2006.06.28: June 28, 2006: Headlines: COS - Nepal: COS Groups: McLean Connection: Nepal III holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nepal: Peace Corps Nepal : The Peace Corps in Nepal: 2006.06.28: June 28, 2006: Headlines: COS - Nepal: COS Groups: McLean Connection: Nepal III holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion

By Admin1 (admin) (adsl-69-150-133-223.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 69.150.133.223) on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 1:11 pm: Edit Post

Nepal III holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion

Nepal III holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion

The former volunteers of Nepal III traveled from near and far to attend the reunion. The majority of them had not seen each other for 40 years. Richard Wanner, better known as "Captain," came all the way from his home in New Zealand for the event.

Nepal III holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion

McLean resident holds 40-year Peace Corps reunion.

By Aranya Tomseth

June 28, 2006

Caption: Retired U.S. ambassador Peter Tomsen, takes a moment to thank everyone for coming to the Nepal III 40-year reunion, held at his home in McLean last weekend. Photo by Aranya Tomseth/The Connection

Retired U.S. ambassador Peter Tomsen, takes a moment to thank everyone for coming to the Nepal III 40-year reunion, held at his home in McLean last weekend.

McLean resident Peter Tomsen has always had fond memories of his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and often wished that he could arrange a reunion with the other members of the "Nepal III" group. Last summer, the retired U.S. ambassador decided that there was no longer any reason to put it off.

"When you're working and raising a family, it makes it very hard to have a reunion," said Tomsen. "We were always busy and didn't have the time, but now most of us are retired or semi-retired, and we do have the time."

Tomsen called friend and former Nepal III volunteer Lucy Sotar and proposed the idea. Sotar, who is retired and living in Arlington, agreed that a reunion was most definitely in order, but said that it would take some time as they would have to track everyone down. Sotar, Tomsen and several other former volunteers spent the past year doing just that, and their efforts were not in vain. There were 51 members of Nepal III, and Sotar was able to find or account for all but two. Six members of Nepal III had passed away, and the remaining 43 members showed up for the 40-year reunion at Tomsen's McLean residence on June 24.

"At first people seemed a little reluctant, but once I started finding everyone, they seemed more and more interested in the idea as we went along," said Sotar.

The former volunteers of Nepal III traveled from near and far to attend the reunion. The majority of them had not seen each other for 40 years. Richard Wanner, better known as "Captain," came all the way from his home in New Zealand for the event.

"It's an instant bond," said Wanner of the Peace Corps experience.

William Robinson came from Raleigh, N.C. for the reunion.

"We all have college and high school reunions, but this is such a unique experience," said Robinson. "It's great to be here."

Several of the members made references to the fact that they always considered themselves to be a "band of brothers and sisters."

"All Peace Corps groups have a tight bond," said Tomsen.

NEPAL III was the third group of Peace Corps volunteers to offer its services in the remote south Asian country. In 1964, the group came together for a rigorous training session in Hawaii. Those who made it through then went to Nepal for a one to two-year post. Some of the volunteers worked as foresters, but most were there to help out in a teaching capacity.

The members of Nepal III joined the Peace Corps for a variety of reasons, but many of them became interested after seeing President John F. Kennedy speak about the Peace Corps at colleges and universities across the nation. Kay Bishop was inspired to join the Peace Corps after Kennedy's assassination.

"It's the most interesting group that I've been with in my entire life," said Bishop. "They are all just such incredible people with such interesting backgrounds, and they have certainly gone on to do a lot of interesting things."

Lucy Sotar said she joined the Peace Corps because she "didn't have the slightest clue" of what to do with her masters degree in English, and because she was "very idealistic and wanted to give something to the world."

THE FORMER members of Nepal III arrived in Virginia on Friday, June 23. With the exception of one or two people, the members stayed with various Peace Corps volunteers in the Washington metro area. On Friday evening, the group got together to watch slides of old photos that were taken during their tour. On Saturday morning, Peter Tomsen went to Greenberry's Coffee in McLean with his houseguests.

"We just talked and talked and talked," said Tomsen. "You have all of these interesting stories that you can tell about your experiences. We had teachers and foresters, but we were all one."

On Saturday afternoon, a picnic was held in the garden of Peter Tomsen's home in McLean. The old friends and co-workers took a moment to remember those who had passed, and took turns sharing their memories and stories of Nepal.

Lucy Sotar said that organizing the reunion with everyone had been a "wonderful experience," and she thanked those who had helped her out.

"It gave us the chance to get in touch with everybody, and it brought all these memories back that were so important to me," said Sotar. "Almost all of you have done things that are in the spirit of the Peace Corps, and that spirit is with all of you."

