Return to Home Page

About SDPCACalendar of EventsProgramsMembership InformationContact SDPCAMaking ConnectionsLinks to Related SitesSDPCA NewsletterInformation, News and Commentary

Newsletter Back Issues

Back issues are archived and links in them may not be current



November - December 2009 — Volume 22, Number 6

P O Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196-0565

Index: click on your choice...
Nov-Dec International Peace Days Gift Ideas - Fundraising, Too!
from SDPCA: Ideas for 50th Anniversary
from PC: 50th Anniversary
from NPCA: 50th Anniversay Approaching. . . . ..Better, Bolder PC Survey . . . . .. . ....International Day of Climate Action . . .. . ..Round 3 Winners . ..

Bringing It All Back Home

Citizen Diplomacy Council of SD

2 ISF Grant Reports From El Salvador:............
......Trash Cans for San Lorenzo..........Women's Tailoring/Sewing Training

Pacific Intercultural Exchange
Good Reading - Books from RPCVs Sept Social Hour: Cucina Urbana
from the Pres: That Time of Year 25th Annual CA Coastal Cleanup
Potpourri New Members
Newsletter Credits

NOTE: SDPCA email addresses here are not clickable, to prevent
roaming spam-bots from reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience

Return to top of page

Peace Days:
Nov. - Dec. 2009

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

US Election Day
Community Day
Kindness Day
Recycling Day
Tolerance Day
Children's Day
Buy Nothing Day

World AIDS Day
End Slavery Day
Volunteer Day
Human Rights Day
Bill Of Rights Day
End Homelessness Day
Spirituality Day

November 3*
November 7*
November 13
November 15
November 16 (see below)
November 20
November 27*

December 1
December 2
December 5 (see below)
December 10 (see below)
December 15
December 21
December 31
[*date varies each year]

November 16 -- Tolerance Day
What is tolerance? UNESCO's Declaration of Principles on Tolerance defines tolerance as "respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference."

Intolerance is often caused by ignorance and fear. When we don't know about other cultures, religions or nations we sometimes fear them. Education is the most important way to promote tolerance. Teaching people what our shared rights and freedoms are is the first step in tolerance education. Learning about other cultures is also important to help us see the similarities between all cultures, and to respect and celebrate our differences.

Mohamed_AliWe must not only control the weapons that can kill us, we must bridge the great disparities of wealth and opportunity among the peoples of the world, the vast majority of whom live in poverty without hope, opportunity or choices in life. These conditions are a breeding ground for division that can cause a desperate people to resort to nuclear weapons as a last resort. Our only hope lies in the power of our love, generosity, tolerance and understanding and our commitment to making the world a better place for all... -- Muhammad Ali

"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher." -- 14th Dalai Lama

December 5 -- Volunteer Day
Around the world, hundreds of millions of people volunteer - nearly 65 million volunteer in America! American volunteers do the equivalent work of over 9 million fulltime employees!

Recognizing the importance of volunteers, the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) works with a network of over 20,000 organizations to use International Volunteer Day on December 5 as an opportunity to celebrate the important contribution volunteers make, and as a launching point to inspire year-round volunteer involvement.

Many countries have national networks of volunteer organizations. In the US these include Youth Service America; the Points of Light Foundation which helps connect more than 2.5 million volunteers who provide services for 170 million people; and Action Without Borders, which links volunteers to 50,000 organizations in 165 countries.

Volunteers ARE creating a better world, one person and one act of kindness at a time.

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth." -- Muhammad Ali

“I believe we are put on this earth to be of service. It’s how I find meaning in my life. And it's fun!” -- Dana Delany

December 10 -- Human Rights Day
After the horrors of World War II, the United Nations was created to provide a forum for countries to work out their problems peacefully, and to help nations work together to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world for all. Protecting and promoting human rights is one of the foundations of the goals of the United Nations.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which clearly outlined the basic human rights and freedoms to which all people should be entitled. This document continues to be a cornerstone in the struggle for a better world.

Many people and organizations work throughout the year to help protect human rights - often placing their own lives in danger. Human Rights Day, on December 10, is an important global occasion to remind us about the importance of protecting human rights for all.

In the future, human rights will be increasingly a universal criterion for designing ethical systems.
-- Mahnaz Afkhami

"Through electing officials that will protect the Constitution and commit themselves to the rights of the people and the health of the nation, we will be able to ensure that no group of ideologues and no private sector institution can coopt our rights, take us into senseless wars and steal the nation from its people."
-- Harry Belafonte

Quotes, Pictures and Descriptions from http://www.betterworldcalendar.com

Return to top of page.

Gift Ideas - Fundraising, Too!

