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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
2013 — Volume 26, Number 2

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

International Peace Days:
March and April 2013
Great site for Peace-full things: 
Check it out!
Books, quotes, links, ideas, heroes, clubs, resources.

Energy Day -
Women's Day -
Earth Day -
End Racism Day -
Water Day -

Sexual Assault Awareness Month -
Tell The Truth Day -

Reconciliation Day -
World Health Day -
Global Youth Service Day -
Earth Day -

March 1
March 8
March 20
March 21
March 22

April 2
April 2
April 7
April 7
April 26-28*
April 22

* Date changes each year

March 22 -- Water Day

Water is one of the most basic of all needs -- we cannot live for more than a few days without it. And yet, most people take water for granted. We waste water needlessly and don't realize that clean water is a very limited resource. More than 1 billion people around the world have no access to safe, clean drinking water, and over 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation service. Over 2 million people die each year because of unsafe water - and most of them are children!

World Water Day, observed on March 22, is an important opportunity to educate ourselves and our communities about this most vital of all resources, explore ways to conserve it and protect the waters of our rivers, lakes, oceans and streams. It's a chance to address the issue of helping those without access to clean drinking water. World Water Day is also a time for ethical and moral discussion about water rights, particularly the growing trend of corporations taking over community access to water.

On March 22, 2005, the United Nations launched the UN International Decade for Action on Water, to help bring greater awareness to the global community about the growing problem of access to clean water for everyone.

Fierce national competition over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of violent conflict.
-- Kofi Annan

The destruction of aquatic ecosystem health, and the increasing water scarcity, are in my opinion the most pressing environmental problems facing human kind.
-- Maude Barlow

April 22 -- Earth Day

The environmental movement is one of the most successful social change movements. Popularizing Earth Day celebrations can be credited with bringing the movement to the mainstream. Through grassroots efforts, festivals, fairs, assemblies and concerts have helped popularize concern for our environment in the public's mind. Since so many people participate in Earth Day activities, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to get people to tap-into the better world movement, so that they can find the inspiration and encouragement to continue activities for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world all year long.

When is Earth Day? Actually, there are 3 Earth Days - 3 dates that are dedicated to helping raise awareness about the health and well being of the land, skies and water of our planet Earth. The original Earth Day is celebrated on the Spring Equinox each year (In 2012 it falls on March 20). April 22 is the date that most people know as Earth Day. Both of these Earth Days were first celebrated in 1970. In 1972, the United Nations designated June 5 as World Environment Day to commemorate the opening of the Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm that year, which ultimately led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the main UN body devoted to protecting our environment.

There are many different ecological issues to raise awareness about, on Earth Day and all year long - global climate change, protecting wildlife habitat, preventing pollution and cleaning up polluted air, water and land, conserving our natural resources, and many other issues … What's your ecological passion?

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
~ Ansel Adams

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."
~ John James Audubon

Quotes and Descriptions from

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Jack Hood Vaughn,
Led PC in '60s, Dies at 92

Jack Hood Vaughn (August 18, 1920–October 29, 2012), who led the Peace Corps at the height of its volunteer enrollment in the late 1960s, died at his home in Tucson. He was 92.

(below) Jack Hood Vaughn, left, with President Johnson and Srgent Shriver in 1966.

The cause was cancer, his daughter Jane Constantineau said.

President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Mr. Vaughn as the second director of the Peace Corps in 1966, after the five-year tenure of R. Sargent Shriver, the driving force in the creation of the corps during the Kennedy administration. Under Mr. Vaughn, the number of volunteers rose from approximately 12,000 to more than 15,500 — the most in the corp's history — serving in more than 50 countries. There are now about 8,000 volunteers in 76 countries.

The current acting director of the Peace Corps, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, met Mr. Vaughn last year at a celebration of its 50th anniversary. "He was still a passionate voice for peace and eloquent about the Peace Corps' ability to build bridges to other nations through service," she said.

To Hugh Pickens, a former volunteer in Peru and the creator of http://peacecorpsonline.org, a Web site dedicated to the corps' history, "Vaughn's importance is second only to Sargent Shriver's, because he set the tone, through his outreach to Republican members of Congress, for the Peace Corps to receive bipartisan support over the past 50 years."

Some politicians were originally hostile to the concept of the corps, especially during the Vietnam War. "The Peace Corps is no haven for draft dodgers," Mr. Vaughn responded in 1966. Its volunteers, he said, are "second to no other Americans" in performing service to the nation.

