Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida

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Donations from AmazonSmile to RPCVSF now exceed $910.



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

31 Mar 2022 4:10 PM • Loan Depot Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami, FL 33125
07 May 2022 5:00 PM • Shenandoah Area - Miami

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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 and 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 RPCVSF group projects approved by the Board this year was to provide volunteer assistance to Feeding South Florida. The first group of 8 members of RPCVSF joined together with 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.


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 were the pet products all sorted out but the inspection, sorting and repackaging teams had processed 19,000 pounds of food, which translates about 15,000 meals. After the session most of the team was able to gather at 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 and new members can be added to the group. We will have a date for March soon. Watch our BLOG which is just above for dates and details. If anyone has questions about volunteering 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.


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


Friends,


Habitat For Humanity just put out  a schedule for an upcoming Building Blitz, and has some open spots for volunteers wishing to participate. If you are interested in volunteering.  I plan on attending Monday Feb 14 and on Thursday the 17th.  It would be nice to have a group working together...


The registration date for registration of Groups closes on Jan 14...so if you want to participate as a group, please  let me know ASAP, so I can  get us registered.  If  we can't get a group organized, I'm sure they would welcome assistance on any of the scheduled days you could make it. Again, if you let me know what  date you are available as an individual, E-mail that to me, and I'll pass that on to HH.


If you would like more information about the event, please e-mail dgarcia53@yahoo.com  or text me at 786 553 5993


Dave


David Garcia

President

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida





Hi everyone,


I've joined with some of my fellow RPCVs from Tonga to raise funds for the people in Tonga.  We have partnered with CARE in Australia to help get basic supplies to the Tonga people after the devastating tsunami and volcanic eruption.  Can you help me spread the word about our efforts to other RPCVs in the area?     We have set up a Go Fund Me page and donations would be very much appreciated.


The link to donate is here:   https://gofund.me/f277a332


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.


Thanks very much,

Steve Hunsicker

For Info about Upcoming Virtual Peace Corps Recruitment Events, Click


Peace Corps Recruiter Updates



Baked for the November 6, 2021 RPCVSF Board Meeting



Click Below for RPCVSFs November-December 2021 Newsletter


RPCVSF NovemberDecember 2021 Newsletter.pdf

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


Travel Resumes 2022: The Plan

By travel@rpcvsf.org


January 2, 2022 -The year ended with a thud for me. OAT, my favorite travel company, canceled my January Morocco trip so I rebooked it for January, 2023. I am so certain RPCVSF will be traveling this year, I went out and bought a pair of safari slacks, cargo pants in camouflage print. All those extra pockets come in handy on safari. Ralph Lauren. Looking good so as not to frighten the animals.


I think we should be able to travel in September or October. I am not sure at this point if Namibia or Victoria Falls will go first. There are a lot of variables regarding the virus and climate. Animals and tourists do not like rain. On the other hand, why go to Victoria Falls if the Zambezi River is not in full flood?


All travelers will need to be fully vaccinated AND take generic Malarone anti-malaria pills, one each day in Africa and for 7 days thereafter. I help you get the prescription. The malaria in this part of Africa is not the killer type. You will just be so sick for a week you will wish you were dead. I get you to a doctor; you leave the safari and make your way home.

Even though the virus is raging in the US and other countries, it seems to be letting up in southern Africa. The US is allowing travel to and from those countries there after having prohibited it.


Johannesburg is the city which first identified the Omicron variant. It is the starting point for most safaris. It is also considered one of the more dangerous cities in the world. Our hotel the first night is part of The Emperor’s Palace, a 5 minute walk from the airport. We do not walk it. Too dangerous. We use the hotel shuttle. We notice the 10 foot high fence around the complex is topped with razor wire. There are also guards at the entrance armed with AK 47s. This is one of the largest casinos in South Africa. MONEY. (google: emperors palace Johannesburg) We head for the Food Court which is an indoor street scene lit to seem like the outdoors. At Tribes bar we have a ceremony welcoming those who have never been to Africa. Then we dine at the large restaurant. There is a bottle of sparkling wine on each table from your Trip Leader. The ostrich steak in berry sauce is terrific.


2022 Calendar is Ready



To purchase International Calendars, just click on the following website,


www.rpcvcalendar.org


and use the following Coupon Code for a dollar discount when you purchase.


PC4RPCVSF


A is for Armenia, B is for Benin … and C is for Children. And also for this Calendar—our first “all-kids calendar,” in which we celebrate children worldwide by focusing on kids in the countries where Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have served. 


As the photos in the 2022 International All-kids Calendar show, childhood experiences are both culturally specific and universal—no matter where in the world you go. The 2022 calendar includes photos of children from 12 of the 142 countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the 61 years since the founding of Peace Corps:  Niger, Afghanistan, Thailand, Uganda, Lesotho, Kenya, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Armenia. The cover features a photo taken in Mongolia, along with smaller inset photos from Senegal, Togo, Ethiopia, and Panama.

NPCA Update

The National Peace Corps affiliate news provides a lot of information about what’s going on in Peace Corps around the country. Besides offering help on developing a good returned Peace Corps group, there is a lot of information about different programs, different initiatives, and different efforts by returned volunteers.


Please click the following link to view the latest information from NPCA.


NPCA Affiliate Group News November 2021.pdf


We hope that some of you may find this information very interesting.


November 13, 2021 RPCVSF Pool Pot Luck Party - Surfside, FL

(Photos in Our  Photo Album in the Left Margin Menu)

Coming Soon


World Affairs Council of Miami

 

The World Affairs Council of Miami will be similar to the 90 other chapters spread across the United States.  This network is one of the most well-respected international affairs organizations in the world.  You may learn more about the national organization at WACA | Main (worldaffairscouncils.org)

 

In just the past six months Miami lost out on several opportunities because it does not have a chapter.  When NATO wanted to reach out to cities across the United States they contacted the ITC but advised they would only work through the World Affairs Council network, so they went to six other cities with chapters.  When the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil wanted to address the Miami community, he would only do it through a World Affairs Council Chapter (he instead went to the Atlanta chapter), and currently the IDB wants to work through a World Affairs Chapter.  Bringing the "World Affairs Council" brand to Miami will help attract more international organizations and speakers to our community, strengthening all Miami-based international affairs groups.

 

The 90 World Affairs Council chapters are free to have slightly different priorities, but almost all arrange speaker series.  About fifty of them sponsor the Academic WorldQuestcompetition in their local communities' schools (we plan to do this).  Many also host the Great Decisions series (for example in Vermont) and/or actively promote travel opportunities, offered by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

 

As a "start-up" non-profit, we are looking for input and active involvement from the entire Miami international affairs community.  We plan on having monthly social gatherings along with monthly speaker/roundtable events.  We hope to work with local school districts to start the Academic WorldQuest program this Fall and will add other activities as individual and partner organizations propose them. 

 

For your reference, below are just a few more examples of what other leading and neighboring councils are doing:

 

Los Angeles World Affairs Council › Home (lawacth.org)

HOME | Wacatl (wacatlanta.org)

Naples Council on World Affairs - Home (ncwa-fl.org)

Sarasota World Affairs Council | Welcome (sarasotawac.org)


For more information, contact Jon Ward by e-mail at jward628@gmail.com,

or by phone 305-713-7922.







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!

RE-IMAGINING PEACE CORPS!

 Click Want More Peace Corps for More Information


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!