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May - June 2010 — Volume 23, Number 3

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

Index: click on your choice...
May-June International Peace Days
from NPCA & PC: Mentoring & News

Master's International Program in Guatemala

World-wide Service Articles..........
......Changing the World through Service..
......'Solar Suitcases' Give Haitian Hospitals Solar Energy

......Operation of Hope
China Roads: Voyage of Discovery
February Social Hour Photos EarthFair 2010
SDPCA Himalayan Dinner (photos) President's Message
Potpourri Recrutier's Corner
New Members Newsletter Credits

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

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International Peace Days:
May and June 2010
Great site for Peace-full things: 
Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.

Workers Day -
Law Day -
Global Love Day -
Freedom of the Press Day -
Fair Trade Day -
Families Day -
Diversity Day -
Dialogue Day -
BioDiversity Day -
Nothing To Fear Day -
UN Peacekeepers Day -

Environment Day -
Refugee Day -
Interfaith Day -
End Torture Day -
End Drug Abuse Day -

* Date changes

May 1
May 1
May 1
May 3
May 9*
May 15
May 21
May 21
May 22
May 27
May 29

June 5
June 20
June 22
June 26
June 26

each year

May 21 -- Diversity Day
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 clearly illustrated that serious conflict can arise over "cultural differences." Shortly after this tragic event, 185 nations unanimously adopted the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity to proclaim that our cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. It rejected the claims that a clash of cultures and civilizations is unavoidable, and stressed that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

What is culture? A culture is a community's language, arts and literature. It is also its values system, traditions, beliefs and way of living. Respecting and protecting culture is a matter of Human Rights. Everyone should be able to participate in the cultural life of their choice. The Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions was adopted in October 2005 to outline legal rights and obligations regarding international cooperation to help protect cultural diversity throughout the world.

Diversity Day, officially known as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, is an opportunity to help our communities to understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national and local diversities that enrich our lives. -- Mahnaz Afkhami

"We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race."
-- Kofi Annan

June 22 -- Interfaith Day
Some of the wars and conflicts of the past and present were fought over land and resources, but many have been over religious differences. In this past century, a global interfaith movement has been growing, helping to raise consciousness about the need for tolerance and understanding between different cultures and religions.

This movement has helped highlight the common goals that most religions share, such as the Golden Rule, which is at the heart of nearly all religious traditions. At the same time, many throughout the world are discovering that 'spirituality' -- a deep connection to a greater purpose for humanity -- is an important driving force in their lives, even if they aren't religious. UNESCO, working with religious and spiritual NGOs, is currently developing an action plan for Interfaith Cooperation for Peace. The flagship event, a Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace took place on June 22, 2005.

Interfaith Day is an opportunity for all who value spirituality in their lives to connect and unite in our wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world based on values grounded in our deeper spiritual connection to each other and the world around us. World Spirituality Day is observed on December 31 as a time for the spiritual community to join together to celebrate the victories for peace, tolerance and understanding that have been won throughout the year and to rededicate our lives to our spiritual paths.

I appreciate any organization or individual people who sincerely make an effort to promote harmony between humanity, and particularly harmony between the various religions. I consider it very sacred work and very important work
-- The Dalai Lama

It seems to rise again when the crisis times come, and this is a time of most severe crisis, as we all know, not just for the history of the United States and the survival indeed of our democracy, but for the future peace of the world. And never before probably has the need for interfaith commitment been nearly as great as it is at this very moment.
-- Walter Cronkite

Quotes, Pictures and Descriptions from

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NPCA & PC Activities

NPCA/Peace Corps Mentoring Program

From: http://www.rpcvmentoring.org/

The NPCA/Peace Corps Mentoring program was started in 2007 with a fundamental goal in mind: to connect recently returned Peace Corps Volunteers with RPCV mentors.
Via phone, email and face-to-face meetings, these mentors help ease the difficult transition, provide a connection to the RPCV community at large, and say some of the most comforting words in the English language, namely, “I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there.”

Mentor Program

Do I qualify?
All returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have been back at least a year from service are eligible.

Why do mentors get so much out of this program?

Mentors have the opportunity to:

  • Reconnect to the Peace Corps community
  • Participate in Third Goal activities
  • Help other returned Peace Corps Volunteers benefit from your experience
  • Grow the RPCV network
  • Get first hand information (via your mentee) on current conditions in your country of service or other countries

What kind of time commitment does this program require?

For the most part, that’s up to you. Both mentors and mentees commit to participation for a minimum of four months, with a minimum of two hours committed to the program over at least three contacts. Face-to-face contact is encouraged, but online and telephone communication is acceptable.

How do you match up mentors/mentees?

Start by filling out a simple survey! To the extent possible, matches are made based on priorities expressed by both the mentor and the mentee, such as geographical location and country of service.

What mentorship tools will the Peace Corps and NPCA give me?
An electronic toolkit, including a Career Resource Manual, list of Peace Corps’ medical, psychological, financial and administrative resources, relevant story-telling material from Country of Service Trainer’s Kit and much more.

As a mentor, what am I expected to do for my mentee?

Provide emotional support, supply key networking contacts, share experiences and adjustment issues, assist with career planning and further education, and help him or her transition from serving abroad to serving at home.

What if my mentee/mentor lives in/moves to a different city or state?

If you both desire, you can continue to work together remotely via phone and email. However, if you feel you need face-to-face contact you can request a new mentor/mentee.

What if my mentee has questions/problems that I can’t answer or solve?

You aren’t expected to be able to answer everything, but we hope you’ll do your best to point your mentee in the right direction. The resources pages, available to registered mentors and mentees, may be able to help you out. Further, we will soon be implementing forums where you can ask for advice from other mentors and mentees. We also encourage you to remind your mentee about http://www.peacecorps.gov/rpcv, the Peace Corps website specific to returned Peace Corps Volunteers, which offers additional helpful information and free resources.

What if my match doesn’t seem to be working?

It can take time for you and your match to build the trust required to truly benefit from this program. Therefore, we ask that you are patient with each other, do your best to rise above the challenges, and work toward the goals of the mentor program. However, we understand that sometimes a match will not be right. In these cases, you can request the match be changed by contacting your affiliate group or NPCA.

What if I don’t feel that the mentor/mentee program is right for me, but I’d like to get involved with the NPCA some other way?

NPCA would love your involvement in any of our programs. All returning volunteers are eligible for one year of free membership starting anytime in the first year back from service. Head over to the NPCA website to learn more about all of our programs.

For more information, visit http://www.rpcvmentoring.org or email mentor@rpcv.org.

Senate Committee Approves Dodd Legislation, Peace Corps Deputy Director

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave its approval to Senate Bill 1382, the Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act.

Authored by Senator Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic 66-68), the legislation calls upon the agency to conduct an assessment of 18 issues identified as key to the improvement and expansion of Peace Corps operations, and provide a strategic plan that includes one and five year goals and benchmarks to measure progress.

Among these key issues is the Peace Corps’ “third goal”--the first goal of the National Peace Corps Association. The assessment would look at “the most effective and efficient methods of improving and strengthening activities relating to the Peace Corps’ goal of promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the people of the United States, including enhanced funding to implement, scale, and replicate such activities.”

The Committee also approved the nomination of former NPCA Board Member Carrie Hessler-Radelet to become the next Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. With these votes by the committee, both the legislation and the Hessler-Radelet nomination go to the full Senate for final approval.

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Master's International Program in Guatemala

From: Sarah Fuhrmann, recent RPCV from Guatemala (2007-2009) [Photos from Sarah Fuhrmann]

Guatemala has recently emerged from a 36-year civil conflict and before that, years of conquest and repression which have contributed to the current state of structural violence. The turmoil, poverty, lack of health care and education, malnutrition and machismo have created a social hierarchy, which places indigenous women at the lowest societal status.

Many women and their families also suffer from interfamilial violence and are unable to extricate themselves from the situation because of their status and the reasons that contribute to it. Domestic violence impacts a large percentage of people in Guatemala and one effective step to help disseminate knowledge about ending the abuse is to teach local health professionals peacebuilding skills.

Medicine and peacebuilding have an inherent connection and sustainable programs can be initiated teaching conflict transformation to medical professionals, taking advantage of their status and capabilities. Since it is virtually impossible to reach each Guatemalan woman individually, making use of community members such as midwives is a practical method to disperse information.

Utilizing an existing network of community midwives in La Democracia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, a peacebuilding workshop has been designed to build on the local midwives’ skill set, increase their ability to understand conflict and violence and their own and communities’ contribution to it, identify signs of domestic violence, and begin to eradicate it through legal means.

While serving as a PCV in Guatemala and through the Masters International program I completed my thesis and graduated with my Masters in Conflict Transformation from SIT Graduate Institute. For my capstone (thesis) I designed a peacebuilding training/workshop for a network of local midwives. First I facilitated training of trainers for the Health Center Staff, the Public Prosecuter’s Office and the Municipal Women’s Office where more theory and in depth discussions took place looking at their own identity and their role in the community, and also detailing each activity of the upcoming workshop, why certain training techniques were used and what the best ways were to communicate with a mainly illiterate group. After the initial training, the health center staff worked closely with me to facilitate the two-day workshop for the over 75 midwives in attendance.  All of the trainings were done in Spanish and most of the two-day midwife workshop was also translated into Mam, the local indigenous language of the area. This was a rewarding endeavor as I was able to combine my service and my education toward a worthy cause.  I am now living in San Diego but think daily of my life in Guatemala and the people that I have left behind there.

If you know anyone considering the Masters International program please encourage them to do so and contact the MI Program through the PC website mastersinternational@peacecorps.gov.
Photos from Sarah Fuhrmann

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The power of giving

Changing the World through Service
by Liz Karagianis
Senior Tish Scolnik designed a wheelchair that doubles as a portable office, making it possible for the disabled in Tanzania to become entrepreneurs.

“We wanted it to look like a legitimate business,” says Scolnik, who designed the chair with a collapsible desk that doubles as a sign, drawers under the seat for storage, and a colorful umbrella for shelter. Now, the disabled are selling vegetables, repairing shoes, and fixing electronics — right from the seat of their wheelchairs.

“We demand a lot of our students, because we know they have so much capacity and can contribute so much,” says Sally Susnowitz, director of MIT’s Public Service Center. “Students understand this and get excited about doing amazing things.”

Each year, thousands of MIT students participate in service projects to gain leadership skills and to better serve the world. Recently, students established an entrepreneurship competition in the Philippines to reinvigorate that country’s economy; some are working to spur regrowth of the coral reefs; while others are developing medical devices, like the telerobotic lung biopsy tool requested by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a smart pillbox for use in treating tuberculosis in India.

“I’ve been on the faculty for 35 years, and have been delighted that this generation of students wants to make the world a better place,” says Kim Vandiver, director of MIT’s Edgerton Center which runs D-Lab, a series of service learning classes that focus on international development. “The news is filled with doomsday scenarios, such as loss of the ice caps and the rise in sea level. We see reports of tsunamis and earthquakes. MIT students aren’t going to just roll over and quit. I think it’s a subconscious generational response that they have to do something to help.”

Recently, senior Shirin Kasturia traveled to Phnom Penh to help victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She convinced teachers at her former high school to donate eight computers, shipped them to Phnom Penh, then set up a computer lab to teach the women basic skills. But shipping the computers caused a two-week delay at the Cambodian Customs Bureau. Kasturia didn’t know the culture or the language but somehow figured out how to get those computers through customs.

“Being in a situation where you’re not comfortable is a great spur to creativity,” Susnowitz says. “It heightens intellectual awareness that leads to inventive solutions.”

MIT students consistently are encouraged to solve the world’s problems today, she says. “If you wait for leadership opportunities until you have a professional reputation and money, what you learn is waiting, not doing. We believe that students are ready to change the world and do great things now.”

The students on these pages “are being challenged to become not only professionals but humanitarians,” she says. “We dare them not to wait.”

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(above) Portable “solar suitcase” being prepared for Nigeria. This was used to immediately power headlamps and walkie-talkies at the municipal hospital.

'Solar Suitcases' Give Haitian Hospitals Solar Energy

By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Contributing Writer

Plato said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and for Berkeley residents Hal Aronson and Laura Stachel, truer words were never spoken.

When the husband and wife duo found out about the Haiti earthquake, they withdrew $10,000 from their own savings and bought supplies to build “solar suitcases”-devices designed to provide hospitals with solar energy.

So far, they have sent 12 suitcases to developing countries, four of them going to Haiti, Stachel said in an e-mail.

Costing an average of $500 each without excess equipment, the mini solar generators can power operating room equipment, blood bank refrigerators, communication devices and laptops, among other devices, Aronson said.

“The demand (in Haiti) is higher just because of the crisis, so our main goal is to prevent the loss of human life,” said CJ Jennings, a junior in conservation and resource studies and volunteer with the project.

(below) Jesse DelBono of RESCUE, a high school club in Sacramento, with 10 solar suitcase boards constructed for the Haiti initiative. “We Care Solar” website: http://www.wecaresolar.com

Relying solely upon donations, the project utilizes volunteers to raise money for supplies and help build the mechanism within the suitcase.

The lack of funding has not curbed volunteers’ enthusiasm, Aronson said.

“It’s self-empowering,” said Bruce Rhodes, vocational trainer for the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. “It’s about people taking control of their own environment. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Aronson and Stachel founded Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity (We Care Solar) a year and a half ago to provide impoverished hospitals with electricity in an attempt to reduce high infant and birth mortality rates. Stachel came up with the idea while doing research in Nigeria, and her husband, having 25 years of experience in solar technology, built the devices and packaged them in suitcases.

“Women give birth or have life-altering surgeries by candlelight,” Jennings said. “Reliable electricity prevents so much from going wrong.”

The solar suitcases are powerful enough to provide an average of 30 hours of continuous light from a 3-watt LED bulb, yet simple enough that Aronson can train high school students to do the wiring, he said.

However, there’s no room for error-one mistake and the unit could short-circuit, rendering it worthless, he said.

“It’s life and death,” he said. “That’s our motivation. We want to make them as durable and long-lasting as we can.”

Instead of shipping the solar suitcases directly to Haiti, Aronson said he sends them with various medical teams, which ensures they are put to immediate use.

(right) Solar suitcases, devices designed to generate solar electricity, are being used to power impoverished hospitals. The devices are being sent to developing countries such as Haiti. David Herschorn/Photo

The concept has also caught on in the U.S. As early as this March, Detroit could utilize a variation of the solar suitcase to provide power for its houses-a basic necessity that might otherwise be unaffordable.

For Aronson and Stachel, We Care Solar is not about making money-it is about making a difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves.

“Sometimes people ask me why I do this,” Stachel said in an e-mail. “I tell them I do this because I have been (a) witness. I have seen what care is like in Nigeria, and I cannot turn my back. ... Somehow, through We Care Solar, people have taken notice ... And in some way, I feel that I have given these women their voice.”

From the The Daily Californian Online Jan. 26, 2010: http://www.dailycal.org/article/107959/couple_s_solar_

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(above) Relatives and a recovering child.

Operaton of Hope

from: Eva Rodriguez, Ecuador, 2006-09

(below) Staff getting ready for an operation.

Operation of Hope is a not-for-profit medical foundation started in 1989 to perform facial surgeries on poor children around the world. It is also a not-for-profit, all-volunteer medical team that donates surgeries to children in developing countries born with facial deformities. Founded 19 years ago by retired ear, nose and throat physician Dr. Clawson, the team has worked hard to impact the lives of over 1,900 children. The organization is based out of Lake Forest, CA. Operation of Hope not only provides surgery for the patient, but also travel, lodging and meal expenses for families that have to travel. (Some families travel to Ecuador from Colombia and Peru.)

Operation of Hope has trips every January to Ecuador and every April and October to Africa. The organization seeks non-medical volunteers, medical nursing volunteers, medical anesthesiologists and medical surgeons. They have worked with Peace Corps Volunteers in Ecuador for more than 15 years. SDPCA’s Eva Rodriguez (Ecuador, 2006-09) has volunteered with Operation of Hope for the past five years on missions in Ecuador.

(below) Sara before and then after her operation for cleft palate

Please contact Eva at 2eva4eva@gmail.com for more information about her experiences.

The following information is from Operation of Hope’s website:

In 2006, Operation of Hope set an annual record of 134 facial operations with visits to Quito, Ecuador and Zimbabwe, Africa.

Here is a story of one of the children, Lorena.

A New Life for Lorena

[Quito, Ecuador] 20 year old Lorena suffered from a serious congenital defect of her nose. This condition gave her two ridges and two very separate nostrils. Lorena and her parents knocked on many doors all over Guayaquil, her home village, but could never find an adequate solution to her problem. The family had lost all faith that she would look normal ever again. Through a friend, Lorena was told about a group of doctors that come to Riobamba every year from the US to perform surgeries on facial deformities and decided to hold their breath and take a chance. Lorena then made the six-hour bus trip to be evaluated by the Operation of Hope doctors.

“You don’t know how much I prayed to God for this day.” Lorena’s evaluation went well, and she was placed on Operation of Hope’s busy 2-week schedule. Hope had arrived! Lorena’s operation was a great success and today her life has been transformed forever. She feels confident and now has a job and opportunities that were not available to her before the operation. Today, Lorena feels very content and has established a new life now that her dreams have been fulfilled by the teamwork of Operation of Hope.

Eva Rodriguez, SDPCA President, has worked with Operation of Hope in Ecuador for a number of years and has more information for those who may wish it. –Ed.

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China Roads: Voyage of Discovery

A reporter who explored China’s bigger and lesser roads and found treasure

Country Driving: A Journey Through China
from Farm to Factory

By Peter Hessler.

Harper Collins, 432 pages; $27.99

Roads, and with them cars, are changing China faster than any dictat from the Politburo. Within a few years a motorway network has been built that is fast catching up with the length of America’s interstate highways; China has already overtaken America as the world’s biggest car market. Yet most foreigners, even long-term residents, have glimpsed this only partially. They curse the gridlock of Chinese cities caused by a new middle class hitting the roads in ballooning numbers, and at the mayhem these reckless novices create. They bemoan the transformation of rural peripheries by businesses catering to day-tripping car-owners: guesthouses, restaurants and theme parks. They fret about the fumes.

But Peter Hessler gets behind the wheel and explores the furthest reaches of this phenomenon. Few other foreigners have toured China’s highways so extensively. Non-residents are usually not allowed to drive, and among foreigners living in China there is often a reluctance to risk roaming far: the country’s roads are among the world’s deadliest.

Mr Hessler was working for the New Yorker and the National Geographic when he researched this book. It is his third about China, a series launched in 2001 with “River Town”, a memoir of his time as a Peace Corps teacher. “Country Driving”, like his previous works, tells the story of China’s transformation powerfully and poetically.

The first part of the book is about driving along the Great Wall, or what is really a series of walls, in a Beijing-made Jeep Cherokee. In 1923 an article in a Shanghai newspaper proposed, apparently seriously, that the wall be converted into a road to “make it easier to do business” across the breadth of China. Today such a notion would be heresy, the wall having been decreed by the Communist Party to be a sacred symbol of Chineseness.

But Mr Hessler’s journey along it (as best he could since there is no road that runs the entire length) is not a fulfilment of a Chinese fantasy such as Americans once harboured about Route 66. Long-distance driving is even less a Chinese middle-class pursuit than it is for foreign residents. The people Mr Hessler meets along the wall are mostly poor Chinese who dream of getting away from the impoverished countryside traversed by the ancient structure.

China, though a frantic builder of roads, has little road culture. Map-reading is a rare skill, and not one that is encouraged by a government obsessed by cartographic secrecy. As Mr Hessler describes it, when lost the worst thing to do was to show people a map. Doing so, he says, was like “handing over a puzzle to a child—people’s faces went from confusion to fascination as they turned the map this way and that, tracing lines across the page.” Mr Hessler did not use a GPS device since he was worried that he might be accused of carrying out illegal surveying work (though this reviewer has found Chinese GPS technology an invaluable aid to exploring off the beaten track).

In the rest of the book Mr Hessler immerses himself in the lives of ordinary Chinese at opposite ends of what he calls the biggest migration in human history. He begins in a village outside Beijing close to the Great Wall, and ends in a factory town in the eastern province of Zhejiang (in this province factories come first and roads later, Mr Hessler notes). Roads weave in and out of his narrative, but the focus is on the lives of a handful of individuals among whom Mr Hessler builds up extraordinary trust. The reader becomes a fly on the wall in the village’s political infighting and in the fraught relationship between factory bosses and migrant workers.

Foreign correspondents rarely have time as they explore China’s vastness to return to places where there is little going on that seems worthy of a headline. Mr Hessler, however, keeps going back and in so doing fills an important gap in media coverage of the country. Through the lives of the ordinary Chinese he gets to know so well, he explains the country’s complexity, insecurities and tensions better than many of the more analytical works that have appeared in recent years. As he observes at one point, when he uncharacteristically fails to probe deeply into the sufferings of people displaced by a dam project: “I felt like a drive-by journalist, listening to sad stories before I got back on the expressway.” Many a foreign reporter in Beijing would rightly wince at that apology.

Source: The Economist print edition, Feb 25th 2010
Online: http://www.economist.com/culture/displaystory.

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February Social Hour Photos

These were taken at the February Happy Hour at 94th Aero
Squadron Restaurant. Katie Clark took the photos

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Earth Fair 2010

It was another successful day for Peace Corps and the San Diego Peace Corps Association. We talked to hundreds of people about our experiences as volunteers; we handed out pamphlets, pens, books, stickers, brochures,--thanks Amber!--, and we definitely enjoyed expressing our enthusiasm for our time spent as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Hey, your feet get tired, your mouth gets dry, but you go home with a smile on your face! I want to thank a great group of SDPCA members for their time: Ron Ranson, Sharon Deatrick, Sonny Foreman, Marie Sidon, Jason Carmichael, Eva Rodriguez, Jennifer Arrowsmith, Gregg Pancoast, Jill Dumbauld, Alaina Gallegos, Gene Nelson, Celeste Coleman, Judy Stout, Kelly Breckenridge, Paul Mullins, and especially Amber Lung, our San Diego Peace Corps recruiter.

Can’t wait to do it again next year?!!
–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa, 1972-74

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SDPCA Himalayan Dinner

(below left) Our fabulous hostess-with-the-mostest-Social Chair, Katie Clark, Nepal (2001-03).  Photo from Brenda Hahn.

(above right) A few of the 40 satiated diners (note the large doggie bags), l-r Nicola Ranson (spouse of photographer Ron Ranson, Nepal (1964-66), Brenda Hahn (Nepal 1964-66), Bill Murray (back of his head) Swaziland (1980-80), and Gerry Sodomka, Nigeria (1966-68) our Tijuana Tour Master. Photo from Ron Ranson

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Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew

from the President

Join Us May 15th

I scream.
ou scream.
We all scream for ice cream.