We raise funds for ISF project grants by selling Calendars and Entertainment Books. Email Carl at for calendars & T-shirts.

2010 International Calendars20q0 Calendar

$12 - non-members
$10 - members
$2 ea to mail


2010 SD Entertainment Coupon BooksEntertainment Books


SD Entertainment Books are on sale for SDPCA at these nine San Diego area Postal Annex+ stores:

  • 3368-F Governor Drive, San Diego, 92122
  • 3960 West Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, 92110
  • 11956 Bernardo Plaza Drive, San Diego, 92128
  • 970 West Valley Parkway #28, Escondido, 92025
  • 374 East “H” Street, Suite A, Chula Vista, 91910
  • 645 Front Street, Suite 113, San Diego, 92101
  • 9640 Mission Gorge, Suite B, Santee, 92071
  • 2840 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon, 92020
  • 2907 Shelter Island Drive, Suite 105, San Diego, 92106

SDPCA T-Shirts

Men’s: M, L, XL
Women’s: S,M,L,XL

Email to see what's in stock!

Return to top of page

from SDPCA:

Ideas for 50th Anniversary

The theme for Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary is “Peace Corps at 50: A Tradition of Making Better Tomorrows”. The ideas below were generated at last year’s Annual Meeting for Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary Celebration to be held in 2011 in San Diego.

If you have additional ideas or would like to participate in the planning committee, please contact Eva Rodriguez at .

  • Create a Peace Tree in a public place with the names of RPCVs on the tree or a surrounding tree
  • Outreach to local TV, radio; do press releases
  • Plant Trees
  • Have displays in the city and county libraries (downtown library?)
    • Library Display (Day in the life of a volunteer)
  • Have RPCVs read stories in schools and libraries
  • Create a world map display at Balboa Park and have RPCV’s of San Diego mark their country of service
  • Link up RPCV’s with people from countries where they served (for a party)
  • Join in on activities from UCSD’s international week
  • Outreach to parents of current PCV’s
  • Recognition of good works in San Diego by RPCV’s
  • Balboa Park Club – Party or Dance
    • Proclamation from City
    • Plant Garden/Trees in Park – a plaque etc. near House of
    • Invite Parents of PCV’s of San Diego County and SD residents from country of servce
  • Recognition of SD RPCV’s – what are they doing now?
  • Build houses with Habitat for Humanity in San Diego and Baja
  • Sponsor 7th and 8th grade children in San Diego

Return to top of page

from Peace Corps:
50th Anniversary

In 2011 Peace Corps will celebrate its 50thanniversary. To commemorate this and to honor the individuals who have dedicated themselves to promoting the mission of world peace and friendship, Peace Corps is helping organize events and exhibitions in cities across the U.S. and in each current PC country. Help celebrate PC’s rich history and Volunteers online as follows:

  • Attend 50th Anniversary Events
    We are planning a variety of events and activities. We hope you will be a part: to share, reconnect, remember, reach out, celebrate, and look ahead.
  • Donate to the 50th Anniversary Fund
    We plan many special events to celebrate the achievements of the past 50 years and we need your assistance to make these events a reality.
  • Contribute to the Peace Corps Digital Library
    The Peace Corps Digital Library provides a searchable collection
    of electronic Peace Corps materials from 1961- present. Returned and serving Volunteers are invited to share stories and photos from their Peace Corps experience. Stories will be collected from those who served in each generation of the Peace Corps, from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and on through to the present.
  • Help plan Anniversary In-Country Activities
    In countries where PCVs serve, we are planning activities and
    a commemorative 50th Anniversary Partnership Program
    project. We will add details as they become known so 50th
    Anniversary Partnership projects will be identified and

– Peace Corps 50th Anniversary
1111 20th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20526
202.692.2183, E-mail: 50thanniversary@peacecorps.gov

Return to top of page

Return to top of page
NPCA Activities

Better, Bolder Peace Corps Survey

Perhaps you are among the nearly 3,400 members of the Peace Corps community who have already taken part in the better, bolder Peace Corps survey that is now circulating. If so, thank you (and a special thank you to the new subscribers of the NPCA e-news).

The results of the survey will be published in the winter edition of WorldView magazine and shared with key decision makers who similarly face tough choices on how to use finite resources to advance a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps.

Return to top of page
Round Three Winners Announced

In October, Round Three of the Africa Rural Connect contest
came to a close, and three winners were awarded cash prizes
to implement their plans for the development of rural Africa.

Congratulations to our winners! All three will be entered
into the Grand Prize Pool in November, when our judges will
select one project to receive $20,000 in funding

Return to top of page
50th Anniversary Approaching

The Peace Corps’s 50th anniversary kicks off in one year, the anniversary of John. F. Kennedy’s speech at the University of Michigan where he first articulated the vision for a Peace Corps [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydTaoZ9JSGk].

