|San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
January - February 2012 — Volume 26, Number 1
P O Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196-0565
Membership Renews January 1 !
NOTE: SDPCA email addresses here are not clickable, to prevent
roaming spam-bots from reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience.
January 1 --
One Day In Peace
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.
The day has also come to be known as Global Family Day - a day for peace and sharing. Communities around the world come together for a shared meal on January 1 and talk about how they can help to create a better world. What can you do to help create humanity's first day of peace, ever?
Making peace, I have found, is much harder than making war.
-- Gerry Adams
...Any definition of a culture of peace must address the problem of achieving justice for communities and individuals who do not have the means to compete or cope without structured assistance and compassionate help.
-- Mahnaz Afkhami
February 1 --
The Bill of Rights was a tremendous milestone in the pursuit of freedom for all, and yet when our nation was founded, not all Americans were allowed to be free. Slavery is the ultimate loss of freedom, and it was nearly another 100 years before Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. National Freedom Day commemorates this momentous occasion on February 1, 1865.
The first article of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the most important starting point for all human rights - "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Much progress has been made in helping to win freedom for all, throughout the world. But even though international law forbids slavery, it still exists in many parts of the world, where women and young girls and boys are trafficked as prostitutes. And even though all nations agreed to uphold basic human rights for their citizens, many people are not allowed these basic liberties. Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the victories for freedom that have been won and to re-dedicate our commitment to work for freedom for all.
World Freedom Day is observed on November 9 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, freeing the people of East Berlin and uniting the German nation. July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day commemorating when the American colonies won their freedom from Great Britain. Most nations were under the rule of another nation at some time in their history, so it isn't surprising that most nations also celebrate the anniversary of the date when they won their freedom.
The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves.
-- Oscar Arias Sanchez
None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
-- Pearl S. Buck
Quotes and Descriptions from
Thank You Silent Auction Contributors/Buyers
We wish to thank all the groups and persons for their generous contributions that made the Auction possible. A final list of groups and individuals who provided items for auction are listed below.
Thanks to contributors and, as well, to those who purchased all the items! ---- Thank yous to ALL!
- Walter Anderson Nursery – $30 Gift Certificate
- Mingei International Museum – 2 sets of 4 Guest Passes ($32 value each)
- San Diego Museum of Art – 4 Guest Passes ($48 value)
- Living Coast Discovery Center (Chula Vista Nature Center) – Family 4 Pack Admission ($46 value)
- San Diego REPertory Theatre – 4 tickets ($204 value)
- Ocean Beach People's Organic Foods Market – $35 Gift Card AND their Deli Cookbook ($45 value)
- San Diego Zoo Global - Zoo / Safari Park – 2 Adult Admission tickets (approx. $80 value)
- San Diego Air & Space Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($70 value)
- Natural History Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($48 value)
- Maritime Museum of San Diego – 4 Guest Passes ($56 value)
- Museum of Man – 1 year Explorer Membership ($50 value)
- Hornblower Cruises – 2 Seafarer's passes for any 1 or 2 hour Harbor Cruise, or weekday whale watching cruise in San Diego – ($70 value)
- Rubio's Restaurants - $50 Catering Gift Certificate
- USS Midway Museum – One Family Pack of 4 Guest Passes – ($72 value)
- San Diego Automotive Museum – 4 Guest Passes ($32 value)
- Cohn Restaurant Group - $25 Gift Certificate
- 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)
- The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and IMAX Dome Theater – 2 passes ($31.50 value)
- San Diego Botanic Garden – 2 Guest Passes ($24 value)
- Birch Aquarium – 4 Complimentary Passes ($56 value)
- San Diego Chargers – NFL San Diego Chargers Reebok Sideline Static Storm Heavyweight Full Zip Jacket with Hood, Reebok #5645A (Estimated value = $110 and original retail = $250)
- SeaWorld San Diego – 4 Guest Passes for one day – Expire February 28, 2013 (note: good for 3 months, not a year) ($312 value)
- Museum of Photographic Arts – 4 Guest Passes, postcards, and 5 books
- Lynne Graham
- Justin O'Connoll
- Carl and Dora Sepponen
- Sharon Kennedy
- Gregg Pancoast
- Virginia Coleman
- Diana Gomez
- Marjory Clyne
- Judy Stout
- Marie Sidun
- Brenda Hahn
During Peace Corps Week
Peace Corps Week 2013 is from February 24th to March 2nd
Peace Corps Week celebrates the anniversary of the Peace Corps around March 1st. Traditionally, returned Volunteers and friends of the Peace Corps show solidarity by participating in Third Goal activities to honor both the work of the agency and its Volunteers of the past and present.
