Returned Peace Corps
Volunteers of South Florida

Networking addresses the third element of our Mission Statement, which is:

c) provide support service and networking for RPCVs living in South Florida.

RPCVSF accomplishes its mission through volunteer events, social functions, education, advocacy and networking.

RPCVSF also endeavors to:

a) strengthen awareness of the Peace Corps and its programs;

b) recruit new Peace Corps Volunteers; and

c) when appropriate, encourage advocacy for the Peace Corps.

On the following pages, you can read about our clubs and social events.

Travel: Implosion and Recovery


 April 15th, 2022 - 2020. Nice numbers. For a year in which travel experienced a BIG birthday. How to celebrate? Safaris to Namibia and Victoria Falls. Travel has been to both places twice and does NOT need to go again. But it would be nice to go as trip leader for friends, family and RPCVs.

It was fortuitous former RPCVSF president Tuey Murdock (Colombia) was living in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, where her foreign service daughter Tura Rocha was on the embassy staff. They suggested I use a travel facilitator people at the embassy found quite helpful. I also found her easy to work with. She made it clear she was a facilitator and not a travel agent. This meant she could put together the land package but could do nothing on the air package.

I could walk the handful of interested people, mostly from the east coast, through the process of getting to Johannesburg and then to Windhoek. She put together a splendid land package which I was about to send out when the pandemic hit. I waited a couple of days and then postponed the trip indefinitely. I continued to talk up the trip for over 2 years.

Now I had a large group of interested people scattered across the USA. These travelers would need the help of a travel agent on the air package. I contacted my favorite agency for safaris, Africa Adventure Company HQd in Ft. Lauderdale. All RPCVSF trips have been customized. Surprisingly, not all travel companies customize packages. AAC advised me they are not traveling in 2022 but they could put together a package for 2023. Since they did the grand package on our last visit there, I moved the travel date to 2 weeks late March, 2023. As you read this, the itinerary is being put together.

There are some definites that can be considered at this time.

1. All travelers must be fully vaccinated and boosted. There could still be some testing requirements.

2. All travelers must take anti-malaria drugs. Generic Malarone is recommended as being the most effective with the fewest side effects; taken every day on safari and for 7 days thereafter. Travel walks you through getting a prescription. The malaria we encounter is not the deadly kind but it will knock you down for about a week during which time you may wish you were dead.

3. Single rooms are scarce. Our lodges are beautiful but on the small side. They also have a sizeable supplement. Even if you have a cozy friendship with the trip leader, a single room may not be available.

4. It is not too soon to look for some smart safari frocks. You do not want to frighten the animals. I am sporting Ralph Lauren (Polo).

5. When the final dates, prices, and itinerary are sent out, the time for acceptance will be very short, 8 or 9 days. Until we make deposits, we are tying up rooms that others want desperately.

A word about customized travel:

I know what I want you to see so we do not waste time.

Our land package tends to be a couple of days shorter than regular packages. This lets us fit better into the schedule, work and vacation, of employed people. A couple of days shorter usually means a few dollars less expensive.

The trip leader is not compensated.

This an official activity of RPCVSF which receives no remuneration.

Coming: Victoria Falls: Your life is incomplete until you see Victoria Falls.

Where do you want to go next? Let travel know.

Would you like to be a volunteer Trip Leader? It is fun. The pay sucks.


Is Your Passport Ready to Go?

As the pandemic resolves itself, you may feel the need for (and deserve) an international travel break. Certainly, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc., will be traveling in coming months. We have several birthdays to celebrate. If you are itching to go, use the interregnum to see if your passport is ready to go.

If your passport expires in 2021 or the first half of 2022, renew it soon. Some countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, will not allow entry if your projected date of exit falls in the last six months before your passport’s expiration date. This may seem a bit insane but you will not be able to talk yourself around this at Passport Control no matter that your passport is still valid.

In the rear of your passport, you will find pages labeled “VISAS”.  Some countries insist on 3 of these blank pages when you enter the country. If you enter the country twice on the same trip, 6 pages are needed. It helps that “In transit” does not count as an entry. Further back in your passport are several unlabeled blank pages. THESE PAGES DO NOT COUNT. Again, you will not talk yourself out of this conundrum at Passport Control.

Renewing your passport is fairly easy. Download the application at US Passport Agency. Passport photos are available at most Walgreen’s and CVS drug stores. Every post office accepts renewal applications in an envelope along with the photos, your old passport, and check for the amount set out on the website. While you are at it, why not mark the box and pay for extra “VISA” pages?

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