Under Mr. Vaughn, Time magazine reported in 1967: "A team of corpsmen installed the University of Malaya's first electronic computer; one is a game warden in Ethiopia; Gerald Brown conducts Bolivia's National Symphony Orchestra, and Lynn Meena's televised English lessons made her one of Iran's most popular performers. The majority teach, and the corps has even sent blind volunteers abroad to teach the blind."

In submitting his budget request for 1968, Mr. Vaughan told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "It costs less money to make peace than war."

While Mr. Vaughn led the Peace Corps through 1969, his résumé also includes an array of other influential positions, among them ambassador to Panama in 1964 and 1965, assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs from 1965 to 1966 and ambassador to Colombia from 1969 to 1970. He resigned from the foreign service because he felt the Nixon administration, preoccupied by the Vietnam War and turmoil in the Middle East, was not paying sufficient attention to Latin America.

Out of government service, Mr. Vaughn was president of the National Urban Coalition, dean of international studies at Florida International University, director of international programs for the Children's Television Workshop (producing foreign versions of "Sesame Street"), president of the Planned Parenthood Federation, chairman of Conservation International and chairman of Ecotrust, an organization he founded to protect rain forests.

Born in Lame Deer, Mont., Jack Hood Vaughn was one of five children of L. H. and Lona Vaughn. His father owned clothing stores. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in romance languages, he enlisted in the Marines and saw action in the Pacific during World War II. He returned to his alma mater after the war and earned a master's in economics.

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Vaughn soon joined the United States Information Agency and was sent to Bolivia to run a cultural center. He was later a program director for the United States Agency for International Development in Panama, Bolivia, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. It was while escorting Lyndon Johnson, who was then the vice president, on a visit to Senegal that Mr. Vaughn came to the attention of Mr. Shriver, who asked him to become the Latin America director for the newly created Peace Corps.

Mr. Vaughn's first marriage, to the former Joanne Smith, ended in divorce. Besides his daughter Jane, he is survived by his second wife, the former Margaret Weld; two other daughters, Carol Vaughn and Kathryn Vaughn Tolstoy; a son, Jack Jr.; three sisters, Kathryn Swarthout, Billie Johnson and Janyth Sheldon; and two grandchildren.

While studying at the University of Michigan, Mr. Vaughn also coached the university's boxing team. Later, under the name Johnny Hood, he was a professional featherweight boxer.

That experience came in handy in June 1988 when, while walking in Manhattan after midnight, he was attacked by a would-be mugger. "I kneed him in the groin and hit him in the jaw about five times," Mr. Vaughn, then 67, said at the time. "I have an unbelievable left hook."

Although he no longer worked out, he added, "Sometimes I shadowbox, pretending I'm hitting certain politicians."

Article and photo credit: New York Times

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from Peace Corps

White House Honors
Harris Wofford

By Jonathan Pearson
Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Harris Wofford speaking at the closing session of the National Peace Corps Association's 50th Anniversary Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, September 22, 2011.

Assisting with the creation of the Peace Corps is one of many accomplishments of former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford. For his seven decades of tireless public and community service, Wofford is one of 18 individuals receiving the 2012 Citizens Medal, the nation's second highest civilian honor.

Wofford was one of more than 6,000 individuals nominated by the public for the award. He received the honor on Friday, February 15th, at a White House ceremony.

Senator Wofford served as special representative to Africa and Director of Operations in Ethiopia during the formative years of the Peace Corps. Upon returning to Washington, he was appointed Associate Director of the Peace Corps.

Service has remained central in Senator Wofford's life. In 2001 he was named Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. A longtime member of the National Peace Corps Association Advisory Council, Wofford has been a mentor and friend to the Peace Corps community, always willing to assist when called upon.

Senator Wofford is also a founding champion and inspiration for the members of the Building Bridges Coalition, a consortium of leading organizations working collaboratively to promote the field of international volunteering.

Our congratulations to Harris Wofford for this much deserved recognition of his numerous contributions to our nation!


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from NPCA


New President of NPCA

February 15, 2013

Dear NPCA Members,
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988 – 91) as President of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).

Glenn Blumhorst's appointment follows an extensive nationwide search that began in Fall 2012. A search committee of the NPCA Board of Directors selected him from a robust pool of highly qualified applicants.

