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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
September -- October
2012 — Volume 25, Number 5

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

International Peace Days:
September-October 2012

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


Labor Day -
Literacy Day -
Interdependence Day -
Citizenship Day -
Peace Day -
Family Day -

Older Persons Day -
Vegetarian Day -
Animals Day -
Conflict Resolution Day -
World Food Day -
End Poverty Day -
Democracy Day -
Media Reform Day -
United Nations Day -
Disarmament Week -



September 3*
September 8
September 12
September 17
September 21
September 26

October 1
October 1
October 4
October 18*
October 16
October 17
October 18
October 18
October 24
October 24-30
October 31

* Date changes yearly

September 21 -- Peace Day

The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, is a celebration of our shared wish for a better world. It is an opportunity to look at the things that have been done over the year to help create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world, and to note the things that still need to be done. It's a time to rededicate our commitment to a more peaceful planet.

Peace Day is also an opportunity to spread hope for our wish to live in a world without war. All of the nations of the world agreed to the United Nations' call to create a global ceasefire on Peace Day. You can help create humanity's first day of peace. If we can live in peace for one day, we can learn to work together to create a peaceful world, one day at a time.

"Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contibute the best that they have and all that they are."
-- Hafsat Abiola

"It may seem sometimes as if a culture of peace does not stand a chance against the culture of war, the culture of violence and the cultures of impunity and intolerance. Peace may indeed be a complex challenge, dependent on action in many fields and even a bit of luck from time to time. It may be a painfully slow process, and fragile and imperfect when it is achieved. But peace is in our hands. We can do it."
-- Kofi Annan

September 16 -- End Hunger Day

There is more than enough food in the world so that no one need ever go hungry. Those who wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world are helping to make ending world hunger a major priority. In fact, all of the world's leaders agreed to cut the number of starving people in half by the year 2015 as the first priority of the Millennium Development Goals.

World Food Day / End Hunger Day is an opportunity for the global community to unite in an effort to help raise awareness about the global problem of hunger. World Food Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1980 to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945 (resolution 35/70). The official goal of the day is to "heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty."


There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry.
-- Ed Asner

"There will never cease to be ferment in the world unless people are sure of their food."
-- Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)

In a nutshell, this United Nations non-profit organization [World Food Programme] feeds millions of starving children at schools in third world countries as an incentive for them to attend school, which in turn might better their futures. They do so much more but I was so struck by this story.
-- Sheryl Crow

Quotes and Descriptions from

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Global House Party!

When: Saturday, Sept 22
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Where: Marjory Clyne, Host
4969 Paguera Ct, San Diego (Tierrasanta),

RSVP please: marjoryclyne@att.net

Marjory Clyne has invited us all to her house to commemorate
the signing of the Peace Corps Act on September 22, 1961. Let's
gather our PC family and celebrate! The NPCA wishes to find
all 250,000 volunteers and staff members of PC by the year
2016 so bring your RPCV friends, newly returned volunteers,
nominees, and future nominees with you.

You may want to dress in your country attire, bring photos
to share, and don't forget those funny stories to tell. Please
bring an hors d'oeuvre to share, drinks will be provided

More details to come... Watch for Evite

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Our Journey Back to Nyasoso, Cameroon

by Ray Slanina, Cameroon 1995-98

I clearly remember receiving my acceptance package from the Peace Corps in 1996. After eight months of complete silence, I finally discovered that I was accepted, and that my post was in Cameroon, West Africa. As I had selected Nepal for my first, second, and third choice, it took me some time to find Cameroon on the map. (There was no internet or Google back then.) Even though this was not my initial choice, I embraced my new post and fell in love with the people, culture, and environment there. I also fell in love with another Peace Corps volunteer – Kristen Lindsley – whose service overlapped with mine at the same school. Even after our close of service, both Kristen and I maintained contact with several of our friends, co-workers, and former students. When one of our former students informed us of his upcoming wedding this past Christmas, Kristen and I knew this was the right time to return to where we first met.

We took the long flight from San Diego to the economic capital of Cameroon, Douala. Even after a thirteen-year absence, the city looked the same as it did in my memory – only bigger. We made it to the hotel around 7 PM and walked around to find some food. Local Makossa music blasted from cheap blown speakers at several surrounding bars. We braved one such bar and ate some grilled fish with baton de manioc. And of course I washed it down with a cold Mutzig beer. At that moment, hanging with the locals in this bar and listening to the Makossa, I finally felt like I was back in Cameroon.

In the far north.

We started our journey by flying to Maroua in the Extreme North province. This was the one province I missed seeing during my volunteer days. What struck me most about this area was the dryness. Vast stretches of sand with sparse vegetation filled the horizon. Most of the homes were made from mud; and most of the water extracted from wells. This environment was more of what I thought Africa would be like prior to Peace Corps based on television. But it was very beautiful nonetheless. Our first stop was a drive through the animal park of Waza. We saw plenty of giraffes and birds – but no lions or even elephants. Despite our bad luck viewing the wildlife, we loved the drive through the park. And we rarely saw another vehicle – making our adventure even better. At our hotel just outside of Waza, we walked up a hill and witnessed a fantastic sunset over the flat, expansive park.

Our next stop took us to the beautiful landscape of Rhumsiki. The rock formations were spectacular; and the area offered a variety of hiking and biking opportunities. Since our time was limited, we managed only one-day hike into the Rhumsiki valley. We also woke up early and watched the sunrise over Rhumsiki; and saw the famous crab sorcerer (right). He was a very interesting old man who used crabs to answer your questions. First he would listen to your question, talk to the crab, then put the crab into a clay jar filled with meaningful objects and close the lid. A few moments later, he would open the lid and read the movements of the crab to determine the answer. We heard that he is very famous and sought after for advice – even by high level politicians. Despite his fame, he lived a simple and quiet life with few possessions.

Beautiful landscape of Rhumsiki

We had an interesting flight back to Douala. We arrived at the airport more than two hours prior to our flight. This airport had no security screening – except for someone searching through our luggage by hand. For some reason, the homemade soap we brought from the US was confiscated. We never did get the real reason why that – and nothing else – was seized. We then waited for hours without hearing anything about the flight. Around three and a half hours after our scheduled departure, we learned that our plane could not land due to the dust. The airport had no radar or other safety systems in place, so they relied on sight to land aircraft. Eventually the airline found some buses and drove all of us 110 miles south to Garoua. The good news is that our plane did take off from Garoua and we arrived in Douala that night – only eight hours late.

The next part of our journey took us to Beau for our former student's wedding. Since we arrived two days early, we decided to hike up Mt. Cameroon – the highest peak in Western Africa at 13,255 ft. Since the Mt. Cameroon Race of Hope was only a month away, we saw several people training. This race covers a marathon distance and an elevation change of 10,000 feet in each direction. We even saw the Queen of the Mountain – the winner of the race in the women's group for four consecutive years. This woman is a single mother of seven children and still ran up and down that mountain without carrying any food or water. We thought the hike was hard enough over a two-day period. I cannot image running up and down in less than five hours.

Our village.

Even though our legs were still burning from the hike, we attended the lovely wedding of our former student. We were also invited to the traditional wedding the evening prior. Also in attendance were his friends from the same school. So we had the wonderful opportunity to talk to them and learn about their careers and adult life. Some are doing very well and managed to study/work abroad. We loved exchanging stories about our days back in the Peace Corps. They all told us how important our gifts were to their studies. They competed fiercely for them each year. Our two best students would watch each other's study light and try to out-study one another. We are so proud of them.

The day after the wedding we took the long journey back to our old village Nyasoso. Nyasoso is a small village at the base of an important tribal mountain called Mount Kupe. The location is beautiful and the weather a bit cooler with the elevation. Part of the beauty lies in the isolation caused by the terrible condition of the road. Interestingly enough, the road was much better on our way back. We learned later that the mother of the SW Province Development Director passed away in our village. So he had the road graded so he could move his mother's body out of the village. The locals have a joke that goes something like: "Progress happens when someone important dies".

Dear Friends. (Ray at left; Kristen at right)

I must say that we were apprehensive on the reception we may or may not receive. Over thirteen years had passed – which created some doubts as to how many people would even recognize us. But we were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful reception we received. It almost seemed like only a few months had passed. But reality sank in when we heard about the people who had passed away during our absence – and those who left to work in other towns.

The school.

We toured the school – and it looked good. The principal had it repainted; and they even had a computer lab! A development project had installed a cell tower in the village – so everyone had a cell phone and you could use a USB adapter to connect to the internet via the cell signal. I wonder how different my Peace Corps experience would have been with access to such technology. We shared meals with old friends and used our time to catch up. Everyone was so wonderful and accommodating that we wished we stayed longer.

