Join us for a hike at Torrey Pines on January 22!
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Hello SDPCA and Happy New Year!
I hope that you all enjoyed your holidays and thanks to all who attended our holiday party.  For those who missed it (bummer!), you can read all about it later on in this edition.
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  I would encourage us all to create a new resolution, right now. It’s ok - it’s not cheating to start a few days into the new year!  Do you remember your Peace Corps goals? Third goal: To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Now, more than ever, seems a good time to keep this in mind. As RPCVs, we have a uniquely global perspective on humanity - and it seems a prudent time to share that with others.
Hope we will see you all soon at some upcoming events! Please watch for an evite in your inbox.
In Peace,
Heather Ginsky
SDPCA President
Peru (2010-11)
Please don’t forget to renew (or pay for the first time) your SDPCA membership dues! It’s only $20 for the year and you get access to all the great events we have planned throughout the year! If you COSed in the past 12 months, your membership is free, but please sign up so we know how to contact you!  Whether you plan to pay by check or online, click here to start the process:

We still have the beautiful 2017 Peace Corps calendars for sale!  We can send them to you by mail if needed. Please contact Tina at to make an order. $15 each.

Hike Torrey Pines State Park!
Sunday, January 22

Meet at 9:30am at the Carmel Valley Road Park and Ride (exit Carmel Valley Road from the 5 freeway) to carpool to the state park.  Bring water and sack lunch- we’ll have a picnic before we leave.  

Questions? Lynne Graham at


Dinner at Pomegranate, Russian/Georgian Cuisine
Wednesday, February 8 at 6:30pm
2312 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego

Join us for a fun evening at the delicious Pomegranate Restaurant in the North Park/University Heights area!

Price: $24 per person includes meal, tax, and tip. Drinks are extra. Let us know if you want vegetarian or meat when  you pay for your spot. Space is limited.

Prepayment is required. Please pay by February 5 so we can provide an accurate headcount to the restaurant. Use the secure PayPal check out link at to reserve your spot!

Valentine’s Day Happy Hour
Tuesday, February 14 at 6pm

AleSmith Brewery
9990 AleSmith Court, San Diego, CA 92126

Join us to sample a wide range of thirst-quenching AleSmith creations, nosh on fancy grilled cheese from Mad Crunch (a food truck), and relax with your fellow RPCVs in a stress-free environment.  Most importantly, there will be NO speed dating, just in case you were hesitant to attend. We hope to see you there!


Save the Date for SDPCA’s First Annual Taste the World Event!  Saturday, March 4 at 6pm.  
Advocacy Update
By Marjory Clyne, SDPCA Advocacy Coordinator

Are we prepared? A question we hear regularly these days is how is National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) preparing for a new president-elect, a new Congress, and the lowest number of RPCVs elected to Capitol Hill in more than forty years? And, more importantly, what can members of the Peace Corps community do to help?

With the help of Jonathan Pearson and JM Ascienzo, Advocacy Coordinators across the country addressed these questions in a conference call last month. You can imagine how lively that call was and how urgent our response must be. NPCA is doing its part: they have met with the Trump transition team to remind them of the importance of Peace Corps especially during this time of global uncertainty. That includes advocating for an increase in funding for Peace Corps in the 2018 budget.

However, the most important action we can take is at the local level. We need each of our 5 San Diego County legislators to hear from their RPCV constituents. Being in their offices here in San Diego is best, so I will be working on setting up appointments; stay tuned.

And there are many letter writing campaigns you can take part in right from your home, starting now:
click here to send a message to President-Elect Trump and share why the Peace Corps matters.    
Recipe of the Month: Salat Vinaigrette (Beet Salad) 
Submitted by Genny Lynkiewicz, Uzbekistan

1 pound beets
1 pound carrots
1 pound potatoes
2 large dill pickles, diced
1 onion, minced
1 (8 oz) can of peas or black-eyed peas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dill (optional)
½ teaspoon salt

⦁    Place the beets into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes. Boil for another 10 minutes, then cover the pot and leave overnight.
⦁    The next day, peel and dice the beets, carrots, and potatoes into small, even pieces. Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in the pickles, onion, peas, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Do you have a recipe from your country of service to share? Send to Sharon at .
SDPCA Volunteers at the Food Bank

SDPCA members gathered on Thursday, January 5 to volunteer at the San Diego Food Bank. Great job!

Click here to see photos from the community service event:   

SDCPA Annual Holiday Party and Potluck

On December 10, 2016 close to 100 San Diego RPCVs, family, and friends joined together for an unforgettable SDPCA holiday party. Starting with our amazing silent auction, folks could browse and bid on items for the first hour and a half of the event before our yummy potluck luncheon. HUGE thanks to Karen Lindquist and Lynne Graham along with their silent auction committee for putting it all together. Also, to all of our wonderful members who donated items. We couldn’t do it without you!
RPCVs were then invited to get their lunch in groups based on year of service. As we all enjoyed a delicious lunch, conversation, and friendship, the holiday program began. This year’s program was focused on how we, as human beings, are called to help others and what we can do to make that happen when we see injustice in this world.

SDPCA member Sara Szunyogh spoke about her experience with the Haitian displaced persons crisis in San Diego.  She also collected donations brought by members.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, please contact Sara at 
440-263-9711 or
Then, SDPCA member Andrea Sorce spoke about refugee concerns here in San Diego. Andrea works at the International Rescue Committee. Learn more at
Afterward, SDPCA members read testimonials of injustice and harassment and how people stepped in to help. Finally, we wrapped up with a fun game that included groups having to guess a country in the world based on clues they were given.  Surprise twist - the clues came mostly from the 2016 Peace Corps calendar!  
As a fundraiser, this holiday party was the most successful yet, raising almost $5,000 for SDPCA and the International Support Fund (ISF). The ISF is used to support projects for currently serving PCVs. Know anyone currently serving in the Peace Corps?  Have them contact us to see if we might be able to help fund a project! Thanks to all who purchased items and paid their membership. Welcome to our new members!

Thanks for helping to make the holiday party a huge success. We hope to see you there next year!

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