NEWS - September, 2008

Summer in the Northwest, RPCV style

Washington state buzzed with RCPV activities this summer from camping trips to local and national reunions.

SEAPAX 2nd Annual Campout

The first event of the summer was the 2nd Annual SEAPAX Campout held at Mt. Rainier National Park. Some dozen SEAPAXers and families were joined by RPCVs from eastern WA and OR, at Mt. Rainier's Cougar Rock Campground on July 18-20,.to enjoy the great outdoors. For many, it was their first post-service contact with a RPCV group and new friendships were quickly forged. Amazingly, mid-July hiking was still met with high snow packs, but the sun was out, the wildflowers were blooming and the glacier run-off was spectacular! Many thanks were given to Michael Le and Annette Clothier for organizing the event.

Sri Lanka RPCVs celebrate common ground, friendship during summer reunion

The next event was on July 19, when two dozen Sri Lanka RPCVs and friends from across the country met to enjoy a warm summer day at Alderbrook Inn on Hood Canal. Some were old batch mates separated by the decades, others new RPCV friends in the making. In one case, an RPCV teacher of English and a former student reunited after 22 years and a world apart.

The group enjoyed conversation at a cabin on the water's edge, then a scenic boat trip to an adjacent resort, followed by a fine meal, a twilight bon fire and s'mores. Perhaps most memorable were people's reflections during dinner on why, after so many decades and oceans away, their Peace Corps years in Sri Lanka still matter so deeply. The reunion website can be viewed here.

Colombia RPCVs Enjoy Reunion aboard tall ship Gloria Colombia

August also brought both water and land adventures for local RPCVs. When the Tall Ships docked in Tacoma this summer, one vessel held extra appeal for several area RPCVs. The Gloria Colombia, official flagship and sail-training ship of the Colombian Navy, was on hand to spread goodwill and open channels of economic development for its home country, Colombia. RPCV John Crossman arranged invitations for former Colombia Peace Corps volunteers to come aboard and mingle with others with ties to the country, during the August 2 reception for Tacoma's Festival Latino. Bob Findlay of SEAPAX has aspirations to wave the Peace Corps flag next time the Gloria Colombia is in port! You can learn more about the Tall Ships, and see other photos here.

Regional Campout A Great Success

Last but not least was the annual Western Regional RPCV campout. Approximately 30 RPCVs from Idaho, Oregon and Washington gathered August 8-10 for the annual event, this year at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Eastern WA. From chatting around the campfire to taking some great local hikes, the event was a definitive success and many thanks are due to coordinator Delores Schwindt (Malaysia 72-74) and the hard-working team from INPCA (Inland NW Peace Corps Association, based in Spokane) which hosted the campout.

The traditions that make the regional campout an annual treat included Saturday night dinner cooked by host group, followed by the great Sunday morning pancake breakfast prepared by the Idaho group. Starting another great tradition, "Most recent RPCV", Joseph Splinter was persuaded to wear a pair of inflatable Sasquatch feet around the campsite. The excitement continued as the campers watched with some apprehension as fire-fighting helicopters scooped water from Lake Roosevelt to fight all-too-local forest fires.

Other highlights of the weekend were the quarterly Western regional RPCV groups meeting, where we had a chance to discuss what's going on with our groups, as well as to share our thoughts with Joe Hindman of Roseburg, OR, the newly-elected regional rep to the NPCA, who will take office in October. We also had a chance to hear more about the NPCA's More Peace Corps! campaign from Craig "Rocky" Rockwell of INPCA. The goal of this campaign is to double the number of volunteers and the budget of the Peace Corps by 2011, the 50th Anniversary of its founding. More information is available on the website, with contact info for MPC project coordinator Rajeev Goyal (Nepal '01-'03).

During the meeting it was determined that it's the turn of SEAPAX to host the 2009 Regional Campout. Scott Ramos and Michael Le are heading up the committee to find a site, as planning needs to start right away. Please get in touch with them if you'd like to help us find the right place and work on logistics.

By Nate Bucholz (Ukraine '03-'05)
Joana Ramos (Brazil '73-'75)
contributors Joe Terteling (Sri Lanka '84-'86)
Bob Findlay (Colombia '63-'65).


Joe Hindman is new Western Region Rep to NPCA Board

Election of Board members for the National Peace Corps Association was concluded in July, and we are happy to report that a Northwesterner was again elected to the position of Western Region Representative. Joe Hindman, of Roseburg OR, and a member of the West Cascade PCA of Eugene, will join the NPCA Board on October 3, replacing SEAPAX's Bob Findlay of Olympia, who completed a 3-year term.

Joe was a PCV in Guatemala and Mali, and served as APCD in the CAR and Mauritania, and as CD in Chad and Panama. See the NPCA Board webpage.


SEAPAX Work Party at Golden Gardens

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity: Restoration Effort
Help save Ballard Golden Gardens from invasive ivy!
Saturday, September 13th, 10:00am-2:00pm, at Golden Gardens Park
SEAPAX contact: Megan Horst,

A park with a view, Golden Gardens sits on the shore of Shilshole Bay and over looks the Olympic Mountains. Who would think that such a tranquil scene would be the sight of a struggle of epic proportions? Within the forests of Golden Gardens, the invasive plant English ivy is crowding out native trees and shrubs and making the survival of native seedlings extremely difficult. You can help by working with EarthCorps and Seattle Parks to dig this ivy out of the ground and by planting native trees and shrubs!

Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Pl. NW, in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood Park website with driving directions. Folllow EarthCorps signs, on stop sign at road above the park, then go to the EarthCorps table.near upper parking lot/dog park. Golden Gardens is accessible by bus or bike. Megan invites SEAPAX folks to join her in biking from the Greenlake area. Bus #48 to Ballard takes you to the top of the stairs at the park.

Details for volunteers
EarthCorps supplies gloves, tools, water, light refreshments and a talk that covers safety, the park you are working in, forest structure, environmental restoration and the overview of the project. We suggest that volunteers dress in layers of older clothes that include long pants, long sleeve shirt and a jacket. Durable footwear such as work boots, hiking boots or running shoes are recommended for these events. These events take place rain or shine so please come prepared for the weather. Bring a lunch if you would like as well as a water bottle and a coffee cup/travel mug for refreshments.

For more information, contact:
Chris LaPointe, Volunteer Program Manager
(206) 322-9296, ext. 217


Bellingham event: Potluck and Focus on the Philippines

Our next RPCV/Friends potluck will be held on Sunday afternoon, September 14, 2008 at the home of May (Costa Rica '70-'72) and Larry Lee, 3460 Unick Road, Ferndale, WA 98348. We'll start at 3 pm, end at 6 pm.

Don't forget to bring a potluck dish to share and something to drink for yourself. Weather permitting, the event will be held outside.

Please RSVP by Wednesday September 10 to hosts May and Larry Lee at:

The potluck will feature an informal program, a chance to meet with special guest Dr. Eliza Yap Uy-Grino, former head of the Central Philippine University (CPU) English Dept, which is May Lee's alma mater. Dr. Yap Uy-Grino was also the former CPU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and author of a Hiligaynon-English/English-Hiligaynon dictionary. Right now, CPU is in the process of publishing her follow-up book, on how the Hiligaynon dialect spread in the region.

May Lee will also share information about the impact of the June 2008 Typhoon Frank which created a Katrina-like disaster in that part of the Philippines.

Hope to see you there.

Cat McIntyre
Coordinator, Whatcom Satellite
(360) 671-1986


Invitation to Seattle More Peace Corps party

My husband Gene and I will be hosting a MorePeaceCorps party at our home in the Seattle area on Saturday Sept 6th. Our guest of honor will be Lhakpa Sherpa, the Sherpa from Nepal who will be climbing Ranier on August 16th and has set world records on Everest.

Please join us to honor Lhakpa and the MorePeaceCorps campaign.

Date/time: Saturday Sept 6 at 6PM
Potluck and BYOB--all kinds of food/drinks welcome
Directions: Email or call for directions:
(We'll email you specific directions.)

Barbara Frye Anderson
Ethiopia RPCV


Conferences of Interest

Several conferences are coming up this fall on topics of interest to the local RPCV community, including:

Northwest Teachers for Social Justice
1st Annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice
October 4, 2008

Washington Public Health Association
15th Annual Joint Conference on Health: “Health Equity: Global & Local Challenges”
October 6 - 8, 2008

Washington State Coalition on Language Access
WASCLA Summit IV: Building for the Future
October 24-25, 2008

PK-20 World Languages Summit
Mapping & Enhancing Language Learning
November 6, 2008
University of Washington, Seattle


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 one site whose goal is to support and promote the global development sector in Washington state and another that promotes communication among SEAPAX members, on Facebook.

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: