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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
March - April 2009 — Volume 22, Number 2


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Peace Days

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

Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream. Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all -- every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability.
-- Bella Abzug

“How important it is to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.”
-- Maya Angelou

Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited. All of us have to share the Earth's fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.
~ Kofi Annan

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."
~ John James Audubon

March 8 - Intn'l Women's Day

April 22 - Earth Day

(above-Bella Abzug) from http://www.betterworldcalendar.com


March 8 -- International Women's Day:
Even though they make up half the population, women and girls have endured discrimination in most societies for thousands of years. In the past, women were treated as property of their husbands or fathers - they couldn't own land, they couldn't vote or go to school, and were subject to beatings and abuse and could do nothing about it. Over the last hundred years, much progress has been made to gain equal rights for women around the world, but many still live without the rights to which all people are entitled.

The United Nations Charter was a major milestone for women's rights because it was the first international agreement to affirm the equality between men and women. Since then, the UN has been an important advocate for the rights of women. The UN adopted an international bill of rights for women in 1979 and sponsored four global women's conferences. The Millennium Development Goals, which all nations agreed to at the UN in 2000, sets tangible goals for nations to achieve by 2015, several of which deal directly with empowering women.

International Women's Day on March 8 and Women's Equality Day, on August 26 (commemorating the certification of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote), are important annual rallying points to help eliminate discrimination and build support for the rights of women everywhere.

April 22-- Earth Day:
The environmental movement is one of the most successful social change movements. Popularizing Earth Day celebrations can be credited with bringing the movement to the mainstream. Through grassroots efforts, festivals, fairs, assemblies and concerts have helped popularize concern for our environment in the public's mind. Since so many people participate in Earth Day activities, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to get people to tap-into the better world movement, so that they can find the inspiration and encouragement to continue activities for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world all year long.

When is Earth Day? Actually, there are 3 Earth Days - 3 dates that are dedicated to helping raise awareness about the health and well being of the land, skies and water of our planet Earth. The original Earth Day is celebrated on the Spring Equinox each year (In 2006 it falls on March 20). April 22 is the date that most people know as Earth Day. Both of these Earth Days were first celebrated in 1970. In 1972, the United Nations designated June 5 as World Environment Day to commemorate the opening of the Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm that year, which ultimately led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the main UN body devoted to protecting our environment.

There are many different ecological issues to raise awareness about, on Earth Day and all year long - global climate change, protecting wildlife habitat, preventing pollution and cleaning up polluted air, water and land, conserving our natural resources, and many other issues … What's your ecological passion?

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Senate Peace Corps Subcommittee Announced

RPCV Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut (Dominican Republic 66-68) will again be chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that handles Peace Corps issues.  But he’ll have some new company.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has been named as the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee.  Fellow Republicans Johnny Isakson (GA), James Risch (ID) and an additional appointment still to be named will serve on the subcommittee.

Newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been added to the Subcommittee.  She will be joined by fellow Democrats Robert Menendez (NJ), Ben Cardin (MD) and Jim Webb (VA).

By the way, the full name of the body is the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs, which - among other things - addresses matters extending from the Arctic Ocean to Tierra del Fuego, including the Caribbean.

John Kerry (at left) (MA), the new Chair of the full Foreign Relations Committee had served on the Peace Corps subcommittee in the past and will remain as an Ex Officio member.  Other current Senators no longer on the subcommittee are Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Bob Corker (R-TN).
from PC Polyglot,  Feb 13, 2008

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Transition Peace Corps Director

The Peace Corps transition team of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer C.D. Glin (South Africa 97-99) and former Peace Corps Country Director David Valenzuela is completing its work.  Reportedly they are recommending a robust plan for Peace Corps expansion and enhancement.

Effective 5 p.m. today, Deputy Director Jody Olsen (right) will become Acting Director as the rest of the leadership team at Peace Corps resigns.  She will be Acting Director until the new Director is confirmed by the Senate.  There are some rumors that the announcement of the next Director is imminent, but confirmation by the Senate is probably some months away.

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Return to China

I told my friend Nancy that we had already been to Beijing and Shanghai, albeit in 1986. But the price was right for a 9 day tour in China. It would be interesting to see the changes in person.

I’m not a tour person and was immediately reminded why. We were up and out for 10 hours a day, herded from one site to another, never a moment to “just hang out with the locals.” It’s just not like me, an ex hippie, Peace Corps volunteer, and hitchhiking world traveler. But the Great Wall was phenomenal again, as was the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. We saw the Bird’s Nest and the Cube (from the bus). We experienced LA smog, great shopping, enjoyed some 5 star hotels, a 90 minute massage for $25, and met some great fellow travelers. (I’m leaving out most of the negative stuff of course.)

South of Shanghai we visited two smaller cities, Suzhou and Hangzhou. We walked through some beautiful gardens, got a tour and opportunity to buy green tea from the plantation that served only the emperors, and finally saw some of the China most people do not. Behind the skyscrapers, freeways, and huge shopping complexes are the same traditional homes and villages that were there in 1986. China is bulldozing these old structures as fast as they can. We were told 20,000 high rises were built in one year in Shanghai alone! Massive displacement of people but who can complain. Apparently the government owns all the land in China; people are able to lease/own their homes for 70 years and then must reapply! The official statement is people are happy to move: they have apartments with running water, indoor toilets, modern appliances. We were not invited to visit one on our tour unfortunately.

I’m not sure when my next opportunity to visit China will come but I would certainly enjoy visiting the remote areas of China. I encourage you to go now to see this contrast in the making. Their big cities are looking much like ours. It is fascinating to see how quickly China is moving into the 21st century.
–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa, 1972-74

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On China’s American Way of Life

Michael Meyer (RPCV, China, 1995-97) is the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed.  

If  Hillary Clinton were to step away from photo-ops at the Great Hall of the People and walk 200 yards south past the edge of Tiananmen Square, she would enter Dazhalan — a half-square mile of 114 hutong, or lanes. Home to 57,000 people, this 800-year-old neighborhood exemplifies the sort of urban planning that many American cities seek to recreate, featuring narrow, car-free streets enlivened by a tight-knit community. Mrs. Clinton should visit the area while it’s still there; wide roads are slated to pierce through the heart of this historical center, where a new boutique mall and a Wal-Mart already shadow its edges.

When I first arrived in China as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1995, an American diplomat counseled, “Forget democracy. You’re here to create future Pepsi drinkers.” So here’s a suggestion in turn: Mrs. Clinton, forgo a tour of Beijing’s restored palaces and impressive Olympic venues. Instead, take a short walk down to Dazhalan’s narrow lanes, and as the flashbulbs pop, simply say, “This is the type of neighborhood I wish America had more of.” If she’s thirsty, Wal-Mart’s wide aisles are crowded with Pepsi.

To rationalize their destruction, city officials call these neighborhoods slums. They are not. As blighted as their single-story courtyard homes may be — most lack central heat and toilets — the hutong do not cause pathologies, but instead foster the type of civic life absent in Beijing’s high-rise apartments, partitioned by security guards, fences, multilock doors and a lack of public space.

While no one should have to live in poverty, no matter how picturesque, the lanes’ melting pot of natives and migrants, laborers and entrepreneurs, old and young, form a safe, diverse community that would be familiar to Mrs. Clinton, author of a text praising the social model of a village. In Beijing, she might note, it takes a hutong to raise a child.

While fewer than one-eighth of the capital’s lanes survive, it may seem beyond our top diplomat’s authority to lobby for their preservation. Certainly, Mrs. Clinton’s Chinese counterpart could counter with some choice observations of Washington. (Prince Charles, who has never visited Beijing, recently launched a project with a Chinese university to modernize the lanes’ housing.)

Yet as modernizing Chinese cities emulate America’s car-friendly designs — and often employ American architects, but not clean-energy firms to realize it — she could tie China’s urbanization into her broader agenda of engaging Beijing in a partnership to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency, measures that would affect global health and the economy.

(left) One of the Beijing alleyway neighborhoods known as hutong. (Photo: Shiho Fukada for NY Times)

“If Chinese want to live the American way of life, then we need seven earths to support them,” the founder of China’s first environmental nongovernmental organization once told me. That impact is of less concern to a government funding large-scale urbanization in the service of economic growth. Planners and officials here often insist, with rightful indignation, that “we have every right to make the same development mistakes that America did.”

