November 28, 2005: Headlines: Local Groups: : Maryland Returned Volunteers: A Message from the President
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November 28, 2005: Headlines: Local Groups: : Maryland Returned Volunteers: A Message from the President
Maryland Returned Volunteers: Upcoming Events and a Message from the President
We have three stories in this issue of the Maryland Returned Volunteers Newsletter:
1. Information about our upcoming Annual General Meeting at UMBC campus on Sunday, December 4 from 530 pm to 730 pm and how to get there.
2. Information on other upcoming events that are already on our Calendar of events for 2006.
3. A photo essay on our recent event, the third annual "Peace Corps History" series that we co-sponsor with UMBC, an evening with C. Payne Lucas, "Peace Corps Giant" and founder of Africare.
Maryland Returned Volunteers: Upcoming Events and a Message from the President
Caption: Maryland RPCVs President Hugh Pickens and his wife Sunday June Pickens manage the attendance table at our annual picnic at Tom Jacob's farm last September.
A Message from the President
On Sunday, December 4 we invite you as a member of the Maryland Returned Volunteers to attend the most important meeting of the year - our Annual General Meeting - at the Shriver Center at UMBC campus from 530 pm to 730 pm (directions to the campus below) - to evaluate our past year's activities and plan our future. This is your chance to help us decide where our money will be spent, who our leadership will be, and what activities our group will sponsor in 2006. Please plan to attend if you care about the future of our group.
Agenda for the Meeting
At the Annual General Meeting we will look back on 2005 and evaluate our programs for the year and plan our future programs for 2006. Our agenda for the meeting will include a "State of the Organization" report from our President on our programs in 2005 and our challenges for the future of the organization. In addition we will hear the annual report from our Treasurer Joanna Allen on the financial status of our organization, on where our money came from and how it was spent. Then we will have a discussion of who our leadership will be for the coming year and plan what direction our organization should take in 2006 and what programs we will be sponsoring for the year.
There will truly be no more important meeting for the Maryland Returned Volunteers than this one during the year. If you are interested in the future of our organization, then we invite you and all members of the organization to join us at UMBC at the Public Policy Building (Room 107) on UMBC campus from 530 pm to 730 pm to help plan the direction the group will take in 2006. Please plan to attend this meeting if you care about the future of our organization.
If you are unable to attend
To make our group successful in 2006, we need the inputs from all our members. If you are unable to attend our Annual General Meeting, then send us an email reply right now and tell us what events in 2005 you thought were our best and what events didn't work out. Tell us what type of events we should repeat in 2006 and which ones we should drop.
We especially need your help in planning our ethnic dinners and our book clubs. We need volunteers who will sponsor ethnic dinners like our dinners this year at the Ethiopian "Dukem Restaurant" and the Nepali "Kathmandu Restaurant" (shown above) that were so popular this year.
If you know a local ethnic restaurant from your Country of Service that you think our group would enjoy going to, then we need you to "sponsor" the event by identifying the restaurant, going with us to the restaurant a few weeks before the event to plan the meal, and offering to speak to our group at the meal about your Country of Service and about the food that we will be eating from your Country of Service. Send us an email reply now if you can help.
We need your help if we are to continue putting on "book club" meetings like the one with Ivory Coast RPCV Sarah Erdman (shown above left with Lane Berk and Kay Muldoon-Ibrahim) when she spoke to us about her book “Nine Hills to Nambonkaha” at the home of Hugh and Sunday Pickens.
We also need volunteers to help us plan our book clubs. In the past we have had book club meetings at member's homes and invited such authors at Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan RPCV, author of "Chasing the Sea), Sarah Erdman (Ivory Coast RPCV , author of “Nine Hills to Nambonkaha”), and Philip Weiss who we brought down from New York last year to talk about his book "American Taboo" about the murder of Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner in Tonga in 1976.
We need members of our group to help "sponsor" additional book club meetings. We need members to help us identify books and authors that they would like to hear, call the authors to invite them to speak, help us coordinate their arrival if the authors are from out of town and provide transportation and overnight housing for the authors if they are from out of town. In addition, we need members of the group to offer their homes as a meeting place for our book club meetings. We have a budget for putting on the book clubs, but we have to have your assistance in planning and putting on the book clubs.
Unfortunately in the past, we have had to rely on a limited number of our members to "sponsor" our ethnic dinners and book clubs and some of these members are getting tired out. We have to renew our leadership and our membership if we are to continue going forward. If you would like to see us maintain or increase the number of ethnic dinners and book club meetings in 2006, then we need volunteers to help us put these events on. If you want our group to have ethnic dinners and book club meetings in 2006, then let us know if you will be able to help us put on these activities. Send us an email reply now and let us know what you can help us with.
How to get to the Shriver Center (Building 28) on the UMBC Campus for our Annual General Meeting on December 4
Come to our Annual General Meeting at the Shriver Center on Sunday, December 4. For detailed directions click here for directions to the UMBC Campus under "Directions and Parking." Then click here for a map of the campus. We will be meeting in Room 107 of the Shriver Center (called Public Policy Building or Building 28 on the map). Park in the commons garage.
Upcoming Events - Maryland Returned Volunteers
Caption: We learned about Nepal from a member of Nepal 1, the first Peace Corps group to serve in that country, at our ethnic dinner at Kathmandu restaurant in September.
Thank you. We have had a terrific response to our idea of group members "sponsoring" happy hours, ethnic dinners, and book club events. We have received emails from RPCVs who would like to sponsor service projects, ethnic dinners and even an idea for 25 or 30 RPCVs to carry the flags of their Countries of Service and march in a Parade with an RPCV banner. We have put our first events on our calendar and here they are below. Send us an email if you would like to sponsor an event or come to our Annual General Meeting on December 4 to let us know what type of event you would like to sponsor, where and when.
December 2 - Chris Seremet is sponsoring a Happy Hour at the Marriot Waterfront Hotel in Fells Point on Friday, December 2 starting at 5 pm
Caption: Joe Navarro and Chris Seremet share a joke at our recent ethnic dinner at Kathmandu restaurant.
Meet us at the Marriot Waterfront Hotel in Fells Point at 700 Aliceanna Street at 5 pm on Friday, December 2 for a Happy Hour. We will be meeting upstairs in the restaurant. Chris Seremet is sponsoring this event. If you haven't come to one of our happy hours before, you'll recognize us - just look for the tall guy with a beard wearing a "Peace Corps" baseball cap. For more information call Chris at 410-727-2076. We'll see you there.
December 4 - Hugh Pickens and Joby Taylor are sponsoring the Annual General Meeting at the Shriver Center at UMBC Campus on Sunday, December 4 from 530 pm to 730 pm
Caption: Joby Taylor presented C. Payne Lucas and sponsored the 3rd Annual Peace Corps History series at UMBC in November.
On Sunday, December 4 we invite members of the Maryland Returned Volunteers to attend our most important meeting of the year - our Annual General Meeting - at UMBC campus from 530 pm to 730 pm - to evaluate our past year's activities and plan our future activities for 2006. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, December 4 and plan to attend our Annual General Meeting of the Maryland Returned Volunteers. Detailed Directions and a map are shown earlier in this newsletter.
January 28 - Larry and Nancy Fitton are sponsoring our Annual Holiday Potluck on Friday, January 28 at 6 pm at their home at 43 Glen Alpine Road, Alpine MD
Caption: Larry Fitton shares a story with Jose Camacho and his brother at last year's Holiday potluck.
Mark your calendar for our first event in 2006 - our Annual Holiday Potluck on Saturday January 28 at the home of Larry and Nancy Fitton (43 Glen Alpine Road, Alpine MD 21131-2406) starting at 6 pm. This is a potluck. Everybody bring a dish to share. Members are encouraged to bring Peace Corps slides to show the group.
February 17 - Sunday Pickens is sponsoring an Ethnic Dinner at the Cazuela Ecuadorian Restaurant at 1718 Eastern Ave in Fells Point on Friday, February 17 at 7 pm
Caption: Sunday Pickens enjoys manzana, mote sucio, plantain, and chorizo at the Cazuela restaurant in Fell's Point.
If you have served in Chile, Ecuador, or Peru, then you know what cebiche is. We have recently found a restaurant in Fells Point that makes the most delicious cebiche we have eaten on the East Coast so we are sponsoring a fixed price Ecuadorian Dinner at the Cazuela in Fells Point on Friday February 17 at 7 pm. The cost of the meal will be $25 including tip. The meal will include plantain, cebiche, tostada, arroz con pollo, tres leches for desert, and cafe con leche.
In addition we will have several RPCVs attending who have served in Andean countries who will talk about their countries of service while we wait for our food to be served.
The Cazuela can only accomodate 30 persons so we will be selling the tickets in advance at our upcoming meetings. Once we sell all 30 tickets for $25 each, then attendance will be closed and we will not be publicizing this event further. Send an email reply now if you are interested in attending or if you want to reserve your spot now mail a check to:
Attention:: Sunday Pickens
2450 Eutaw Place
Baltimore, MD 21217.
C. Payne Lucas speaks at our annual "Peace Corps History" series at UMBC
Last Wednesday, November 16, Maryland Returned Volunteers attended one of our premier events for the year, the third annual "Peace Corps History" series that we co-sponsor with UMBC. "It was a dark and stormy night" but over 130 Returned Volunteers and students braved the elements to attend a talk by Africare founder C. Payne Lucas on "the Peace Corps and the challenge in Africa."
Enjoy our photo essay of the event and our introduction to C. Payne Lucas and his service to Africa and to the Peace Corps.
Caption: C. Payne Lucas gave a riveting talk to over 130 RPCVs and students at UMBC on November 16.
C. Payne Lucas has spent most of his professional life in development starting with the Peace Corps. C. Payne joined the agency's staff during its first months in 1961, serving abroad in Togo and Niger and in 1967-69 as Peace Corps' Regional Director for Africa.
In 1969, C. Payne and Kevin Lowther were asked by Peace Corps Director Joe Blatchford to establish a new office to help returned volunteers apply the skills they had developed abroad into relevant community-based and professional activities at home. In 1971, they departed the Peace Corps and C. Payne and a group of ex-Peace Corps staff and volunteers did just that - they created Africare.
In the 35 years since its founding Africare has become one of America's leading humanitarian and development organizations. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered more than $450 million in assistance on 2,000 projects to 36 countries Africa-wide.
Caption: C. Payne called the Peace Corps "the most revolutionary program" of the 20th century and spoke about its impact in Africa.
For his work in Africare, C. Payne has been honored by US Presidents as well as the leaders of more than two dozen African nations, receiving decorations from the national orders of Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Senegal, and Zambia and was awarded the 1984 US Presidential End Hunger Award for ourstanding individual achievement. He was recently honored with the Franklin H Williams Award for outstanding leadership contributions that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Color have made in the area of community service.
These are some of the honors that C. Payne has received for a lifetime of service and I am sure there are many more. But I would like to mention one specific service that C. Payne and his friend Kevin Lowther made to the Peace Corps.
Caption: Maryland Returned Volunteers President Hugh Pickens introduces C. Payne Lucas and presents him with an award for his lifetime of service in the Peace Corps and Africare.
In 1970 C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther wrote a book called "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" which contains a history and an analysis of what works and what doesn't work in a volunteer organization like the Peace Corps. Jack Vaughn was the second Director of the Peace Corps and here is what he wrote about the book "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" when it was reprinted in a special second edition to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps.
Caption: After the talk, members of the Maryland Returned Volunteers enjoyed a buffet and a book signing of C. Payne Lucas's classic book about the Peace Corps - "Keeping Kennedy's Promise." RPCVs Lane Berk and Bruce Cohen (center left) discuss the program.
"The reprinting of this primer of volunteer success abroad is well-timed. It comes at a time when volunteerism has risen to the top of the nation's agenda. It comes right after President Bush has suggested doubling the size of the Peace Corps, and ominously when field conditions in many third world countries have suddenly deteriorated or become more complex.
Examined forty years after Kennedy's first call and in a post Cold War context, this no-nonsense analysis might more appropriately be titled Keeping Volunteerism's Promise. All the guidelines and warnings are there. If anything, the lessons learned are more relevant in today's more pressured world than in the sixties and seventies.
Caption: C. Payne Lucas was Peace Corps Country Director in Niger and Togo in the early 1960's. Here he enjoys a moment with two Returned Volunteers who served with him forty years ago.
The two authors bring impressive resumes to match their candor and insights. This significant work reflects both their volunteer and staff experience in Africa and Washington DC. Their having had first hand access to the long-confidential internal evaluations of the Peace Corps helps lift their insights and judgments beyond the anecdotal. Every Peace Corps staff members should have this book as a prime reference."
That's what Jack Vaughn had to say about Keeping Kennedy's Promise.
Caption: Sunday June Pickens and Chris Seremet of the Maryland Returned Volunteers enjoy a conversation while waiting at the book signing for C. Payne's book about the Peace Corps - "Keeping Kennedy's Promise." All copies of the book sold out at the event.
C. Payne Lucas retired as Africare's President in 2002 but remains active with the organization and serves on its board of directors and we are proud and honored to have him here today to give us some straight talk about Africa, development, and the Peace Corps.
C. Payne Lucas, "Peace Corps Giant"
When this story was posted in November 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:
Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
| PC establishes awards for top Volunteers|
Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. The award to currently serving volunteers will be based on a demonstration of impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect. Submit your nominations by December 9.
| 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.
| Peace Corps at highest Census in 30 years|
Congratulations to the Peace Corps for the highest number of volunteers in 30 years with 7,810 volunteers serving in 71 posts across the globe. Of course, the President's proposal to double the Peace Corps to 15,000 volunteers made in his State of the Union Address in 2002 is now a long forgotten dream. With deficits in federal spending stretching far off into the future, any substantive increase in the number of volunteers will have to wait for new approaches to funding and for a new administration. Choose your candidate and start working for him or her now.
| 'Celebration of Service' a major success|
The Peace Corps Fund's 'Celebration of Service' on September 29 in New York City was a major success raising approximately $100,000 for third goal activities. In the photo are Maureen Orth (Colombia); John Coyne (Ethiopia) Co-founder of the Peace Corps Fund; Caroline Kennedy; Barbara Anne Ferris (Morocco) Co-founder; Former Senator Harris Wofford, member of the Advisory Board. Read the story here.
| PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident"|
The District Commissioner for the Kasama District in Zambia issued a statement banning Peace Corps activities for ‘grave’ social misconduct and unruly behavior for an incident that occurred on September 24 involving 13 PCVs. Peace Corps said that some of the information put out about the incident was "inflammatory and false." On October 12, Country Director Davy Morris met with community leaders and apologized for the incident. All PCVs involved have been reprimanded, three are returning home, and a ban in the district has since been lifted.
| The Peace Corps Library|
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.
| Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong|
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.
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