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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
November - December
2012 — Volume 25, Number 6

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

International Peace Days:
Nov and Dec 2012
Great site for Peace-full things: 
Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.

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

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

* Date changes

November 3*
November 6*
November 13
November 15
November 16
November 20
November 23*

December 1
December 1*
December 2
December 5
December 10
December 15
December 21
December 31

each year

November 16 -- Tolerance Day

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

Taking the Tolerance Pledge, found at Tolerance.org, is a way that each of us can help to make every day Tolerance Day. "I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
-- George Washington Carver

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

December 5 -- Volunteer Day

Some people are fortunate enough to earn their livelihoods in jobs that directly help to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. But much of the efforts to make life better for our communities and our world are done by volunteers -- people who work for a better world without pay.

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

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

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

US Government agencies that promote volunteering include AmeriCorps, which provides money for college tuition for youth volunteers; SeniorCorps which connects those over 55 to volunteer opportunities, and the Peace Corps for helping in other countries.

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

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

…So, take what's inside you and make big, bold choices. And for those who can't speak for themselves, use bold voices. And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make this world better for the whole human race.
-- Jamie Lee Curtis

Quotes and Descriptions from

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Service in Paraguay

from Mary Wirges, Paraguay 1973-75

When Mary Wirges received her invitation to serve in Paraguay in 1973, she didn't know how it would lead her to save the life of a woman who would become very dear to her.

Mary was offered a position in Paraguay working in the agriculture program, assigned to a site called Ybycui (oo-voo-coo-ee). Despite the fact that Ybycui was an important political town, there were only two lines of electricity that ran there! Mary lived with a family that had electricity, which was quite rare in those days. She spent most of her time with her host mother, Ña Nini because most of the children no longer lived at home and the father of the family worked in the field throughout the week. Luckily Nini, as she was affectionately known, was a well-respected woman in town who was able to teach Mary how to behave and fit in with the culture in Ybycui. In the 70s, it was advisable for female Volunteers to live with a family and travel with a chaperone to garner credibility in the town.

(below) Maria-i, Esteban, Marilu and Margarita "Welcome to Ybycui"

One year into Mary's service, there were two more Volunteers sent to Ybycui to do a pilot health program. Mary Lou also lived with a family in town, and Steve, because he was a man, lived alone. The three Volunteers got to be good friends and earned themselves Spanish nicknames from the town: Mary was known as Maria-i, Mary Lou was called Marilu, and Steve became Esteban. Marilu and Esteban quickly became very close with Ña Nini and Maria-i's Paraguayan best friend Tomasa who lived across the street. Maria-i lived and worked in Ybycui from 1973-75, teaching community members about gardening and nutrition.

She led mother and daughter clubs, and worked with men as well, teaching them that in her kitchen, if they didn't help out, they didn't get to eat. They sure thought she was crazy! After that, Maria-i stayed as a third-year Volunteer Leader in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. Then, in 1976, Maria-i, Marilu, and Esteban returned to the United States, where they reverted to their English names, but retained their friendships from Ybycui. Mary Lou and Steve got married, and the three of them learned of a fourth Volunteer sent to their site. Peggy (Margarita), who arrived in 1977, was a health and agriculture Volunteer. She lived alone, as women were now permitted to do so, but became very close with both Ña Nini and Tomasa – eating meals with them, and just hanging out on the patio drinking mate (mah-tay).

(below) Maria-i, Marilu, and Esteban with Ña Nini in front of a throw they had made with a picture of the three of them together for Nini

Although Mary Lou was the one who stayed in better touch with friends and family in Ybycui, Mary would always hold the place and friendships dear to her heart. For the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary, Mary didn't want to go to Washington, DC. She went to visit Mary Lou and Steve because they were such an integral part of each others' Peace Corps experience. During this trip, Mary Lou told Mary that she was scared Ña Nini was going to die. She had found out that between diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, Nini was not very healthy and wasn't taking her medication. She and Steve were making plans to visit Ybycui in July 2012 and they wanted Mary to come with them. They then contacted Peggy, who agreed to meet them all in Paraguay. On the day they arrived, Tomasa had hired a band to play in her home in Asunción to welcome her old friends and host a traditional Paraguayan party. The next night as the four RPCVs arrived in Ybycui, it was very late but Nini was prepared to greet them. She was awake, emotional, and had been waiting. The family had known for six months that Marilu and Esteban were visiting, but only had a week's notice that Maria-i and Margarita were coming as well. Throughout the week they spent in Ybycui, all four stayed at Nini's house to be close to her. On the first day, she could barely get out of bed, but every day they were there, she got stronger and her color improved. She started coming out to the patio with more energy. Her children were amazed at how she was coming back to life before their eyes; she had decided not to give up after all. By the time Maria-i and her friends had to leave Ybycui, Nini was up and moving around every day. She had regained her strength and her vigor for life and the family was so thankful for the priceless gift the visitors had brought to Nini. To which they responded – what gift? We are all family and we love her too.

For Mary, the best part of this trip was that it brought Peace Corps alive again for her. It took her back to her work – meeting up with counterparts, seeing more clean latrines, more vegetable gardens, just seeing progress and realizing that her hard work had really had an effect. Leaving Ybycui was the hardest part of her return trip. While she definitely plans to go back and to not let so many years pass next time, she knows that she probably won't see Ña Nini again.

Despite the way the trip tugged at her heart strings, Mary says that she would absolutely recommend to other RPCVs that they go back to visit their sites. It had been 40 years since Mary had been known as Maria-i, yet people on the streets remembered her and her work once she said hola. "It is heartwarming to know that your service really did mean something to someone. It doesn't matter how long you've been away, if you loved your experience and you made connections, those people love you and they remember you," says Mary.

(right) Ña Nini holding a picture of her hero, John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Love: such a basic human dynamic that is somehow able to transcend the boundaries created by borders, politics, and cultures, boundaries which Peace Corps Volunteers overcome thanks to their service. It is amazing to live and love in another culture and be able to maintain those feelings despite both distance and decades.

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from NPCA
Special Edition Newsletter, August 2012 - NPCA.

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Health Survey:
Nearly 1000 Surveyed So Far on Illness, Injury Issues

Members of the group Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers report nearly 1,000 members of the Peace Corps community have so far taken a survey that seeks to assess both the scope of debilitating injury or illness over the years, and challenges Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have faced in receiving the care, attention and support they need and deserve. There is still time to assist in this effort.

Your first step? Follow link to take survey: http://www.healthjusticeforpeacecorpsvolunteers.org/
. The group is interested in hearing from all RPCVs, including those who had no medical concerns during service.

Your second step? Share this survey with 5 - 10 other members of your country of service group, and ask them to do the same.

Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet is expressing her commitment to ensure that sick or injured RPCVs receive the help and support they deserve. Go to this link for her statement: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2012


ARC Launches "2nd Chance Ideas" Contest

Africa Rural Connect, an online program of the National Peace Corps Association that brings together people from around the world to help solve rural Africa's greatest challenges, announced today a new contest designed to give a "second chance" to past submissions. The Second Chance Ideas Contest launched on Sept. 15 and is open until Nov. 30. All submissions must be a "remix" - or improved version - of an idea submitted to Africa Rural Connect over the past three years. RPCVs are in a unique position to come up with ideas for the contest. Check it out... you might just win a prize!

>> More info: http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/contest


About the National Peace Corps Association Next Step Job Finder

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) prides itself on helping Returned Peace Corps Volunteers transition to "life after Peace Corps." One of the ways it does this is by offering mentoring, volunteer and job resources to people with a Peace Corps background. This jobs site holds job listings and service opportunities targeted at the Peace Corps Community because of their unique set of skills and motivations to make a difference.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are dynamic, self-motivated, flexible, have extensive international experience and work well with different cultures.

Whether you are a recruiter, an entrepreneur, or a job seeker, looking for a short term hire or a long term opportunity, we encourage you to use this site to connect with the Peace Corps community about jobs.

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Books from Peace Corps Writers - Great Gifts for all – including Yourself!

Time again for a list of this year's books: by, about, and from Peace Corps writers, published in 2012. This year has again brought on even more books, of which we list some 32 -- memoirs to chronicle more of the rich diversity of PC experiences of volunteers and staff, as well as colorful novels. The Peace Corps writers' site has changed this past year; the site is http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/

Listed for each book are: title, author, where served in PC, publisher, length, ISBN number, price & format. Prices are from Amazon.com – most often, Amazon's reduced price. For more information on each book, go to http://www.Amazon.com online which has sample pages for most, synopsis and bio notes.

Many books are now offered in digital editions that can be read from various formats: .pdf, eBook, etc., which can be read on cell phones, tablets [iPad (Apple), Kindle reader (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), Android tablets (Google operating system)].

With digital books you can choose print size as well as carry many books at once, easily! Amazon sells books in their own, ie. Kindle format. The Apple store sells books formatted for their reader. .pdf formats can be read on most all tablets or computers.

Another list of books written by PCVs includes Biblliography of the Peace Corps Experience, posted by Marian Haley Beil on Thursday, April 21st 2011 at: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/experience-books/ category/book-list/ which includes books written about the PC experience.

The Library of Congress for the 50th Anniversary (September 2011) assembled "Annotated Bibliography of Peace Corps Writers' books in the Library of Congress", a .pdf file retreivable at http://www.loc.gov/peacecorps/Bibliography- PeaceCorpsWriters.pdf

Salsa, Soul and Spirit:
Leadership for a Multicultural Age

by Juana Bordas (Chile 1964-66)

Berrett-Kochler Publishers 248 pages Mar 2012
ISBN-10 1609941179
$14.29 Paper $11.99 Kindle


Blaming Japhy Rider:
Memoir of a Dharma Bum Who Survived

by Philip A. Bralich, PhD. (Togo 1978)

Balboa Press 260 pages Jan 2012
ISBN-10 1452540519
$14.28 pbk $3.47 Kindle


Lullaby for the Rain Girl
by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90)

Dark Regions Press 341pages Jan 2012
$45.00 hdbk


The Farther Shore (Short Stories)
by Rob Davidson (Grenada 1990-92)

Bear Star Press 160 pages Mar 2012
ISBN-10: 0979374596
$16.00 pbk $7.69 Kindle


An Apricot Year
by Martha Egan (Venezuela 1967-69)

Papalote Press 287 pages Sep 2012
ISBN-10: 0975588176
$13.22 pbk


DaVinci's Ghost
by Toby Lester (Yemen 1983-85)

Free Press 320 pages Feb 2012
ISBN-10: 1439189242
$10.88 pbk $12.99 kindle


Acts of God While on Vacation
by Richard Tilotson (Maylasia 1967-69)

Create Space 382 pages May 2011
ISBN-10: 1460979494
$14.95 paper $4.99 kindle


Brazil: Heads and Tales 1965-67, Peace Corps
by Thomas Belsky (Brazil 1965-67)

CreateSpace 114 pages Feb 2012
ISBN-10: 1469931850
$20.00 pbk


The Lower River
by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 336 pages May 2012
ISBN-10: 0547746504
$10.17 pbk $9.00 Kindle


Lost and Found in Macedonia:
A journey in Unexpected Places
by Marilyn Wheeler (Macedonia 2004-06)

Park Place Productions 202 pages Aug 2012
ISBN-10: 1935530615
$15.95 pbk


Dodging Machetes: How I survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji
by Will Lutwik (Fiji 1968-70)

Peace Corps Writers 266 pages May 2012
ISBN-10: 1935925113
$13.63 paper $7.99 Kindle


Sendero: the Path Back
by John G. Rouse III (Peru 1966-68; Ecuador

APCD 1971-72); DR Republic APCD 1972-74)
CreateSpace 310 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 1466366850
$11.43 paper $3.12 Kindle


African Son
by William J. Hemminger (Senegal 1973-75)

University Press of America 104 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 0761858431
$24.99 pbk


The Labyrinth (Children's Book (Ages 4-8)
by Thomas Weck (Ethiopia 1965-67) and Peter Weck

Lima Bear Press http://www.limabearpress.com
ISBN-10: 1933872047
$12.44 hdbk 32 pages Aug 2012


The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles
and the Massacre of 1871

by Scott Zesch (Kenya 1982-84)

Oxford University Press, USA 304 pages Jun 2012
ISBN-10: 019975876X
$19.77 hdbk $12.75 Kindle


Bending with the Wind: Memoir of a
Cambodian Couple's Escape to America

by Bounchoeurn Sao & Diyana Sao,
told to Karline Bird (Thailand 1968-70)

