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Dear SDPCA and Friends-
  Happy New Year! We have lots of fun events planned for you all in the coming year and look forward to seeing each of you!  SDPCA typically has 3-4 community service projects each year - but we are always open to new ideas.  If you have an idea for a project, please let a board member know.
  Also, a huge thank you to all of you and to all of our donors for making our holiday party last month the most successful yet!  We raised money for the NPCA Ebola relief fund, as well as for0 our SDPCA general fund which allows us to bring you great events each month.
  All the best to you and yours.  If you need any ideas on New Year's Resolutions - how about connecting with RPCVs in San Diego? or how about joining the SDPCA? ($20, CHEAP!!) See you soon.

In solidarity,
Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth
SDPCA President
Guatemala 2007-09
Note from the editor: Last issue, the article "Return to Nepal IV, 2014" was written solely by Brenda Terry-Hahn.  We apologize for the mis-attribution of authorship.
ISF Update
By Celeste Coleman
Ukraine (2005 - 07)

At the holiday party, SDPCA members voted by sticker to fund an Improved Ovens project in Nicaragua in the amount of $299.62. The project is spearheaded by PCV Mariel Stotts of Texas. The original request on the Peace Corps Partnership Project website was for $784.62, with the community contributing $260.13. SDPCA provided the additional money needed to fully fund the project.

Mariel's counterpart, Ana, and an oven she built at the local church
With the funds raised online and in partnership with the community in which she lives, Mariel will help replace 12 inefficient wood-fueled ovens currently in use by women entrepreneurs with an improved and more efficient design. The women selected to benefit from this project must fulfill these requirements:
1. Must have a business selling their own handmade baked goods
2. Must attend all educational sessions provided
3. Must contribute 25% of the cost of the oven
4. Must construct their improved oven.

The delicious breads Ana and Mariel made in the improved oven
Through the previously mentioned series of educational sessions, women will gain knowledge of the environmental, health, and financial benefits of the improved oven. By replacing the ovens currently in use, this project will greatly enhance the health and economic situation of the users and their family members, and reduce the amount of wood used as fuel. In order to offset potential environmental impacts of this project, each funding recipient will plant a small tree nursery.
Bike Ride to Coronado
By Victor Cuevas
Lesotho (2008-10)
On November 9th, a group of rogue RPCV’s decided on a bike trek up and down the southern coast of San Diego.  What was in store for them was surprising!  It seemed like your typical SDPCA event on this beautiful Sunday morning making up this rag tag group but we were joined by a few others to experience the long ride up and down the Silver Strand.  Half way through, it had become a race.  The courageous rider Victor Cuevas pulled up ahead in the pack and set the stage of expectation, but it wouldn’t last for long.  His energy waned as the others; Amber, Bill, and Sonny advanced and led the pack back to the ferry landing in Coronado.  In less than two hours, the ride was over fulfilling the day’s mission to enjoy another day under San Diego’s sun.  The ride ended with a visit to Coronado’s Brewing Company over drinks and a meal.  The ride was a joy coupled with amazing RPCV’s and other friends who dared to ride with our crazy group!  Who will be next to join us on our future rides?  Will it be you and are you daring to try?  Come join us next time!
Holiday Party
By Karen Lindquist
Romania (2004-07)
Lesotho (2008-10)

  Another rousing holiday gathering and silent auction!  This year’s party at the Sherman Heights Community Center brought a crowd of nearly one hundred RPCVs, family and friends together.  Glenn Blumhorst, President of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), was our special guest.
  A delicious international buffet feast included appetizers, salads, main dishes, desserts and drinks – our Peace Corps potluck always offers a variety of cuisine for everyone to enjoy.
The 2014 holiday luncheon from 11:30 to 2:30 included plenty of friendly socializing, bidding on a myriad of silent auction items, a slideshow featuring SDPCA events during the past year and an award presentation to our own Marjory Clyne for her tireless advocacy work for Peace Corps.  This could not have gone off so well without the superb hosting of the event by SDPCA President, Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth.
  Returned Peace Corps-Liberia volunteers Charlene Espinoza, Eugene Wickett, and Rebecca Martinez offered insights to the difficulties of ending service early and being evacuated from your country of service.
  Also, Renee Cooper, from Partners in Health Engage, provided an informative slide program and talk about the Ebola disease.  Fifteen percent of our 2014 silent auction proceeds will benefit the NPCA Ebola Relief Fund.
  2014’s Silent Auction set another all-time record, earning over $2,000.00. These funds help support community service activities by SDPCA members and help support projects of current PCVs in the field.  A special thank you to Karen Lindquist who organized this year’s silent auction with assistance from Lynne Graham, Kris Slanina, Lennox Miller and Vic Cuevas.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to and bid on silent auction items.
  Thank you to Marjory Clyne and Brenda Hahn for hosting the welcome table  Additional thanks go to all those who helped with our party organization and set-up, handling t-shirt  and calendar sales and membership and silent auction payments and the extra helping hands who put everything away and worked to leave the Sherman Heights Center in spic ‘n’ span condition.
Good Wishes to everyone for the New Year-2015!
The Experiment in International Living
Article sent to SDPCA by Marni Goodman