We took this time to award another set of scholarships to the top-achieving students in each form. I was not expecting to hand out the awards during our short visit there, but the school insisted that we hold the ceremony after the Earth Day event – as all the students were already assembled. I did not have enough CFA on hand for this, so I had to hire a motorbike to take me to the closest ATM – which turned out to be Kumba about two hours away. In my haste to make it there and back before dark, I left without my passport. I remembered one hour into my trip; but it was too late. And as fate would have it, I was stopped at the checkpoint just outside of Kumba.

On the way to Nyasoso

After listening to all the stall tactics, the one woman gendarme finally directly asked for a small gift – for the New Year of course. And it did not help to mention that the purpose of my trip was to get money for the school. Contrary to every fiber of my being, I pulled out 500 CFA and handed it to her. Then she asked about her three co-workers sleeping under a tree nearby. In the end I forked out 2000 CFA in all just to pass the checkpoint. That was my first bribe payment in Cameroon.

The good news is that I found an ATM, withdrew the money, and made it back to Nyasoso before dark. The school held a nice ceremony and handed out all the prizes. The students and parents were thrilled. Several of the parents came by afterwards and thanked us for our support. It was touching to hear how appreciative everyone was. The money was one aspect, but the parents felt tremendous pride in their child when he or she's name was called as a top student in their class. One extremely proud parent had three of her children win.

Full day on motorbike.

We also saw some of the area around our village. We took a motorbike to the neighboring village of Ngusi – and spent a full day on a motorbike visiting Bangem and the Twin Lakes. We were shocked to see how much Bangem had grown. Not only that, but the town now held some beautiful modern houses. We heard that many provincial government workers now live there, hence the new influx of wealth. The Twin Lakes were still as pristine and beautiful as ever. At least we did not arrive to see condominiums lined up along the lakes.

Before we knew it, we had to say our tearful goodbyes and head back to San Diego. We flew from Douala to Libreville, Gabon. Due to Africa and then weather, we did not arrive until one and a half hours late. By that time, our flight to Munich was just pushing out of the gate. So here we were, close to midnight, in Gabon without a visa, local currency, or hotel room. We finally managed to track down a South African Air employee who helped us get out of the airport (by leaving our passports) and booking a hotel room. We were shocked to find the hotel room was $300 per night. I learned that Libreville was one of the most expensive cities in Africa for hotels. We went back to the airport the next day and sat around the airport for hours until a Lufthansa representative arrived. This person said we could not make our flight since the plane was full. But he offered to put us on the standby list and booked us on a flight the next day.


After waiting in the airport yet another few hours, we learned that the plane was full and we were stuck there another night. This brought about the same process of trying to find help, begging to hand over our passports instead of buying a visa at $200 each (or so they said), and finding another room at a hotel. After an hour of discussion with the passport people, we managed to leave the airport and stayed in the same hotel. We were told to stay in the hotel, but the hotel turned out to be near the beach. So the next morning we walked the beaches of Gabon and enjoyed fresh coconuts from our new friend selling by the roadside.

We didn't stray too far from the hotel, but we made sure to enjoy a bit of Gabon during our stay. We went back to the airport yet again and finally managed to board our flight. Originally the Lufthansa people said our seat was never confirmed. But after two hours of waiting around, we ended up getting a boarding pass. We waited until we were a good hour into the flight before we breathed a sigh of relief at finally getting out of there. To add to that story, our flight from Munich to Chicago experienced a problem when someone had a heart attack or stroke over the Atlantic. The plane had to turn around and land in London. This delayed us by five hours – and forced us to spend the night at O'Hare. We were so happy to finally make it home.

Joyful children

The trip was a fantastic experience and well worth it. Seeing our former students and hearing about our influence on them warmed our hearts. The trip also strengthened our resolve to help the school and people we know there. Should anyone want to travel to a beautiful country that is not on the tourist map yet, I recommend Cameroon as an option.
–Photos from Ray Slanina

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from NPCA
Special Edition Newsletter, August 2012 - NPCA.

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NPCA President Leaving to Serve as
Peace Corps Country Director in  Thailand

What Peace Corps Volunteer doesn't secretly dream of returning to their Peace Corps country as the Country Director? What would it be like?

National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) President Kevin Quigley is about to find out.

At the July 1, 2012 Annual General Meeting in Minneapolis, Kevin shared with the Peace Corps community that he would be stepping down to accept a position as the Peace Corps Country Director in Thailand, where he served from 1976-79.

The National Peace Corps Association's Board of Directors is working with a search firm that specializes in non-profit executive placement to identify candidates for the position of NPCA President. Get information about the position of President and how to apply on the National Peace Corps Association's Next Step Job Finder.

Read more here

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The Goal: Find the 250K
[Join us at SDPCA's Global House Party on September 22 for more information on the 250K Project]

Find every Peace Corps Volunteer and Staff Member:Did you serve in the Peace Corps? Are you a former Peace Corps staff member?

If yes to either of the above questions, be counted! Help us find the 250,000 Americans who have served or worked for the Peace Corps.

Please Fill Out The Form at this Site:

Power in Numbers
Together our voice is:

  • louder for advocacy
  • stronger for global community projects
  • wider for networking to advance Peace Corps values
    and experiences

Our 2012 Goal:
Find 10,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and former Peace Corps staff.

Our Progress:
As of June 1 2012, we have found 2,648 RPCVs and former staff. We have also updated the records of 110 other individuals.

Update your information or connect or connect with NPCA for the first time.

Share Your Story:
Reconnect recently with a long-lost member of your group, or former member of Peace Corps staff? Perhaps you reunited with a host country national you literally haven't seen in decades. Or maybe you moved to a new city and are meeting and making a whole new group of Peace Corps friends. Start sharing your favorite reunion stories!

It Takes Some Cash:
For this 51st year of the Peace Corps, the National Peace Corps Association is hard at work finding the 250k people who served and worked with Peace Corps. We cannot do it without your help – and a few of your dollars. If you donate $10 or $51 now, it could help us to find that many more people in the Peace Corps Community. Your help is needed now more than ever to keep the Campaign going. Thank you very much

Yes, I will Donate to Find the 250k

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Next Step Travel Program & Special Holiday / Family Trip to the Dominican Republic
Whether you served in another part of the globe or you just want to explore the rich cultures of the Dominican Republic or Guatemala, you can now vacation with the best travel companions of all -- Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.   
NPCA's newest program, Next Step Travel, is an educational travel program that features cultural experiences and  hands-on service projects.  With over 10 trips to choose from over the next six months, there's one that's bound to fit your schedule. Sign up now -- with a small group size, there is limited space available.  

  • Dominican Republic Itinerary and Dates
  • Guatemala Itinerary and Dates 

Special Holiday / Family Service Trip
Celebrate the holidays with your family in the Dominican Republic for a volunteer vacation that you will talk about for years. Commemorate the values of the holiday season by volunteering together on projects to benefit rural communities, children and the environment. This special 10-day trip is the perfect way to spend quality time together and have fun ringing in the new year with the rich and vibrant culture of the Caribbean. From December 27, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
Sign up now, there is limited space available!

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Annual May Meeting - Global Awareness Award

The Annual Meeting of the San Diego Peace Corps Association was held on May 12, 2012 at Mission Bay. In addition to a potluck and booksale, there was also a fun game, a raffle (one night at the La Costa Resort and Spa), and the election of a new board for the upcoming year.

Sarah Furhmann won (left, at left) the raffle - congrats Sarah!

We also gave out the annual SCPCA Global Awareness Award to Help For Schools, in Oceanside, an organization that builds schools in Guatemala. Edwin Villela, President of Help for Schools, and other members of the board attended the meeting to accept the award (below, middle).

As with any gathering of RPCVs, we had a great time!

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Silent Auction Again!

This year, we will again be holding a silent auction at the December Holiday party, as it has been such a rousing success in the past!

Currently, we are soliciting contributions from local establishments who are willing to donate to a good cause.

If anyone would like to donate to the auction, all contributions are welcome. Interesting items donated from members in the past have included clothing and artifacts from their countries of service, or even just from their travels.

Look for a listing of items and how to bid at our site online:

Contact fundraising chair Carl Sepponen at 858-218-4675 (cell) or fundraising@SDPCA.org. to help out with the auction.

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RPCVs Invade the Bay! 8/18

About 20 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers found a way to escape the heat wave to spend a perfect afternoon at Mission Bay on August 18. Our spot was on the grass, close to the water, and there was a gentle breeze the whole time; Lynne Graham (India) got there early to secure this great location. SDPCA treated participants to a feast of Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and fresh spring rolls. There was no formal activity - just a group of folks spending the afternoon together talking, eating, and kayaking. 

It was a usual SDPCA gathering in that there was someone who just COSed in December (Shayla, Philippines) and others who served in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and the 2000's.  There were RPCVs represented from Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, The Gambia, Guatemala, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Togo, Ukraine, and Western Samoa. We had a great time and hope to see you there next year!

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International Recipes

Ukrainian Apple Squares
Ukrainian apple squares are a rich pastry dessert with a top and bottom crust and baked apples in the center, much like a square apple pie. Like Hungarian apple strudel, Ukrainian apple squares are traditionally made around the holidays to make use of the stored apples that have become too soft for eating. Although very tasty, Ukrainian apple squares are best served in small quantities, due to the richness of the pastry. You will need a 9x9x2-inch baking pan.


  • 1-3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Four to six apples
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for decoration


  1. Make the filling by first peeling, coring and dicing the apples.
  2. Mix the apples, dates, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon.
  3. Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder in a separate bowl.
  4. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter, as you would with a pie crust. The mixture should look like small peas.
  5. Combine sour cream, eggs and 1 tsp vanilla in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the wet to the dry ingredients; stir until well incorporated.
  7. Spread half the pastry dough in the bottom of greased pan.
  8. Bake the bottom pastry crust for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  9. Remove from oven; spread the apple mixture over the crust.
  10. Spread rest of dough over the apples and cover them entirely.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F for another 30 to 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown around the edges.
  12. Cut the pastry into 16 squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if you wish. The pastry is sweet enough without it.

Slaai (Swazi Avocado Slaw) - Swaziland
Slaai is a traditional Swazi recipe for a classic relish or slaw made from avocados marinated in lemon juice and ginger and served garnished with chopped peanuts.


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly-grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large ripe avocados diced
    into 1cm cubes
  • 100g peanuts, chopped


  1. Add the lemon juice, ginger and salt to a large serving bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the avocado and toss gently to mix thoroughly.
  3. Allow to marinate as room temperature for 20 minutes, sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and serve.

–from https://www.rpcvcalendar.org/recipes_2012.php

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"Peace may cost as much as war, but it is a better buy."
– Source Unknown

President's Message

Check Our Calendar

Dear SDPCA Members,
I don't know about you, but this recent heat wave reminded me of my Peace Corps experience in Thailand. Hot, yes. Humid, Yes. No air conditioning, yes.

But other things occasionally remind me of Thailand, too: a certain smell, a flowering tree. I'll talk to someone I served with. Or maybe I'll talk to someone who served somewhere else and we'll share about our respective experiences.

My time in Thailand is very dear to me. I learned so many things over those two years - a new language, how to take a bucket bath, how to make shampoo, how to ride a motorcycle, how to survive in Bangkok for a weekend on $20, etc. Most of the things I learned don't actually come in handy now, 20 years later, in San Diego. But I did learn to be open to different (not better, not worse, just different) ways of doing things and thinking about things. That is a skill I use all the time.

I like to think that being open to different (not better, not worse, just different) ways of doing things is something all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have in common, no matter where we served or what our job was. And that makes us a great group of people to get to know.

So, check out the calendar for the upcoming months and plan to spend some time with your fellow RPCVs in San Diego. We have a wide variety of events coming up (hike, party, a happy hour, community service activity) and we'd love to have you join us.

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

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The most effective way to do it,
is to do it. –Amelia Earhart

Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday August 14, 2012

Present: Ashley Smallwood, Celeste Colman, Gregg Pancoast, Kris Slanina, Lynne Graham, Sharon Kennedy, Amber Lung-Peace Corps Recruiter

Don is looking for a content editor for the newsletter. Don will continue to format and assemble the newsletter.

Restricted funds: CASS fund, Int'l Support Fund. Balance sheet closed at $11,529.61.

Membership Renewals:
Cards will be sent out asking for renewals of memberships.

Fundraising: No report.

International Support Fund:
Ukraine: project to build a media and English resource center. The application is pending.

Heather Boomer will be the Newletter Editor.

Due Dates:
August 15 – Newsletter Content Due,
September 1 – Sept-Oct. Newsletter comes out;

October 15 - Newsletter Content Due,
November 1 - Nov-Dec Newsletter comes out:

December 15 - Newsletter Content Due,
January 1 – Jan-Feb Newsletter comes out

Peace Corps Office:
Amber will make the SDPCA events that she is able to attend official Peace Corps functions by inviting volunteers in the process to our events via an official Peace Corps medium. [see Potpourri]


  • Thursday July 19 - Happy Hour - Stones Brewery - 12 people attended the event.


  • Saturday, August 18    11am - Day at the Bay - Crown Point - Sharon. 13 RSVPs as of noon today. Lynne will get there early and find us a spot. Sharon will bring food. Celeste will bring the drinks. Board members should be at the event at 10:30am
  • Saturday, September 9 - Hike at Elfin Forest - Celeste will provide details in the newsletter. It will be at 9am. There will be a hike and lunch to follow.
  • Friday, October 5 - Happy Hour - URBN - Ashley will provide details in the newsletter.
  • Monday, October 29 - Ronald McDonald House - Celeste
  • Wednesday, November 7 - Ethnic Dinner - Flavors of East Africa – Courtney
  • Saturday, December 1 - Holiday Party - Sarah (same place as last year).

ADJOURN 8:19pm
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 11

–Ashley Smallwood, SDPCA Secretary, Ecuador 2004-07.

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"It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace." - Andre Gide

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Out of Office…permanently.
Peace Corps finally made it happen (again) – placing a recruiter in San Diego! I'm happy to write this from the College Area, as a resident (again) of San Diego. I'm looking forward to attending more SDPCA events this fall, and will hopefully help drive more prospective applicants to the events, to schmooze with all the wise and adventurous RPCVs in the greater San Diego area.

At the recent board meeting, Sharon Kennedy reminded us of Linda Stratton. Linda is now serving as a volunteer in Ethiopia. Her process was a long one, and her grown children weren't completely keen on the idea. It was after Linda joined the SDPCA on a camping trip, she was really able to explain to people that "she had found her peeps." And it was partly because of those connections she made she stuck through the long process.

George Nishikawa is now a trainee in South Africa. Before departing, we had the chance to go for Tofu Soup in Los Angeles (highly recommended, by the way). George described what tremendous resources Sean Anderson and Ted (forgive me, Ted, I don't know your last name) had been in preparing to depart. Beyond that, he said he felt a kind of camaraderie with all the RPCVs he met, even though he hadn't yet served. His decision to leave a great job, and wonderful life here in San Diego was continually re-affirmed.

Finally, Dana Messinger, an RPCV who is heading out for another tour in Colombia in a couple of weeks, joined me at an information session earlier this summer and had this to say about me & Peace Corps, "what she's saying may sound like a bureaucratic line, but it's all true…" in regards to some of the intangible benefits of serving. Let's face it, I'm a Peace Corps employee. I'm perhaps more honest than I should be (for recruiting purposes), but at the end of the day, I'm staff, and applicants appreciate hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly from a variety of folks.

I'm looking forward to being surrounded by "my peeps," to feel the camaraderie of a great group of returned volunteers in the area, and frankly, separate myself a little further from the bureaucratic part of the job (don't tell anyone I said that last part). My hope is that we'll continue to work together to inspire the next generations of volunteers. San Diego has become an even stronger metropolis for recruitment in recent years, and I'm excited to see where we can take it from here. Please keep your eyes out at upcoming SDPCA socials and service events, for folks who are considering applying or those laboring through the long process. Encourage them, and share a story or three.
Amber Lung, Tuyoleni (let us laugh, in Oshiwambo)

Photography for Social Change:
Images by Michele Zousmer

Sept. 25 – Oct. 25, 2012, M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hahn University Center Exhibit Hall, University of San Diego

Visit the Exhibit Hall to view "Photography for Social Change: Images by Michele Zousmer," in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the USD Women PeaceMakers Program.

Humanitarian photographer Michele Zousmer's passions and concerns have inspired her to capture the human spirit of real life. She is committed to creating change by generating greater awareness of the differences and similarities of communities around the world. The collection of images from Peru, India, Cambodia and Guatemala will highlight selected Women PeaceMakers and the environments of their native countries. Photography sales proceeds will be donated to the Women PeaceMakers Program.

For more informtion visit: http://www.michelezphotography.com/

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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:

Heather Boomer

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck

Contributors this issue are:
Sharon Kennedy, Ashley Smallwood, Marjory Clyne, Carl Sepponen, Ray Slanina, Courtney Baltiyskyy, Celeste Coleman, Amber Lung

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