Glenn comes to the NPCA with 25 years of international experience, 18 of them working with ACDI/VOCA. Glenn has held leadership positions in small scale projects and complex multinational operations. He has experience servicing and managing large grants and developing strategic partnerships.

Glenn, who served in the Peace Corps with his wife, Cathy, will begin his role leading the NPCA community on February 25, 2013. Those attending any of the upcoming events between February 28 and March 2, including Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, Director's Circle Weekend and Board of Directors Meeting, will have the opportunity to meet him in person.

Please join us in welcoming Glenn to the NPCA.

Best Wishes,
Tony Barclay, Chair
Patricia Wand, Vice Chair
NPCA Board of Directors

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PCConnect: Boston 2013 Venue Announced – June 28-29, 2013

Save the Date and join us for the National Peace Corps Association's second annual gathering - Peace Corps Connect: Boston 2013. We invite you all to Boston, Massachusetts on the weekend of June 28-29, 2013 for an event that will encourage you to continue "bringing the world back home" while visiting with friends and having fun.

We have the venue: Peace Corps Connect will take place at the The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur Boston, MA 02115

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A Better, Bolder Peace Corps

Given that there are roughly half the number of Peace Corps volunteers serving our nation compared to the more than 15,000 who served in 1966, and given that many countries continue to request more volunteers or new Peace Corps programs, the National Peace Corps Association continues to strongly support initiatives to grow and expand the Peace Corps.

At the same time, the Peace Corps community realizes and promotes ideas and policies that will make the Peace Corps not only bigger in the next fifty years, but also better and bolder.

On a variety of fronts, there is activity to advance a better and bolder Peace Corps. The following outline provides an overview on some of the key developments that have been the focus of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps community.

If you want to share your comments, you can contact us at advocacy@peacecorpsconnect.org. You can also offer comments/suggestions directly with the Peace Corps by following this link; then check links below, there.


• Peace Corps' Comprehensive Assessment and Strategic Plan
• Peace Corps Safety and Security
• Peace Corps Volunteer Benefits
• Other Issues
• NPCA Documents and Resources

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by Marjory Clyne, Western Samoa 1972-74.

Seven years in the making, and I thought the day would never happen, but it did, January 15, 2013: the day I helped my good friend, Margie Fincham move to Nicaragua. Besides her being such a good friend, I had never been there, so when she asked for my help, of course, I was up for the adventure, and an adventure it was.

She always wanted to retire on the beach but California is too expensive so she bought property in a gated community that was being developed and promoted to Americans. Her mom passed away last year (at 99) and her aunt (at 103) so it was time to go!! Her son trucked our 15 pieces of luggage to the Sacramento airport and we arrived in Managua to a balmy 90 degrees that same evening.

Our destination was Limon Dos, a small village on a dirt road near the gated resort community of Rancho Santana. I found out that Margie had leased her condo for the year to a young couple who worked at the resort so she had rented a house in the village. I thought I was going to be spending my time by the pool, drinking margaritas, watching the sunset, and mingling with the rich and privileged. What I got was reminiscient of my own Peace Corps experience. Our rented house was in the compound of a Nicaraguan extended family, a compound with 4 or 5 other houses, a pulperia (village store), cows, pigs, chickens, horses and SO MANY DOGS. The dirt road was just feet away and with no screens on the windows, everything was covered with a fine layer of dust. I don?t mind eating dust, drinking it, brushing with it but I was told this dust includes fine particles of animal excrement, bugs, and every other pollutant carried along by the wind. This kept our maid busy cleaning every day.

We quickly became part of the family. We were invited to a birthday party, and I was welcomed to watch the women making bread and a man butchering a pig. When we needed anything there was someone there to take care of us. The children, at first shy, became our shadows and loved to follow us around. I was welcomed at church on Sunday; you don?t need to speak or understand Spanish to feel the warmth and passion of faith in a small Pentecostal church. They all helped us with our Spanish and we helped them with English.

Nicaragua is quickly becoming "the new Costa Rica". Resorts and wealthy coastal communities are springing up along this beautiful Pacific coast. Surfers have known about the great surfing for many years and many resorts cater just to them. Rancho Santa is spectacular and I enjoyed spending a Sunday watching the Giants/ Ravens playoff game at the bar, with a beer and nachos at hand, amongst a bunch of hollering fans. I almost forgot I was so far from home!!