Additionally, through concerted efforts by returned Volunteers and Peace Corps regional offices, elected leaders acknowledge Peace Corps Week through proclamations.
Peace Corps Week: Information from PeaceCorps
"How To" Tool Kits for Everyone:
Supportive materials and suggestions can help RPCVs in presentations and organizing activities for the community to learnmore about Peace Corps. Go online to download the materials listed below:
- Customizable Third Goal Presentation
- Invite a Speaker: How Do I Find A Returned Volunteer?
- Check List: Presentation Planning (PDF)
- Community Outreach Ideas
- Best Practices: Addressing Students And Youth Groups
- Best Practices: Addressing Adults
- Media Kit: How Do I Reach Out To The Media?
- Savvy Downloadable Resources
- Peace Corps Website Treasure Trove
Register Your Participation
Register your participation to help the Peace Corps demonstrate the impact of the Third Goal. Registrants will receive a FREE Third Goal Kit to supplement your event or activity.
We Bring You PC Community News
Did you know that each month on our website we publish "alumni" notes to our Community News blog? It's a place where we share recent professional and community service activities by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff.
We also publish a monthly In Memoriam post about members of our community who have passed away.
It's all part of our effort to keep the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community connected!
2013 National Day of Action
Please mark your calendars. The National Peace Corps Association is gearing up for its 9th Annual National Day of Action in Support of the Peace Corps.
The next National Day of Action will be held Thursday, February 28, 2013.
Closely coinciding with the March 1st anniversary of President Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order which established the Peace Corps, the Day of Action is the one time each year when we call upon all members of the Peace Corps community to take a few minutes out of their busy lives to reach out to members of Congress and express their strong support for the Peace Corps.
Along with phone calls, emails and other communications to Capitol Hill from around the country, the Day of Action is also designed to have a strong contingent of Peace Corps supporters in Washington meeting with members of Congress. If you want to be part of our Day of Action Advocacy Team in Washington, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register today! Similarly, contact us if you want to help coordinate Day of Action outreach and mobilization back in your hometown.
Can We Match 2012?
We've got to gear up to equal our 2012 National Day of Action, held last March 1st.
Take Survey & Help Us Send Your Message to the Next Congress
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, December 14th, 2012
"Making peace with others who share our world is more productive, less expensive, and longer-lasting than making war. Living and working with others toward achieving their development goals not only provides them with assistance, but also educates us Americans in understanding and valuing other cultures and ways of living. "
–Karen Keefer, Redwood City CA (Nigeria 66-68; Liberia Staff 68; US HQ Staff 77-79)
In a matter of weeks, the new 113th Congress will take office. With dozens of new lawmakers, continued fiscal challenges and ongoing concerns about partisan bickering, it is more important than ever for the Peace Corps community to convey unity and the power of positive accomplishments to our lawmakers.
We want to help bring your voice to Capitol Hill. Do your part today by sharing your thoughts on why the Peace Corps is important to our nation, and the positive benefits the Peace Corps experience provides not just overseas, but here at home as well.
Please follow this link to take our brief survey.
Then, please pass this message along to friends, family and others. This survey is open to anyone who believes in the importance of the Peace Corps. Even if you did not serve but want to share why the Peace Corps is important, we will be happy to take your comments to Capitol Hill.
We will put your comments to use during our upcoming National Day of Action and throughout the 113th Congress.
(above) Four out of the eight women in the group, holding up their business license. From left to right, myself, Mayrene, Maria Isabel, Vera, and Nidia.
[ed: SDPCA gave MODA an ISF grant of $300 in July 2012.]
MODA: ISF Report from Costa Rica
Here is a brief update of the women's group, MODA, since your kind donation.
As of now, the group has officially obtained their business license (which allows them to legitimately operate in Costa Rica) thanks to your generous donation.
Through another grant we acquired from Peace Corps Partnership Program the group was able to payoff their loan from the micro-bank in the community, so they officially own 2 brand new sewing machines. In addition they are now in the midst of purchasing a much needed industrial size overlock sewing machine (which runs very pricey in the country), with the rest of the money from the grant.
The women continue to attend extensive free courses provided by the Costa Rican government in order to educate themselves on the various realms of their business practice. With less than 2 months of service left for myself, the group and I have been primarily working on marketing materials such as business cards and setting up an email account (and making sure they know how to use it), in order to build their clientele.
I know with their motivation and desire, MODA will continue to grow especially from the inspiration you all provided for them from your support.
Side note: I will officially be COS-ing on December 1, 2012 thus my time with the group will come to an end, but that does not mean I will not be regularly checking up on them via email and phone.
In addition Peace Corps Washington sent us a request to publish the PCPP story of the group on http://www.peacecorps.gov. They will also be sending the story to my local newspaper (the San Diego Union Tribune), so be on the lookout if you are interested. We can't thank you enough for your support and generosity!
Dorian Diaz del Castillo
Photos by Sharon Kennedy
Holiday Party -12/1
What a rousing success our holiday party was!
We were glad to have the presence of over 60 SDPCA members and their families at the Community Center in Sherman Heights. Food and good company were enjoyed by all. Between appetizers, salads, main courses, desserts, and drinks, the potluck was a big hit – including exotic dishes from host countries, favorite snacks, and local restaurant specialties.
We listened to the stories of three SDPCA members who had served in Afghanistan at different times. What a treat to hear their take on how women were treated, how their service was welcomed, and especially what they think about what is happening there now.
Then, partygoers had time to socialize, watch an SDPCA slide show and bid on silent auction items!
Thanks to everyone who bid on auction items and contributed to the silent auction in every way, including an extra special thank you to Carl Sepponen for organizing the auction and to the contributors and helpers!
This year, the silent auction was bigger and better than ever! We raised approxiamately $1,100, which helps us support current PCVs in the field. We love supporting our San Diego Volunteers!
Making Dinner at Ronald McDonald House - 10/30/12
On the evening of October 29, 14 SDPCA members and their families made life just a little easier for around 150 parents and siblings of hospitalized children at the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego.
We worked in the kitchen and serving area from 4:30pm- 8:30pm as we prepared a burrito bar dinner for the crowd. Several members wore costumes and brought decorations, which gave our pre-Halloween dinner a festive atmosphere. There were also simple crafts and face painting for the kids.
We got some very positive feedback about our efforts, and can't wait to go back again in March!
October 31, 2012
Ronald McDonald House Charities
of San Diego Gift Receipt
Gift Date: 10/29/2012 Gift: Dinner Provider
Dear Ms. Coleman and Team:
Thank you so much for your support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego through our dinner provider program. Your generosity makes you all real heroes in the eyes of all of us at San Diego's Ronald McDonald House: families, staff, volunteers, and our Board of Trustees.
Thanks to you and other generous community participants, enough food and funds were donated to our dinner program to serve more than 75,000 meals last year. Not having to prepare their own meal after a day at the hospital gives families one less worry during the difficult time in their lives and a small sense of normalcy. What's more, heartfelt donations like these not only keep the Ronald McDonald House open, but also lets our families know that the community stands with them in their time of crisis.
For what you have helped to make possible with your generous support, I am grateful. You are always welcome here.
Chief Operating Officer
|Thank you for
taking heart ache and
tears and making
it into a little sunshine,
a smile or two and
rainbows for children.
|Thank you, thank you, thank you.
You have no idea how much what you do
here helps. Such giving hearts here and
not just with food but with compassion
and responsiveness. They really care.
They can even tell if you need
a hug and are eager to give them.
Thank you all so much.
East African Dinner, 11/7
Tasty dishes filled a table set for twenty at Flavors of East Africa last month, November 7th. This was SDPCA's second year collaborating with the restaurant for an ethnic dinner event.
The restaurant owner and chef, June, was excited to welcome us back and eager to show everyone the restaurant's new home at 2302 El Cajon Blvd.