An Ice Cream Social.

We will have ice cream and topping to celebrate the day. Join in and be involved, come and have a look see! A beautiful day for a picnic, overlooking San Diego bay. Everyone is encouraged to bring their
family members: we will play games, even some specifically for adults! Meet the board, members and guests at this annual event. This is where we share our past accomplishments, present our new projects, and nominate and elect a new board.

With this year beginning the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary it’s a great time to be on the board. Bring chairs, blankets, umbrellas and sunscreen and get ready for a fun filled event. More on page 4. Evite
to follow. Looking forward to a great turnout and meeting so many new people.
–Eva Rodriguez, Ecuador (2006-09)

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If you ever need a helping hand, it is at the end of your arm As you get older you must remember you have a second hand. The first one is to help yourself. The second hand is to help others.
~Audrey Hepburn

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.  ~Oscar Wilde

Board Minutes

March 9, 2010

Members Present: Celeste Coleman, Lisa Eckl, Lennox Miller, Gregg Pancoast, Mae Hsu, Eva Rodriguez, Kris Slanina

Members Absent: Jennifer Arrowsmith, Katie Clark, Carl Sepponen, Laura Vento

President’s Report: Waiting to hear back from the Peace House contact for volunteering opportunities.

Finance Report: Treasurer presented financials for period April 09-February 10. Fund balances are as follows at 02/28/10: ISF $6,143; CASS $2,000; Unrestricted $5,062. NPCA membership renewed for $50. $520 to Laura for Botswana ISF award project. Gregg will take care of SDPCA taxes.

Community Action: Marjory is the lead on the April 18th Earth Day Event. $100 of the $159 booth fee will be paid by Peace Corps LA.
Membership: 62 current members; 1 new; 5 free; 67 past due (34 from January 1s

Speakers Bureau: Lennox is going out of the country. Celeste will be the new Chair. Lennox attended the Peace Corps Anniversary event at UCSD. Low turnout: 12 people in attendance. Celeste has connected with the Girl Scouts and filled out the appropriate paperwork to liaison with them.

New Business: Discussion about May Annual Meeting.

April 13, 2010

Members Present: Gregg Pancoast, Eva Rodriguez, Kris Slanina
Guests Present: Marjory Clyne, Amber Lung (recruiter Peace Corps-LA)

Members Absent: Jennifer Arrowsmith, Katie Clark, Celeste Coleman, Lisa Eckl, Mae Hsu, Lennox Miller, Carl Sepponen, Laura Vento

50th Anniversary Committee: Marjory and her committee will be marshalling resources and volunteers for the upcoming activities with the help of Amber and the local recruiter.

May Meeting: Eva and Kris will assist with planning. It will be an ice-cream social and potluck.

Financial: SDPCA completed its 12 month fiscal year March 31-- and the organization is in good health with amble cash reserves.

Community Action: No community action events since February. No nominations for Global Awareness Award have been received yet. Still waiting to hear back from Rock and Roll Marathon race organizers regarding our water station.

Speakers Bureau: Still in process with the Girl Scouts. Speaker needed for May 27th (5-6 pm) for HERO at UCSD (organization devoted to ecological and human rights concerns).

New Business: Amber and the LA office have arranged a PC bon voyage party for nominees and invitees in Old Towne. The board agreed to contribute $150 towards this event.

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

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I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.~Albert Schweitzer

50th Anniversary Digital Library–
Calling all RPCVs and Volunteers!

Peace Corps invites you to contribute to our digital library—a searchable collection of photos, stories and documents about Peace Corps, the Volunteer experience, and the agency’s legacy of service around the globe.

As we approach Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary, please help us reach our goal of including photos and stories from each country where Volunteers have served, and from each decade of Peace Corps history.  You can contribute one story and up to five photos from your Peace Corps service using our online process. 

Interested?  Go to http://collection.peacecorps.gov/index.php to start your submission or browse the growing collection of materials.

Questions? Suggestions?  Email digital@peacecorps.gov
–Kirsten Radewagen kradewagen@peacecorps.gov

2010 International
Documentary Film Series

The 2010 International Documentary Film Series is here! 

Join the IRC at La Jolla Village Cinemas (Whole Food Shopping Center at 5 fwy and Nobel) for three moving films -- first two in April, final one in May, and more to come:

Monday, May 3  7pm
Burma VJ

Burma VJ offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state.  Risking torture and life in jail, courageous Burmese citizens use handycams to record the 2007 protest by Buddhist monks on the streets of Rangoon.  This film was nominated for an Academy Award.
View trailers of the films at http://www.ircfilmseries.com/

Purchase Tickets through our secure check out page:

Tickets: Series Pass:  $40; Two Film Pass: $35;Single Ticket:   $20; Student Ticket: $10; Students Series Pass: $25. You may also purchase tickets at the door.

Thanks to a generous sponsor, 100% of ticket sales will go to the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. For more information, please contact sharon.darrough@theIRC.org  619 641 7510 x 249
 –Sharon Kennedy Darrough, Thailand, 1989-91.

Speaker needed!

Would anyone be interested in being a guest speaker at a seminar of HERO (Human Earth Rights Organization, for environmental and human rights on the UCSD campus? The date for the event is May 27, from 5 to 6pm, and it can be about any topic. More info about them can be found at their website: http://tinyurl.com/2aa8sjj I am unable to speak at the event, but would love to recruit someone to do so…please let me know if you are interested!


Please contact Celeste Coleman at speakers05@sdpca.org

NPCA Wins Interactive Media Award™ for Africa Rural Connect Project

Africa Rural Connect (ARC), an online project launched last summer by the NPCA, has received this year’s Interactive Media Award™ (IMA) for Outstanding Achievement under the category “agriculture,” the second highest honor bestowed by IMA.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for the planning and execution of a very creative online community,” says Molly Mattessich, NPCA’s Manager of Online Initiatives. “We hope this recognition will draw even more people to the site to submit their ideas and engage in a discussion on how to help rural Africa.”

Follow Africa Rural Connect at:
–from NPCA e-News, April, Volume 7, Issue 4.

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Recruiter’s Corner

It has been a great two months getting acquainted with the work and meeting many prospective and current applicants.  I was fortunate to attend one Board Meeting, and have hopes of attending more in the near future.  To those I have met, thanks for your support and warm reception!  If you are looking for additional ways to get involved, I would like to highlight two things:

1) I present monthly General Information Sessions in the San Diego area, as well as occasional sessions on college campuses.  You can find the dates for these, and other events, at: http://www.peacecorps.gov/events  If you have an evening free during one of these events and would like to come share a few minutes of your experience, as well as be there for questions, please contact me, I would welcome your presence.

2) With the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps approaching, please stay tuned for events being planned to commemorate this momentous year. Committee members are already working hard to make these events ansuccess, but they can’t do it without your assistance and participation. Even if you aren’t able to commit to many other activities, I strongly urge you to come out, celebrate with us, and share stories of your service.

–Amber Lung, PC LA Regional Recruiter
Contact me at: alung@peacecorps.gov or 310-356-1102

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New Member

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest member. Let us hear from you! We’re glad we were able to support your work in service. Welcome back!

• Sharon Deatrick, Mauritania, 2007-09

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Newsletter Credits

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

Contributions (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:
Jennifer Arrowsmith, Katie Clark, Marjory Clyne, Celeste Colman,
Sharon Kennedy Darrough, Sarah Fuhrmann, Peter Hessler, Mae Hsu, Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Liz Karagianis, Amber Lung, Kirsten Radewagen, Eva Rodriguez, Brenda Terry-Hahn.


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