The contrasts are huge, but I have found that in most developing countries few people have much wealth; the majority are poor. Nicaragua seems to have a growing middle class which is encouraging; most importantly people are warm, generous, and friendly. I know my friend is very happy to be there.

(Photos: Margie Fincham)

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3000 Feet Per Second

by Jacob Larson, Uganda 2010-2012.
Submitted from several of his journal entries made during service.

Words words words. I don't know how to start. It's becoming the dry season now, daily rains giving way to long hot dusty days. The school is deserted, the teachers and students moving back into the deep village for harvesting. It's quiet.

I've found that my frustrations and cynicisms and despairs pile up over time. Like shoots of tough savanna grass they grow green and fresh in isolation and a fertile disposition, before they turn brown dead and dry as time marches on. Like an unkempt garden these frustrations grow into a prickly thicket, eventually obscuring even tomorrow's limitless promise and possibility. The process is gradual but the effect is cumulative.

But the clearance happens suddenly like a flame front across the plains. Instantaneous. An experience, a good experience, sometimes only a moment, so powerfully good that it wipes out weeks of the thorny nagging underbrush leaving behind only fresh scorched earth. Clean fertile earth to try it all over again. The lows are powerfully low, but the highs are intoxicating in their intensity. Cycles of despair and euphoria.

We finished up the term. And it finished.

Before we as a staff collectively broke huddle for the year we congregated for one last event, the end of year staff party. The event started late and there were long speeches from bloviating politicians (or rather their junior emissaries) and blah blah blah. That's not important. We ate a tremendous spread of fried chicken, cassava, pasta, rice, goat, beef, fish, salad and then Got. It. On.

A sound system was hired and several crates of beer were ordered and we started doing togetherness. In the past I've been hesitant to linger too long at these get-togethers, perhaps equal parts sober concern for my reputation and a middle school boy's fear of the dance floor. The music is a reggeton/afro/acholi quick beat that made me look exactly what you think a white guy dancing with a bunch of African's would look like. Enough to shatter any delicate male ego.

With a single beer's assistance I set sail on those turbulent seas, trying to find paths of rhythms and the crests of bass lines. Mr. Okema saw me swimming (sinking) and came to my aid. "Uh huh, good!" as he choreographed "Now do like this." And I started to get it, kind of. Either that or more likely I picked up another bottle of assistance.

(Digression: I don't know if there's a name for it but the night's weapon of choice was a big 500ml bottle of Senator beer spiked with a shot of Waragi gin. For the home bartender: buy a bottle of the cheapest high octane beer you can find, leave it in the sun for a day or so and then, still warm, open it and add some vodka or gin (any kind that comes in a plastic bottle will do) and drink it. Hooray!)

The tribal dance here is incredible. The Acholi school children win the national dance competitions on the regular and for good reason. Hips neck feet and drums in a flurry of coordinated contortions and culture. It's a joy to live in this region and witness these things. What would those bored screen addled American suburbanites give to have a culture like this, all they own?

So there I was. We were. The syncopated bouncing mob. Boozy, happy, dancing. Gaining confidence and BAC I was beginning to surf the lines of music. First was the school secretary Filda, maternal, unusually exuberant, though characteristically dignified as she approached and bounced and danced, circling around ululating. She flipped off back into the mass of now sweating bodies but she had opened the floodgates. Some recently graduated A level students, staffers, teachers, wives of teachers, children of teachers, students of children of wives of teachers (just kidding) all had a go at me.

One young woman came at me gale force in a hurricane of confidence, hips and vitality. A thick woman in an ankle length dress and covered shoulders who radiated a sexuality more fierce than her thin designer jean gym toned counterparts in college bars across America. She was a force. FORCE. I've never felt anything like it.

As she trailed away she glanced back over her shoulder looking like "I just launched you into outer space, huh." Raised eyebrows and a noiseless whistle was my only reply. Because I had already torn past the moon and Mars and was zipping by Neptune.

At three thousand feet per second.

As I made the solitary walk home from the party, head still buzzing from cheap alcohol and the peculiar electricity that I imagine is only felt among the flirtatious youth, I realized that this had been the best party I had ever attended. It wasn't the food, the dancing, the drinking though they all played their part. It was the sense that I had finally found the people around me and that they had found me.