June recommended many of his favorite dishes and designed a menu of Samosas, Chapati, Ugali, Lamb Curry, Greens & Eggplant for the evening. Decorated with African sculptures and tapestries, the new location creates a cozy and inspiring atmosphere. This setting promoted lively chatter about cherished dishes from countries everyone served in.
Have a favorite restaurant in San Diego you'd like folks to try? Tell us all about it !
"Peace may cost as much as war, but it is a better buy." – Unknown Source
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for 2013.
Thank you to those who attended the annual holiday party where we enjoyed good food, learned about the Peace Corps experience in Afghanistan in the mid-1960s, and raised money for the International Support Fund (which provides grants for projects of Peace Corps Volunteers from San Diego).
Special thanks to Carl Sepponen for organizing the Silent Auction and to our panelists: Joe and Sharon Rollinson and Edward McDaid. I think my favorite part of the party was the very end when a call went out for help taking down the tables and chairs. Never have I seen so many people jump up to help. The whole room was cleaned up in 20 minutes. I should have known Returned Peace Corps Volunteers would help when asked but it warmed my heart to see the whole room spring to action.
Thank you. I hope to see you at SDPCA events in 2013.
PS – News from out of town SDPCA Members
We recently heard from one of our valued SDPCA members who enjoyed reading our newsletter all the way from New York! What a treat to know that our little group is benefiting members nationwide.
We'd love to hear from other out-of-state members! Hopefully, all of our members can (and want to!) return to attend a meeting or event soon.
Send your out-of-state comments to:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
–Sharon Kennedy, SDPCA President, Thailand (1989-91)
(above) Woven bags and cloth from Ecuador.
"The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Christ, some of the other great Jewish teachers, Buddha, all preached it. Their followers forgot it." – Eleanor Roosevelt
Board Meeting Minutes
November 13, 2012
7:54pm Open of Meeting
Present: Ashley Smallwood, Heather Boomer, Carl Sepponen, Lynne Graham, Celeste Coleman, Sarah Fuhrmann, Sharon Kennedy. Absent: Courtney Baltiyskyy, Kris Slanina
President - Sharon.
100 likes on the SDPCA Facebook page
CFO – Gregg
$10,873 on balance sheet
Membership – Ashley
Fundraising – Carl
Entertainment books: $30
International Support Fund – Celeste
Newsletter – Heather
Next newsletter – January 1
Monday, October 29 – Ronald McDonald House: Celeste. 13 people came, crafts, face painting and burrito bar
Wednesday, November 7 – Ethnic dinner "Flavors of East Africa": Courtney. 22 people attended
Saturday, January 12 – River clean up: Courtney
Thursday, February 21 – Happy Hour in beach area: Heather
Other ideas: Michele Lagoy offered to host a hike at Cowles Mountain
8:44pm Meeting adjourned
No December Board Meeting
Next Meeting: Tues, Jan 8
–Ashley Smallwood, SDPCA Secretary, Ecuador 2004-07.
I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. –Franklin P. Adams
Thanks to those who paid their membership dues at the holiday party in December! We are still sorting through and depositing checks. Look for a list of new members in the next newsletter, March 1, 2013.
Reminder: please pay your membership dues ($20) for 2013! You can pay at any SDPCA function, or mail a check (with the membership form) to:
c/o Financial Officer
P.O. Box 26565
San Diego, CA 92126
Please look for the membership form.
Peace Corps Cookbook
Cooking in the Peace Corps:
Authentic Local Dishes from Around the World
by J. Myers (Cape Verde & St. Lucia)
Create Space Independent Publishing
pbk $14.95 kindle $3.99 126 pp
An RPCV living in Ohio served as a volunteer two years in Cape Verde (2008-10) and as a PC Response Volunteer one year in St. Lucia (2010-11) has put together a cookbook entitled Cooking in the Peace Corps.
The book is a collection of recipes, stories and Peace Corps work in the country as well as (of course) national dishes of 50 countries where the Peace Corps currently serves. Entries were submitted by Volunteers overseas, compiled and edited for publication. [ed: See recipe further on from the book.]
The cookbook is available in electronic-kindle edition from Amazon or you can contact the author direct for paperback:
Questions? Just Ask Amber for Answers!
A new column to be written for each newsletter by our very own San Diego Peace Corps Recruiter.