Mrs. Clinton could correct that perception with a visit to the hutong the way her husband galvanized AIDS awareness when he hugged an H.I.V.-positive girl at a Beijing speech in 2003. Photos of that encounter still circulate, and AIDS prevention is one of the few positive issues that link Sino-American exchanges.
Smart growth could be another. By placing the same importance on development as the countries apply to trade and security, China can learn from the United States’ planning mistakes, while also showcasing its huge investment in national infrastructure – airport expansions, bridge-building, high-speed rail projects.
When I first arrived in China as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1995, an American diplomat counseled, “Forget democracy. You’re here to create future Pepsi drinkers.” So here’s a suggestion in turn: Mrs. Clinton, forgo a tour of Beijing’s restored palaces and impressive Olympic venues. Instead, take a short walk down to Dazhalan’s narrow lanes, and as the flashbulbs pop, simply say, “This is the type of neighborhood I wish America had more of.” If she’s thirsty, Wal-Mart’s wide aisles are crowded with Pepsi.
 –forwarded by John Coyne of PC Writers,
   from The New York Times, Friday, Feb

ruary 19, 2009

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PC Community Marches in Inaugural Parade

  At several points in the parade, we heard an announcer proclaim:

“Also marching is the Peace Corps Community, which includes members who have served with the Corps from the 1960s to the present. The marchers are carrying the flags of the 139 countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served during the 48-year history of the program.  Many marchers are also wearing the national dress of those host countries.  The Peace Corps Community marched in President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Parades in 1993 and 1997. 
“They are led by Kevin F.F. Quigley, President of the National Peace Corps Association and Jim Gore, President of  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC, and are marching under the motto, ‘Life is Calling, How Far Will You Go?’”

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NPCA Activities

National Day of Action

Our advocacy team has been working hard preparing for the March 3rd National Day of Action.  We have been updating congressional contact information. We have been posting resources on the state pages of http://morepeacecorps.org/.

Another thing the advocacy team has been doing is compiling lists of  all the great comments from the More Peace Corps Petition into categories by state and district.  These comments will be taken to Capitol Hill on March 3rd to be given to the senators and representatives so they can see that their constituents support the More Peace Corps Campaign.

You can also get involved with the More Peace Corps Campaign by meeting with the district offices in your state.  Florida, Illinois, and Missouri advocates are already reaching out to their lawmakers in to give them a heads up on the National Day of Action.

We are getting ready for our March 3rd day of action.  This is the day that is most important for volunteers to get involved in the push for More Peace Corps.  We are looking for volunteers to join us on Capitol Hill on March 3rd to bring information about the More Peace Corps Campaign to different congressional offices.  Do you want to help us in DC on our National Day of Action?  We are halfway to our goal of 30 volunteers. If you want to help our efforts for pushing More Peace Corps and you do not live in DC you can help us by calling or emailing your senator and representative on March 3rd.

If you want more information about the More Peace Corps National Day of Action or if you want to volunteer you can email the advocacy team at advocintern@rpcv.org or you can email Jonathan Pearson at jonathanpearson@npca.org

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Visit New PC Connect Websites

  • 5,000+ profiles. 
  • 2,000+ photos. 
  • 171 groups...  as of 2/21 and counting.

It’s all at Connected Peace Corps, the social networking area of our new website:
NPCA:   http://www.PeaceCorpsConnect.org
Connected PC:   http://community.peacecorpsconnect.org/ 

Here is what some people are saying:

  • “Thank you for your efforts in helping to make this network happen. We have now found one of our members who everyone had lost contact with.”
  • “Just checked out the site. It looks great!”
  • “PC Connect and Connected PC are both awesome...."
  • "Easy to access; easy to navigate... so much there yet looking so simple.” 

So what are you waiting for? 

Join THE online Peace Corps Community now.
See next article for more info & instructions

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Connected Peace Corps:

How to Sign-on and Join SDPCA or other groups

Note: Friends of Malawi Group on Connected PC have made up
some help pages with screen shots about SIGN-ON and JOINING a group.

Connected PC is similar to other social networking sites such as Facebook.  The big difference is that this is designed for the Peace Corps community. It seems to be filling a need, for in four weeks time more than 5000 members have joined and more than 170 groups have been created.

NPCA  Affiliates are setting up online groups and there are many other groups: special concerns, country of service, advocacy, MorePeaceCorps and more.

If you haven’t already, join in!  Try it out. Sign on as a member and join our SDPCA group there. Connect to some folks no longer in San Diego, but whom many of you know: Rudy Sovinee (in Thailand) and Frank Yates (in Missouri). 