For one night we punted everything out the window and just became people. People with faces and fingers and toes. I didn't feel like a white guy, an American, a math teacher, any of that. I felt together. and just like that weeks of frustration were razed to the ground and I get to start fresh all over again.

Two days later and I'm still glowing. I chased off three people who thought I was away and had come to rob my house. I fished a dead rancid rotting lizard out of my sofa cushions when I noticed the horrible smell. I ate beans and rice for three hundred and eightieth sixth time. But I don't care. I love it here. The highs tower above the lows.

The next morning I woke up early and went to get a cup of milk tea and a plate of cassava. I saw a co-reveler from the night before. He politely inquired about the status of my hangover (incredibly non-existent) before, like a proud father, adding, "You learned a lot last night."

And I was like "yeah."

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Waste Not, Want Not

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer makes a difference in the food industry

by Neal Hammond, Belize 1971-74

Chances are you don't give a whole lot of thought to rice bran. But this "waste product" actually has a host of important uses-and one Returned Peace Corps Volunteer has made his career discovering them.

In 1971, I noticed an announcement asking for Peace Corps Volunteers.

I applied and was immediately invited to become a Peace Corps Volunteer and work in British Honduras (the name changed to Belize on the day I arrived) as a Public Health Nutritionist, working directly under the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health.

My task was to work with the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Education in developing food and nutrition policy for the country, including determining the levels of malnutrition among schoolchildren. One of my assignments was to survey local providers of food, which led me to Bevis' Big Fall Ranch.

In the mid 1960's, the Bevis family moved from California to Belize, began clearing and farming 100,000 acres along the Belize River, and built a rice mill. This farm and mill made Belize a net exporter of rice to Central America and the Caribbean. During a visit to the Ranch, Chuck Bevis told me about all the rice bran his mill was producing and how they had no use for it.

There is nothing a Peace Corps Volunteer likes as much as a challenge. And thus began my forty-year interest in, of all things, rice bran.

After leaving the Peace Corps I held government public health and nutrition positions in Arizona, as a research technologist for the California Milling Corporation, and as managing chemist and group leader with the Peavey Company (now a division of ConAgra). Due to my interest in Central America, and concerned with providing high- protein food for hungry children, I served as a consultant for eight years in Honduras, formulating and producing baby foods, cereals, baked goods, and other consumer foods.

In 1992, I co-founded RIBUS, Inc. a food ingredient company based on the principles of sustainability and utilization of "green" technology, which I have since patented with my friend Jim Peirce and his son Steve, now the company president. Located in St. Louis, RIBUS (Rice Business U.S.) has become the global leader in rice-based alternatives to chemistry lab-sounding ingredients and is celebrating 20 years of operations this summer. Named the 2011 Missouri Agriculture Exporter of the Year last January, we produce non-genetically modified (non-GMO) natural, organic, and gluten-free rice based ingredients for leading global producers in the food, beverage, and dietary supplement sectors.

Now the holder of numerous U.S. and international patents, RIBUS uses rice bran and hulls from U.S. farms to make a variety of ingredients that serve many functions. For example, the ingredients emulsify (bind oil and water), carry flavors, help dry ingredients flow freely, and increase output of extruded cereals, snacks, and pasta. Use of the ingredients results in "clean labels" (meaning free from food additives such as preservatives), as well as processing efficiency, output increases, reduced breakage, and added yields which also brings about reduced cost-of-goods and increased profits.

Rooted in my Peace Corps experience, RIBUS is founded on the basic tenets of environmental sustainability. Our technology enables us to use the "waste" bran and hulls to ensure that 100 percent of the rice crop can be used for human consumption. Approximately 40 percent of all RIBUS ingredients are certified organic, making this the fastest growing segment of our company's products.

RIBUS' global sales of Nu-RICE, Nu-BAKE, Nu-FLOW, and Nu-FLAC, rice extracts and rice concentrates have increased consistently over the years despite the recession, often with double to triple digit annual growth increases. Strict regulations and global consumer interest in non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, natural, kosher, hypoallergenic, and vegan products have fueled the growth, resulting in food manufacturers around the world reformulating or creating new products to meet the rising demand. We now supply high-quality ingredients in more than 40 countries.

"Shoppers are concerned about chemistry lab-sounding synthetic ingredients and are looking for 'clean labels' saying, 'lf I can't say it, why should I eat it?'" notes Steve Peirce. "Using RIBUS' ingredients, processors and brands can maintain the same ingredient functionality, but remove words such as silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, and sodium stearoyllactylate from the product ingredient label, meet organic standards, and negate the need for allergy declarations."

