Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida

RPCVSF Participates in the AmazonSmile Program. To sign up and participate at no cost, please select Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc. as your charity when you visit

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Donations from AmazonSmile to RPCVSF now exceed $950.



IMPORTANT


NOTICE


The Florida  Solicitation of Contributions Act requires anyone who solicits donations from people in the state of Florida to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and renew annually.  FDACS collects registration fees and has authority to impose penalties for noncompliance.


Prospective donors should contact the FDACS toll-free hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or use the online Check-A-Charity tool to verify registration and financial information.


You can also visit ttp://www.ive.org

the website of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, where you can access reports on nationally soliciting charities. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates charities against comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability to help donors make informed giving decisions. Also, important to visit for information on charities is https://www.guidestar.org.


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc., Registration #CH43538, has complied with the registration requirements of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes, the Solicitation of Contributions Act.  A copy of the Official Registration and Financial Information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling 800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State of Florida.

Welcome to everyone who visits our website, and

especially to those of you who live, work and/or study outside of the United States.

Calendar

16 Jul 2022 10:00 AM • Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Shelter #11

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NPCA Leadership Transition Announcement

June 17th, 2022

For more than 40 years, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has united and supported a thriving Peace Corps community. Connecting thousands of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, over 180 affiliate groups, and countless partners, NPCA continues to grow and increase our collective impact at home and abroad. We remain committed to this purpose and to providing support, resources, and advocacy. We do this work together, because we are united in our belief that our differences are our strength—and by drawing on those differences, we can have real and lasting impact. 

Today, we begin a new chapter at NPCA. The Board of Directors announces the departure of NPCA President and CEO, Glenn Blumhorst. We are grateful for Mr. Blumhorst’s years of leadership and dedication to the Peace Corps through service, advocacy, and support, and wish him well in his future endeavors. Kim Herman has been appointed as Interim President and CEO with full authority while an Executive search is conducted for NPCA’s next leader. Jed Meline, former Vice Chair of the Board, is serving as Interim Board Chair.

Prior to accepting this new role, Mr. Herman was the NPCA Board Chair. Mr. Herman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic doing rural community development from 1967 to 1969, after graduating from Washington State University. Building on his Peace Corps service, Mr. Herman has had a distinguished career focusing on affordable housing across the nation. He has over 35 years of legislative experience working with the Washington state legislature and Congress, and he has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and advocacy organizations. The NPCA Board is delighted he has agreed to continue to serve the Peace Corps community in this role.  

We believe that with this transition in leadership, NPCA can further thrive within an inclusive community, and with a workplace culture, that draws strength from our differences, celebrates diversity, and finds connectedness in our shared values. Additionally, the NPCA Board is working on several initiatives to ensure a positive path forward for the organization. Further announcements will be shared shortly.

We appreciate your continued support through this transition. For questions, please contact president@peacecorpsconnect.org.


Afghan Resettlement


June 14th, 2022

Friends,


The Afghan Family Dave Garcia's team has been sponsoring for the past 4 months will be moving to Rock Island, Illinois  on June 18th. The families' Father, Najib, had relatives living in Rock Island, and they helped Najib obtain housing and arranged a job opportunity for him as well.  The decision to move will probably be a wise one..... The cost of rent in Rock Island is half what he was paying here in Miami and, he is expecting a substantial increase in his salary.  I believe one of the biggest reasons he decided to move his family north was that he has a brother, an Uncle and a Cousin that have been established there for a number of years. He is certainly anxious to be near them.


So...our team, Steve Rawlins, Josh Young, Sally Rowley, Erik Waller, and  Matt Lord  are wishing the family all the best.  We cannot tell you how rewarding this experience has been for us as individuals and as a team.  We accomplished more than we thought we could and wish that we could have done more. Besides making them feel at home with household furnishings, we were able to register and obtain Food stamps for the family,  enroll them in Medicaid,  helped provide Dental Care for the Mom and the Kids, set up a banking account, helped obtain SSN numbers, and much more. We spent hours with them...standing in line at different social service and medical offices........we shared many meals with them.......enjoyed  their company and had a lot of fun. 


RAA helped us in every way they could, they were very supportive......... And they continue to assist a number of refugee families, one of which is Taylor Majher's RPCVSF RAA #2. Taylor's family lives  in the same building as our family did, and both teams and families have worked together and  have become close.


 Please keep a lookout for updates on how her family is doing,  we will post news about their progress on the Website and in our Newsletters.  We hope that you will continue to support both Taylor and RAA in their refugee assistance efforts.


Lastly , we would like to thank all of you.... for the financial support you gave,  the assistance you offered, the concern you showed and the prayers you sent.


     Dave Garcia  

  RPCVSF President

dgarcia53@Yahoo.com

   PH. 786 553 5993


Jobs Available


Miami-Dade College - June 18th, 2022


Click Here for Jobs Information


Refugee Assistance Alliance Job - June 24th, 2022


Click Here for RAA Opening


RPCVSF President David Garcia invites you to share a Purple Martin webcam.

We are so excited to announce Season 7 of Martin TV!  Our NestCam stars this year are Skylar and Joffrey. Click here to watch as Skylar and her mate, Joffrey, try to successfully raise their nestlings at one of the PMCA's colony sites on Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. The female, Skylar, is currently incubating 6 eggs, with the first egg laid on June 3rd.  Mark your calendars—hatching day should be around June 22nd! 

Need even more Purple Martin action?  We have an outside view as well!  Click here to watch all the activity that happens outside the gourd. 

Please help support our conservation efforts by sharing the nest cam with your friends and family and consider donating todaythank you for your continued support!


RPCV Alliance for Ukraine


Click Here for Information


Changemaking Education Award


Click for Information


Refugee Resettlement




N a m I b I a Something Coming Something Good


 travel@rpcvsf.org



Click Here for the May 29, 2022 Update




RPCVSF Members Volunteer With Feeding South Florida



Those volunteering: L Geiter, C Bush, G Fitzpatrick, M Lamberts, A Siegel, T Majher, D Garcia  Missing from photo: M Bush


Food insecurity is defined as not knowing where your next meal is coming from.  Over 11% of the people in South Florida are food insecure. Feeding South Florida is one of the largest agencies addressing the food insecurity problem.


One of the of the RPCVSF group projects approved by the Board this year was to provide volunteer assistance to Feeding South Florida. The first group of 8 RPCVSF members joined about fifteen volunteers from other groups and a few individual volunteers for a three-hour shift at Feeding South Florida at their warehouse in Pembroke Park on Saturday, January 22nd.


Dave Garcia and Alan Siegel volunteered to clean up and sort a large donation of pet products when others failed to step forward. The rest of the group volunteered to work as food inspectors, ensuring that food donated by supermarkets, other companies and individuals was in good packaging and that the “best by date” was within a modified expiration date.


The inspected food then moved to a sorting team then a repackaging team so the food could be sent to community kitchens and pantries. At the end of our shift, not only had all the pet products been sorted, but the inspection, sorting and repackaging teams had processed 19,000 pounds of food (9.5 tons!), which translates about 15,000 meals. After the session most of the team went to Cilantro, a nearby Thai restaurant for lunch.

The plan is to provide a volunteer team to work at Feeding South Florida each month. Our next appointment is Saturday, February 12th.  New members can be added to the group, but at least a few days before. We will have a date for March soon. Watch the RPCVSF BLOG which is just above for dates and details. If anyone has questions about volunteering for Feeding South Florida, please contact Larry Geiter at lgeiter@gmail.com.


ABOUT FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA

Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education.

 

Feeding South Florida distributed over 119 million pounds (99 million meals) of food last year, to over 1 million individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies.

Habitat for Humanity


Our president had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity  during the week of Feb. 14  thru the 18.  While attending the Building Blitz of eight Homes in the South Dade  County Area he met and enjoyed working with Sam Hopkins a returned Peace Corps volunteer ( Guatemala 2013-2015 ) who works for and  is part of the Saff at H4H.


 If you have never volunteered to help out at Habitat for Humanity, you have missed a really fun and rewarding opportunity. Construction skills are not necessary, the seasoned staff enjoying training and making the volunteers feel welcome. 

.

Hopefully we will be able to sign up a number of returned Peace Corps volunteers for the next Building Blitz Habitat for Humanity initiates. Information about further opportunities to volunteering will be forth coming. 




For Info about Upcoming Virtual Peace Corps Recruitment Events, Click


Peace Corps Recruiter Updates



Baked for the November 6, 2021 RPCVSF Board Meeting



Bike Aid to Relaunch in 2022

 

Bike Aid, the annual cross country bikeathon for global development, will relaunch in the summer of 2022, focusing on climate change.    The multiroute bike ride from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA is slated to take place June 14 to August 10, 2022.

 

Cyclists will engage citizens and politicians in over 250 communities across the United States to discuss solutions to climate change.    The ride will have nine routes covering all 50 states, culminating in Washington DC to implore the U.S. Congress to act decisively on climate change.  Bike Aid is actively recruiting cross country riders and hosts in each of the communities. 

 

The routes will start in Seattle, Portland OR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Tallahassee and Montreal, all meeting in Washington DC.  Additional short routes are planned for Alaska and Hawaii.    Each rider will raise money to support environmental projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America that mitigate climate change.  

 

As background, Bike Aid was founded in 1986 by a group of Stanford University students.   The cross country ride attracted 80 riders in its first year, and ran for 19 consecutive years, through 2004, with over 1100 participants.    The ride raised over $2 million for development projects sponsored by the Overseas Development Network in Africa, Asia and Latin America.    In July 2021, Bike Aid alumni met for a reunion in Washington DC and decided to relaunch the event in 2022.  

 

For more information, contact Bike Aid at:    

Phone: 301-944-3370
Email:   info@bikeaid.us

Website:   www.bikeaid.us 

The RPCVSF December 2021 Annual Holiday Party












Thanks for Hosting Ana!

RPCVs Rally to Be Considered in

Federal Loan Forgiveness Program


Courtesy of The New York Times: The U.S. Department of Education recently announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Applicants who devote 10 years work in the public service sector (and make 120 qualifying student loan payments during that time) are eligible to have further loan payments forgiven. In a press releaseEducation Secretary Miguel Cardona says the changes are an attempt to live up to the promise of the program and could impact more than 550,000 borrowers. But as a recent New York Times story makes clear, Peace Corps Volunteers fell through the cracks. We need to fix that. A number of returned Volunteers have mobilized to seek widespread relief that enables them to receive qualifying months towards PSLF automatically for any months in which their federal student loans were in a deferment or forbearance status due to Peace Corps Service.


SHARE YOUR STORY: Go to NPCA’s Action Center to write President Biden and your members of Congress.


GET CONNECTED on this issue through  the Facebook group RPCVs for PSLF Relief.


Write President Biden Now








From Left to Right

Saif Ishoof, Vice President for Engagement, FIU

Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Miami Dade County, District 5

David Garcia, President, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida

Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU

Dr. Jill Beloff Farrell, Dean of the Adrian Dominican School of Education, Barry University

Dr. Hilary Landorf, Director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, FIU

Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Vice President, FIU Global

Glenn Blumhorst, President, National Peace Corps Association



Peace Corps Sculpture Ribbon Cutting


MAY 21ST, 2021 10:30 AM CEREMONY FOR A HANDMADE GIFT BY RPCVSF PRESIDENT DAVID GARCIA


THE EVENT WAS A WOW!




New Version for the Next Installation







May 1, 2021 IN PERSON MEETING OF THE RPCVSF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Travel Tidbits


August 24th, 2021 -  If you get on Jeopardy! and make a lot of money due to this article,

do make a large donation to RPCVSF for world peace.


Safari vehicles Modern safaris use Toyota SUVs or the like with 4 wheel drive and A/C. Traditional  safaris use modified Land Rover British military personnel carriers, roofed and quite comfy, no A/C. These can be a little tricky getting in or out of. There is always a large gentleman nearby to assist. Vehicles carry 7 passengers plus the driver/guide. This means the group is limited to 13 travelers plus the Trip Leader in 2 vehicles, 20 if a third vehicle is used.

The Gates You probably have heard the Gates (Bill and Melinda) are no longer in like and are not doing it with each other any more. The lack of bliss should not have any effect on the grand work being done by their foundation to develop a preventative vaccine against malaria. Trips sponsored by RPCVSF follow CDC guidelines for anti-malaria drugs.

Names Trip leaders and guides often have names rooted in their native languages which are very difficult for westerners to pronounce so they adopt noms de travaille (work names}. Rosie in Namibia had a name that began with r-o-s and went on for many more letters. The mother of Stewart, a Zimbabwean working in Namibia, just liked the name Stewart. He did not have an African name but all his brothers and sisters had one. Anna in Thailand really wanted to be Ann but another woman in her office was Ann. God only knows how Sean in Laos came up with that name. Travel answers to the name Greg.

Libations: Singapore Sling When in Singapore you must try a Sling, preferably at Raffles, one of the great colonial hotels in the world. If you are refused entry to the Long Bar because of the truly Byzantine dress code, go around the building to the entrance of the pool bar. You better like cherries because cherry brandy provides the dominant flavor with a splash of gin to add kick. Pisco Sour When in Chile or Peru, this grape brandy cocktail is a must. A splash of egg white insures a frothy head. In Peru, the head features a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters. Caipirinha In Brazil, this is the drink of choice. Made from cachaca (unaged rum) and muddled lime wedges, it tastes like a daiquiri relative. Travel prefers caipirinha maracuja made with passion fruit.

Libations: wine Did you know France dumps its lower grade wines in Southeast Asia? The natives drink very little imported wine so this is for the tourists. You do not need to know a lot about wine when you order a glass and then say to yourself after finishing it, “That was really not distinguished.” No such problem in southern or east Africa due to competition from South Africa.

Libations: South Africa sparkling wine El cheapo is about $12 US a bottle; the good stuff is about $17 US a bottle. Spring for it.

Libations: whiskey and whisky If you ask for whiskey outside the States, expect to get Scotch whisky. Very little American bourbon is exported beyond Europe. The  Commonwealth is everywhere so you might find Canadian whisky available upon request.

Libations: mojitos The rum producing countries have made this drink very popular. Mint leaves grow close to the ground so they must by thoroughly washed. The question comes up in countries where one does not drink tap water was the mint washed in purified water?

Libations: water The modern approach in countries where tap water should not be drunk is for each traveler to be given a plastic bottle with the traveler’s name embossed on it. It is filled from a purified water fount usually located in the reception or lobby area. The traveler keeps it with him at all times. DO NOT BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH TAP WATER. This is also an effort to solve the world-wide plastic pollution problem. In every instance, the trip leader is in charge of water distribution.

Libations: gin and tonic In the early 1960s, the British Empire was transforming into the British Commonwealth. There was no need for the dedicated servants in the Colonial Service. It was folded into the Foreign Service where the colonials were treated as rubes and pariahs by the elitists. On top of that, their turf was being invaded by American Peace Corps volunteers in what were countries within the British sphere of influence. There was only one thing to do: Be nice to the Yanks. And helpful.

Make sure you drink plenty of gin and tonics. For the malaria, you know. If .the “kwih neen” doesn’t kill the malaria parasite, the gin will.

“No way!” said the Peace Corps doctor. There is not enough quinine in tonic to do more that tickle the parasite; the gin will only make it happy.

The Brits invented gin (Beefeater) and discovered quinine in cinchona bark.

Libations: beer Most countries have entered into foreign assistance agreements with European breweries so the beer around the world is generally very good and on the heavy side.

Libations: martini; manhattan Request a martini and you will get a glass of vermouth. You need to ask for a glass of gin shaken with ice straight up with olives if they have them. As for Manhattan, do not press your luck.

Libations: Islamic countries Those seeking a tourism industry have specially licensed facilities for foreign tourists. Their own citizens are not allowed in them to enforce the prohibition of alcohol for Muslims. My principal and I had a beer every day at lunch. He said he was not taking alcohol, just washing down his burger. Besides, the government owned the brewery so he was helping the economy.

New CDC guidelines There are new CDC guidelines for 61 countries as of June 9. In fact, the international travel scene is a mass of contradictions. The virus is raging everywhere so most places require masks. UK now welcomes fully vaccinated tourists without mandatory quarantine. New Zealand, too.

BBC reports the World Health Organization has declared China to be a malaria-free country.

Spirit Airlines probably should be avoided based on news reports. American Airlines has some of the same problems but is a much larger operation and can handle them better.

Travel is busy planning a super tour of Belize including an optional package in the cayes (pronounced “keys”) for divers and an excursion to the major Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala. Stay tuned. You better Belize it.


INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: REALITY CHECK

Click Travel for the February 16th, 2021 Update


I knew we should have re-confirmed our return flight!


Happy 60th Birthday Peace Corps


Zoom Fiesta - February 28, 2021




RPCVSF's Zoom Holiday Get-Together - Sunday, December 20th, 2020






A big thanks to everyone who participated in our Holiday zoom gathering yesterday!!  The event was a lot of fun, and it was so great to hear members from both our Gulf Coast group as well as the Miami group recounting stories from their Christmas pasts in their respective countries!  Let's aim to make this an annual event!