   The Experiment in International Living ( provides summer abroad programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country. The Experiment in International Living has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932.  Sargent Shriver, the architect of the Peace Corps, had a life-changing experience as a participant on one of the first Experiment in International Living programs. Two years after his program, he returned to serve as an Experiment group leader to Germany and Austria, and he later served as a group leader to France. These experiences helped Sargent Shriver craft the founding principles of the Peace Corps. He ultimately invited Experiment president Gordon Boyce to help train the first Peace Corps volunteers to Gabon and Pakistan, which was the start of a deep, decades-long partnership between the Peace Corps, The Experiment in International Living, and World Learning, the parent organization of The Experiment.
   Today, The Experiment offers summer programs for high school students in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Participants explore the host country through hands-on experiences in local communities and through the lens of a specific theme. Programs are designed to equip students not only with essential cultural and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that helps them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment Difference
- A distinguished 80-plus year history of innovative leadership in international, cross-cultural programs for youth
- A thematic focus on the environment; sustainability and food systems; cultural discovery; peace, politics, and human rights; or the arts
- Homestays and/or other immersive community experiences designed to provide meaningful and firsthand experience living in another culture
- A strong focus on health, safety, and security. Programs follow a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the wellbeing of all participants while they engage with the host culture and local communities.
- Small and diverse participant groups—typically composed of 15 students from very different geographic, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds

Apply online for summer 2015 programs at
Should you have any questions, please contact The Experiment at 1-800-345-2929 or at

Group Leaders
The Experiment in International Living is hiring exceptional professionals to serve as International Group Leaders for our immersive high school summer study abroad programs in 2015. Group Leaders guide 3, 4, & 5 week programs with groups of about 15 students on programs in over 20 countries worldwide. 
Ideal leader candidates have in-depth experience working with young people and living abroad, are passionate about intercultural and experiential learning, and have foreign language proficiency. Leaders are tasked with helping their students integrate into local cultures and host families, conducting group excursions and guiding discussions, and ensuring students’ safety and well-being.  More information about our 2015 International Group Leader positions, including the application and hiring timeline, will be available online at  Questions can be directed to Maura  Walsh, Group Leadership Manager, at

SIT Graduate Institute 
SIT Graduate Institute began as a training center for early Peace Corps volunteers, and has maintained a close partnership with Peace Corps for more than 50 years. Today, SIT Graduate Institute’s interculturally-focused master's degrees and certificate programs help students pursue meaningful careers in sustainable development, international education, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). 

RPCVs and students interested in pursuing a master’s degree at SIT are eligible for the following 
- Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program: SIT students who are selected to be Paul D. Coverdell 
Fellows receive a $5,000 tuition scholarship plus room and board at the SIT campus in Vermont during the first academic year.
- Master’s International Program: Students who wish to complete Peace Corps service to fulfill SIT’s practicum requirement are eligible for a 50 percent scholarship applicable to this portion of the program through Master’s International.
- National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Scholarship: SIT’s partnership with NPCA was established to recognize the longstanding ties between SIT and the Peace Corps. Members of the NPCA who have one year or more of significant Peace Corps–related experience are eligible to apply; this includes Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and NPCA staff. Several competitive awards of $10,000 are made each year.

For more information about SIT Graduate Institute, our programs, and how we partner with Peace Corps, please visit our website at


Please welcome our newest SDPCA Members.  We look forward to seeing them at an event soon!

Lee Grant
Vanuatu (2011-13)
Mourad Mjahed
Morocco (2011-13)



Sarah Fuhrmann
Guatemala (2007-09)

Vice President
Colleen Garrett
Cape Verde (2001-03)

Gregg Pancoast
Costa Rica (1985-86)

Ashley Smallwood
Ecuador (2004-07)

Sharon Kennedy
Thailand (1989-91)

Karen Lindquist
Romania (2004-07)
Lesotho (2008-10)
Kristen Slanina
Cameroon (1995-98)

Heather Ginsky
Peru (2010-11)
Lynne Graham
India (1967-69)

International Support Fund
Celeste Coleman
Ukraine (2005-07)
Lennox Miller
Zambia (2003-05)

Victor Cuevas
Lesotho (2008-10)
Sara Norko
Philippines (2007-09)



Don Beck
Bolivia (1967-69)

New Members Chair
Brenda Terry-Hahn
Nepal (1964-66)
By Lynne Graham
India (1967-69)

For the New Year, we're listing the favorite thrift stores of some of our local RPCVs!

Lynne Graham: Baras on University in Hillcrest
Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth: Cerebral Palsy Thrift Store on Garnet in PB
Sharon Kennedy: Thrift Korral on Glen St in La Mesa (Supports the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Hospice)
Brenda Hahn: AmVets (3 in SD County), DAV (3 in SD County), Goodwill (35 in SD County)
Heather Ginsky: Excited about the opening of Home Start Thrift Store on Adams in Normal Heights - opening in 2015.
Kris Slanina: Goodwill on Rosecrantz in Point Loma
Marjory Clyne: Mission Outreach Thrift Shop on Adams in Normal Heights - all profits go to benefit overseas missions
Career Fair in Logan Heights - Opportunity to Represent the SDPCA!

  BAME Community Development Corporation, a local non-profit organization will be hosting a Career Fair in Logan Heights on January 15th from 10am - 1pm.  Their mission is to strengthen residents and businesses in Greater Logan Heights neighborhoods through community empowerment, education, economic growth, and housing development.  They are looking for a Peace Corps representative for their career fair.  If interested, please contact Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth at
More info on BAME here.
By Amber Lung
Namibia (2005-09)

  Special 2015 Peace Corps Week events are being planned for the evening of March 2 at UCSD, from 12:30-2pm on March 3 at USD, and from 4-5:30pm on March 3 at SDSU.  More information to follow for the UCSD event.  The USD panel of RPCV faculty/staff will be held in the University Center, and the SDSU panel of RPCV faculty/staff will be held in Career Services, which is in Student Services East.  We would love your support!
  Special thanks to Tina, Judy, Bob, Lee, and Karen, for sharing holiday stories at the holiday story slam on December 13, and to Sean and Lynne for supporting us at the event, as well. 
Double thanks to Tina, for recruiting her father and sister, who joined us for a family & friends "fire side chat" discussion.  It was a rich session, filled with humor and honest discussion about service, and was truly a delightful (official) final recruitment event for me.
  On that note, December 30 was my final day as the San Diego Field Based Recruiter.  Thank you for supporting recruitment all these years, and for welcoming me into your community.  It's been a true pleasure to recruit in San Diego for almost five years, and to live in San Diego for almost two and a half of those years.  I will miss you.
  Until a new recruiter is hired, LA recruiters will cover major fairs and events.  I'm sure the new recruiter will bring in new energy that, in combination with all your support, will take San Diego recruitment to the next level! 
Happy New Year to you and your family, 
Please join us at the new brewery Fall Brewing Company from 5-7pm on January 7th.  The Brewery is located at 4542 30th Street.  We will have a reserved space when you come in, but you can order up front and they accept cash or card.  The Brewery does not serve food but there are sometimes food trucks in the area!  Parking can be a little difficult, so plan accordingly for parking time. 


Join the SDPCA for a hike, clean-up, and Somali lunch January 24th. We will meet at 9 am in Azalea Park (City Heights) and hike through Manzanita Canyon. Bring a bag with you as we will be picking up trash along the way. This is a  beautiful, wide canyon and we will point out some native and invasive species. At the eastern end of the canyon we will shuttle back to our cars and head to Fatuma at 4869 University Ave (near 49th Street). Lunch  will cost about $10-15 each.  Look for an e-vite for this event in early January.


Iraqi International Dinner, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  Restaurant in El Cajon to be determined.  Details to follow in an E-vite prior to the event.



We want YOU to plan an event!
Do you have a great idea for an event?  SDPCA welcomes your ideas.  You do the planning and the board will send out your Evite!  Contact
if you would like to plan an event. 
November 4, 2014

Attendance: Ashley Smallwood, Lennox Miller, Gregg Pancoast, Lynne Graham, Sharon Kennedy, Colleen Garrett, Heather Ginsky, Sarah Fuhrmann, Celeste Coleman, Victor Cuevas, Karen Lindquist

Call to order: 7:10pm

- Update on 1 WOW
- NPCA Conference 2015

- Restricted/unrestricted funds
- Spent $2800 unrestricted
- 15% of silent auction proceeds to go to NPCA Ebola Fund
- New Members

- Two inquiries, one fully funded already
- Outreach events

- Updated SDPCA's info with NPCA

Report on Past Events
Upcoming Events

Meeting adjourned
Next meeting January 6th
(No December meeting)

* Full meeting minutes available on request
The San Diego Peace Corps Association is a non-profit corporation of returned Peace Corps volunteers and others interested in world peace.  Its mission is: To build and maintain an active membership of RPCVs, their families and friends; to support and inform RPCV’s and local communities through social, educational, and community service activities: to provide funding for PCV projects overseas; and to influence the direction of Peace Corps through advocacy.
Pacific Waves is published bimonthly by the SDPCA which is fully responsible for its content and is a very diverse group culturally, religiously, and politically.  We welcome the opinions of ALL our members and endeavor to publish as many differing opinions as we can.  Except for copyrighted material, articles may be reprinted without permission with credit to the SDPCA.  Contributions are encouraged.  Please send to Editor, SDPCA, PO Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or email:
Copyright © 2015 San Diego Peace Corps Association, All rights reserved.

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