And to think it all started in Belize.

Neal Hammond (Belize 71-74) is Technical Director for RIBUS,Inc. He has worked in the food industry in California, Minnesota, Honduras, Louisiana and Tennessee, has developed more than 300 products found on supermarket shelves. He holds ten patents.

–from Worldview Magazine, Fall 2012, Vol. 25, no.3, p 26.



RIBUS (RIce Business US) was founded in 1992 by Neal Hammond and the father/son team of Jim and Steve Peirce to create high quality value-added "functional ingredients" for the food, beverage, and supplement industry using by-products of the rice industry. The company has become the global leader of rice-based organic and natural rice alternatives to "chemistry lab"-sounding synthetic ingredients including rice extracts and rice concentrates. Our business is driven by today's increasingly health-conscious and label-reading consumers and the processors who need to meet their demands.

The RIBUS team developed patented technology to use the by-products from rice mills throughout the U.S. rice producing states of Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas for use in value-added food and dietary supplements. Its ingredients can be used for emulsification, extrusion, and anti-caking or as flavor-carrying agents.

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Trip to Baja: A Coveted Item
from the Silent Auction!

from Sharon Kennedy, Thailand 1989-91.

On Saturday, February 2, nine SDPCA members spent a wonderful afternoon in Baja. The excursion was one of the auction items at the holiday party in December. The seven highest bidders received a spot on the trip led by Sharon Kennedy and Jerry Sodomka. We met in the parking lot of Pancho Villa supermarket in City Heights, piled into two cars, and headed across the border. In no time at all, we were at Splash, a seaside restaurant about 40 miles south of the border. We ate outside and enjoyed tacos, burritos, and yes, even a few cervezas.

It was a lovely lunch that included dolphins swimming by. After lunch, we headed to Rosarito and visited the Rosarito Beach Hotel, walked along the beach, and did some shopping. A great time was had by all! And the border wait wasn't too long...
(Photos by Amber Lung)

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Cowles Mountain
SDPCA Super-Sunday Hike — 2/3

from Michele Lagoy, Togo, 1988-90

Super Bowl Sunday started out with some of our members hiking up Cowles Mountain. Two, four- legged critters joined us. Although crowded, the weather was cool and the clear air allowed for a 360 degree view of San Diego. It was nice meeting new members and their guests; Celeste and Frances with her dog, among them.

Our walk and talk allowed us to reminisce about Peace Corps experiences focusing on the walking we did as Volunteers. Several of us had lunch at Souplantation.

(below) Hikers: Celeste, Bill, Michele, Frances and Frances' dog! (Photo by Bill Meyers)

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"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."
– George Carlin

President's Message

Older and Wiser

Dear SDPCA Members,

The first week of March is Peace Corps Week. This is a great time to reflect on your service and how it impacted you personally and all of us collectively.

Thanks to the Peace Corps, there are over 250,000 Americans who have lived in another culture and learned another way of life. These 250,000 people are parents, friends, colleagues, teachers, leaders, or neighbors to the rest of America. Either directly through discussions or indirectly by actions, we bring our experience back home and help make the world a little bit smaller and a little bit more understandable.

I think what we all know is that our Peace Corps journey didn't end when we left our country of service – it remains a part of us, part of our identity, and part of the "wiser" as we grow older and wiser.

Thank you for your membership and thank you for your service.

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

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Board Meeting Minutes

January 15, 2013
7:30 pm call to order

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

President – Sharon. Not Present

CFO – Gregg. Balance sheet closed at $13,644

Membership – Ashley. Current paid memberships are low – need to remind all members of renewal dues. Ashley will draft an email to send out to those with expired memberships as a reminder

Fundraising – Carl. Kris offered to head a committee for the coming year to help alleviate fundraising responsibilities. Ashley will include piece in email looking for interested parties to join the fundraising committee

International Support Fund – Celeste. Will do more to advertise. Ashley will bring business cards to future events to advertise

Newsletter – Heather. Next newsletter – March 1

Holiday Party was a great success!

Sat., Jan. 12 – River clean up: Courtney
Sun., Feb. 3 – Cowles Mountain Hike: Michele Lagoy. Celeste will send out evite for the hike
Thur., Feb. 21 – Happy Hour: Heather
Sun. Mar. 3 – Ronald McDonald House: Celeste
Wed., Mar. 6 – Nepalese restaurant in La Mesa: Sharon
Thur., April 18 – Happy Hour: Gregg
Sat., May 11 – Annual meeting/potluck – where? Perhaps Mission Trails or Santa Clara Point?

8:22pm Meeting adjourned
Next Meeting: Tues, Feb 12

February 12, 2013
7:21 pm call to order

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

President – Sharon. Board members to notify Sharon if interesting in continuing on board. Earth Day is back on and we'll be looking to Marjory for a Peace Corps booth

CFO – Gregg. Balance sheet settled at $14,391.64. CASS money was spent for Ronald McDonald event. ISF fund is at $415.70. How are we publicizing at events? We need to start passing out our ISF business cards. Celeste and Courtney will draft a new application and intro letter for the website.

Membership – Ashley. Sharon and Ashley will be refining the process, and will let Carl and Gregg know. Thus far, we have more than 60 paid members

Fundraising – Carl. There is one remaining outside balance from the Holiday Party. Reflections on the silent auction: we need a new process to help close out.. Board can close 30 minutes earlier and organize a pay station. Maybe next year we could take debit card payments as well?

International Support Fund – Celeste. Not Present

Newsletter – Heather. Contact Marjory about Earth Day. Next newsletter: March 1

Jan 12 River Clean-up – Courtney: Sadly cancelled due to poor weather
Feb 3 Cowles Mtn hike: Thanks everyone for coming out and enjoying the outdoors!

Thu, Feb 21 – Happy Hour: Heather. The Turquoise Café Europa Bar 6pm. Bring cash. Heather will post to Facebook
Sun Mar 3 – Ronald McDonald House: Celeste. Details TBD
Wed, Mar. 6 – Nepalese restaurant in La Mesa: Sharon. Come celebrate Peace Corps Week!. Number of people TBD
Thu., Apr.18 – Happy Hour: Gregg. Hillcrest Brewery
Sat., May 11 – Annual meeting/potluck AKA annual SDPCA Luau!! Gregg will complete the registration for the beach side rec center. Tentative roasted pig, with RPCVs bringing appetizers and desserts. Contest for best Hawaiian outfit? 12:00-3:00, Rental will be from 11-4


8:25pm Meeting adjourned
Next Meeting: Tues, March 12

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

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I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else; hard work and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't. –Lucille Ball

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Ask Amber

A new column to be written for each newsletter by our very own San Diego Peace Corps Recruiter. Questions? Just Ask Amber!

Q: Who is the best campus recruiter ever?

A: Diana Gomez! As you may have heard, UCSD is ranked 13th in the nation, among large universities, with 70 Volunteers currently serving! Next time you see her, be sure to thank her for her many years of recruitment work at UCSD. She knows how to connect with students, inspire them to serve, and she's a master at keeping students committed through the long application process.

Q: What's up with SDSU? And the other campuses?

A: I'm trying to learn from Diana, and having a recruiter again based in San Diego (as was many years ago), Peace Corps is poised to make more of a splash on all of San Diego's campuses, especially SDSU.

We did get a nice bit of campus press–see: https://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=74076

We are ranked 35, with 36 volunteers currently serving. Impressively, 1,114 Aztec alums are RPCVs. There are also volunteers serving who graduated from USD, CSUSM, and PLNU, but these are smaller universities, and at the time of writing I don't have the stats for these. Bottom line: San Diego definitely has a strong reputation for producing Peace Corps volunteers.

Q: Any RPCVs you want to give thanks to?

A: Sean Anderson has been a huge help to both Diana and myself, at various info sessions and events. Thanks a million, Sean!

Q: Any big recruitment events coming up? (see page 4)

• March 2 – The annual "Volunteer at Any Age" panel–
• March 7 – Peace Corps' Cultural Celebration @ UCSD–

Submit your questions for Amber to newseditor@sdpca.org
–Amber Lung, PC Recruiter, San Diego., alung@peacecorps.gov

Upcoming Nepalese Dinner

WHEN: Wednesday, March 6 at 6pm

WHERE: Himalayan Cuisine in La Mesa (Nepal, Indian, Tibetan Food)
7918 El Cajon Blvd, #P, La Mesa, CA 91941
(near corner Baltimore & El Cajon Blvd, next to 99 Cents Only store)

Join us for a wonderful family style Nepalese dinner!

