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January - February 2011 — Volume 24, Number 1

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

International Peace Days:
Jan and Feb 2011
Great site for Peace-full things: 
Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.

One Day in Peace -
Global Family Day -
King Day of Service -
Season For Nonviolence -

Black History Month -
Freedom Day -
Leadership Week -
Language Day -
Perseverance Day -

* Date Changes


January 1
January 1
January 17*
January 30-Apr 4

February 1
February 1-7
February 21
February 27

each year

January 1 -- One Day in Peace

New Year's is the perfect opportunity for those of us who wish for peace on earth to make a resolution to try to do our best to work to create a better world during the coming year. It's also the perfect occasion to hold an event that will spread hope for our shared wish of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. People will be celebrating anyway, and making resolutions about things they want to change about themselves in the coming year. Why not make it celebration with a purpose, and share a resolution that will help unite our local, national and global communities!

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

"Peace is not a matter of prizes or trophies. It is not the product of a victory or command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement."
-- Oscar Arias Sanchez

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

February 1-7 -- Leadership Week

Effective leadership is one of the most crucial elements for successfully completing any group project or activity. A good leader can help bring a diverse group of people together and help them to work effectively for a shared vision and goal.

At one time or another, everyone chooses or is asked to be a leader. With training and understanding, we can all be better leaders when we are called to be in a leadership position.

Leadership week (observed during the first week in February) is an opportunity to learn skills and tools for being effective leaders. These skills will help us throughout our lives, whether we're called to be leaders in our families, a group, at work, in our communities, or as the leader of a movement.

Leadership Week is also a time to remind our elected officials that in a democracy, leaders are not supposed to be guided by their own vested interests, but are supposed to serve the people they lead.

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.
-- Marian Anderson

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
-- Susan B. Anthony

“People learn to lead because they care about something.”
-- Charlotte Bunch

Quotes, Pictures and Descriptions from

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from NPCA

Promises to Keep

December 8, 2010 - The Huffington Post
by Kevin F.F. Quigley, President of the NPCA

Now is the Time to Realize the Promise of the Peace Corps

As we celebrate the Peace Corps heading into its 50th year and honor International Volunteer Day this Sunday, we must also recognize that despite significant contributions by more than 200,000 who have served as volunteers in 139 nations, we haven't done enough.

When President John F. Kennedy first proposed the idea of the Peace Corps, he had in mind a service whose ranks would swell to 100,000 volunteers each year. But Peace Corps never fielded more than 16,000 volunteers. President George W. Bush's pledge in his 2002 State of the Union address to double the number of Peace Corps volunteers to 14,000 never came to pass. And although President Obama's pledge to increase the Corps led to an increase of 1,000 volunteers this year -- the highest level in 40 years -- the current corps of 8,600 volunteers is still woefully short of Kennedy's goal.

With its modest resources, the Peace Corps has a proud record -- perhaps unequalled by any other international development or cultural exchange organization of its size. As a consequence, demand for the Peace Corps continues to grow. While the program is now active in 76 countries, more than 20 others have requested Peace Corps programs for which Congress has not authorized sufficient funds. There is also growing desire by Americans young -- and young at heart -- to serve in the Peace Corps or some other form of national service. To be fair, some of this has been fueled by the recent economic downturn, but much of it has been inspired by another young president's call to service.

Looking at Peace Corps' first half century and considering its future course, three things are clear: 1) Our country needs Peace Corps more than ever; 2) We need to significantly bolster funds from the $400 million in FY 2010 to at least $500 million in FY 2012, and; 3) Returned Peace Corps volunteers must do more to respond to the call to service, especially by continually and more systematically sharing what we learned with other Americans in ways that strengthen our country's engagement with the rest of the world.

A famous series of 1960s-era portraits by Norman Rockwell dramatically reflects the many roles played by Peace Corps volunteers: a science teacher in India, a community development worker in Colombia, and an agriculture extension agent in Ethiopia. Although the Peace Corps' mission and goals have been constant, its roles have shifted over time. While much is similar, much has changed.

In the 1960s, many volunteers worked on rural public works; since the 1990s, many have worked with small businesses. As in the early days of the Peace Corps, education continues to be the largest and most important Peace Corps sector: strengthening the educational infrastructure, writing curriculum and training new teachers. But the Peace Corps' role pales in comparison to that of the World Bank or the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Instead, the Peace Corps' most dramatic and compelling educational impacts are with individuals. Most are untold stories, but a few stand out, for example: Peru's former president, Alejandro Toledo, tells us that as a poor shoeshine boy he would never have left his rural home, attended U.S. schools and returned home to become president without the support and encouragement of two volunteers, Joel Meister and Nancy Deeds.

Peace Corps volunteers also continue to work on health issues. The emphasis has shifted from access to potable water, nutrition and sanitation to combating HIV/AIDS. Reflecting this, two country programs-Botswana and Swaziland-are exclusively committed to HIV/AIDS.

On International Volunteer Day and in this golden anniversary year, we must rekindle President Kennedy's founding vision. But effectively building a lasting peace and global prosperity requires new thinking, new approaches and a renewed commitment by all of us.

The challenge is clear. A Pew Global Attitude Survey report showed that overseas perceptions of the United States continue to decline. Given that, the need for the Peace Corps couldn't be greater. The agency known as "the best face of America overseas" is one of our nation's most cost-effective means of international engagement.

In the 20th century's most famous call to action, President Kennedy challenged us by saying, "... ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country..." However, it is the next line in his 1961 inaugural address that best reflects his boldest vision that directly connects to the Peace Corps: "Citizens of the world ask not what America can do for you ... but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

With the benefit of nearly five decades, we can now see that the Peace Corps is the clearest expression of President Kennedy's call for a new global vision. And that vision resonates deeply today. So, now is the time to expand and enhance the Peace Corps. And although there may be miles and miles to go in the urgent journey to a more peaceful and prosperous world, International Volunteer Day is the perfect day to dedicate ourselves to beginning this journey anew.

Kevin F. F. Quigley (Thailand 76-79) is president of the National Peace Corps Association, the nation's leading nonprofit organization supporting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps Community. To learn more, visit: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-quigley/promises-to-keep_b_791856.html

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Bringing the Experience Home

My Visit to the US Peace Corps in Guyana

by Lennox Keith Miller, Zambia (2003-05)

When hearts meet sparks of understanding flies in many directions: and so it did when I met the Country Director of the Peace Corps in Guyana. On Wednesday 19th May, 2010, I paid a courtesy call to Director James Geenen's office in Barrack Street, Georgetown. The peace Corps—pronounced peace core—is a voluntary organization set up by President Kennedy in 1964 to assist developing countries with their developmental programs in either education, agriculture, health, or youth development.

The Back Story
I am a Guyanese national of Campbellville. I am also a U.S. citizen residing in San Diego, California. Additionally, I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer. I have the distinction of having served in Zambia, Africa from 2003 to 2005. I worked in the Community Health Action Program. This program helped, and continues to help, the Zambian government's decentralization program for health care. My primary assignment was to provide technical support to Neighborhood Health Committees (NHC). These NHCs are made up of villagers who volunteer to oversee and make decisions on their neighborhood's health issues.

For example, NHC members would conduct what is known as village inspections. These inspections determine things like:

  1. Whether latrines are built in the correct location away from the water sources.
  2. Stagnant pools of water to minimize the breeding of the deadly malaria causing mosquito
  3. Whether animal waste and garbage are properly disposed of.

However, the biggest concern of the NHCs were, and I guess still is, the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

It is from having had these Peace Corps experiences that my curiosity for Peace Corps/Guyana arose.

  • What work do they do in Guyana?
  • Is there an HIV/AIDS program?
  • Are they involved in agriculture, or education?

These were some of the questions that floated around my head as my curiosity peaked. So I started a quest to see if I could get some insights into Peace Corps/Guyana.

My first was the security office of the Georgetown headquarters. After processing my ID's, I then had a very encouraging telephone conversation with Kavita Pullapilly, the Assistant Country director. She informed me that the country director was out of town and that she would set up an appointment for the following week.

Wow! I thought as I left the building, the country director! I was merely hoping for some magazines or brochure type stuff about Peace Corps Guyana, and here it was at the end of the quest for information, I have been given the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the country director, Mr. James Geenen

The Meeting
As earlier stated, the appointment was Wednesday 19th May, 2010 at 9 o'clock. From the time of receiving word about the appointed hour, right up to the time of the appointed hour, I was a bundle of excitement. I arrived a little early and warmly greeted by Adel the receptionist. On the stroke of nine, she escorted me up three flights of stairs to the CD's office.

When he opened his office door my first impression was his height. "This CD is tall." I said to myself. "Jim" he said as he outstretched the huge hand of a tall man that made me smile at how small mine felt in his. He must have been thinking the same thing, because he was smiling too. In the warm atmosphere of the moment our hearts flew and soon we were talking Peace Corps.

Among the interesting topics of our conversation on the organization's involvement in Guyana was in the field of wildlife conservation. He spoke of the monitoring and mapping of the migratory pattern of the endangered leatherback turtles that is being done at Shell Beach in the Northwest Region. He spoke with such fervor about the project it excited me to want to point where I wanted to visit the region to see the volunteer at work.

Unfortunately family matters demanded more time than I had originally planned and I had to postpone the trip for a future date. However, I was fortunate to briefly meet the volunteer. As a Guyanese, and a man who has been there—volunteer in a foreign country—and worked from the heart in a given field—I took the opportunity to congratulate her for her valuable contribution to the conservation efforts of the people of Guyana.

In speaking about myself, I told Jim about my service in Zambia during 2003—2005; and about working primarily in HIV/AIDS education. I made mention of forming the Nkolemfumu Anti-Aide Coordinating Committee (NAACC) in which I served as the secretary of the organization. Our needs assessment revealed a need for HIV/AIDS awareness education. NAACC decided that since it was mostly youths who are affected, we would promote the message through the medium of sports. The committee—as we referred to ourselves—staged two sports events. The first was a 22 kilometer bicycle race within the village of Nkolemfumu. This was a huge event. In fact, it was the first of its kind within the catchment area. The second was a seven days netball camp for girls. Chief Nkole was the keynote speaker at both events.

This information excited Jim and he started telling me of the Peace Corps' involvement in HIV/AIDS education in Guyana. He told me of Merundoi Inc. and their work in promoting a radio drama series entitled, "Merundoi," The program aims to educate Guyanese on HIV/AIDS through Modeling and Reinforcement to combat HIV/AIDS (MARCH). This is a creative component of the US Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HSS/CDC). He soon recognized that I knew nothing about Merundoi Inc. and recommended that I meet with the Executive Director, Ms. Margaret Lawrence.

Merundoi Incorporated
Merundoi's headquarters is located in Prashad Nagar, a stone's throw from my Campbellville resident. Unlike the turtle back situation in the Northwest region, where I would have had to give up at least three days of needed time, Merundoi's location was perfect for my schedule. A phone call to Ms. Lawrence assured me a visit to the organization's headquarters. When I arrived, it was a relief to step out of the blistering mid-afternoon sun and into the air conditioned office of Merundoi.

Upon arrival, Ms. Lawrence introduced me to her staff and instructed her assistant to give me a guided tour of the headquarters. "Merundoi" the radio play takes its name from Merundoi the organization. We didn't get far into the building when I spotted "Merundoi!" Merundoi, the radio play, is an imaginary village somewhere in rural Guyana. However, for the staff, volunteers, actors, and writers at headquarters, Merundoi is real. It is a scaled model of the village of Merundoi. It has its typical residences, post office, police station, health center, and so on. The little buildings are painted in a kaleidoscope of colors. The landscaping looked a healthy green; a perfect backdrop to the symmetrically laid out streets. From the visual picture of this live model, the writers and playwrights create the dramas and plays for the organization's radio productions and street theatre. The visit ended with Ms. Lawrence's invitation for me to witness the recording of episode 383 scene 3.

The Recording Studio
"Those who gossip with you will gossip about you," read the motto on the wall of the National Center for Educational Resource Development's recording studio, suggestive of the gossip mongering that HIV/AIDS sufferers has to endure. The actors were rehearsing when engineer Shameer Ali and I arrived. Recordings are a hushed event; but it was a quiet joy to watch veteran broadcaster Ron Robinson direct the actors. For instance, he would remind them to keep their voice level low when they came to the whispering parts and how to use little smirks to dramatize the little sarcastic gossipy moments.

After rehearsal, it was now time to for recoding. Engineer Shameer and the actors made quick work of scene 3 of episode 383; it was really short and sweet. As an actor, I really enjoyed the professionalism of the actors, director, engineer, and technical assistant. Having seen the model village, met the writers, seen the engineer, actors and director at work, Merundoi has been made real for me. As I returned home I could not help thinking about the HIV/AIDS deaths I've seen in Trinidad and Tobago where I lived for twenty years, in the United States, in Zambia, and here in Guyana.

Finally, if I were to sum up my visit to the head office of Peace Corps Guyana in two words, I would say very informative. Thanks to country director Jim Greenen I am now more conversant about Peace Corps involvement in my native land. In our heart-to-heart conversation he struck me as a person who is dedicated to President Kennedy's ideal of world peace, friendship and goodwill among the nations of the earth through service to our fellow men and women.

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Photos from Simon Breen.

Tonner Int'l Support Fund (ISF) Grant Award Report

Sweet Smell of Success

ISF Grant: Reposteria La Esperanza, $532
Awarded: Fall 2010
Sponsoring PCV: Simon Breen, Nicaragua

It all started with some people wanting to eat cake. In the coffee-country hills of Los Robles–a rural Nicaragua community–the locals have more coffee than a Starbucks barista would know what to do with. What they didn't have were tasty baked goods to go with their coffee–until now. What began as an isolated incident of one or two sweet-toothed neighbors wanting me to bake them a cake, turned in to an entire community knocking almost daily. "My (insert family relation here) is having a (insert cause for celebration here). Could you bake me a cake?" And so I began offering baking classes to the community. After nearly a year of teaching these classes my fellow PCV wife, tired of our home weekly being invaded with aspiring bakers, asked, "Where are you going with these classes?" Thus began an idea: people in the community want baked goods; these women have been trained how to make them; why not start the community's first bakery? With the help of a San Diego Peace Corps Association grant, that's exactly what nine women from the group did. What may seem like a trivial venture actually has important food security implications.

Food Security
Food security encompasses assess, availability, and use. To effectively achieve food security these three areas must be in harmony. Just because someone has, let's say, pizza available in their community, that doesn't mean that they can afford it. So in this example you have availability but you don't have access or use. In the case of Los Robles, the people were lacking access to, availability of, and by default, use of baked goods. Now, throughout this horticultural region there are oranges, lemons, mangoes, bananas, mandarins, squash, carrots, and cloves. In fact, these fruits and vegetables are grown in such abundance that the locals often can't eat them all and many go unpicked and rot. So in this case, especially with citruses, there is access and availability, but not use.

The bakery takes advantage of these neglected natural resources to solve the community's common problem of a lack of use of fruits and vegetables and a lack of availability of baked goods. By using these available fruits and vegetables into baked goods, value is added (which encourages use), and the bakery makes them accessible. So carrots become carrot cake; lemons, lemon cake; cloves, coffee cake; bananas, banana bread; mangoes, mango pie; squash, pumpkin pie; and mandarins, mandarin bread. It's a win-win situation. The healthy fruits that weren't going to use now get eaten as pastries, and the bakery women make money. Now that's what you'd call a fruitful enterprise! So let them have their cake (assess & availability) and eat it too (use).

Grassroots Development
There is a stark difference between improvident gift-giving and empowerment assistance. This bakery wouldn't have worked had some organization simply dumped money without regard to the project's sustainability. Thankfully, the Peace Corps' grassroots approach virtually guarantees success. The baking classes taught the women that by banding together and equally chipping in, expensive ingredients become affordable. Individually they may not have had the finances to make cakes, but as a group it was a cinch. And with the lesson learned that there is strength in an organized group, the women are now able to stand strong through unexpected obstacles. For instance, when the idea of starting a bakery was posed to them, they began investigating costs to get up and running. When the reconnaissance revealed that the costs were higher than the women's means, they weren't deterred. The women felt certain that if they were willing to contribute what they could, another organization might help pay the difference. One of the women attended a five-day intensive workshop on small business management. Another member had her carpenter father make tables for the bakery. She also offered up her house—located right along a busy road—to be used as the venue. Chairs were loaned from various members. And all women in the group put forth a set amount of money to buy cooking supplies and bulk quantities of the necessary ingredients. Still, for all their efforts, they were missing key items: an industrial oven and a glass case to display their products. The women now had earnest desire for some support. This is precisely where irresponsible gift-giving and empowerment assistance diverge.