Access the 50th Anniversary page for the latest outline and brief description of events planned for the anniversary year. Learn how to donate materials to the Peace Corps Collection at Kennedy Library or to the Peace Corps’s Digital Library.

Check out the letter from the NPCA Board Chair, Jan Guifarro, providing an important update on NPCA’s activities around the 50th, including plans for a commemorative space near the National Mall.

Return to top of page
International Day of Climate Change


Oregon RPCV Blake Howell Schmidt (Mozambique 01-03) said it as well as anyone when he recently posted this message to several groups on Connected Peace Corps: “Please join or create 350.org actions wherever you are on October 24th. This is part of a global push to force world leaders to attend the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December and set us on a course for a healthy and sustainable future.”

One of the big events has a big RPCV connection. Mike Tidwell’s (Zaire 85-87) Chesapeake Climate Action Network is taking a lead role in organizing a rally and march in Washington DC. To participate in an RPCV contingent for DC march, contact us at advocacy@peacecorpsconnect.org.

Check for a planned activities near you. Keep sending us your
RPCV climate testimonies!

Return to top of page

Bringing It All Back Home

--Submitted by Rudy Sovinee, Ghana, 1970- 1973

As World Wise Schools was introduced to California in 1989, I was among the San Diego RPCVs at the reception thrown. The school principal asked what I did, and I mentioned that I presented slide shows of my PCV and other travel experiences at local venues. She invited me to share them too as an assembly for her students. Those early presentations evolved into a program called the One World, Our World School Program, which was presented to over 176,000 youth, teachers and parents across the USA and in several countries. What allowed it to be adopted was that it linked a mosaic of photos into an interactive game format that taught lessons relevant to social studies and student conflict resolution.

For health reasons, I retired early and am now in rural Thailand, but the program exists as a video CD for presentations via computer projection, complete with a training DVD and props. It was developed to be utilized by school districts, especially focusing on grades 4-6.

Details of the program and lesson are at http://www.1wow.org and the best email address for the group is hankscpu@juno.com. Twice nominated by the CCSS for the NCSS award for Global Understanding (http://www.1wow.org/pages/graphic/nomination.jpg) the program is a proven lesson, ready to be utilized. I’ve met people leaving for PC whose interest had been engaged in grade school – at schools I’d presented at in the early 90’s.

Take-away lessons: Like Martha Lee Renolds, in the October newsletter (below in teal box), tying slide presentations into a larger social message increases its acceptance and utility in schools, and this particular program is available to learn and use through a registered 501c3.

One World, Our World (1WOW™) School Program:

Featured RPCV
Martha Lee Renolds,
Chad, 1966-1968

I was a volunteer in Chad and I often made slide presentations to my school age children’s classes. Recently I put my slides on a CD. For the last twenty years, my husband, four children, and I have volunteered regularly in Jeremie, Haiti. I combined my Chad and Haiti photos into a PowerPoint to show poverty today in Haiti and poverty forty years ago in Chad. When I give presentations to students and youths, I speak about poverty in the Caribbean and the African desert, focusing on water, sanitation, food, health care and education issues.

This year, I spoke to an elementary school group nearby and to four high school classes at Stanford High School in Connecticut. Interestingly, there were Haitian students in these classes who particularly enjoyed my collection of Haitian proverbs some of which I compared to American axioms and the thinking of the Muslim people I knew in the Sahara desert.

I also compare the poverty of Washington, D.C. where I worked as a pediatric visiting nurse after my return from Africa to poverty in Haiti and Chad. I like to end my presentations by asking the students to think about the faces, people, and children they have seen in my slideshow and ask them what they can do to create more justice in our world.

To receive Third Goal News Alerts,
email: thirdgoal@peacecorps.gov.

--- Paul D. Coverdell, World Wise Schools:From the Third Goal News Alert October/November: http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/

Return to top of page

Citizen Diplomacy Council
of San Diego

What is the Citizen Diplomacy Council of San Diego?
As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, the mission of Citizen Diplomacy Council of San Diego is to promote global understanding between San Diego citizens and our neighbors around the world.

This mission is accomplished at the practical every-day-level by arranging face-to-face professional and cultural exchanges between our visiting international leaders and our San Diego citizens and experts.

Each year, over 500 international leaders from over 140 different
countries are sent to San Diego from the U.S. Department of State’s
International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), and other government and private agencies. Our council is part of a nationwide network of more than 90 organizations that cooperate with the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV).

Who are our international visitors?
Many of our international visitors travel to San Diego under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). IVLP delegates are chosen to come to the United States because they are nominated by U.S. embassies and are seen by the Department of State as future leaders in their countries.

Our visitors are high-level professionals and leaders working in the areas of Youth Leadership, Foreign Policy, Freedom of the Press, Human Trafficking, AIDS/HIV Prevention and Awareness, Women Entrepreneurs and Leaders, Grassroots Activism, Arts and Culture, Education, and many other fields.

Among the thousands who have participated in the IVL Program, more than 140 participants are current or former chiefs-of-state, over 600 have gone on to reach cabinet-level positions, and countless others have become distinguished leaders in the public and private sectors.

Become a Member
Home (Dinner) Hospitality
Invite our visitors to your home for dinner. We provide you with a bio of each visitor, a summary of their program of study while here, and a Culture Gram about their country to help your visit get off on the right foot.

Home Stay Hospitality
Do you have a spare bedroom? Rarely but sometimes, our visitors, need a home stay with our members. Range of stay is from one night but never longer than a week. For example, in early December each year we host visitors from Russia who need this help.

Volunteer Driver
Occasionally we need a member to drive the visitor(s) to their professional appointments. You can be reimbursed for mileage if you wish, plus you get to sit in on these most amazing appointments. Guaranteed you will learn something you didn’t know!

--For more information, go to: http://www.SanDiegoDiplomacy.org

Return to top of page
International Support Fund Grant Reports

#1: El Salvador, 2008 grant of $528
San Lorenzo, PCV Neal Larkins

Trashcans for San Lorenzo

(below) Four pictures in San Lorenzo, showing the trash cans in various places – Some 30+ cans are now being put to good use. (Photos from Neal Larkins)

Neal Larkins, an El Salvador Municipal Development Volunteer, had conducted recycling campaigns and environmental education lessons in six rural Salvadoran schools by the time community leaders began suggesting that a system of trash receptacles throughout the town center and a touristy river park would reduce litter and disease transmission in town.

Working with store owners, neighbors and his counterparts at City Hall, an agreement was forged to provide the labor for the installation of the receptacles, frequent trash collection, and a community education campaign on the types of trash that are suitable for the receptacles.

Thanks to the San Diego Peace Corps Association, 33 cans were installed and are being thoughtfully employed in this town of 900 residents, in front of two schools, a health clinic, city hall, and other “busy” street corners.
–Neal Larkins, PCV El Salvador

Return to top of page

#2: El Salvador, 2009 grant of $499
Caserio Santa Paula, PCV Robert Alvarez

Women's Tailoring/Sewing Vocational Training Project


A History of the Project
After much planning, organizing and many delays, the Vocational Course finally got underway on July 1, 2009. The original plan was to have the course much earlier, yet as happens quite frequently in development work, there were complications. We had come to an agreement with the “Ministry of Citizens Safety” (Ministerio de Seguridad Cuidadana), over the use of four sewing machines that they had in storage. The agreement, however, had been made by mere word of mouth and discussion and upon delivery of a written solicitude; the volunteer was advised that the sewing machines had already been transferred to another location and that they were being occupied in a separate course.

After much discussion and investigation, the same ministry advised the volunteer that there were another set of machines available with a different organization “Superación y Culutura” (roughly translated as Growth and Culture), which is an organization that offers vocational trainings and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education.

After speaking with the Regional Director of “Citizens Safety”, Carmen de las Cañas, she was able to arrange a meeting with the Director of “S & C”, Andres. In that meeting, an agreement was made that they would provide the machines (seven manual sewing machines, and one industrial), seeing as we already had the instructor, class list, and funding (courtesy of SDPCA). This was extremely good news, and we came to an agreement that the machines would be delivered with the help of “Citizens Safety” to the site of the training course in one week.

At this point the course was already underway and students were hard at work learning basic blouses and growing handier with a needle. The beginning of the course was done completely by hand and with brown paper, which is standard for sewing and tailoring courses. Given this fact, there was no rush to transport the machines. There would be at least two months of sewing by hand and getting to know the basics before moving onto the machines. However, this relaxed mindset turned out to be mistaken.

After a month had passed since the meeting and the machines had still not been delivered; more pressure was necessary. The volunteer continually contacted Andres of Superacion y Cultura asking about the machines. The response was the same. The machines needed work and they were waiting for a mechanic from Seguridad Ciudadana to come by and provide the machines with the necessary tweaks and fixes. The volunteer also began to put pressure on Seguridad Ciudadana to send the long awaited mechanic. After two weeks or so of more delays, the volunteer made another call to Superacion y Cultura only to find out the Ministry of Education was threatening to close them down and that there was a standing order not to remove anything from the central office. The mandate basically stipulated that until further notice from the Ministry of Education, the machines would not be available for the course. At this point the course was almost two months in and the machines would be needed in a matter of days. From that point on, the volunteer along with the course instructor began to strategize over the possibility of loaning out machines from different community membersthroughout the village.