McFarland & Company 210 pages Mar 2012
ISBN-10: 0786463775 $35.00 pbk $19.25 Kindle


Magic Hours:
Essays on Creators and Creation

by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97)

McSweeney's, Believer Books 256 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 1936365766
$11.20 pbk $7.69 Kindle


The Master Blaster
by P.F. Kluge (Micronesia 1969-70)

Overlook Press 304 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 1590203224
$18.28 hdbk $12.99 Kindle


Far Away In The Sky:
A Memoir of the Biafran Airlift

by David L. Koren (Biafra1965–66)

CreateSpace 332 pages Apr 2011
ISBN-10: 1467996149
$17.99 pbk $8.60 kindle


Peace Corps Experience:
Write and Publish Your Memoir

by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77)

iUniverse 140 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 1469760908
$13.95 pbk $3.99 Kindle


A Breeze in Bulgaria
by Bruce McDonald (Bulgaria 2002–04)

BookBrewer 348 pages Feb 2012
ISBN-10: 1611563224
$21.29 pbk , $6.99 Kindle


Life Under the Eastern Sky (Vol 1):
Essays on Contemporary Chinese Culture

by Valerie Sartor (Korea 1980–81; Central African Republic 1981–83) and Yang Jun Heng

CreateSpace 214 pages Apr 2012
ISBN-10: 1466222425
$8.99 pbk

You Can't Pick Up Raindrops:
A Collection of Short Stories

by John Charles Miller (Dominican Republic 1962–64)

CreateSpace 200 pages Jan 2012
ISBN-10: 1468014560
$11.99 pbk $2.99 Kindle


Coming Apart:
The State of White America, 1960-2010

by Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67)

Crown Forum 416 pages Jan 2012
ISBN-10: 0307453421
$13.98 pbk $12.99 Kindle


The Isla Vista Crucible
by Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971–73)

Savant Books & Publications 268 pages Feb 2012
ISBN-10: 0983286167
$15.25 pbk


Through the Eyes of My Children:
The Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer Family

by Frances Stone (Philippines 1971–73)

Peace Corps Writers 190 pages Jan 2012
ISBN-10: 1935925075
$12.99 paper


The Measure of a Dream: A Peace Corps Story
by Lora Parisien Begin (Tunisia 1988–90)

Peace Corps Writers 356 pages Jun 2012
ISBN-10 1935925253
$16.95 pbk $9.99 Kindle


The Immanence of God in the Tropics
by George Rosen (Kenya 1968-70)

Leapfrog Press 167 pages Oct 2012
ISBN-10: 1935248316
$9.99 pbk $9.99 Kindle


The Soft Exile
By Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2005-06)

Gentleman Tree Publishing 220 pages Jul 2012
ISBN-10: 0983071411
$14.99 pbk $5.99 Kindle


Le Jet Lag
by Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64)

Amazon Digital Edition 348 pages Jul 2012
$3.99 kindle


I Was a Peace Corps Volunteer:
Lost and Found in Micronesia

By Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04)

Create Space, 286 pages Jun 2012
ISBN-10: 1477572295
$12 pbk


Levitate the Primate
Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05)

John Hunt Publishing 266 pages August 2012
ISBN-10: 1780994982
$16.55 pbk

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"It's the double vision of a people whose hearts don't like what their desires have created." –Jonathon Franzen

The Not Evil Empire!

from Jacob Larsen, Uganda 2010-12.

I found myself in a lovely pedestrian mall in Budapest on a sunny Wednesday last August. I was holding a solitary pre-noon vigil at a bronze statue of Ronald Reagan because I was at a delightful place in life that found me both curious and unemployed. This was still a novel thing – unemployment and curiosity. The route leading to this particular collision of time, person and place started with a cheap flight, a Russian Pricewaterhouse Cooper human resourcer, and a late night stroll for ice cream.

(below) Ronald Reagan statue in Budpest, Hungary

I had arrived in Budapest from via an inexpensive flight, which was how I was choosing the destinations for this particular trip. I was staying in a gorgeous flat that was inhabited by a lovely young Russian who worked one of those jobs that requires conference calls, business casual, and the deft management of office politics. Her name was Ksenia. The previous nights had been filled with conversation, cold tomato soup and wine. One night we had taken a stroll for ice cream, which eventually led us to the US embassy located in a busy pedestrian mall.

"I wanted you to see this," she said to me. The embassy was quite similar to the embassy in Uganda. It had the same high fences, the same drab gray color scheme and the same perimeter of steel pylons. Unlike the embassy in Kampala, the steel pylons here cut through the adjacent pedestrian mall and children's park. It was a bunker surrounded by cheerful and old European architecture.

Near the embassy was a large bronze statue that was...really?...Ronald Reagan? There was an inscription that read, "A simple country boy against the evil empire." I looked over at the evil empress that was letting me crash on her couch and feeding me cold tomato soup. "I think that means you," I told her, but that wasn't true. Her parents would have been a part of the evil empire, but that was probably before she was born. She was just a Russian now.

The next day she went to work and I went back to the statue. I wanted to see it in the daylight. I didn't know any great Hungarians in history and was fairly certain that there were no bronze statues of them anywhere in America, busy pedestrian malls or otherwise. It seemed odd that Ronald Reagan was enshrined here and that he was accredited with the toppling of the soviet empire. I'm not sure what toppled the soviet empire. I don't think anyone really is.

If there are two competing empires and one is Evil than the other empire must be the Not Evil Empire. That would be us. But the Not Evil Empire is still an empire – one that needs a perimeter of steel pylons around its buildings. You need a strong perimeter for all the people who don't realize that you're the Not Evil Empire. Evil or not, an empire is an empire. On the spectrum of Soviet Russia to Reagan America, it might be better to find yourself in Switzerland.

(right) US Embassy in Budpest, Hungary.

I was frustrated with the embassy in Budapest. It didn't seem to represent the America that I knew. The America that was optimistic, hopeful and open. The building was the representation of an America that was afraid, uncertain and closed. When did this happen? When did Ellis Island and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Bill of Rights turn into Guantanamo Bay, drone strikes, and Chinese debt?

I sat on that park bench in Budapest thinking these thoughts and working myself into a towering indignation. I decided to do something about all this! I decided to do something very American. I was going to write a letter and complain.

I quickly ran into a couple of problems, not the least of which was to whom does one address a letter about the troubling state of affairs in American embassies abroad? In the weeks that followed I wrote and rewrote my letter but never could think of a satisfactory recipient. Neither could I find the left-right-cross-hook-uppercut to the jaw conclusion for the letter. Without an address, or even really a point to make, the letter languished in my journal.

It wasn't until I got back to America after three years away that I realized that our embassies represent us as a country quite well. To paraphrase rapper Mos Def, sometimes it's easy to talk about our government like it's some giant living up in the hills. But we are the government. So when we ask: What is our government doing? Where is our government going? We should ask: How am I doing? Where am I going? The embassies are how they are because we are how we are.

America is a place where too many people don't know their neighbors let alone their farmers. It's a place where 24-hour cable news manages to turn debate into farce while the rest of the world grows and turns and sometimes burns. That's why I couldn't find anyone to address my letter to—there's no embassy czar in charge of all this. The embassy and it's high walls in Budapest is the sum total of the ambitions, triumphs and fears of the 300 million or so people that call America home. To change the embassy requires a change in us.

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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:

Items to be auctioned:

  1. Walter Anderson Nursery - $30 Gift Certificate

  2. Mingei International Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($32 value)

  3. Mingei International Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($32 value)

  4. San Diego Museum of Art – 4 Guest Passes ($48 value)

  5. Living Coast Discovery Center (Chula Vista Nature Center) – Family 4 Pack Admission ($46 value)

  6. San Diego REPertory Theatre – 4 tickets ($204 value)

  7. Ocean Beach People's Organic Foods Market - $35 Gift Card AND their Deli Cookbook ($45 value)

  8. San Diego Zoo Global - Zoo / Safari Park – 2 Adult Admission tickets (approx. $80 value)

  9. San Diego Air & Space Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($70 value)

  10. Natural History Museum4 Guest Passes ($48 value)

  11. Maritime Museum of San Diego – 4 Guest Passes ($56 value)

  12. Museum of Manone year Explorer Membership ($50 value)

  13. Hornblower Cruises2 Seafarer's passes for any 1 or 2 hour Harbor Cruise, or weekday whale watching cruise in San Diego – ($70 value)

