Check out our updated website at:  Note that we can now pay membership dues and sign up for the newsletter online!!
Don't forget!! Peace Corps Connect will be in Berkley this year - June 5&6

Hello SDPCA Members & Friends,

It has been a couple of months since I wrote you last - my family and I took an amazing adventure to New Zealand and Fiji. Thank you to all of the board members (especially Colleen Garrett) who stepped up in my absence and carried on as if I never left!  One thing about taking a long trip, is that coming home can feel so good.  We are pleased to be back in San Diego, and happy to make it back to town in time for the last few events of our board year!  
As you know we have our Annual Party coming up on May 9, this year's theme is Country Round Up - yeee haw!  We look forward to seeing you there.  At this gathering we also elect next year's board members, vote on our next projects to fund, play fun games (including the ever popular Geo-Quiz, thanks to member Brenda Hahn) and of course, eat a delicious potluck lunch and have some great conversation!  See more details later in the newsletter.
We are also always looking for great ideas for future events as well as people to help plan them! If you have an idea please let a board member know.  See you on the 9th!
In solidarity,
Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth
**Think you are a geo-genius?**
What Central American country was once a province that was part of Colombia?
Answer is somewhere in this issue!

Please join us in welcoming our new Peace Corps recruiter, DuVale Riley! (DuVale is in the green shirt for those who don't know him yet).  Congratulations DuVale!!

*An update from the recipient of an International Support Fund grant from the SDPCA
By: Arianna Jesansis
Paraguay (current PCV)
Arianna Jesanis, a graduate from the University of San Diego in 2012, is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay.  From February 9-12, 2015 Arianna coordinated Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) in Carapegua, Paraguay for the 4th year in a row.  Camp GLOW is a four day leadership camp for girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen.  All the activities are planned around leadership, gender equality and women's empowerment, self-esteem, health, aspirations and goal setting, volunteerism, and having fun!
This year 47 girls from all around the country attended the camp with Peace Corps volunteers serving in their respective communities.  They shared life experiences, listened to the advice of successful Paraguayan women, and were empowered to work with volunteers in their communities to better their lives, and the lives of their families and neighbors.  After the camp ended every girl was given a manual with all the information they received throughout the camp to help remind them and inspire them to continue female empowerment work.
Thanks to donors from the San Diego Peace Corps Association, girls all over Paraguay are prepared and inspired to live happy and healthy lives.  Vamos chicas!!
*ISF grant voted on at 2014 Holiday Party

Improved Ovens Update
(An ISF Update)
By: Mariel Stotts
Nicaragua (current PCV)
Hello Esteemed Donors!

My counterpart and I have made some big strides in our Improved Oven Project!
In order to show you more photos of the events, I am sending you a link to my recent blog post. Please check it out!
I hope you are as excited as we are to see the developments in the project. I thank you once again for your donation. You can be sure that this project is not only providing necessary materials to 15 local bakers, but a sense of pride and leadership to my very special counterpart who is making me proud!

Mariel Stotts 
Environmental Education Promoter
San Rafael del Norte, Jinotega
Peace Corps Nicaragua

Babycakes Happy Hour
By: Gregg Pancoast
Costa Rica (1985-86)
Happy Birthday Gregg!
On March 20th a group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered at Babycakes on 5th Avenue in Hillcrest to celebrate the end of the week, the beginning of spring and the joy of alcoholic beverages with salty, fat-rich munchies.  A good group was present and fun was had by all.
A couple of RPCVs who'd served in Nicaragua and were recipients of SDPCA International Support Funds joined us -- and we are looking forward to hearing their project stories here on these very pages some day! Also present was an RPCV from Vanuatu who talked about the recent cyclone that hit that island republic in the South Pacific. Always good to see you folks!
Ronald McDonald House
By: Celeste Coleman
Ukraine (2005-07)
On the afternoon and evening of April 11, 2015, members of SDPCA as well as some friends and family members, made life just a little easier for around 160 parents and siblings of hospitalized children at the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego. We worked in the kitchen and serving area from 3:30pm- 8:30pm as we prepared taco salad, quesadillas, and chicken tortilla soup for the crowd.
It was great to talk to the residents of the House and know that we were helping to encourage them during a difficult time in their lives. We got some very positive feedback about our efforts, and can’t wait to go back again later this year! For more information about Ronald McDonald House and the work they do, visit their website at
Earth Day
By: Victor Cuevas
Lesotho (2008-10)
and Marjory Clyne
Samoa (1972-74)
Earth Day 2015 was a great success again thanks to all the SDPCA members (and friends) who helped set up early in the morning, took time to engage with all the people who stopped at our booth, and of course those who stayed to the end to help take everything down.
I hope you had as much fun as I did; see you next year!  Coordinated by amazing RPCV’s Marjory Clyne and Victor Cuevas, the SDPCA set up a booth at the Earth Fair to distribute information to the attendees, but also got to share their stories to willing and interested individuals.  The booth was manned by many RPCV’s who devoted their time and enjoyed their interactions with many of those interested about Peace Corps.  The Earth Fair is always a fun event to attend as it follows our philosophy to be conscious of the Earth and its inhabitants of all species.  We believe that the Earth is a precious commodity to be cherished and not simply used for a means to an end.  The Earth Fair brings us all together and not only reminds of who we are but what we can do to lead positive and healthy lives.

Ron & Nicola Ranson, Lynne Graham, Victor Cuevas, Colleen Garrett, Stefanie Rolon, Karen Lindquist, Kaye Thompson, Lee Grant, Sonny & Marie Foreman, DuVale Riley, Cheri Barbour, Tina Hunter, Tina Silva, Jeff Purser, Sarah Fuhrmann-Thorwirth, Gregg Pancoast, Zach Madewell, Hank Davenport, Shellie Norris, and Lacey Szuwalski

Jamaican Dinner
By: Lennox Miller
Zambia (2003-05)
Good food with friends sustains friendship: and so it was on Thursday, the 23rd of April when SDPCA attended an ethnic dinner at Island Spice Jamaican restaurant hosted by Lennox Miller.  The event got started at 6 pm.  On arrival the guests printed their name tags, paid their fee and lingered before getting seated.  There were 25 members (and one 2 1/2 year old) in attendance.
Dinner was served at 6:30. The menu was rice and peas, stewed chicken, jerk chicken, curried goat, steamed vegetables and fried plantains.  As the dinner wound down, Lennox gave a short speech thanking members for their support. Then he invited Sarah, the president of SDPCA, to give a short speech.  She asked everyone to introduce themselves and say where and when they served and what dish they most enjoyed.  Lingering continued up until about 8 pm when the event came to a close.
Profit and loss detail for the past fiscal year, which ended March 2015

Please welcome our newest SDPCA Members.  We look forward to seeing them at an event soon!
Matthew Haddad
Peru (2011-14)



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)
Nepal - How We Can Help

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have sprung into action to help mitigate the mass destruction caused by the earthquake in Nepal.

Here in San Diego SDPCA member Ron Ranson of Nepal 4's group lives in Encinitas and is helping direct donations to a group called THE GORKHA FOUNDATION.
It has an international body of board members including another Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Nepalis and people with that special love for Nepal.  Right now it is concentrating efforts to get supplies into the most remote villages and valleys north of the epicenter in Gorkha and in an area traditionally neglected by the government.  The 501 (c)3  has a website at
 One hundred percent (100%) of all contributions GF receives will go towards helping victims (zero overhead). Your help, in any amount, is greatly appreciated.

Please contact Ron Ranson with any questions:
C 760-547-6039

Other major charities (from the New York Times)
Geo-Genius Answer:
By: Lynne Graham
India (1967-69)

"The times they are a-changing"--Bob Dylan
Getting ready for summer time and perhaps vacation???  The newspaper says gas prices will be down by 32% this summer.  ROAD TRIP!!!  Then there is the great travel website airfare
.  Check it out for DEALS and lots of info on HOW to get those deals. Some of us in our local PC group are exploring more of Baja (did you go on the wine and cheese tour?--it was a holiday party silent auction item).  We like for information and auto insurance.   The peso exchange rate is over 14 pesos to the dollar right now, and did you know its a lot cheaper to fly out of Tijuana on Mexican airlines (Aero Mexico, Volaris) if you are heading south.

BE THRIFTY WITH YOUR WATER!  Governor Brown has mandated a 25% reduction (from 2013 usage) in urban household water consumption in just 9 months. Agriculture uses 80% of California's water supply but the gov is not calling for  cutbacks to farmers. It seems that responsibility for adapting to California's worst-ever drought  will fall to the urban consumers who use just 11% of the state's supply. You  may already be turning off the water while brushing your teeth, saving the first  bucket of cold water in the  shower for toilet-flushing or plant-watering and going to the car wash (they recycle the water).  For a bigger impact, you could drain the tub you soaked in (no soap or biodegradable soap) into your garden.  If you soak in Epsom salts, they are GOOD for your plants says Bill Tall at City Farmers Nursery.  Install a low-flow toilet (or put bricks in the tank) and showerhead.  In the garden, install drip irrigation (cheap), and spread several inches of mulch to help the plants retain moisture. If you want to really go big, think about gray-water systems and water storage barrels.  San Diego County has a rebate on the barrels so they end up FREE.  Some local professionals who install water harvesting systems and give classes and free talks are Brook Sarson ( and  Candace Vanderhoff (  Check them out!

Peace Corps Send-Off Event & Lunch Social
**Special event invitation from Julia Capizzi, Orange County Field Based Recruiter**
May 2, 2015
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
East African Cultural Center
4061 Fairmount Ave
San Diego, CA 92105
Join us as we gather to share stories, learn about Volunteer experiences, and celebrate those preparing to depart for Peace Corps assignments overseas.
A delicious, no-host lunch of authentic East African cuisine will be prepared by and available for purchase from EACC caterers. $10 Cash only, please. RSVP to Julia Capizzi at jcapizzi@
. Please include the number in your party and if you will be purchasing lunch.
About the Peace Corps: Read more or watch a video about what it's like to be a Volunteer including what Volunteers do, where they go, and the many benefits of Peace Corps service. Or apply now to begin your life-defining experience.

