NPCA’s online Career Center to see who is hiring at: (http://www.vv-vv.com/npca/P88051OR.cfm?A=JML&B=1,0,0,0#).  If you’re thinking about working for the U.S. State Department, go to http://www.worldviewmagazine.com and click their banner ad.

 

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Recruiter’s Corner – Jan-Feb 2009

Happy New Year to everyone in the SDPCA!  2008 was a good year overall. We were able to re-open programs in Liberia and Rwanda, and deal successfully with emergency situations in Georgia, Kenya, and Bolivia. Happily, PCVs have returned to the Kenyan program. Our volunteer force is still at 8,000, despite wavering economic conditions overseas.

With an historical election over, the Presidential call to service seems louder than any time recenty. We see a significant increase in applications; we expect an increase as college graduates and experienced individuals face dimmer job prospects. We expect to have a number of activities during Peace Corps week, including an “International Café” event at UCSD on Feb. 27. Keep checking SDPCA website for opportunities to share your PC experience, and help celebrate the PC’s 48th anniversary.

I look forward to another hectic year of recruitment in the San Diego area, and getting to know even more SDPCA members and the great things you’ve done abroad.

--Saludos, Jacob Hall, Regional Recruiter, Nicaragua, ’00-‘02, Regional Recruiter, SD County jhall@peacecorps.gov 310-356-1114 


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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, Lisa Eckl

Contributors this issue are:
Marjory Clyne; Allison West, PC;, Ellen Shivel;, Jill Dumbaul;, August Konrad, PCV; Lisa Eckl; Carl Seponnen; Lex Rieffel, Robert Alvarez, PC;, Jen Arrowsmith, Koh Tanimoto, PCV; Johnathan Chiyenga, Zambia.

 

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