Please RSVP to sharonkennedya@gmail.com or through the e-vite so we'll have an accurate count for the dinner. We'll pre-order a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes for us all to share. We estimate the meal to be $20 per person.

Please bring cash as we will all pay on one bill. Beer and wine will be available. http://himalayancuisineone.com/


Thanks to those who paid their membership dues at the holiday party in December!

Reminder: please pay your membership dues ($20) for 2013! You can pay at any SDPCA function, or mail a check with membership form to:

SDPCA, c/o Financial Officer
P.O. Box 26565,
San Diego, CA 92126

You can download, print and fill in the membership form.

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New Members

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 coordinator with information for you about San Diego and more. Let us hear from all of you!

  • Jessica Barnette, Ukraine, 2010-2012
  • Vivienne Chao, Mozambique, 2010-2012
  • Michael Eilert, Kenya, 1985-1987
  • Robert Gonzales, Samoa, 2010-2012
  • Carrie Hoffman, Tanzania, 2009-2010
  • Amber Lung, Namibia, 2005-2009
  • Phyllis Murton, Philippines, 2011-2012
  • Ann Pasquinelly, Uganda, 2010-2012
  • Mary Poteet, South Korea. 1974-1976
  • Angelito Quijano, China, 2008-2012
  • Brian Stock, Uganda, 2010-2012
  • William Stumbaugh, Dominican Republic, 1968-1970
  • Kaye Thomspon, Lesotho, 2008-2010

–Ashley Smallwood, Ecuador, 2004-07

Nobel Laureate
to visit San Diego

Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women's rights advocate will visit the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, USD, for two very special events on March 13, 2013.

The 9th annual International Women's Day Breakfast ($50 pp and up), with proceeds supporting the Women PeaceMakers Program, will feature Ms. Gbowee as a special guest speaker.

Ms. Gbowee will also present the next lecture in the Distinguished Lecture Series, addressing the USD and San Diego community that evening.

For the lecture (free but RSVP required) contact:

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Local Member is Book Author

The Mountain School
by Greg Alder, Lesotho 2003-2006

Publisher: Greg Adler
2013 266 pp
pbk: $13 kindle: $5
ISBN-10: 0988682206

One of our very own San Diego RPCVs has published a book about his years in Lesotho. The book is something of a culmination of the Third Goal of Peace Corps. The book's title is The Mountain School, and you can buy it on Amazon:


Below is a synopsis of the book:

"The Kingdom of Lesotho is a mountainous enclave in southern Africa, and like mountain zones throughout the world it is isolated, steeped in tradition, and home to few outsiders. The people, known as Basotho, are respected in the area as the only tribe never to be defeated by European colonizers.

"Greg Alder arrives in Tšoeneng as the village's first foreign resident since 1966. In that year, the Canadian priest who had been living there was robbed and murdered in his quarters. Set up as a Peace Corps teacher at the village's secondary school, Alder finds himself incompetent in so many unexpected ways. How do you keep warm in this place where it snows but there is no electricity? For how long can dinners of cornmeal and leaves sustain you?

Tšoeneng is a world apart from his home in America. But he persists in becoming familiar with the new lifestyle; he learns to speak the strange local tongue and is eventually invited to participate in initiation rites. Yet even as he seems accepted into the Tšoeneng fold, he sees how much of an outsider he will always remain—and perhaps want to remain.

"The Mountain School is insightful, candid, at times adaptive and at times rebellious. It is the ultimate tale of the transplant."

You can read more about the author and his experiences here: http://gregalder.com/WP/?page_id=2

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SDPCA Fiscal year
April 2011 – March 2012

from Gregg Pancoast, SDPCA CFO, Costa Rica 1985-86.

Contributions $115 2.5%
Entertainment Books net $580 12.9%
Calendar Sales net $340 7.5%
Membership Dues $1,820 40.4%
Special Events $1,655 36.7%
total $4,510  
Community Action $360 10.0%
Int'l Support Funds $1,370 38.0%
Newsletter $490 13.6%
Special Events $1,224 33.9%
Administration $165 4.6%
total $3,609  
Surplus $901  

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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, Amber Lung, Marjory Clyne, Johnathan Pearson, Michele Lagoy, Jacob Larson, Celeste Coleman, Gregg Pancoast, Neal Hammond, Tony Barclay, Patricia Wand

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