The volunteer also began asking advice from the school director (counterpart) who was also personal friend of the Director of Superación y Cultura. Finally, after talking to the School Director, who in turn spoke with the Departmental Director of the Ministry of Education, enough strings were pulled so that the machines were finally delivered. Although, only four of the promised seven, and only three of which functioned properly. Despite all of the setbacks and delays, the course is going strong and getting ready to wrap-up its third month. The students are doing well and attendance is still going strong.

The basic problem that the organization was having is that the
country is in a time of political change and for the first time in the
history of the country, a left leaning political party had won power in the presidential elections. The problem was that this branch of Superación y Cultura had a well-known “right wing” lean, they had even used students from the training course to assist in political events, giving free hair cuts and other services. This organization, being a functionary of the Ministry of Education, should not have been involved so directly in politics and for this reason, they were under review with the new government. Yet in the end most of the problems have been resolved and 20 women are going to graduate with Certificates of Completion.

As previously stated, there are 20 girls and women participating in the Training Course, ranging in age from 13-50. Their attendance has been excellent, and we are documenting attendance monthly. Copies of attendance sheets will be turned in at the conclusion of the course with the final report.

The course is moving along smoothly, the students have moved beyond more basic designs and templates to more complicated skirts and blouses. The course plan also has included in future lessons, maternity clothes and clothes for males, including pants and shirts. The students are currently finishing up shirts which will be used as their course uniforms for the duration of the training.

The morale of the class remains high, the credit goes primarily to the instructor of the course who is also from the community and has a knack for motivating the women. The Peace Corps volunteer serves as coordinator, monitoring progress and designing exams along with the instructor. The volunteer also ensures that the instructor is paid the agreed upon $100 monthly salary.

The course is currently getting ready to finish up its third month, and the funding from SDPCA will afford one more month, for a total duration of four months. After speaking with the course instructor and the Supervisor at Superacion y Cultura, it was agreed that a six-month course would serve the women much more than a four-month course. After talking with the students, it was agreed upon to hold fundraisers to raise money to pay the instructor for the additional two months. The women are currently in the process of raising the money, which amounts to about $10 per person.

Given the desire to receive a more complete education, there is no doubt that the money will be raised and the course extended.

The future is very promising for the graduating students. The newly elected government has pledged to donate school uniforms, in the form of the fabric needed to produce them. Each student will be given enough materials and fabric to produce two school uniforms, which are used throughout the country. The idea is that the schools look for local tailors to produce the uniforms, so that the uniforms would be a direct stimulus to the local economy. That being said, we are in discussions with the directors of the local schools to broker a deal to produce the uniforms. This means that immediately upon graduating, all of the students will have the opportunity to join a cooperative, which we will form out of the graduating class. If things work as planned, this cooperative, will serve as the principal producer of school uniforms in the region.

This will provide the women with an immediate opportunity to turn their training into a paycheck. If things continue as they are, there is no doubt that this dream will be a reality – none of which would have been possible with the generosity and hard work of those at the San Diego Peace Corps Association.

–Robert Alvarez, Peace Corps Volunteer, 2007-2009
Youth Development
Caserio Santa Paula, Canton San Nicolas
San Vicente, El Salvador

Return to top of page

Pacific Intercultural Exchange

PIE LogoPeace Corps asked us, “How far are you willing to go?” Well, for most of us reading this newsletter, we have both gone far and have now returned home again. How far did we go? How much did we learn? Each of us had a unique, life changing experience, yet I’m assuming that like me, each of you returned home searching for a career or education path that would keep you going further.

Now, ask yourself what would have happened had you taken this great journey as a high school student? Pacific Intercultural Exchange (PIE), an organization based right here in San Diego, offers both American and international high school students the opportunity to start this journey early in their lives.

PIE is a not-for-profit corporation that prides itself on facilitating the exchange of cultures between young people, their host families, and host schools through semester, year long, and summer programs (outbound only). Like Peace Corps, PIE believes that only through knowledge can the fear of the unknown be eliminated and true cooperative unity be achieved.

As a PCV and now as an employee at PIE, I have had the unique opportunity to see both sides of the process—both being an applicant myself and working hard to prepare my students for the rigors of the foreign exchange application process as well as being part of the administration receiving those applications.