The group also took a moment to sing the Nepali national anthem, before watching another slideshow. On Sunday, June 25, everyone met at a Nepali restaurant for a farewell lunch. Tomsen said that he was thrilled with the high turnout and success of the reunion.

"Everyone parked their cars across the street, and as they walked up the driveway, all you heard was shrieks and howls," said Tomsen. "I choke up when I think about it we really are a band of brothers and sisters."



© 2003 Connection Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.





When this story was posted in July 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Jody Olsen is acting Peace Corps Director Date: June 30 2006 No: 920 Jody Olsen is acting Peace Corps Director
The Senate confirmed Gaddi Vasquez to head the FAO on June 30. Jody Olsen will be acting Director until the President makes a permanent appointment. Olsen has been Deputy Director of the Peace Corps since 2002. She has previously served as Chief of Staff for two directors, as regional director for North Africa, Near East, and Asia and the Pacific, and as country director in Togo. She served in Tunisia as a PCV.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

Changing the Face of Hunger Date: June 28 2006 No: 915 Changing the Face of Hunger
In his new book, Former Congressman Tony Hall (RPCV Thailand) says humanitarian aid is the most potent weapon the United States can deploy against terrorism. An evangelical Christian, he is a big believer in faith-based organizations in the fight against hunger. Members of Congress have recently recommended that Hall be appointed special envoy to Sudan to focus on ending the genocide in Darfur.

PC will not return to East Timor in 2006 Date: June 8 2006 No: 913 PC will not return to East Timor in 2006
Volunteers serving in East Timor have safely left the country as a result of the recent civil unrest and government instability. Latest: The Peace Corps has informed us that at this time, the Peace Corps has no plans to re-enter the country in 2006. The Peace Corps recently sent a letter offering eligible volunteers the opportunity to reinstate their service in another country.

Chris Dodd considers run for the White House Date: June 3 2006 No: 903 Chris Dodd considers run for the White House
Senator Chris Dodd plans to spend the next six to eight months raising money and reaching out to Democrats around the country to gauge his viability as a candidate. Just how far Dodd can go depends largely on his ability to reach Democrats looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton. PCOL Comment: Dodd served as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and has been one of the strongest supporters of the Peace Corps in Congress.

The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan Date: June 6 2006 No: 912 The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan
Probably no RPCV has done more to further the Third Goal of the Peace Corps than John Coyne with the Peace Corps Writers web site and newsletter that he and Marian Haley Beil have produced since 1989. Now John returns to writing about his first love - golf in "The Caddie who knew Ben Hogan." Read an excerpt from his novel, an interview with the author and a schedule of his book readings in Maryland and DC this week.

Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee Date: June 3 2006 No: 905 Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee
Director Vasquez testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination as the new Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture replacing Tony Hall. He has been the third longest serving Peace Corps Director after Loret Ruppe Miller and Sargent Shriver. PCOL Comment: Read our thanks to Director Vasquez for his service to the Peace Corps.

First Amendment Watch Date: May 4 2006 No: 883 First Amendment Watch
Maine Web Report hit with Federal Lawsuit
Website wins trademark suit against Jerry Falwell

Interview with a Hit Man Date: April 25 2006 No: 880 Interview with a Hit Man
RPCV John Perkins says that for many years he was an "economic hit man" in the world of international finance whose primary job was to convince less developed countries to accept multibillion dollar loans for infrastructure projects that left the recipient countries wallowing in debt and highly vulnerable to outside political and commercial interests. In this exclusive interview for "Peace Corps Online," Colombia RPCV Joanne Roll, author of Remember with Honor, talks to Perkins about his Peace Corps service, his relation with the NSA, "colonization" in Ecuador, the consequences of his work, why he decided to speak out, and what his hopes are for change.

PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended Date: April 14 2006 No: 872 PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended
Director Vasquez announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in Chad on April 14 and that all 29 Peace Corps volunteers have left the country. With a program dating back forty years (See Page 4 of the April 1966 "Peace Corps Volunteer"), RPCVs hope that volunteers can return to Chad as soon as the situation has stabilized. Congratulations to the Peace Corps for handling the suspension quickly and professionally.

Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request Date: April 12 2006 No: 869 Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request
The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Peace Corps has blocked their request for information on the Volkart case. "After the Tidings requested information pertaining to why Volkart was denied the position on March 2 the newspaper received a letter from the Peace Corps FOIA officer stating the requested information was protected under an exemption of the act." The Dayton Daily News had similar problems with FOIA requests for their award winning series on Volunteer Safety and Security.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: McLean Connection

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nepal; COS Groups

PCOL33358
86


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: