May 9, 2002 - Chicago Suburban Newspapers: Daniella Zanin off to Panama with Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Panama: Peace Corps Panama : The Peace Corps in Panama: May 9, 2002 - Chicago Suburban Newspapers: Daniella Zanin off to Panama with Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 12:08 pm: Edit Post

Daniella Zanin off to Panama with Peace Corps

Daniella Zanin off to Panama with Peace Corps

Resident off to Panama with Peace Corps

By Carmen Manly, Staff writer

By the time Daniella Zanin of Lemont was born, the Peace Corps was already 14 years old, having been established by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961.

Zanin, 27, did not hear Kennedy's first call for volunteers to serve their country and further the cause of peace by living and working in developing nations.

But Zanin has heeded the call nearly 40 years later. She has joined the Peace Corps and will leave for Panama on Sunday, May 12, to serve 27 months in that country.

Zanin holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is now involved in the master's international program with Michigan Tech University and working toward a master's of science in forestry. The program is offered in conjunction with the Peace Corps stint.

``There's a 50/50 percent chance I will be with indigenous people or at a farming site,'' she said.

Regardless of her destination, she will leave behind parents, siblings, relatives and a boyfriend.

But Zanin isn't crying. Instead, she is excited and very much ready to meet the challenge, she said.

``I'm prepared to live without electricity for two years, possibly living in an adobe hut or a hut on stilts,'' Zanin said.

Having taken engineering classes, she said she also is prepared to build her home if necessary, make her own compost toilet and dig a well.

Zanin speaks Spanish and will be able to communicate with her host country's people.

What does frighten Zanin is getting malaria or dysentery. The Peace Corps does provide medical care.

Sitting in her Lemont home with clipped lawns visible outside the front window, surrounded by amenities and security, one wonders what motivates her to go to a developing country.

``Volunteering and helping people is the best feeling you'll ever have,'' she said.

Zanin explains she is also an environmentalist. She wants to preserve wilderness everywhere, with no roads cutting into nature.

``I often hear talk of Americans bridging the gap and making friends with these (undeveloped) countries,'' Zanin said. ``Yet, big American businesses go out there and pollute an area. ... It becomes a struggle between economics and environment. I think everyone needs to know how the other side plays and work to find a compromise.''

In Panama she hopes to work with farmers in devising solutions to environmental problems, such as soil erosion -- without pushing American ideals and values.

She points out that it is not that Third World farmers do not know how to farm, but rather, due to over-population and mass farming, mass erosion is occurring. The Peace Corps offers methods to implement corrective crops. Also, by organizing resources of far-flung communities, greater benefits can be derived from using less land.

``I will work with farmers to help incorporate sustainable land practices,'' she said. ``I hope to implement types of trees and cropping methods that bring nutrients back into the soil.''

But she is not interested in imposing American values on another country.

``Diversity is wonderful and should be accepted,'' she said. ``We're not fixers. We find people and help them see how to implement a program, bring them together. You don't want to change their culture, just give them a means to survive.''

The Panamanian government is currently stable. Security still may be a challenge, she said, but the Peace Corps does have systems in place for immediate evacuation if an emergency occurs. She will have contact with other Peace Corps volunteers, though she does not know how much.

A friend who has returned from a Peace Corps assignment told Zanin that ``things'' indeed got harder than anticipated.

Unfazed, Zanin remains optimistic.

``Life is so short. We have so many talents and gifts and they would be of better use (out) in the world,'' she said.

Carmen Manly's e-mail address is:

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Story Source: Chicago Suburban Newspapers

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By Stan Penner ( - on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 5:36 pm: Edit Post

My wife and I are just back from Korea. We went to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone-which, incidentally, has become a natural habitat for all kinds of animals and plants-there’s a message here for us humans-I hope we heed it). We could have visited North Korea itself but we needed to give two weeks notice which we hadn’t known about.

I was given a book at a church complex in Seoul and below is a quote from that book:

“violence can never bring peace, and 'putting the sword back in its place’ is admitting God's authority, and confirms God's love for us.” Rev. Chang-whan Kim (speaking to over a million people in Seoul in 1987), as quoted in the book, Ordeal and Glory The 30-Year History of Yoido Full Gospel Church, Korea

Together with millions of Koreans and countless other people, I hope and pray that South and North Korea will settle any differences peacefully (The ramifications of such a settlement would, of course, be felt worldwide). We don’t need any more war! I suggest that all of us write letters to our politicians and let them know this. Letters can make a huge difference.