Check out their pages and send them a message. You don’t have to join to view it all; but to comment and participate, you will need to sign on and join Connected PC.

How to sign on to Connected PC
Go to: http://community.peacecorpsconnect.org/
At right, below the header, click on Sign Up.
Fill in what it asks for: e-mail address (which will be your sign-on ID), a password, birthday, and a series of letters in a graphic to type in.  Click Sign Up and you are a “member.”

All pages: main menu (shown at top of article)
Across the top of all pages is a menu of these items:

  • To Peace Corps Connect: Go the (new) NPCA home page
  • Main: Go to Connected PC home page
  • Invite: Go to invite others to join Connected PC
  • My Page: Go to your page, with profile, etc.
  • Members: Go to listing of all members, 21 at a time– name, picture, location. Click photo or name to go to their page.
  • Groups: Go to listing of all groups, 20 at a time- logo, name, size, location, description.
  • Interact: Go to Blogs or Discussion Forums
  • Multimedia: Go to Photos or Videos uploaded to public
  • Events: Go to listing of calendared Events, posted by groups, with RSVP capability
  • FAQ’s: Frequently asked questions, with links in answers to more instructions

All pages: right column
Once you are signed-in, at top right under the header is your name and several buttons to bring up activities:  Members, Forum, Photos (uploaded to All Photos or All Albums).  This column is the same on any page of Connected PC.

My Page: left and middle columns
At My Page the left and middle columns display information about you. Click on Edit  in any section title bar to modify a section, changing titles and text. Click-drag on any title bar lets you re-position sections except for: your photo and My Friends.

  • My Photo: Your profile photo. A good size would be 1-2 inches square (200-400 pix) .gif or .jpg. In  Settings at right or Change My Photo on left. Click on the right box next to Profile Photo. In window Upload a Photo choose Browse… Find the picture’s name on our computer; click Done.  (Simplify by putting the picture somewhere easy to find beforehand.) The photo displays at left on your page and as an icon for you under Members. Change or remove a profile photo anytime.
  • My Friends: Displays photo icons of our friends -- hold cursor over photo to show name.
  • My Groups: Displays icons and names of any group(s) you are in.
  • Profile Information: Filled in when you register. Can be changed anytime: click on section and make changes. Display of age or sex is optional. Padlocked items are not shown publicly.
  • Latest Activity: Displays a record of most things you do on line: you can turn it of.  Leaving it on shows activities of anyone not turned off, on the Main page.
  • RSS: Feeds. Sets up a feed of Latest Activity (if turned on) on your browser listing each activity you do online.
  • Privacy: Click to review all privacy settings: what activities to notify you about (new comments, replies to discussions, etc.) by email or RSS feed.
  • Comment Wall: Displays comments other members can write you. Delete by clicking on the little “x” at right of comment. You can set comments to be approved before being posted. You can block a member’s comments.
  • My Discussions: Displays discussions you open on your page –most current first. Other members can Comment Back adding a Thread of replies.
  • My Blog: Your blog will be empty unless you make an entry. 
  • Photos/Videos: You can upload photos and videos here. Photos can be viewed in Slideshows or used to make Albums.

How to Join a group 
Public or Open Group. Open for anyone to join.  Go to the group page and click +Join Group (mid-page at top). People can be invited to join or blocked from joining.
Private or Moderated Group.  Ask to join or be invited to join. But, joining a group is subject to the group administrator’s approval.

To join any group you must be signed onto Connected PC.  Once signed on, click on Groups to show them, 20 at a time. You can Sort and you can Search Groups for name(s) or key words.

Once you find a group you wish to join, click on its name or photo to bring up its page.
If an  Open group, click on +Join Group. You become a member immediately and can read, post, or participate.

If a  Moderated group,  it will say members must be approved. You will click to request to join. When approved, you will be notified.

Search for “SDPCA” and look for our logo. (below)

Our SDPCA Group on Connected PC
Look for the our familiar logo of dove with an olive branch. On the group page you can read, comment or start a Discussion, etc.

Sign on, join groups and even create your own groups – there are groups by area/country of service.

Check them out!

A good way to connect – what it was designed for.

There are as yet, no manuals for the sites.  There are some messages posted with some hints and insights.  Otherwise, nose around and try things out.  Many things have some instructions as you go.   More instructions to come…
– Don Beck, Bolivia 1967-69

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• Women’s Goat/Sheep Microfinance, $485
   Chave Nurenberg, PCV – Niger

Each year ten women will be selected to receive a sheep or goat to raise. At year’s end the women sell their animal at an increased value, repay the original loan, and use proceeds to buy another animal. This allows the women to make extra money to feed their families. Then, it repeats with ten new women.

ISF Grant Report from Chava Nerenbergomen's Goat/Sheep Project, Niger

 It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you that we have completed phase one of the goats microfinance project for women. During the month of January, we bought and gave out ten goats to the ten poorest women in the village. We also identified the next ten women who will receive a goat after one year. Enthusiasm for the project was very high, and both attendance at the community meetings and the village contribution to the project were 100% the very first time. 

(above) Walking home with the goats.

Changes made to initial plan
While originally we had planned to buy a mixture of sheep and goats for the women, nearly everyone I talked to advised that buying goats would be better. This is because they are generally slightly cheaper and provide milk—an important source of protein in the village. As a result, we chose to buy 10 goats for approximately 20,000 FCFA each.

During the initial meeting with the community, several people brought up the fact that the project would best serve the poorest women in the village—those who have no animals or other assets and are most at risk for hunger during the year. Many of these women are unmarried with several children, and struggle to make ends meet. This proposal was greeted with widespread approval by the entire group. After the initial meeting, community representatives, representatives from the mayor’s office, and members of the traditional chiefdom collaborated to come up with a list of the twenty poorest women in the village. This team was deliberately composed of representatives of several sections of the community, so as not to favor any group above another.

(above) A few of the village kids helped us bring them to the mayor’s office, where all of the women were gathered.

However, when the team reported back to the managing committee of the project, several people then pointed out that none of the women selected are educated, and thus cannot read or keep good records. It is difficult for them to deal with large amounts of money or manage a savings account. However, they are more than capable of taking care of animals and working together on a group project. They would prefer a simpler structure that would allow them to work as a group to manage the animals without having to worry about keeping track of money and traveling to markets to buy and sell animals. The committee suggested that rather than selling the goat at the end of a year and paying back the loan to the group savings account, each woman should simply keep any babies the animal had during the year and then pass the goat on to the next woman in line. The next woman will keep any babies delivered during the next year and then pass the animal on to the third woman. This should continue indefinitely, until the animal is too old to have more offspring. At that point, at least several years down the road, it can be sold and the money returned to the caisse.

(above) Community meeting with the first two groups of women

The advantage of this system is that it doesn’t require the women to keep track of money or to worry about finding a buyer for the goat. The main idea is the same—they are still receiving a loan good for one year, and at the end of the year they must repay the loan by either passing on the initial animal to the next woman in the group or by giving the next woman enough money to buy another goat. Although this is a minor change, it greatly simplifies the process for the women and makes it easier for them to take ownership of the project.

Of course, the managing committee (which includes the PCV, representatives from the women chosen, the community, the mayor’s office, and the traditional chiefdom) will still meet every few months to make sure the project is progressing as planned and to address any concerns. However, the responsibility of continuing the project and paying back the loan is mostly the women’s.

Tasks Completed:

November 2008:

  • Received funds from Western Union
  • Decided to wait until January to buy the animals because of the holiday of Tabbaski—a Muslim holiday in which most families slaughter a sheep or goat. So, the price of animals skyrockets during November/December!

(right) PCV Chave Nurenberg with some of the committee members (in traditional Tuareg clothing)

December 2008:

  • Initial meeting with community to explain project
  • Chose representatives from mayor’s office, community, and traditional chiefdom to be part of the managing committee
  • Training of the managing committee
  • Team selected to choose the women to participate in the project; team compiles list of twenty poorest women in village
  • Initial meeting with managing committee and team: decided to change format of project slightly (as described above)
  • Initial meeting with the women selected to explain project and their responsibilities

January 2009:

  • Second meeting with women: each donated 500 FCFA to vaccinate the animals and agreed to pay back the loan at the end of the year
  • Bought ten goats for approximately 20,000 FCFA each (range of 18,500 FCFA to 21,000 FCFA)
  • Vaccinated goats
  • Gave out goats; planned next meeting of the managing committee for April 2009

(above) They were so happy to hear that they’d been selected to be part of the project

Thank you so much for all of your patience and support! Enthusiasm for the project is very high, and I think it will make a big difference for these women. They were so excited to hear that they would have the chance to own a goat, and even have suggested that they might like to work together as a group on future income-generating projects. I will send another report in a few months to let you know how everything is going. (Photos from Chave Nurenberg)

(below) First ten women with their goats. Each woman chose a number and received the corresponding goat.

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• Environmental Resource Center, $400
   Emily LeCuyer, PCV – The Philippines

The Community Environmental Resource Center will provide reference manuals on reef fishes, corals, conservation and marine surveying. These reference materials are presently being sought out by the local fishing community and the project aims to fill this community need.

Environmental Resources, Philippines

City Agriculture Office, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines
February 9, 2009

It is with great excitement that we send you this progress report.  With the funds received by the City Agriculture Office of Puerto Princesa City and the San Diego Peace Corps Association in 2008, our office has taken the first steps in establishing a Community Environmental Resource Center.  While located in the City Agriculture Office, once established the resources in the CERC will be available to all interested local parties.  Among these are environmental NGOs working in the Puerto Princesa area, as well as local universities, people’s organizations, and all interested local fisherfolk.

With the funds already released, nine reference and/or identification books have been purchased and delivered to the appropriate address in the US, but have not yet arrived in the Philippines.  Additionally, a children’s ocean life book, a DVD, and an additional survey manual have been purchased.  Below is a comprehensive list of all already purchased materials:

  • Ocean Life From A to Z,  Children’s Book and DVD,
  • Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology and Conservation. Reference.
  • Biology of Marine Mammals. Reference.
  • Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal Life from Africa to Hawaii Exclusive of the Bertebrates. Reference
  • Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific. Reference
  • Giant Clams: A Comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tridacnid Clams. Reference

The above items have cost a total of US$235.27.  It is anticipated that combined national and international shipping and handling costs will not exceed US$100.  With the remaining funds we will purchase locally available materials such as musical CDs by a Filipino artist who sings about environmental and social issues.
If funds still remain we will use them to purchase additional storage units for the space already dedicated to the CERC, and to cover the cost of materials for letters that will be sent out. 

Once again, the entire City Agriculture Office, especially staff and volunteers from the Fisheries Section would like to express sincere gratitude for your support in starting this project that we are confident will continue to grow and contribute to the ecological awareness of the communities of Puerto Princesa City.

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Global Awareness Award:
Nominations Due April 15

What San Diego group do YOU believe shares the goals of the SDPCA?
Each year, the SDPCA honors one such group at our Annual Meeting as a way of recognition and collaboration. Over the past five years the SDPCA has awarded our Global Awareness Award in recognition to the efforts of:

  • 2004: Victor Villaseñor: International Snow Goose Thanksgiving
  • 2005: San Diego Peace Resource Center
  • 2006: Carol Jahnkow-International Rescue Committee of San Diego
  • 2007: One World, Our World
  • 2008: Irwin Herman: The Bookman

An application form is online: http://sdpca.org/programs.html#global

Send nominations to SDPCA,
c/o Global Awareness Award,
P.O.Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196.

SDPCA members may make Global Awareness Award nominations to honor an organization which carries out work consistent with SDPCA’s goals.  Nominations are open to any non-profit organization that supports one or both of the goals in our mission statement:

  1. Bringing the world back home.
  2. Building a network of RPCVs in the San Diego area.

A one page nomination should describe the following:

  1. What is the organization, and its activities.
  2. What results have the organization and its members achieved over the last two years.
  3. What makes the organization and its members worthy of recognition.

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(above) Rolling a paper bead: using various widths, cut tapered or non-tapered, colored, varnished... Making something of beauty from paper scraps!

May Annual Meeting:
Bead-for-life at Annual Party

San Diego Peace Corps Association is happy to add a fun and exciting event to our Annual Party on May 16th.  In addition to delicious food and catching up with old friends or meeting new ones we will also be hosting a Bead Party. 

The event is an exciting opportunity to learn more about and support impoverished Ugandan women who are lifting their families out of poverty with their handmade, high-quality beaded jewelry, featured on NBC Nightly News, in O Magazine, Vanity Fair,  Family Circle and other publications.

BeadforLife is a socially responsible global organization, working with women, all of whom were living on less than $1 a day in extreme poverty.  Like extremely poor people worldwide our members have experienced many sorrows and difficulties.  Yet they remain strong, resilient, and hopeful for a better life.  Based in North America and Uganda, BFL has partnered with industrious women who make vivid beaded jewelry out of recycled paper.  The 300 members of BFL support almost 5,000 others to climb out of poverty. 

“BeadforLife’s philosophy is that people want jobs rather than handouts.  We focus on ways for people to leave poverty behind forever,” says BFL Co-Director Devin Hibbard.  “The beaders are incredibly hard working, and every dollar they make goes into critical things, like sending children to school, paying for health care, and saving to build a home.” 

The beaders’ work has been sold at thousands of home parties and businesses and community-sponsored events around the world. All net profits from BFL sales are invested in projects that fight extreme poverty, primarily in three key areas: health, affordable housing, and vocational training for impoverished youth, and entrepreneurial development through micro credit for small businesses.

For more information about BeadforLife please visit http://www.beadforlife.org.


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Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
–Artist formerly known as Prince

from the President
Let's Work Together!

As I write this, there is another rain storm heading our way. We definitely need the rain and I can’t wait for spring! Desert flowers to enjoy, EarthDay in Balboa Park, a new board of directors coming in May.

Peace Corps is revving up for its 50th anniversary (can you believe it!) and for a push for more funding to increase the number of volunteers overseas. So there is always more to do, and as I have said before, we welcome your input and your participation as this organization goes forward into its next year.  We as a group need to participate dramatically in the 50th anniversary celebrations.

You will be hearing more of our plans in the next few months. We are far from Washington D.C. so let’s make a big noise! 

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Board Minutes

January 7, 2009
Attendance: Lisa Eckl, Carl Sepponen, Marjory Clyne, Tracy Addis, Jill Dumbauld, Sharon Darrough, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Mona Melanson, Gregg Pancoast  Absent: Liz Brown, Kristen Slanina

Community Action:  Work party at the Feb 21, San Elijo Lagoon and lunch afterwards at Swami’s. Jennifer scheduled the event to cook dinner for the guests at the Ronald McDonald house (for approx. 50 people) on March 18 with Happy Hour at the 94th Aero Squadron after. SDPCA will pay for the food.

Communications, Membership: 71 current members, 59 past due (as of 1/1/09), 39 are 12 months past due, 3 new and 19 free members.

Social: Jill reported that holiday party went very well. 65 people showed up. The food was great. Brainstorming event (for the 50th anniversary) went well. Sharon, Jill, and Marjory will meet to discuss the ideas and narrow them down. Happy hours will continue on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

Fundraising: Entertainment Book sales were half as successful as last year.

February 4, 2009
Attendance: Lisa Eckl, Carl Sepponen, Marjory Clyne, Tracy Addis, Jill Dumbauld, Sharon Darrough, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Gregg Pancoast, Liz Brown, Kristen Slanina.  Absent: Mona Melanson

President: Earth Day – Sunday, April 19. Marjory will do the registration. Don Beck sent Marjory an e-mail about NPCA new networking site called Peace Corps Connect. There is an SDPCA group and more (see p. 8-9). Please, all board members should sign up.

Membership: 90 current members, 82 past due (46 are past due as of 1/1/09), 3 new members, 18 free members

Social: The May Potluck/Annual Meeting will be on Saturday May 16. Lisa will book the Humane Society. Set up at 4:30, party starts at 5:30 pm.

Global Awards: International Support Fund recipients will be selected soon by a committee.


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Hello there, fellow RPCVs! 
A little over two years ago, post-Peace Corps, and post-graduate school, I launched Global Sistergoods (http://www.globalsistergoods.com). We partner with women artisans all over the world, working with NGOs that address women’s issues and occasionally by partnering with PCVs on their projects. Our secondary mission is to provide education about women’s issues in the countries where we have partners, which we do through artisan story cards and soon, on our new web site. We also happily provide technical assistance and advice to PCVs who want to start artisan cooperatives. 

Please pay us a visit  at http://www.globalsistergoods.com and let me know what you think!

In honor of the Peace Corps’ anniversary, all RPCVs receive 15% their first order for the month of March. From March 1-31, just use the code RPCV09 at checkout to get your discount.  

My Peace Corps experience had a huge impact on who I am and what I am doing today. There’s a special place in my heart for my fellow RPCVs, so please give me feedback on what we are doing at Global Sistergoods. I’d love to hear from you!