Using the bakery example, had an organization simply donated an oven to a random group of casual acquaintances any number of problems could arise. Maybe rifts between them would derail the project. Maybe some would try to sabotage the business so they could sell the oven and make a quick buck. Maybe the women wouldn't even know how to bake. When donations are simply given, the possibilities for failure are endless. But when a group demonstrates their unity and their commitment to achieve a goal but still lack the means to realize that goal, then a donation becomes more than a donation—it becomes the support needed to foster empowerment and enable independence. Thanks to the grant made by the SDPCA these dedicated women were able to accomplish their goals and generate income for themselves. Bakery member Eduviges Ponce sums it up: "Other NGOs have come and given things, but not necessarily for the well-being of the people. They gift things and leave, and never take the time to show us how to take advantage of the things they give us. This project is for our well-being." And now that the bakery is running successfully, they have the power to use the money they're making to sustain their business and cover whatever future costs come along. Organizations like the SDPCA recognize that Peace Corps' grassroots development approach ensures a group's sustainability, which means that grants made to such groups are also sustainable.

The Sweet Smell of Baked-Goods
Even though the bakery only had its grand opening on October 16th, it has been a great success, in profits as well as capacity-building. Profit-wise, the women are selling everything they bake on a daily basis. Capacity-wise, they now have seen that being organized pays. Income affords financial freedom, which in turn affords more freedom in their daily lives. The women no longer have to spend 12 hour days picking coffee in the rain for meager pay. They apply business skills, from customer service to accounting.

In the process of gaining new skills, the women are filling a community need. "People in the community have always talked about wanting a bakery," says bakery member Arelis Rodriguez, "but they never did anything to make it happen. They just gave excuses. Well, we did it!" By giving people access to locally available fruits and vegetables in the form of high-demand baked goods, these women contribute to food security in their community. Due to grassroots organizing and a sustainable assistance grant, what began as a few wanting to eat cake, grew into a business where everyone in Los Robles wins. To quote Arelis again, "This is something we've always wanted but no one had ever helped us achieve it." Thank you, SDPCA, for helping them achieve it!

Simon Breen (served as a Food Security and Agricultural Extensionist volunteer from Sept. 2008 to Nov. 2010. He acted as the agricultural representative for the 2009 food security-themed All Volunteer Conference planning committee and is the co-editor of the third edition of the Nicaraguan Food Security Cookbook. All recipes made at the bakery (and more) appear in this cookbook.

--submitted by Courtney Baltayskyy, ISF Chair, Ukraine (2007-09)

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Thanks! To all who participated...

Holiday Party:
Silent Auction

from Carl Sepponen, Fundraising Chair, Bolivia (1970-71 ); Ecuador (1971-72), (1977-78)

Those of you who attended the annual holiday potluck couldn't help but notice that we tried something new this year: a Big Silent Auction.

We had a great variety of items. The people bidding on the items had a wonderful time deciding which items they liked best. And items could be bid on prior to the Holiday Party, in case you couldn't attend.

We are thankful for everyone who donated to the Silent Auction.  
Special thanks go to the many outside doners:

  • SeaWorld of San Diego
  • Zoological Society of San Diego
  • Walter Anderson Nursery
  • Mingei International Museum
  • Landmark Theatres
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • The San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • San Diego Botanic Garden
  • USS Midway Museum
  • The San Diego Natural History Museum
  • Air & Space Museum

RPCV members also donated a wide variety of items for the auction:

  • Courtney Baltiyskyy – A Surprise Box
  • Jerry Sodomka – A woven basket from South Africa, and 3 Ebony Wood Carving from East Africa
  • Mark Mason – Large Triangle Pillow from Thailand
  • Roger and Nancy Harmon – Matted Prints, and Photo Cards
  • Carl Sepponen – Ecuadorian Wall Hangings, Bolivian Purse, and baskets of fruit
  • Mary Wirges – Purse from Paraguay
  • Michele Lagoy – Lindt Truffles
  • Sarah Fuhrmann – Traditional Guatemalan Home Cooked Dinner

We raised almost $600 in the auction and plan to have another Big Silent Auction next year. International Calendars also sold well during the event.  It is not too late to get one, but there are not very many left. You can contact Carl Sepponen at: fundraising@sdpca.org

The funds raised from the auction will go to fund projects in communities where San Diego Peace Corps Volunteers are now working.  The SDCPA Tonner International Support Fund (ISF) selects projects to fund submitted by overseas PCVs that meet our criteria.  Monies go to the communities served by the PCVs, not to the PCVs. (Example: Sweet Smell of Success above)

Most projects receive funds between $400 to $800. Since its inception, SDPCA has awarded more than 128 grants, in 59 countries totaling more than $47,000.

For more information about Tonner ISF Grants and applying for a grant, look on our site at:

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Photos from Sarah Fuhrmann.

Palomar Mountain Camping Trip

The SDPCA camping trip came on the heels of that extremely hot week in early November.   But driving up to the campsite at the the top of Palomar Mountain, it was truly Fall.  The leaves on the trees were changing colors, there was a bed of fallen leaves on the ground, and it was cold enough to require a hat and a campfire. 

Eight people and two dogs arrived on Saturday afternoon to our group campsite only to quickly be enveloped by fog. We set up tents and took a hike through the fog, relishing in the surreal scenery.  We then shared a potluck dinner cooked entire over an open fire.  Yes, as on all good camping trips, s'mores were made and stories were told.  We all got to know each other a little better and had a great time.

The next morning, we brewed up some coffee, again over the open fire, and told more stories. We saw deer in the early morning light and enjoyed another hike.  it was a beautiful weekend.  I nominate it to be an annual SDPCA trip. Don't miss out next year!

Thank you, Sarah, for organizing such a great trip.

–Sharon Kennedy, Thailand (1989-91)

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Photos from Celeste Coleman.

SDPCA Cooks Brunch at Ronald McDonald House

A big group (10+) of SDPCA volunteers showed up on November 14th, and we cooked and served huge batches of pancakes, eggs, and sausage to about 90 family members of hospitalized children.

–Celeste Coleman, Ukraine (2005-07)

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Family Pizza Party

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Photos from Marjory Clyne

Great Socializing–solving world problems!

Holiday Party: December 5

Santa and Elves...

Always good: Potluck!.......Fundraising

And more food!

Fundraising [Silent Auction too!]

What a food spread at RPCV gatherings...

Sharing our experiences–now & then!

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Volunteers are vital to enabling this country to live up to the true promise of its heritage. –President Bill Clinton

President's Message

A New Perspective

I was heartened by the turnout at the annual holiday potluck in December.  It was great to see familiar faces and meet new folks, including several who are about to embark on their Peace Corps journey and some very recently returned.  The Peace Corps experience will be as meaningful to those going now as it was to those of us who went two, three, or even four decades ago.  Yes, they might have a cell phone and access to e-mail (things I didn't have) but they will still return with a new perspective on our country and the world.  

RPCVs are part of the fabric of our country, evidenced by 50 years of existence and over 200,000 returned volunteers.  Our collective impact on the US community is more valuable, I'm sure, than our impact on the villages and cities we were assigned to as volunteers.  As volunteers, we spent two (fast) years in a developing country.  As RPCVs, we spend the rest of our lives building from that experience, sharing about other cultures, and leading by example in our homes, places of employment, and community. 

2011 will be an exciting year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. I hope you will join us at one or more events though out the year.  Our next event is a SDPCA entry in in the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. Wear something from your country of service and share your Peace Corps pride. It would be great to have a large turnout at the parade–to remind the San Diego community that Peace Corps is still active and relevant. Plus, I can't imagine a better place than the  MLK, Jr, parade to celebrate our 50 year anniversary.  More details in evite.