Q: Any RPCVs you want to give thanks to?
A: Well, all of you are awesome, especially the board members! But, for now, special thanks to Victor Cuevas, who spoke at the October information session at the College-Rolando Public Library. Thanks also to Judy Stout, for organizing a festive table at the San Diego City College International Fair. And thanks to both of them, as well as Marjory Clyne, who staffed a table at a recent USD event celebrating Human Rights Day and the power of humanitarian work.
Q: We've noticed more prospective volunteers showing up at events, should we continue expecting this?
A: Yes! Whenever possible, I'll promote socials, service events, etc. on the recruitment website. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to talk to a variety of RPCVs and learn more about the diverse experiences volunteers have had, in order to better prepare for their own service, or decide if it's right for them. Thanks for speaking with them, and please continue to share (yes, you can be honest)!
Q: What's happening at the LA Regional Office?
A: Do any of you know/remember Jacob Hall? Maybe some of you were recruited by him! He recruited in San Diego a few years ago for a couple of years, before transitioning to a coordinating, and now supervising position, in Los Angeles. He has accepted a position and will be leaving Peace Corps to start with the Foreign Service. If you'd like to send him a farewell note/greeting – please email me at email@example.com by January 10th, and I'll compile all the notes into a "San Diego farewell."
You can submit your questions for Amber Lung to firstname.lastname@example.org
–Amber Lung, PC Recruiter, San Diego.
Yields of important food crops stall
Production of several key crops is increasing in some parts of the world, but a study reports that in up to 39% of growing areas of corn, rice, wheat and soybeans, "yields either never improve, stagnate or collapse." "This finding is particularly troubling because it suggests that we have preferentially focused our crop improvement efforts on feeding animals and cars, as we have largely ignored investments in wheat and rice, crops that feed people and are the basis of food security in much of the world," said Jonathan Foley, co-author of the study.
–Included in UN Wire email "Top Story." Full story with graphs and more detail of various world crops at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/24/
[ed: You can sign up for daily UN Wire news emails at:
Nacatamales of Nicaragua
[Steamed banana leaves filled with meat, veggies and rice.]
Nacatamales are a traditional Nicaraguan dish dating back to the indigenous Aztec and Mayan cultures. They are similar to Mexican tamales, filled with vegetables, rice and, meat. The dough is than wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
The original recipe had exotic meats such as iguana, deer and agouti wrapped in corn husks. But in the post-colonization era the recipe has evolved, now using pork or chicken wrapped in banana leaves. Nacatamales are common at parties and during special holidays, especially Christmas. And although they are typically eaten in the morning, they can be served at any meal.
Preparing the dish gets the whole family involved. The women of the household always cook the meal. It is normal for older women with more experience making the meal to take charge. Men butcher the animal while children go off to collect banana leaves from the family farm.
• 4 cup Corn Flour
• 1-1/2 cup Vinegar
• 8 Garlic Cloves
• 1 large Onion
• 1 cup Lemon Juice
• 1 cup Orange Juice
• 1-1/4 cup Oil
• 1-1/2 cup Broth
• Raisins, Olives
• Red & green peppers
• Potatoes, Tomatoes
• Banana Leaves
All ingredients after broth are for the filling.
Dough recipe is for 20 servings.
1. For dough, put garlic, onion and vinegar in blender to liquify. Mix blender contents with other dough ingredients to form biscuit consistency.
2. All filling ingredients will be cooked while boiling in the final stage. If you want, you can pre-cook rice, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. at low heat before wrapping them in the banana leaves.
3. For nacatamales, place 1/2 cup dough in center of banana leaf.
4. Add portion of each ingredient on dough.
5. Wrap and fold each leaf, tighly securing it with a thin string.
6. Submerge all nacatamales in large pot and boil for approximately 2 hours.
A special thanks to PCV Sarah Robinson for her contribution to this entry.
–from Cooking in the Peace Corps compiled & edited by J. Myers
[ed: See article for more information on book.]
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:
this issue are:
Sharon Kennedy, Ashley Smallwood, Amber Lung, Carl Sepponen, Jonny Myers, Courtney Baltiyskyy, Celeste Coleman, Doria Diaz del Castillo, PCV