Country Round-Up
May 9th 11-2
Find your ranch duds and ya’ll please
join us for a fun afternoon of food,
games, and music. Bring your own
blankets or chairs to sit on. It’s a
POTLUCK so get your best recipes out!
We will also be adding new members
to our board - please consider joining!
Please RSVP to
or through the e-vite. There is ample
parking - look for signs on your
arrival. This is the same location as
last year’s Annual Meeting/Luau.
Parking: 8836 Prospect Ave.
Santee, CA 92071
The Country Round-Up is next door

Oceanside Saturday Garden Party
Join SDPCA members and friends for a summer garden party on Saturday, June 6th at 4:00 p.m. at the home of Kaye Thompson (RPCV-Lesotho) in central Oceanside.
Kaye's beautiful patio, yard and garden offer a charming setting to share good conversation, camaraderie and to welcome special guest, Bob Braaton, Climate Activist.  Bob served in Peace Corps-Guatemala (1970-71) and was a PC Trainer in Belize and Guatemala (1978-1985) and in Peru (2001-2002).
Mark your calendars for this fun event in North County.  Our hostess will provide snacks  and bottled water.  Bring a salad or beverage to share!

What is WOOFING you may be asking yourself? Woofing stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  Woofing is an effort to link visitors with organic farmers and farms, which promote educational exchange and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.  The SDPCA will be hosting a day event in June 2015 where we will get to help out in one of the SD local woofing farms in the area.  Please mark your calendars, an Evite will be sent close to the date of the event.

Have a great idea??  Want to host an SDPCA event?  Contact or talk to a board member at any event!
Thanks to your help, we surpassed last year’s record number of Congressmen
/women signing the annual House Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter!
158 Representatives signed this year’s letter, which encourages the House Appropriations Committee to approve President Obama’s Budget Request of $410 million for Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2016. Below is a list of our signers. If your Representative is on this list please take the time to thank them for supporting the Peace Corps.
Susan Davis
Scott Peters
Juan Vargas
Marjory Clyne
Advocacy Coordinator
San Diego Foundation for Change is seeking Subcommittee and Board members.
The current main focus is creating a philanthropic Giving Circle in the Somali community.
If interested and for questions, please contact Lisa Hoffman at:
March 3, 2015

Gregg Pancoast, Victor Cuevas, Colleen Garrett, Lennox Miller, Kris Slanina, Lynne Graham, Karen Lindquist, Sara Norko,
Guest 1: Johann D’Agostino
Guest 2:Sean Anderson
-Guests: Johann D'Agostino: The new application is very short. Time from applying (at deadline) to hearing is just 3 months! This is the new process where the local recruiters are not doing the interviews. So far LA office is meeting its recruitment goals. LA office is encouraging all interested to meet with a recruiter with their resume before they complete the application.
-At todays PC week events there were 30 at USD and 12 at SDSU
-UCSD, yesterday there were 20 at UCSD. Temp recruiter Sean Anderson said Diana Gomez regular recruiter at UCSD will be back in a few weeks.
-We can most likely expect a new San Diego recruiter within the next month.
NPCA – renewed
-paid rest of holiday party expenses, received a few new member payments
–new members  
-New Website! Yes, voted to launch the new web site
Please add to the distribution list. Add any updates to the website
Report on Past Events
Upcoming Events
New Business

June WOOFing project. – Snorko? Has contacted 3 local farms about a SDPCA volunteer day
Adjourn at 8:53 pm
Next Meeting:  April 7 Meeting
April 7, 2015

Ashley Smallwood, Colleen Garrett, Celeste Coleman, Lennox Miller, Gregg Pancoast, Heather Ginsky, Victor Cuevas, Kris Slanina, Lynne Graham, Karen Lindquist, Sharon Kennedy
Call to Order:
7:10 pm
Sarah - returns today!
(Colleen Subbing)
-Our NPCA membership has been confirmed. - Thank you Gregg
-New, more convenient location for the PO Box?
-Adding a new position - or splitting a current position to have one person specifically dedicated to communicating with Peace Corps? And also, for the website?

CFO                 Gregg
April 1=Fiscal year end
spent $1400 on ISF this FY
$2500 is what we spent on PC functions
balance sheet=$12,882
Membership             Sharon
Inviting people from the send-off to the round-up
couple of new members through national Peace Corps
International Support Fund    Celeste/Lennox
Who will collect the fpcv email addresses for future contact about ISF grants?
Building maintaining spreadsheet(s)
Communications            Vic/Sara
Sharon will be launching the website
Report on Past Events
Upcoming Events
New Business
Adjourn 8:20pm
Next Meeting: May 9th ROUNDUP!
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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