How many of you, like me, were Secondary School TEFL teachers and had (or knew of) students dying to pass the FLEX (or any similar) test and interview process in order to study in America? I am now a witness to the fruition of those efforts and have the opportunity to observe as those applications are processed, and excited, anxious students along with their host families are selected.

Looking back to the goals that President Kennedy established for the Peace Corps, PIE offers the opportunity for each of us to continue our own global education as well as contribute to the global education of others.

Not only is PIE open to any American or international high school student interested in foreign exchange, but PIE is also constantly searching for host families and local area representatives all across America.

As RPCVs we have the advantage of knowing both the stress and benefits that come as a result of living and learning in a foreign country, opening our minds to new cultures, lifestyles, and flavors as well as what it is like to become a member of someone else’s family in the process.

What better way to utilize the skills and experience from your Peace Corps service than to ‘pay it forward’ and volunteer to be a host family for an international student. Your student will have the privilege of living with someone who has honestly walked a mile in his/her shoes, and knows exactly what s/he is going through.

When selecting host families, PIE’s expectations are that you can provide a caring environment, a room, and daily meals for your student. Though host families are not paid, students bring their own spending money, and the memories you create with your student will far outweigh any monetary reward PIE could offer.

Not ready to be a host family yet, but still want to be involved?

Volunteer to be an Area Representative for students in your area.

As an Area Rep, you aid in the placement process, and are available as the primary contact for students placed in your area.

We are looking for Area Reps in every State, and every environment. PIE is seeking to break the model of the assumed American lifestyle portrayed to international students by the media, and show participants that there is no “typical” American or family.

Maybe you have been searching for the opportunity to pursue the 2nd and 3rd goals of Peace Corps once again. PIE opens its arms to you and whatever you are willing to give to promote greater understanding between the cultures and people of our world.

Get involved! Call 1-888-743-8721 or visit our website at:

Return to top of page

Good Reading

Books from RPCV writers, 2009

Taken from Peace Corps Writers online at Peace Corps Worldwide, “where returned Volunteers share their expertise and experiences.”
http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/?s=2009+books for more details

Prices below from Amazon.com:

  • Buffaloes by My Bedroom: Tales of Tanganyika
    By Dennis Herlocker (Tanzania 1964-66) $18.95
  • Maracaibo
    By Jim Ciullo (Venezuela 1969-71) $11.48
  • In an Uncharted Country
    By Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-78) $12.60
  • Tanga
    By Eric Madeen (Gabon) $17.95
  • What The Abenaki Say About Dogs…and other poems and stories of Lake Champlain
    By Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966-68) $8.50
  • Footsteps
    By Kirsten Johnson (Kenya 1982-84) $12.89
  • Clintonomics: How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution
    By Jack Godwin (Gabon 1982-84) $27.95
  • Images of America; Platte County
    By Starley Talbott (South Africa 2001) $16.49
  • The Broken Teaglass
    By Emily Arsenault (South Africa 2004-06) $16.50

Return to top of page

September Social Hour:
Cucina Urbana

(below) SDPCA September Social Hour at the Cucina Urbana on Banker’s Hill. Thanks for all who attended -- put the word out to continue the camaraderie! (Photo by Katie Clark)
Cucina Urbana

Return to top of page

(above) Ryan Stansfield, Samoa 1998-2000, at the end of the event with the full dumpster. (Photo from Jennifer Arrowsmith)

Community Action Event, September 19, 2009

25th Annual
California Coastal Cleanup

SDPCA member Dan McCormack (Vanuatu) and his wife Stephanie volunteered at the Imperial Beach cleanup site, along with 40 children from Stephanie’s school. Statewide results were just as impressive with 75,000 volunteers taking part in the event, picking up over one million pounds of trash throughout California. Beyond the State of California, volunteers gathered at cleanup sites in all 50 states and over 100 countries to show a united front in the battle against marine debris.

(above) Dan Taylor, Belize 1966-1968, with Ranger
Gina Washington. (Photo from Jennifer Arrowsmith)

While this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day may be over, there are still many ways to get involved in protecting San Diego’s environment. Both coordinators San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love A Clean San Diego hold monthly cleanup events all over San Diego County. For more information about volunteer opportunities year round, check out these websites: http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org and
– Jennifer Arrowsmith, Western Samoa, 1998-2000

Return to top of page

Why can’t peace be a single overriding common purpose: why do we wait for a crisis to pull us together? Let’s pull together for peace.
—Rita Mae Brown

from the President
That Time of Year

It’s that time of year again. What always seems so far away gets here so fast. It is a favorite time of year for most. Friends and family get together, reminisce, tell stories… and I take this as my cue to ask you to take a look at our agenda for the next month or so. We would love to hear from you, meet you and see what all RPCV’s are doing. One of my goals is to meet more RPCV’s and hear their stories.

Please take some time and attend one of our mixers, community action projects or even just drop us a line letting us know you are still there. Let us know where you served and what you are doing now.

With the 50th Anniversary coming up (see SDPCA ideas above), we would like to be sure all RPCV’s are involved in one way or another. Please try to join in when you can; stay in touch and build community here at home, too. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great holiday season.

–Eva Rodriguez, Ecuador 2006-09

Return to top of page
Board Minutes

September 10, 2009
Jennifer Arrowsmith, Katie Clark, Lisa Eckl, Mae Hsu, Lennox Miller, Gregg Pancoast, Eva Rodriguez, Laura Vento
: Carl Sepponen, Kristen Slanina

President’s Report: We should have a solid plan in place for the 50th PC Anniversary by July 2010.

Financial Report: For this fiscal year to date (April 2009-August 2009), Greg reported balances of $1,019.81 in the checking account and $4,164.13 in the savings account. There is a total of $4,997.68 in Unrestricted Assets and $4,970.14 in Restricted Assets. The profit and loss statement shows a loss of $682.17 because of the purchase of calendars ($918).

As of 8/31/09, calendar sales have generated $290. SDPCA received a $2000 donation from Qualcomm because of Jen’s involvement as a board member. The donation is unrestricted. Since funds are already earmarked for Global Awards, it was agreed by all that the money would be used in a Community Action,Speaker, and Social fund (CASS). Examples for use: pay for community action events that have nominal costs (e.g. it cost $200 to participate in the Ronald McDonald project last year); buy snacks at speaker events

Communications/Membership: 90 current members (3 new, 10 free). 64 members are 12 months past due. Lisa will be in San Diego at least through May and will continue to serve as the Membership Chair

ISF / Global Awards: There are 2 current requests for applications. Historically, Global Awards were granted twice a year. The Board agreed to award grants on a rolling basis to better accommodate PCVs and their project timelines. A committee will need to be formed to review grant applications (minimum 3 people). Laura will work with the recruiter to publicize the Global Awards with nominees and Country Directors.

Social: At the July happy hour, some of the RPCVs expressed interest in group dinners at rotating ethnic restaurants. Katie will research restaurants and plan a dinner as a social activity

Speaker’s Bureau: Lennox sent out introductory letters via email to 7 organizations. To date, he has not received any replies or requests for speakers. Newsletter: No one responded to the t-shirt raffle news quiz in the Sept/Oct newsletter. It was agreed that we would try to move to an electronic-only newsletter. Only 30 people are currently mailed hardcopies of the newsletter. Mae will contact them to see if they would not mind an e-newsletter. If only a few people would like hard copies, we can print the copies ourselves rather than send the newsletter to the printers.

October 14, 2009
Jennifer Arrowsmith, Lisa Eckl, Mae Hsu, Lennox Miller, Gregg Pancoast, Eva Rodriguez, Carl Sepponen, Laura Vento Absent: Katie Clark, Kristen Slanina

President’s Report: We will be creating a committee to plan for the 50th Peace Corps Anniversary event in 2011. Interested RPCVs should contact Eva. Three board members will go to the Peace House Open House on October 25th to see what type of work or assistance might be needed to help complete the Peace House. Perhaps we can set-up regular work parties (possibly every other month) to help complete the Peace House. The house may have a room dedicated to Peace Corps.

Communications/Membership: 83 current members (1 new member; 6 free members), 70 are 12 months past due

Community Action: No events calendared for November or December yet. Waiting on Holiday Party plans to see if an activity can be coordinated with it.

Fundraising: Entertainment Books are distributed at nine Postal Annex+ Stores. These are the best performing stores of the past several years. The store locations are posted here and on the SDPCA website. We will sell calendars at the Annual Peace on Earth Bazaar on Dec 12th 10-2 PM. The booth fee is $20 and several calendars were sold at the event last year.

ISF-Global Awards: Laura has been trying to contact Shane to publicize the Global Awards with nominees and Country Directors. She has a few applications right now. Laura will look into creating a one-page ISF pamphlet/brochure or other handout to give to PCVs who are embarking on their service.

Social: There was agreement on a January Holiday Party to avoid competing December events. Ideas for the event: book sale, white
elephant, raffle, silent auction

Speaker's Bureau: Lennox did two presentations at San Ysidro High School’s Perspective Conference. He did not hear back from any speakers.

-Mae Hsu, Secretary, Tonga (2001-03)

Return to top of page

“All men love peace in their armchairs after dinner; but they disbelieve the other nations’s professions, rightly measuring its sincerity by their own.” —Oscar W. Firkins

ISF Grant Reviewers Needed!

ISF Grant applications are now being accepted all year round. As we receive them we need to review, evaluate and decide which projects will be funded.

If you are interested in participating on a committee to review ISF grant applications from San Diego PCVs, please contact Laura Vento at .

Snowgoose Global Thanksgiving

Snow GooseWhen: Sunday Nov. 22, 1 pm to sundown
Where: Rancho Villaseñor,
1302 Stewart Street, Oceanside, CA
(760) 722-1463

Begun in 1992 by author/speaker Victor Villaseñor, the mission of Snowgoose Thanksgiving is “to promote a celebration of peace, harmony and abundance through a festive atmosphere that embraces the beauty and solidarity among all people....

Admission is an appetizer, a main dish, a salad, or a dessert to share with 12 others. Victor Villaseñor received SDPCA’s Global Awareness Award in 2004, the first year it was awarded.

–For more information: http://www.snowgoose.org/

Opinion: Privacy Policies

For those of you, like me, who do not read every privacy policy of groups you join, you could be agreeing to more than you intend. For example, looking at NPCA’s privacy policy exceptions at:
http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/node/5366, we find:

What does NPCA do with your information?
NPCA does not release any of the information we collect from membership applications, merchandise sales, donor cards, the internet, or any other source, except in restricted situations for the benefit of the NPCA. In particular: to Bank of America for the purpose of promoting the NPCA credit card only... [and] to GEICO Insurance Company for the purpose of promoting an automobile insurance program to NPCA members.

NPCA says this brings substantial revenue to the general fund. While you might approve, be aware that simply joining means you agree to such mailings, unless you ask to be excluded. And NPCA is more direct in informing members than most! Be aware, not surprised, by reading privacy policies!

– Don Beck, Bolivia, 1967-1969

Peace Corps Fellowships

Clark University’s International Development, Community, and Environment department (IDCE) in Worcester, Massachusetts, actively recruits RPCVs to its programs and provides generous fellowship opportunities. If you are looking to bridge your practical experience with theory, IDCE could be the right place for you. Our graduates are effective professionals who can work with activists, civil society organizations, government policy makers, business people, academics, scientists, technical experts, as well as ordinary people. IDCE alumni are the decision makers in environmental, development, and social service agencies, consultancies, businesses, and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Fellowships: IDCE provides partial tuition fellowships (at least 40% tuition remission = to at least $20,000) to all RPCVs admitted to one of IDCE’s graduate programs. Additionally, each year, IDCE awards at least one full tuition-free competitive fellowship for a RPCV of extraordinary merit. To apply, please check the appropriate box on the IDCE application to be considered for these fellowships. Applicants canalso provide some form of verification of service at the time of their application in order to waive the application fee

Clark University’s International Development, Community, and
Environment department awards Master’s degrees in the following

  • International Development and Social Change (IDSC)
  • Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)
  • Community Development and Planning (CDP)
  • Geographic Information Science for Development and
    Environment (GISDE)

Visit the IDCE website at http://www.clarku.edu/idce

New Network Focuses on Volunteerism:

The Entertainment Industry Foundation has mobilized the entertainment community around a groundbreaking initiati ve designed to inspire a new era of service and volunteerism. This multi-year campaign, called “iParticipate,” hopes to make service a part of who we are as Americans and show what we can achieve when we all pull together.

In addition to generating heightened awareness about the value of community service, EIF will provide grants to key volunteer / service organizations to help build their capacity to accept, train and deploy volunteers in areas of the greatest need. Men and women of the entertainment industry will help fuel the drive to service not just by showing its benefits to the country, but also by bringing home its tangible benefits to the people who volunteer.

–from online: http://www.iparticipate.org/

Return to top of page

Welcome New Members!

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members, as of April 20, 2009. Let us hear from you! We’re glad we were able to support your work in service. Welcome back!

• Hyun Lee, Mongolia, 2002-2004
• Georgia K. Nelson, Bulgaria, 2004-2006
• Dominic Prestifilippo, Malawi, 2006-2008

Return to top of page

Newsletter Credits

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

Contributions (articles, letters, photos, etc.) welcomed! Easiest if already a text or Word file on disk, Mac or PC -- BUT typed copy is fine too. Photos: 300-600 dpi best, Mac or PC formats welcomed.

Please send to NewsEditor, SDPCA, P.O.Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or email to:

Mae Hsu

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck

Contributors this issue are:
Robert Alvarez, PCV; Jennifer Arrowsmith; Lisa Eckl; Paul D. Coverdell; Neal Larkins, PCV; Rudy Sovinee; Martha Lee Renolds; Don Beck; Jenna McKnight.


Return to top of page