Friday International Café
Join more than 200 other people (both from the U.S. and from abroad) for an informal lunch and conversation every Friday during the academic year from 12:00 to 1:30pm. The price for lunch is $5.00 including beverage and dessert. Come for a delicious meal and stay for the cultural friendships. Everyone is welcome!

Books on the Brain - blog for Avid Readers
I came across this on the web today. The blog features books: review and give-aways, so avid readers should check it regulary!

One book of special interest posted on Feb 10 was: Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway (Mali, 1989-91). You really have to read the account of Monique and Kris Holloway on this blog and watch the 6-minute YouTube film on Monique, Mali, Kris and her husband John.

Go to Books on the Brain http://lisamm.wordpress.com/. Type in the book name (Monique...) in the search area at right of header. And choose the book and review.
You can also go to http://www.peacecorpswriters.org and type in their names in the search space to read the review of Kris’ book and also the interviews John Coyne (Ethiopia, 1962-64) of Peace Corps Writers has done with both Kris and John.

“Making Peace With the World”
THE PITCH: As an award winning photojournalist and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer I propose an in-depth photographic documentary of Peace Corps volunteers in the field. My preliminary title for this documentary is “Making Peace with the World”.
I will photograph Peace Corps volunteers working on their projects, living in their communities, and living their day-to-day lives.

I will travel to two countries in each region where Peace Corps volunteers currently serve.

I will make an honest record of what it means to be a Peace Corps volunteer, and show the world why the Peace Corps exists and how it is working to change the world.
This documentary project will create a portrait of Peace Corps that will illustrate the diversity of volunteers as well as the diversity of the peoples served.

The photos will be published as a book with essays to provide perspective and promote the goals of Peace Corps. Help me to use my talents and abilities to document the positive accomplishments of Peace Corps Volunteers.

Our Third-Wednesday Social Hour
Remember, we have our monthly Social Hour on the third Wednesday of every month, and all are welcome.

We are always on the lookout for a new restaurant or bar to use to meet, relax, socialize and get to know each other.

If you have a favorite hangout, or even a place you would like to try, please let us know by emailing Jill Dumbauld at . Thanks!

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Welcome New Members!

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members, as of February 19, 2009. 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!

• Van Nguyen, Georgia, 2006-2008,
• Richard and Suzzette Haack and Laurell Holmes, Associate Members,
• Mae Hsu, Tonga, 2001-2003,
• Jeremy Chad Kreft, Zambia, 2006-2008
Laura Vento, East Timor , 2004-2006
• Dustin Sharp, Guinea , 1996-1998
• Stephanie Giddings, Dominican Republic, 2006-2008,
• Dan and Verna Sundquist, Associate Members
• Sara Ali, Guatemala, 2002-2004

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Recruiter's Corner

Greetings SDPCA members. March and April are among the busiest times of year in terms of our recruitment efforts, with college job fairs and other events at nearly every campus. Our community info sessions also experience a nice flowering of new faces in the spring as well.

I expect that this year, given the economic conditions and overall job prospects, many more soon-to-be graduates are going to turn their heads our way and consider service. The challenge for them is that we are experiencing a significant increase in the number of applications, and thus the selection process is becoming more competitive, and over a longer timeframe. They not only are competing with a growing number of peers for the limited number of positions we can offer, but with many working professionals that have been given a pink-slip or other “window of opportunity” to fulfill long-repressed desires to serve abroad.

The challenge for us is not just to recruit individuals, but to retain them throughout the marathon selection process. I am grateful that San Diego has an active group of RPCVs that organizes social and community service events that future volunteers can participate in. I certainly enjoy myself when I am able to make it to the social hours! Hopefully you will see an increasing number of new faces at these venues, as we jointly try and keep active applicants inspired and motivated throughout the pre-departure period.

Have a great spring and, as always, if you’re interested in sharing your Peace Corps experience in our recruitment efforts, please drop me an email.

–Jacob Hall, Regional Recruiter – Peace Corps, jhall@peacecorps.gov

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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:

Liz Brown

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck, Lisa Eckl

Contributors this issue are:
Jill Dumbauld; Jennifer Arrowsmith; Tracy Addis Lisa Eck;, Emily LeCuyer, PCV; Marjory Clyne; John Coyne; Don Beck; Brenda Terry-Hahn; Sharon Kennedy Darroug; Kristi Jo Lewis; Chave Nurenberg, PCV.


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