  14. Rubio's Restaurants - $50 Catering Gift Certificate

  15. USS Midway Museum One Family Pack of 4 Guest Passes – ($72 value)

  16. San Diego Automotive Museum 4 Guest Passes ($32 value)

  17. Cohn Restaurant Group - $25 Gift Certificate

  18. In-N-Out Burgers – 8 Guest Checks (any burger, fry and drink at any location), one T-Shirt (large), and a baseball hat – ($77 value)

  19. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and IMAX Dome Theater2 passes ($31.50 value)

  20. San Diego Botanic Garden 2 Guest Passes ($24 value)

  21. Birch Aquarium4 Complimentary Passes ($56 value)

  22. San Diego Chargers NFL San Diego Chargers Reebok Sideline Static Storm Heavyweight Full Zip Jacket with Hood, Reebok #5645A - Size is Medium. (Estimated value = $110 and original retail = $250)

  23. SeaWorld San Diego4 Guest Passes for one day – Expire February 28, 2013 (note: good for 3 months, not a year) ($312 value)

    For Making Bids or more info contact
    Carl: fundraising@sdpca.org or
    Sharon: president@sdpca.org

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

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Global House Party, 9/22

by Amanda Pease Sierra Leone 2010-12

(right) The author and her mom in outfits from Sierra Leone

On September 22, 2012, Marjory Clyne hosted a local Global House Party to celebrate the signing of the Peace Corps Act in 1961. As a very recent RPCV (Sierra Leone: June 2010-August 2012), I was excited about the idea of meeting other RPCVs in the area and sharing stories. Or if I'm being completely honest, I still felt shell-shocked about being back in the United States, and was hoping to finally be around people that would understand and could offer a few words of advice or encouragement.

Luckily for me, SDPCA was exactly that. I met RPCVs from every decade, from Volunteers who returned in the 60s to Volunteers like myself who served in the 2000s. We shared food, drinks, and stories about life as PCVs and life readjusting to America. There were over 50 people who attended, including a group of Volunteers from the Philippines who get together every few years and happened to be in San Diego this year. It was great to hear their stories from serving together in the 60s and we hope they felt welcomed at the party as well. One Volunteer, Ken, said "Thank you so much for letting us come to your party. Everyone had a wonderful time. Thank Marjory for being a great hostess." The countries represented were equally diverse; I was impressed to see so many people in the one room who had served in literally every corner of the world. There were also some future PCVs in attendance so we were able to answer some questions and encourage them in their own journeys.

I think the best part of the evening for me was feeling like I was transported back into that Peace Corps family that had been with me through everything in Sierra Leone, but is now scattered across the United States. Being a Peace Corps Volunteer is an experience that others can never fully understand, and while it is important (and a Peace Corps goal!) to try to explain it, it's also nice to feel at home with people who understand so deeply the life-changing experience that is being a volunteer.

(right) Host Marjory at left.

PS – Marjory would like to report a pair of ladies' sunglasses left behind at her house. Please contact her if these belong to you: Email her at marjoryclyne@att.net or phone 858.576.9909

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Hiking Elfin Forest & Lunch After, 9/11

On Friday, October 5th, about 35 SDPCA members and potential Volunteers met for a happy hour gathering at URBN in North Park. There were RPCVs from many decades and countries represented, as well as at least 8 potential PCVs invited by our Peace Corps recruiter Amber Lung. Due to an error in scheduling, our reservation was lost but being the clever, resourceful RPCVs we are, no one panicked and we made a quick change in plans. It turned out we had more people than expected, so the general consensus was that by meandering around in groups, (looking for PC name tags to recognize fellow members of the group) we were able to meet more people than if we had been seated at tables anyway. RPCVs enjoyed sharing their experiences with potential PCVs and all had a good time.

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Happy Hour at URBN, 10/05

On Friday, October 5th, about 35 SDPCA members and potential Volunteers met for a happy hour gathering at URBN in North Park. There were RPCVs from many decades and countries represented, as well as at least 8 potential PCVs invited by our Peace Corps recruiter Amber Lung. Due to an error in scheduling, our reservation was lost but being the clever, resourceful RPCVs we are, no one panicked and we made a quick change in plans. It turned out we had more people than expected, so the general consensus was that by meandering around in groups, (looking for PC name tags to recognize fellow members of the group) we were able to meet more people than if we had been seated at tables anyway. RPCVs enjoyed sharing their experiences with potential PCVs and all had a good time.