Yours sincerely,

Stan Penner

Maybe you can use something of the following:

“The Americans need to start treating the Iraqis like people. And the Iraqis have to find a way of resistance that doesn’t lead to reprisals.” Dave Pankratz Mennonite Central Committee aid worker back from Iraq (quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 26, 2003).

“There never was a good war, or a bad peace.” Benjamin Franklin

“War is the only game in which both sides lose.” Walter Scott

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, from his farewell address

“War is the blackest villainy of which human nature is capable.” Erasmus

“If you had seen one day of war, you would pray to God that you would never see another.” The Duke of Wellington

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Ghandi

“… I had finally become anti any kind of war for whatever reason.” Giles- much beloved (especially by the common soldiers) World War II British cartoonist

“I emptied the whole clip into him; then I cried.” Vietnam vet

“…killing is the worst thing that one man can do to another man…it’s the last thing that should happen anywhere.” Israeli Lieutenant Gilli from the book Soldiers by Keegan, et al.

“If you want to take revenge on somebody, you better dig two graves.” Chinese proverb

“If you have to resort to force, you have already lost.” Tokugawa. Japanese Shogun

“It is a conviction that war is not an answer to human conflict any more than cannibalism is to human hunger.” Bruce Kent International Peace Bureau President at centenary reception, Berne, 1991

“War is not heroics nor is it pride/ It’s a shame to lose all those precious lives…/Where’s the glory? Never again! War Amps of Canada in their theme song, NEVER AGAIN

“As far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral.” Omar Bradley, U.S. five star general, known as the “GI’s general”.

“The time has now come for man’s intellect to win out over the brutality, the insanity of war.” Linus Pauling, Nobel Peace Prize recipient in his book No More War

“Does the commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ mean nothing to us? Are we to interpret it as meaning “Thou shalt not kill except on the grand scale,’ or ‘Thou shalt not kill except when the national leaders say to do so’?” Linus Pauling

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

“There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.” General Grant

(All wars could cease if the above quote, alone, was listened to. As Winston Churchill put it, “To jaw, jaw, is better than to war, war.)

“The more I study the history of the world the more I am convinced of the inability of brute force to create anything durable.” Napolean, on St. Helena

“I have known war as few men now living know it. Its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.” General Douglas MacArthur

“Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share in the guilt for the dead.” General Omar Bradley

“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” President John F. Kennedy

“Today every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness.” John F. Kennedy

“More than guided missiles, all the world needs guided men.” Poet Helen Steiner Rice

“Old soldiers never die, but ninety-nine soldiers in a hundred are pitiably young, and they die in their millions, without beginning to guess why it is that life asks that of them. John Keegen, et al. in their book, Soldiers

“Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” Herbert Hoover

“The pioneers of a warless world are the young men who refuse military service.” Albert Einstein (from the book Peacemaking by Conrad G. Brunk) Some may not like this quote except for the “other” side; but, we, of course, are the “other” side to them, and, wouldn’t it be just great if the “other” side refused to kill our people?

“You can’t say that civilizations don’t advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a different way.” Will Rogers (Winnipeg Free Press, March 6, 2004)

"I'm sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars in which young men do the dying.” George McGovern during his 1972 presidential campaign

“War is not only the denial of Christianity, but of all the most sacred things of life.” Major General John O’Ryan.

“War exhibits principally two characteristics that mark it as essentially devilish, namely murder and deception.” Phillip Mauro

“The churches have sacrificed the teaching of Jesus to exigencies of the state.” Dr. W.E. Orchard

“Shall Christians assist the prince of hell, who was a murderer from the beginning, by telling the world of the benefits or the need of war?” John Wesley

“War is as contrary to the spirit of Christianity as murder.” Dr. Adam Clark

“God is forgotten in war; every principle of Christianity is trampled upon.” Sidney Smith

“… The demonic character of the sinful will has its greatest triumph in offering a diabolical ‘yes’ to blood and violence. People and armies destroy each other in mutual murder.” Ethelbert Stauffer, German theologian

“I find it strange that the last place I can really quote Jesus these days is in American churches. They don’t want to hear `overcome evil with good.’ They don’t want to hear `those who live by the sword die by the sword.’ They don’t want to hear `if your enemy hurts you, do good, feed, clothe, minister to him.’ They don’t want to hear `blessed are the merciful.’ They don’t want to hear `love your enemies.’” Tony Campolo, on the war effort, Christian Week Nov. 27, 2001

“Love, not deadly force, is the Christian’s weapon.” John D. Roth

“We Christians teach against the great vices of the world; but sad to say, we almost overlook the greatest of vices, war.” Theodore Epp

“…confessing the other person’s sins leads to war, while confessing one’s own, leads to peace.” Samuel M. Shoemaker

“I….call to everyone, Christians and the followers of other religions, to work together to build a world without violence, a world that loves life and grows in justice and solidarity.” Pope John Paul II, Kazakhstan, Sept. 2001

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” the Apostle Paul

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus

“Thou shalt not kill.” God


The poem, below, was written by Nicholas Peters just after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Peters, who lived for some years at Grande Pointe, Manitoba, Canada, had emigrated from Russia in 1925 as a boy of 10 and had seen firsthand the horrors of revolution and war in his native country. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 and trained as a flying officer. He died on the night of March 7-8, 1945 after his aircraft was hit by enemy fire. The poem is from a collection of Peters' work entitled Another Morn.

The Peters family has given permission to have the poem published.


I gaze into the world with sorrowing eyes
And see the wide-abounding fruits of hate.
We fight, we say, for peace, and find
The wars we make
To be a spring of hate and source of future wars.

Is there no peace for man?
No hope that this accursed flow
Of blood may cease?
Is this our destiny: to kill and maim
For peace?
Or is this `peace' we strive to gain
A thin unholy masquerade
Which, when our pride, our greed, our gain is
touched too far,
Is shed, and stands uncovered what we are?

Show me your light, O God
That I may fight for peace with peace
And not with war;
To prove my love with love,
And hate no more!

Author: Nicholas Peters

Some ten years ago, my wife and I stood beside Peters' grave in an Allied war cemetery in Germany, with a huge sword on a cross backdrop, and grieved for him and the countless others buried there "row on row" in those graveyards of Europe. Quietly they lie now, sometimes friend and foe close together with so much of life still waiting to be lived.

Most of the last verse of Peters' poem is inscribed on his tombstone with "me" and "I" changed to "US" and "WE".


I dream of the day when all of us, governments included, will listen to this soldier’s plea.

Farley Mowat, now a naturalist, a writer, and a former
Canadian soldier who participated in the carnage of the Second
World War, writes as follows in his book AND NO BIRDS SANG: "Let
it be said then that I wrote this book in the absolute conviction
that there never has been, nor ever can be a "good" or worthwhile
war. So awful that through three decades I kept the deeper agonies
of it wrapped in the cotton-wool of protective forgetfulness. ...but
could not, because the Old Lie--temporarily discredited by the
Vietnam debacle--is once more gaining credence; a whisper which
soon may become another strident shout urging us on to mayhem.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori!* Spawned in Hell long before Homer sanctified it, and goading men to madness and destruction ever since, that Old Lie has to be put down! (McClelland et al,Toronto, 1979, p. 195-196). (*It is sweet and seemly to die for one’s country.)


Pierre Berton, a Canadian soldier, an officer, and also a
renowned author, describes the battle of Vimy Ridge in gruesome
detail in his book, Vimy. In conclusion he asks, "Was it worth it?"
The battle had cost thousands of limbs, eyes, and lives on both
sides. Even relatives had been pitted against each other in this
terrible slaughter and, much after the war, as an old German
soldier and the son of a Canadian soldier talk about this they
agree that the war had been "a terrible waste of human life brought
on by greedy people and tolerated for too long by silent
majorities." To the question, "Was it worth it?" the answer is
very clear- "No." (McClelland et al, Toronto, 1986, p. 307-308}.


The following poem was written by a woman who walked over 25 000 miles for peace in the United States and Canada and who preferred to be simply called "Peace Pilgrim”. The poem may be published for peaceful purposes.

(A story of Men or Nations)

There were two men who had a dispute
Over a boundary line.
One said, "This land belongs to me!"
The other said, "It is mine!"

So they fought and fought like two wild beasts,
And oh, the blood that was shed.
Till one of the men was crippled for life
And the other man was dead!

Then the cripple lived in misery,
And he cried in his despair,
"What fools we were so greedy to be!
There was plenty for both to share!"

Peace Pilgrim

Yours sincerely,

S. Penner

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