NEWS - August, 2006

RPCV Nominated to Lead Peace Corps

On July 25 the White House announced that it intends to nominate Ron Tschetter to serve as the 17th Director of the Peace Corps. Both Ron and his wife Nancy served as Peace Corps volunteers in India from 1966 to 1968. Ron’s appointment would mark the third time a returned Peace Corps volunteer serves in that position. more ...

Hugh Ho Receives Franklin H. Williams Award

Hugh Ho, (Kyrgyzstan, 99-01) received the prestigious Franklin H. Williams Award from the Peace Corps, at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on June 22. The Williams Award program was created in 1999 in honor of Franklin H. Williams, former Peace Corps regional director for Africa, US Ambassador to Ghana, and program advisory to Sargent Shriver during Peace Corps' beginnings. Franklin H. Williams Awardees It is awarded annually to RPCVs who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups in the USA in recognition of their community service activities and commitment to the 3rd Goal of Peace Corps, promoting international awareness and understanding.

Hugh, WSPCA's immediate-past newsletter editor, taught English in Kyrgyzstan and developed a number of new educational programs and resources at his site in a rural village. He is presently a graduate student at the Evans School of Public Affairs at UW, and volunteers for several international student exchange programs, the Seattle Parks Department, and Habitat for Humanity.

For more details about Hugh's work that led to his nomination for the 2006 Williams Award, see the Peace Corps web site.

WSPCA can be proud that Hugh is our second active member to receive the Williams Award. In 2000, Paulette Thompson (Morocco, 1986-88), a teacher of social studies and history at Garfield High School in Seattle, active member of GlobalTeachNet, and WSPCA liaison to the NPCA, was also so honored.

More information about the Williams Award and its recipients may be found on the website of the Minority Peace Corps Association.


Picnic at Golden Gardens

The annual WSPCA picnic at Golden Gardens was a great success! Over 30 participants, including many new faces, gathered on the beach in what was arguably the most perfect picnic weather to hit Seattle this year. Under the banner that proclaimed “Returned Peace Corps Volunteers working for a better world,” we grilled delicious food, made new friends, including those from PC-host and former-host countries, and discussed a wealth of subjects from both ordinary and profound, and occasionally hilarious! Who can forget our reminiscences of our Peace Corps service, our battles with insects and rodents, and the comparison of American and Swahili sign language? Or the reactions to current environmental and political issues by well-informed and passionate people?

Some RPCVs who just happened to be at Golden Gardens that day, and who had not had previous contact with RPCV groups, were attracted by our banner and stopped by to chat, and hopefully will participate in WSPCA.

The picnic was also the first opportunity to purchase the 2007 RPCV calendar, filled as always with the fascinating, rare looks at real life in other cultures, with photos taken by members of our own PCV and RPCV community. The calendars are on sale for $12 and can be ordered either through our website (see below) or from a WSPCA officer. RPCVs get a special discount of $2.00, so act fast! They make great Christmas gifts!

Thanks to everyone for attending!


2007 RPCV Calendars Now Available

WSPCA has received this year's RPCV calendar and kicked off its annual sale at the picnic on July 8. Calendars are $12, plus $3 shipping and handling for mailing to a home address. They may be picked up at any WSPCA event for no additional charge.

RPCV's benefit from a special rate of only $10 per calendar. So pick one up for yourself, for family and friends, or for a great Christmas present! Take more to sell and help WSPCA earn money to continue to offer great social, educational and cultural programs!

Use this order form to place your order. Print and mail the completed form to the address shown at the bottom of the form with a check or money order. Interested buyers may also contact Jen Samnick or any WSPCA officer.

Get your own calendar full of important information and the priceless images captured by RPCV's during their years of service!


Summer of Peace

Jen Nicholas
Benin 2003-2005

The 14th annual RPCV Regional Campout took place at Dworshak State Park near Orofino, ID from August 3-6. Twenty-three families – over 40 attendees – converged on lovely Dworshak Lake on a weekend that left nothing to be desired. As the cars wound deeper into the woods and the cell-phone signals faded into silence, many of us breathed a sigh of relief to be, rarely in our hectic modern world, alone with nature, our thoughts and each other.

The weekend was filled with activities – swimming, fishing and kayaking in the 55-mile-long Dworshak Lake system; volleyball, running and hiking; and of course, the long-awaited Dutch Oven Cookoff on Saturday night, showcasing all of our Peace Corps improvisational cooking skills! But there were also quiet moments of sitting around the campfire, often far into the night, exchanging stories, reminiscing and discussing the state of the world. We found out how to greet each other in a dozen languages, exactly what unusual items are on the menu around the world (who can resist grossing everyone else out with tales of exotic meats and meals?), and what our fellow RPCVs are doing to make the world a little better – from a women’s training center in Mexico to a bicycle-recycling project in Ghana. And we basked in the knowledge that we were with others who understood exactly how two years abroad had changed us, in so many ways. “I love going to these [events],” said Carolee Walters, of WSPCA. “Who else would listen to all of your stories?”

Captain ClarkThe attendees got a special treat on Saturday evening – a visit from Captain William Clark, the famous explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition! Captain Clark, also known as Craig Rockwell (Botswana 78-79), came to speak in honor of the bicentennial of his famous voyage across the Louisiana Territory to the Pacific Ocean. The old soldier was, as he put it, “in remarkable health for a 235-year-old man”! This campout was dedicated “The Summer of Peace Campout” in honor of the Summer of Peace celebrations being organized among the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) of northern Idaho.

Attendees also received a peace necklace and a pocketknife as a memento, and one woman (yours truly) received a hilarious set of Bigfoot feet for being the most recently-returned RPCV at the picnic! All in all we had a full range of returnees, from the Walker family (Ecuador 1962-64) to me (Benin 03-05) encompassing the entire RPCV experience.

Time moved more slowly in the quiet of the woods, but the weekend was still over too fast. As we packed up our tents and Dutch ovens, we wished our new comrades “buen viaje” and “bon voyage” and looked forward to next year’s campout, at Mount Saint Helen’s during the first week of August 2007. Hope to see everyone there – I know I will be!


Best of the Web

Best of the Web is a new feature of our newsletter and website listing resources for learning more about events, news, discussion, and organizations that share the international and multicultural interests of WSPCA. We hope to make it a permanent feature, and so invite you to submit your favorites to share here. This month's listing includes entries that offer to connect young adults to community service groups.

We continue to welcome submissions to our listserv (as per Submissions Guidelines) , but there is so much going on in the Puget Sound area, that we can't possibility list everything nor in a timely manner. Thus, we want to alert you to good resources where you can find out more on your own. As this list grows, entries will be organized into ready reference categories. Please send your submissions to: