NEWS - June, 2007

Celebrate summer with your fellow RPCVs!

All manner of SEAPAX activities are planned for July and August, from a new educational program on human rights, to picnics and camping trips. The outdoor events start off with the annual picnic on July 14, and a family-oriented picnic will held on August 9 at Magnuson Park. The annual RPCV Regional campout will be held on August 2-5 in Oregon, followed by a SEAPAX-sponsored campout, the start of a new tradition, to be held in western WA on August 17-19.

SEAPAX Annual Picnic

SEAPAX will be hosting its annual picnic on Saturday, July 14 from 2-7pm at Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Place NW. This year's picnic is even more special, as it marks the 30th year that our community's RPCV association has been "Bringing the world back home" to Seattle!

Founded in 1977 as the Returned Action Volunteers of the Northwest (RAVN), the group was the only RPCV group in Washington state and included both former Peace Corps Volunteers and VISTA volunteers. Over the years, the group has meant many things to its members, from an opportunity to socialize and network with other globally-minded RPCVs to an advocacy network, non-profit organization and a way to give back to the community. We invite all area RPCVs, members and non-members, their families and friends to attend and celebrate the impact that RPCVs have had on Seattle and Washington state.

The picnic is free, Children and friends of RPCVs are welcome! Bring your own food to grill and something to share (appetizer, salad, dessert, nonalcoholic beverage or other goodies). SEAPAX will provide plates and eating utensils.

The big day will include a raffle, with prizes such as the new 2008 Peace Corps calendar, a year's free membership and treasures from countries around the world. Don't forget to bring your checkbook for raffle tickets, to update your membership or to purchase the brand-new 2008 calendar, making its first appearance at the picnic. Renew your membership on the day of the picnic and get a free raffle ticket!

We are still looking for raffle prizes. Anyone interested in donating to the raffle should contact Jen Nicholas at We welcome country of service artifacts, gift certificates, movie/theatre tickets, or a nice bottle of wine - be creative and help us make this event a great one. All raffle proceeds will benefit the SEAPAX grant fund, which supports worthy projects both at home and overseas. Notable past grants included the payment of a Thai teacher's annual salary after the devastating 2005 tsunami and the transport of books and school materials to Slidell, Louisiana to restock libraries destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

Please RSVP for the picnic to Jen Nicholas at by July 7.
Directions: I-5 Northbound or Southbound:


SEAPAX Updates

As the year progresses, SEAPAX is moving along organizationally as well. The most significant development besides our official name change, is that the leadership of the group is now being done by committee. Following the routine annual elections held in March (with one candidate per slot), the position of President which was assumed by David Bane, was vacated at the end of May, when David departed for a new Crisis Corps assignment. The Board then decided by consensus that due to the small size of our active group, it made more sense for us at present to work as a steering committee. Those of us who have the roles of treasurer, secretary, webmaster, newsletter editor, and NPCA rep continue with these functions. We welcome any and all those interested in helping to run SEAPAX. We also will be revisiting the group's governance structure as we plan for 2008, and consider any needed changes to our by-laws.

In other organizational news, we now have 3 active committees: Membership, Grants, and Events. The committees are meeting periodically actively working on their respective tasks , and welcome open to all those interested to join in. To get involved, please contact the committee chairs:

We would also like to form a Finance Committee (to work with the Treasurer) and PR Committee (to work with the Newletter Editor and Events Committee). Please volunteer your time to help keep our organization vibrant.


2008 Calendars

The 2008 RPCV Calendars will be available to purchase at the SEAPAX picnic on July 14. Price is $12 for the general public, $10 for RPCVs, payable with cash, or check made out to SEAPAX. These are the international calendars with the country photos, information and recipes, and listings of multicultural, multinational holidays, produced by the RPCV group of Madison, WI, specifically as a fundraiser for their own and other RPCV groups. Annual calendar sales by SEAPAX support our domestic and international donations and grants programs.

Look for details soon on the Yahoo listserv on how to purchase calendars at other SEAPAX events. Purchase them by check: fill out the form on the calendar order page and mail to the address indicated.


SEAPAX to Host Seminars on International Humanitarian Law

Joanne Dufour (El Salvador '72- '73) will offer a weekly discussion series on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for SEAPAX members and invited guests throughout the month of July. This series, developed in cooperation with the Seattle Red Cross, will pilot a new interactive IHL curriculum in advance of it community launch. Participants are invited to share personal experiences and perspectives. The program will begin on Sunday, July 1st, and run for five weeks.

Background: Humanitarian law is a body of international law that aims to protect the life and human dignity of all during armed conflict and to reduce and prevent the suffering and destruction that results from war. Nations party to the Geneva Conventions have a legal obligation to encourage the study of humanitarian law as widely as possible. These Conventions, together with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, can be viewed as an integral part of the basic underpinnings of today's society. International perspectives, and US government actions regarding each aspect of IHL will be addressed.

The training program is designed around five core modules, with each session being devoted to one of the modules. Sessions will alternate between Sunday and Monday evenings, 7-9 p.m. in two different locations, as follows:

Where & When: Sundays July 1st, 15th and 19th at the home of Jim and Joanne Dufour, 3406 SW Manning St. in West Seattle 98106, tel. 206-937-5724.
Mondays July 9th and 23rd will be at the home of Scott and Joana Ramos, 7303 23rd Avenue NE, Seattle 98115., tel. 206-229-2420.

Fee: There is no cost for this series but participants are asked to pay for materials provided [less than $2 per session] and bring some refreshments to share.

RSVP Required: Please contact Joanne at 206-937-5724 or by e-mail by noon on the Friday preceding each week's meeting. It is important to respond so that sufficient copies of program materials will be available.

Who: SEAPAX members and friends are welcome to attend.

Note: Each module of the program is free-standing. Participants may choose to attend one, some, or all sessions.


SEAPAX/"Global Explorers" Team Works Volunteer Projects Completed

Earlier this year, 16 volunteers registered for the Peace Corps Volunteers Team Works team with Seattle Works. The team co-captains were Judy Hale and Jennifer Samnick. Half of the members of the team were RPCVs and the other half were community volunteers who had an interest in and experience with global travel and living abroad. The team was dubbed the "Global Explorers". One Saturday a month for four months (Feb - May), team members completed projects at four non-profit organizations in the region. These are all great organizations that often need volunteers for their ongoing efforts. Please reach out to them directly if you are interested in helping them with work they do for their communities. If you are looking for other ongoing and one-time volunteer opportunities, also check out the various programs of Seattle Works.

The Giving Tree
2008 Westlake Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-2695

The Giving Tree is a woodshop where beautiful, handcrafted toys are created in an environment that fosters a renewed sense of purpose and meaning for seniors, formerly and currently homeless individuals, youth and adults within the greater community. This accepting atmosphere cultivates respect and dignity by empowering people to use their individual talents in an altruistic way. Volunteers at The Giving Tree recognize and expand their talents by creating unique crafts that are either sold to the public or donated to children in need.

Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest is Washington's own, and only, statewide hunger relief agency. We supply food free, without dues or fees of any kind, to a network of nearly 300 independent food banks and meal programs throughout the state. We take pride in distributing a high-end, nutritious menu, realizing that our clients are among society's most vulnerable: over 55% of those we serve are children and the elderly. These populations are the most affected by a compromised diet.

Heron Habitat Helpers
West Commodore Way and Gilman West
Seattle, WA 98199

Heron Habitat Helpers is a community-based, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to protect and preserve Kiwanis Ravine, home to Seattle's largest colony of Great Blue Herons. Kiwanis Ravine is located in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, adjacent to Discovery Park, and just south of the Ballard Locks.

Highline YMCA
17874 Des Moines Memorial Drive
Burien, WA 98148

We build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. Building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body. We have four acres of property that we use for our summer day camp, healthy kids day, and youth sports that has hiking trails, a challenge course, an archery range, a climbing wall, and a pool.


Best of the Web

Best of the Web is a 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 SEAPAX. We invite you to submit your favorites to share here. This month's listing highlights a Pan-African resource site and a Swiss NGO concerned with the impact of multinational corporations.

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: