Returned Peace Corps
 Volunteers of South Florida


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Meet-Up & Member Blogs

31 Dec 2020 12:00 PM • Anonymous member

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The Family of our long time member        
              Kiki Mutis

    has organized a Fundraiser

The November - December 2020 Newsletter is here!

Please Click on the Announcement for the Newsletter or Travel Update

The September 2020 Travel Update is Here

The 2021 RPCV Calendar is Ready

To Order, go to the website RPCV Calendar ( where you can Shop for the 2021 RPCV Calendar, the Perpetual Calendar and a large selection of note cards, many of which are country specific.

For a RPCV $1.00 discount off the order total, please use the Discount Code PC4RPCVSF.

Is Your Passport Ready to Go?

Click Passport for Information

RPCVSF Vice President David Garcia joined others for a day-long Capitol Hill Peace Corps advocacy day on March 5th, 2020.

See our Members at Home section for David's response to Global Ties about Peace Corps Service. Click Here: David Garcia

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


Miami Dade College published an article titled "Faculty Honored for Service-Learning Dedication" about RPCVSF's Service-Learning in their monthly "MDC College Forum" that has a nationwide distribution of over 50,000.

Immediately below is a link to the article.

Service-Learning Faculty Awards College Forum Article Nov 2019.pdf

The Children's Berevement Center

RPCV Julissa Reynoso let us know that she is with The Children's Berevement Center, which as locations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and serves both children and adults. For more information, please click on our the following link on our website to Members at Home: Julissa Reynoso

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.

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

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!

RPCVSF'S 21st ANNUAL OUTING to the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK Saturday, February 1st, 2020

Thanks to the Park Rangers, the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis, our wonderful teams, RPCVs & their families, and the awesome organizing by Genevieve Bazer for our 21st Annual Outing to the Everglades National Park as well as the post event wrap up at the home of RPCV David Garcia in Homestead.

This year, for the first time we remember, we had rain at an Outing to the Everglades National Park, so some adjustments in the program were made and the 120 or so guests of honor still clearly enjoyed themselves.

Below are some photos from the 2020 Outing to the Everglades.


The following photos are from our 20th outing to to the Everglades, in March, 2019

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.

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