Here's another gentle reminder that SDPCA membership is due January 1 for the following year. Please fill out the form in this newsletter and mail it in with $20. The membership dues cover the costs of social and community service events, the website, printing of the newsletter, and other incidentals.  

See you at social, community service, and 50th anniversary events this year.  Happy New Year!

-–Sharon Kennedy, SDPCA President, Thailand (1989-91)

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Board Minutes

Board Meeting, November 2010

Attendance: Kris Slanina, Gregg Pancoast, Sarah Fuhrmann, Sharon Kennedy, Celeste Colman, Carl Seponnen, Ashley Smallwood Not Present: Courtney Baltayskyy

Sharon Kennedy elected as President.

Vice President Report/50th Anniversary
Panel Discussion. Nov. 18th- USD 7pm-8:30, volunteers arrive at 6pm, all SPDCA members are encouraged to attend. Attire is business casual. Martin Luther King Day Parade: Jan15th - will have an answer on whether we are able to participate November 9th. Kris would like to rent flags for the parade, to represent different countries where PCVs have served and are currently serving. Flag rental: $150 maximum.

Financial Report
We have spent $3,300 since April 1st, 2010. One or 2 memberships have been paid via NPCA. Courtney retrieved another check for the hammock project in El Salvador: $476. The balance sheet is at $10,261.03.

We emailed the last newsletter to 240 people, anyone who is past de from SDPCA. Many past members appreciated the information letter. Who gave an NPCA list, and how do we get access to the list?—Question that needs to be answered. 3 members have sent money for an NPCA to us, and the funds need to be forwarded to NPCA.

ISF Global Awards 
Courtney sent in an update by proxy. We have funded three ISF awards for this term. An application from Paraguay for dental chairs has been submitted, the sustainability of the project is in question. There is $700 remaining in the restrictive ISF fund. Courtney suggests using the point system for revising applications to have more transparency.

Social Report
Holiday Party Dec 5th—Jennifer Aerosmith has decorations for the Holiday party. The venue will be at the Humane Society in the auditorium and a portion of the courtyard. The event will go from 2pm-5pm. Sharon will do nametags and bring membership forms and a coffee maker. SPDCA volunteers for event should arrive at 1pm. Kris will attempt to track down tablecloths.  Pizza Party/Fundraiser Oct. 23. 25 people attended- great success. $46 dollars raised as well as $60 donations. Camping Trip, Nov 5-6. 3 RPCVs and 1 nominee attended.  

Fundraising Report 
Silent Auction: meant to be held December 5th, but will now be ongoing and bids will be accepted by Karl until the close on December 5th. The items up for auction are posted on the website. Bids will be promoted outside of the SPDA. Minimum bid should be 20% of item's value, unless minimum bid set by donating person.

Community Action
Nov.14th—make bunch at the Ronald McDonald house. Arrive at 11am to serve lunch at noon. So far, 6 people plus guests have confirmed attendance. SDPCA will make food, serve and clean up. We will spend $150 on food cost. 

Holiday Party
Celeste proposes a food drive, although she will not be present for the party. The recipient will be Feed America or San Diego Food bank. Courtney will help coordinate the drive.

New Business
New SDPCA letterhead needs to be ordered, as well as perhaps cards. Newsletter editor is needed.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 11th at 6:30pm Sarah will host the next meeting at her new place!

-Ashley Smallwood, Secretary, Ecuador (2004-07)

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50th Anniversary Update

As you know, we had a very successful first event Nov 18th at the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice. Great way to kick off this year long celebration.

I have great news about our own Cultural Festival planned for June 11, 2011 in Balboa Park. Peace Corps and NPCA have chosen our event as one of 9 "Around the World Expos" they are hosting across the country. As Emeril LaGassi says, we have just "kicked it up a notch."

We are in the early stages of discussion on what this new event will look like so stay tuned for more details in the new year.
–Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa, 1972-74.

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When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else, and it'll become like a wildfire. –Whoopi Goldberg

Coming in February 2011

When the World Calls: The Inside Story of Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years
by Stanley Meisler
Beacon Press $26.95
288 pages – February 2011
ISBN-10: 0807050490

Since its inauguration, the Peace Corps has been an American emblem for world peace and friendship. Across the nation, there are 200,000 former volunteers, with alumni including members of Congress and ambassadors, novelists and university presidents, television commentators and journalists. Yet few Americans realize that through the past nine presidential administrations, the Peace Corps has sometimes tilted its agenda to meet the demands of the White House.

Stanley Meisler discloses, for instance, how Lyndon Johnson became furious when Volunteers opposed his invasion of the Dominican Republic; he reveals how Richard Nixon literally tried to destroy the Peace Corps, and he shows how Ronald Reagan endeavored to make it an instrument of foreign policy in Central America. But somehow the ethos of the Peace Corps endured.

In the early years, Meisler was deputy director of the Peace Corps' Office of Evaluation and Research — and his unswerving commitment to write an unauthorized and balanced history results in a nuanced portrait of one of our most valued institutions.

–from: http://www.stanleymeisler.com/peacecorps/index.html

Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program

Dear Peace Corps Returnee,

The Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is offering 50 full scholarships to qualified American high school students to live and study in one of the following 10 countries: Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Thailand, and Turkey – for academic year 2011/12; Mali – for the first semester of the academic year 2011/2012.

As someone who we know is passionate about fostering cross cultural understanding, we invite you share this exciting news with your friends, members of your family and community or anyone who think would be a good candidate for this program.

The application deadline is coming up very soon: January 12, 2011.

Students are eligible to apply if they are:

  1. Currently in high school.;
  2. 15-18 years of age at the time of application; and
  3. U.S. citizens. Please note that there are no language requirements.

During the year, students will live with a carefully selected host family in the host country and attend a local high school.
For more information and to apply for this exciting opportunity, interested students can be directed to visit the YES Abroad website at: http://www.yesprograms.org.

–Vicky Chariott, Participant Support Specialist, PAX Abroad Program Coordinator, PAX - Program of Academic Exchange
victoriac@pax.org, http://www.pax.org
Phone: 1-800-555-6211 x359 Fax: 1-914-690-0350

Las Mercedes Project in Huaquillas, Ecuador

My name is Dana Rasch and I recently returned home from serving in the Peace Corps in Huaquillas, Ecuador. After returning, I started the "Las Mercedes Project" with my friend, Dr. John Murphy, in order to raise $15,000 and build a health center in the community of Las Mercedes in Huaquillas.

I am writing today because we need your help and we are hoping that we might be able to collaborate with SDPCA in order to raise awareness and funds for the project. I am currently living in Los Angeles and would love to talk with a representative about the project either by phone or in person.

Visit our website at http://www.LasMercedesProject.org. On the home page, we created a special project video that provides a general overview of the project and the community of Las Mercedes.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!

–Dana Rasch,RPCV Ecuador (2008-10)

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Membership Renewal Reminder!

Dear SDPCA Members,
A few years ago, SDPCA went to an annual renewal date so it would be easier for folks to remember when to renew. This is a kind reminder that SDPCA membership fees are due on January 1, 2011.

Membership is $20 and it helps keep the club functioning, covering some costs of social and community service events, printing of the newsletter, and other incidentals. Please send in your renewal at the new year–the form can be downloaded from here. If you haven't been a paying member for a while, think about becoming a member again in honor of Peace Corps 50th Anniversary.

If you have any questions, please contact me at:

Thank you,
– Sharon Kennedy, SDCPA Membership, Thailand 1989-91

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Welcome New Members

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members. We've seen some of you at events already. Let us hear from you!

Nancy and Roger Harmon, Malawi, Thailand
Jim DeHarpporte, Malaysia, 1967-70
Andrew Treptow, Namibia, 1997-98
Beth Hess, East Timor, 2004-06
Robert Acker, Cameroon, 1964-66

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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:

Don Beck, Interim Editor

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck

Contributors this issue are:
Celeste Colman; Lennox Miller; Marjory Clyne; Sarah Fuhrmann; Carl Seponnen; Sharon Kennedy; Simon Breen, PCV; Kevin F. F. Quigley; Courtney Baltayskyy; Ashley Smallwood


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