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          Peace Corps
Volunteers of South Florida


12 Jan 2020 4:00 PM • Maison Lambert
26 Apr 2020 2:00 PM • A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park, 3401 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33155 - Shelter # 3

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Nosy Baraha, or Île Sainte-Marie, is a long narrow tropical island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Madagascar. The island has a single paved road running its length. Like other Malagasy stchoolchildren, students on Sainte-Marie wear uniforms and ride their bicycles to school. However, those who live on the the tiny islet of Nattes, off the south end of Sainte-Marie, are ferried every day by pirogue across the narrow channel at road’s end. For these students heading home from school, it’s a fun blend of the old and new.

International Calendar Now Available

   $15 at Events

$17 by Mail

For information and to order, Please e-mail ftm@rpcvsf.org

Annual Everglades Outing

Coming up on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, RPCVSF will host it's 21st annual outing to the Florida Everglades National Park for kids in shelters. To join this event, please click on the Everglades Outing in the Calendar just above.

America's Everglades - The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States

An international treasure as well -  a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.

The Everglades is an expansive area of land in south Florida, which consists of 1.5 million acres of wetland. Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee,  American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.

RPCV Global Village

RPCV Global Village is Accepting Applications for 2020 “Service Vacations”

Join RPCVs for a week (or more) from January to April in Immokalee, Florida to serve the immigrant farm-worker community.  

For more information, please Click Here and https://www.rpcvglobalvillage.org

33rd Annual General Meeting of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida

RPCVSF Expresses it's Appreciation to the Historic 94th AeroSquadron Restaurant for a great Lunch and Venue

RPCVSF President Jen Wos Welcomes Everyone to the 33rd Annual General Meeting of

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc.

RPCVSF President Jen Wos (left) and the Honorable Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins who spoke on All Kinds of Service. Commissioner Higgins served as Peace Corps Director in Belize.

Fair Trade Market Goods Were There to Raise Funds for HELP - Haiti

2019 Spirit of Service Learning Awards

Our annual Spirit of Service Learning Award event, held on Saturday, October 12th, at the Miami Springs Lions Club, was well-attended by RPCVs, awardees and friends.  After some mingling and a scrumptious, potluck meal, awards were given to: 2019 Spirit of Service Learning Winners and Honorees.pdf.

For more information about the Spirit of Service Learning program, please click here .

K - 12 Winners

 Higher Education Winners Melissa Grossman and Thomas Uhle, Jr.

Awardees and Representatives of the

Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year Coalition and the

Armando Alejandre Jr. Memorial Foundation and

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida

RPCVSF Went to Thailand

By Greg Zell (Nigeria)

November, 2019 - Thailand has been a major Peace Corps country from the beginning. RPCVs from Thailand have made an impact on our organization from its start. A comprehensive 2 week visit is called for.

Thailand is an attractive country. It is not a gorgeous country. Bangkok is unattractive like many capital cities: very congested, largely sidewalk-less, buildings piled on each other happenstance. Cranes fill the skyline. Where are the new buildings going? The Chow Praya river adds a scenic touch though. We finish a cruise at the stylish rear entrance of the Mandarin Oriental hotel for high tea in the famous Authors Lounge. We take tea in the James Michener suite. Everyone agrees the surroundings, tea, and food make this an experience.

We leave the city to explore the ruins of two ancient capitals of Siam: Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. They remind us we are in an ancient civilization. At Kanchanaburi we see the River Kwai. Pierre Boule, a French author, took a handful of facts about a rail bridge near a river in Thailand built by Japanese WWII POWs and fashioned a popular novel. The American publisher gave it the English title Bridge Over the River Kwai; David Lean turned it into a great movie called Bridge on the River Kwai. Tourists wanted to see the river (and the bridge which was blown up at the end of the film!).

So the Thai government renamed a portion of the river and added new bridges even though the original did not cross the river but was parallel to it. An entrepreneur constructed nearby a bamboo cell block typical of a Japanese POW camp for tourists to see. Even more sobering, outside the town is the perfectly manicured cemetery for over 6900 Commonwealth POWs, mostly Australian and New Zealanders.

All our hotels on the trip were eye-popping. On the River Kwai, each room was a separate building with foundations sunk in the edge of the riverbed. The rooms were connected by a kind of gallery/causeway. You had to see it.

We head north to Chiang Mai, nestled in mountains and a favorite of PCVs. It is more temperate than the south. Visiting the elephant sanctuary lets us see them feeding, wallowing in a mud pit, and bathing in a river. They are a smaller species than their African cousins which we saw on our Namibia safari.

We go further north to Chiang Rai in the Golden Triangle, home of some of the world’s major druglords and best dope. I bought a nifty t-shirt featuring poppies. Now I am concerned people might think me a South Beach mo-del. The road ends at a river, the border with Myanmar (Burma).

We fly south to Phuket. The scars of the tsunami over a dozen years ago have healed. Now we see hills and mountains pouring into the sea and lovely beaches (no surf) and so many tourists, the result of China’s economy booming for years. Some of our group went snorkeling; others took a course in Thai cooking. We were blessed with authentic Thai cuisine every lunch and dinner. Asian food tends to be repetitive after a few days but not our meals.


Our good fortune began when we caught a bargain airfare of about $900 round trip on Qatar Airways. The planes are sparkling new. No old overweight behemoth flight attendants for them: real gorgeous stewardesses and handsome stewards.

Qatar is an independent Arab emirate next to the United Arab Emirates. Qatar is mostly pronounced “cutter” but is better pronounced “gutter” we are told even though we never hear it. Qatar has oil which will run out in 20 years. Sing no sad songs. It has one of the world’s largest supplies of natural gas. The government tries to diversify its economy by encouraging tourists to fly its airline and layover by offering a 4 star hotel for $28 a night. We chose a night on the way home to fight jet lag. Our hotel was an older low-rise boutique, beautiful with inlaid marble everywhere.

A city tour was a must. I have never seen so many skyscrapers crammed together. Each one was more spectacular in design than its neighbor. My eye could not figure out why they did not detract from each other. Underneath many are gigantic cooling systems to blow coolness up to the pedestrian areas. The parks and “hills” are all created. Water comes from de-sal plants for people and greenery, altogether a lesson on what money can buy. What a treat! You should see.

September 5, 2019 - RPCVSF Members Ana Ciereszko and Marvin Hancock visit with Ryan Hnatiuk, Regional Director at U.S. Senator Rick Scott's West Palm Beach Office to provide updates on Peace Corps.

August 28, 2019, RPCVSF Members Ana Ciereszko, Doris Vincent, and Marvin Hancock visit with Lea Padron, Regional Director at U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's Miami Office to provide updates on Peace Corps.

Miami Marlins vs Arizona Diamondbacks

July 27, 2019

Former RPCVSF President Tuey Murdock (Colombia)

Visits Her Daughter in Namibia who is on Assignment at the U S Embassy

This week, I went to the swearing in of the 50 th Namibian group of Peace Corps Volunteers. There were 30 new volunteers many dressed in local attire, singing and dancing local dances and anxious to go to their assigned posts after the ceremony. This is a group of education volunteers- teaching in primary and secondary schools. The average age is 22 years old- they look so young- but there was one volunteer in her 60’s who is a Returned PCV having served in the 90’s in Sierra Leone. She was as thrilled with the prospect of 2 years in a remote Namibian village as the 22 year olds.

The training for today’s volunteers is 9 weeks in country after 3 days in DC. A bit less than the 8 months of training I had in the 60’s! They had training in the local languages, cultural and history, medical and of course how to teach. All in 9 weeks. It was fun to join about a dozen RPCVs that work for the State Department, Peace Corps, US AID, and CDC here in Namibia at the ceremony. The training takes place in a medium size village, about 45 minutes north of Windhoek. The trainees live with local families and practice teaching during the training at local schools. Apparently because Namibia has good medical care, many of the volunteers chosen for Namibia may have medical conditions that would not allow them to be PCVs in other countries. The PCVs of today are very different from my experience in the 60’s- they all have laptops and cell phones with solar chargers!

You can see her photos of Namibia with a narrative by clicking on the following link: Namibia

RPCVSF July 2019 Board Meeting

RPCVSF Goes to Tanzania including Zanzibar

And a visit to Bagamoyo

May 15, 2020 – May 30, 2020

A project of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc. facilitated by

The Africa Adventure Company

Trip Leader: Greg Zell (Nigeria)

This is not a fund raiser. The Trip Leader is not compensated.

This is an unusual customized trip of the entire country of Tanzania at the 4 star level at the best price available. Most packages do not include Zanzibar; no one includes Bagamoyo. No one offers this price.

1. We visit 4 national parks; go into Ngorongoro Crater, largest extinct volcano crater

     in the world; Cross Serengeti “Endless Plain”; Kilimanjaro: it’s big; it’s there.

2. Bagamoyo: former capital of German East Africa (Tanganyika);

    all the major expeditions in Africa began or ended here.

3. Zanzibar: walking tour of Stone Town, historic center of Zanzibar Town.

4. Learn some kiSwahili; pick up some Arabic greetings.

5. Follow the footsteps of Stanley and the route of Livingstone’s body.

6. Who is Bula Matari?

Email for link with pictures and a complete itinerary, included meals, sights, and hotels.

Cost: $4850 per person double occupancy; $600 single supplement. Request a roommate. LAND PACKAGE Note: More people can be accommodated  decreasing price for all.

AIR PACKAGE FROM MIA: Approximately $1200 to $1700. The travel agency will assist in booking or you may book yourself using miles or other promotional tools.

Note: Travel Insurance is highly recommended. Information upon request.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED email travel@rpcvsf.org BEFORE December 23, 2019.

This is NOT a final commitment. If we have enough travelers (6 plus trip leader) to form a group, we will make our deposit payment together in January.


You will be required to take anti-malaria medication. Travel will assist you in getting a prescription. Usually the recommended drug is a generic version of Malarone which has the least side effects. Obamacare will pay for it. The malaria form in Tanzania is not deadly. It will knock you out of action for about a week or 10 days. You will not die but will wish you could. If you are not going to take the medication, do not book this trip.

You will be given suggestions regarding foods not to eat and on water usage based on CDC suggestions to Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Africa. You will have plenty of water given you at all times because the trip leader is in charge of water distribution. In addition to water, the package includes sundowners most days because the sun sets in the west in Tanzania, a cause for rejoicing.

May 19th Partnership Lunch

Twenty-six RPCVs and guests enjoyed a delicious Georgian-Armenian lunch at Kavkaz Restaurant on Sunday, May 19th.  In addition to the great fellowship and wonderful food, the attendees selected a Peace Corps Partnership Project to which the $260 collected and $260 RPCVSF match (a total of $520) was donated.

The project selected is in the Republic of Georgia (fitting) and is called “Growing Seeds & Skills: Teaching Business to Domestic Violence Shelter Residents.”  The program will teach 15-20 survivors of domestic violence marketable small-business skills and organic-growing practices through a series of 6 workshops at a new greenhouse.  In addition to the workshops, the project includes the purchase of necessary supplies and materials for the existent greenhouse structure.

Once the participants in the program are ready to transition from life at the shelter to independent living, they will possess the increased capacity to work in horticulture, at community markets, and may even feel confident enough to start their own small growing businesses.

Many thanks to those who attended the partnership lunch for contributing to this project and to the future of the beneficiaries of the donation!

Dear Doris,

Thank you so much for supporting my Peace Corps partnership project with the Anti-Violence Network of Georgia. We are gearing up to do some good work in the greenhouse later this month, and if you'd like, I'll keep you posted. AVNG's new website will be under construction for the summer, but you can also follow AVNG on Facebook.

We truly appreciate your support!



Katie M. Bercegeay

Development Management & Training Specialist
Peace Corps Response 
Georgia | 2019



Returned Peace Corps Volunteers South Fl

Po Box 661001

Miami Springs, FL  33266


Dear Doris, 


On behalf of the Peace Corps, it is my pleasure to thank you for your contribution towards the mission of the agency and the critical work of Peace Corps Volunteers. Your support will enhance the agency’s efforts to promote peace, friendship and understanding between the United States and citizens of other nations.


We cannot thank you enough for your support! One hundred percent of the donations received will enrich Peace Corps’ work in communities all over the globe, whether we facilitate malaria prevention workshops, install clean cook stoves, lead mentoring programs for youth, or create a safe school environment for girls. In FY2018, Peace Corps funded 695 Volunteer-led projects in 56 countries, benefitting more than 1 million people. 


We appreciate your commitment to the important work of the Peace Corps and look forward to keeping you updated on our work. If you would like any additional information about agency programs, please do not hesitate to contact our office at donate@peacecorps.gov.  


Thank you again for your support of our work and our Volunteers.




Karen J. Roberts


Office of Gifts and Grants Management

1111 20th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20526



Contribution Amount:                                      $520.00

Directed to:                                                      Growing Seeds & Skills: Teaching Business to DV Shelter Residents 

Country Served:                                               Georgia

Donation Date:                                               5/21/2019

RPCVSF'S 20th ANNUAL OUTING to the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK Saturday, March 30th, 2019

Thanks to the Park Rangers and Fire Rangers, the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis, our wonderful teams, 51 RPCVs & their families, and the organizing by Genevieve Bazer for our 20th Annual Outing to the Everglades National Park as well as the post event wrap up at the home of RPCV David Garcia in Homestead.

Lots of Guests, Guides, Park Rangers and Chaperones

And Lots of Official Resident Greeters !

A Very Handsome Anhinga on The Anhinga Trail

The anhinga(/ænˈhɪŋɡə/; Anhinga anhinga), sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird. The origin of the name snakebird is apparent when swimming: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. They do not have external nares (nostrils) and breathe solely through their epiglottis.

Like other darters, the anhinga hunts by spearing fish and other small prey using its sharp, slender beak.

Hello, my name is Ali and that's Ms Ali chatting in the next photo

Cooking and Conversation Club Haitian food Fort Lauderdale - October 13th

We had 6 attend the Yellow-Green Farmers Market on Sunday, September 30th, where we found RPCV Linda Alvarez selling honey from Florida Keys' bees.

From left: Michelle Kelsey, Barb Junge, Linda Alvarez, Ann Gleeson, Seamus Gleeson, Lenore Sek. Not pictured: Sharon Alvarado.

RPCVSF 2018 Retreat Sept., Key Largo, Florida

Friday - Dinner at the Tower of Pizza, Key Largo

Saturday - September Meeting of the RPCVSF Board of Directors

July 28, 2018 - Marlins vs Washington Nationals


We had a turnout of 19. Great game (2-1 Marlins in 10) plus post-game fireworks.

For more photos, please see "Our Photo Album" on the left side of this page.

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 http://smile.amazon.com. Donations from AmazonSmile now exceed $652.
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 TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
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