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"Whether you think you can, or think you can't...you're right!" - Henry Ford

President's Message

Opportunities to Share

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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"Getting things done is not always what is most important. There is value in allowing others to learn, even if the task is not accomplished as quickly, efficiently or effectively." - R.D. Clyde

Board Meeting Minutes - Sept & Oct 2012

Tuesday September 11, 2012 - Call to Order  7:11pm

Attendance: Carl Sepponen, Celeste Coleman, Courtney Baltiyskyy, Heather Boomer, Lynne Graham, Sharon Kennedy. Absent: Sarah Fuhrmann, Ashley Smallwood, Kris Slanina, Gregg Pancoast

President: Sharon. CFO Gregg submitted financial report over the weekend. Membership (103 current members)

Fundraising: Carl. E-Books have arrived. 40 or 50 Carl will get them out to 7 Postal Annex stores. $40 each. We get $20. Calendars are available as well. We should try to bring them to every event to sell. Silent auctions letter will be going out in the next week or two. Carl is open to suggestions for places to ask for donations; committee is working on it.

International Support Fund: Celeste. Need to make a decision regarding how we deal with Partnership Grants. Concerns raised about projects not receiving sufficient funding and having our funding go to someone else. Courtney moves that application be revised to indicate that applicants may now go through Partnership. Celeste seconds, motion passes. We will provisionally accept Partnership Grants and continually evaluate the process for the next year.

Newsletter: Heather. Transitioning into providing Don information for the newsletter before the deadline for each issue (around the 8th of the month before the newsletter comes out). Members will contact Heather with all newsletter related questions and content. Heather is looking for past recipients of grants to write articles on how their project is going

October 15 - Newsletter Content Due
November 1 - Newsletter comes out
December 15 - Newsletter Content Due
January 1 – Newsletter comes out

Saturday, August 18 11am Day at the Bay - Crown Point – Sharon About 20 people showed up to the event. The day was spent socializing and kayaking. This spot was ideally located near the water, bathroom, and ample parking: ideal for future events!

Sunday September 9 - Hike at Elfin Forest – Celeste

17 people attended for 2 hours of hiking at Elfin Forest, with lunch after. Members were enthusiastic about this event and more hikes should be considered for the future.

Saturday, September 22 – House Party at Marjory's – Sharon People should bring appetizers and dress in country of service clothing if they would like. Sharon will send out an Evite shortly.

Friday, October 5 - Happy Hour - URBN – Ashley

We will split into 2 tables and need a $100 deposit.

Monday, October 29 - Ronald McDonald House – Celeste We will serve food to families and their children along with a Halloween-themed craft. Hours for this event are 4-7pm but volunteers do not need to be present for the entire time.

Wednesday, November 7 - Ethnic Dinner Flavors of East Africa – Courtney

Saturday, December 1 - Holiday Party – Sarah
(same place as last year) 3:30 to 6:30pm. The room is booked from 2-7 for setup and cleanup Speaker: Members gave positive feedback about having a speaker; currently looking for ideas about who the best speaker would be. Music: A member has a contact that plays the steel drum. Sharon will follow up.

Adjourn 8:29pm

Tuesday October 9, 2012 - Call to Order  7:21 p.m.
Attendance: Carl Sepponen, Celeste Coleman, Gregg Pancoast, Heather Boomer, Kris Slanina, Sarah Fuhrmann, Sharon Kennedy. Absent: Lynne Graham, Ashley Smallwood, Courtney Baltiyskyy

President: Sharon. No official business

CFO: Greg. Shared financial report for first half of 2012 – Fundraising season coming soon - will help increase some of our funds.

Membership: Ashley not present. 110 members - last counted at Marjory's Party. Gaggle of newly arrived RPCVs. Woo hoo!

Fundraising: Carl Calendar sales - slow so far but will come up. Entertainment books will be delivered to 7 locations in the next couple of days. Many good things to come for the silent auction this year at the annual holiday party. Heather, Kris, Sean have all been helping. Announcement will be in the newsletter.

International Support Fund: Celeste In process of passing the torch. Meeting set up soon. No new applicants at this time.  Will write new protocol for donations to PC Partnership.

Newsletter: Heather Coming along for this month. Many new contributors this time! Next newsletter:

December 15 - Newsletter Content Due
January 1 – Newsletter comes out


Global House Party at Marjory's 9/22/12 Nice event, over 50 people present. Appetizer potluck. People were decked out in country garb.

Happy Hour at URBN 10/5/12 Over 40 people showed up, good chance to interact. Nominees were there as well as many RPCVs.


Wednesday, November 7 - Ethnic Dinner Flavors of East Africa – Courtney (talk to owner about making a set menu, and donation to holiday party)

Saturday, December 1 - Holiday Party - Same place as last year 3:30 to 6:30pm. The room is booked from 2-7 for setup and cleanup - Sherman Heights Community Center, Island Avenue

Sharon - Renting Table Cloths, contact people to be on a panel to talk about their experience.
Food - potluck - bring something to share
Drinks - beer, wine, sodas, water
Courtney - access to projector to have a slideshow
Gregg - bring speakers for background music
Invitation - Sharon will draft to be mailed by Nov 15. Email draft to get approved, then everyone can address them at the next meeting.

January 12 - SD River Clean Up
Board members - look to see when next year's events are and start getting ready!

Ashley - Bring Business Cards to next meeting to distribute to Board Members.
Emails - switch addresses to go to newly assigned board members - Sharon log on and see if there are better spam filters.

Adjourn 8:30
Next Meeting:  Tuesday, November 13

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


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"Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world" - Samuel Butler (1835–1902)

New Members/Membership Renewal

SDPCA extends a warm welcome to our newest members. It's great to have you here. Join in the activities -- we can always use more help! We've seen some of you at events already.

You should be contacted soon -- if not already-- by our New Members group with information for you about San Diego and more. Let us hear from all of you!

Joshua Caplan, Grenada 2003-05
Kathleen Harnig, Bulgaria 1998-2000
Judy Stout, China 2010-2012
Andrew Motiwalla, Honduras 1996-98
Tracy Lane, Lesotho 1994-97
Margaret Hankamp, Ukraine 2010-12
Shala Meindel, Philippines 2009-11
Justin Brumer, Cambodia 2010-12
Amanda Pease, Sierra Leone 2010-12
Jacob Larson, Uganda 2010-12
Natalie Peters, Uganda 2010-12
Elizabeth Vaughan, Uganda 2010-12
Kelsey McVey, El Salvador 2010-12

SDPCA Membership Renews Jan 1

It's time to renew your membership! The annual $20 membership dues are due on January 1. You are welcome to pay (cash or check, please) at the annual holiday party on December 1. Or you may send them in by mail. A downloadable membership form is available on the SDPCA website: http://sdpca.org Or use the form on page 11 of print/.pdf version, fill it in send in to the SDPCA address.

The San Diego Peace Corps Association relies on dues to cover operating expenses and to support activities such as renting space for an event or purchasing items to support a community service activity (such as food when we prepare meals at the Ronald McDonald House). The funds to support Peace Corps projects in the field are raised through our fundraising activities such as calendar sales, entertainment books, and the auction at the annual holiday party.

Those who have COSed in the past year receive free membership. Thank you!

Ask Amber

A new column to be written for each newsletter by our very own San Diego Peace Corps Recruiter. Questions? Just Ask Amber!
Thanks, as always, to those who chatted with future applicants and volunteers at the Global House Party and recent Happy Hour! It is such a great Peace Corps community we have here and I enjoyed a trip down memory lane with Sharon and Ashley in thinking about receiving our own invitations.

For any available, and interested RPCVS, I'm looking for help staffing a table at a USD "Adventures In Service" Fair on Tuesday, November 13 from 12 - 2 pm. Free lunch – and the campus is beautiful, if you have never been!

Additionally, I've listed some events below. All are welcome, please just give me a heads up if you would like to join in the recruiting fun, so I can coordinate and send you more details.

1. USD Info Session - 11/1 - 12:30-2pm
2. SDSU Info Table - 11/8 - 10am-2pm
3. SDSU Info Session - 11/15 - 11:30am-1pm
4. Community Info Session - 11/17 - 11:30am-1pm
5. Community Info Session - 12/11 - 6:30-7:30pm

Please contact me at alung@peacecorps.gov

–Amber Lung, PC Recruiter, San Diego.

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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 92126 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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