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    Returned Peace Corps
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27 Apr 2019 5:00 PM • 2151 SW 17th Street, Miami
28 Apr 2019 2:00 PM • A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park, 3401 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33155 - Shelter # 3


Saturday, March 30th is almost here!

Due to the federal government shutdown, RPCVSF'S 20th ANNUAL OUTING TO THE EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK for more than 100 kids from under privileged backgrounds and a large group of adult guides and chaperones had to be postponed from its originally scheduled date of Saturday, Jan. 26.

If you already registered for the Jan. 26 date, no need to register again. If you registered for the event on Jan. 26 and now cannot attend on March 30, please let us know by sending a note to RPCVSF@rpcvsf.org.

You can read about our 2018 outing to the Everglades at the end of this page.

Travel Update

March 16th, 2019 -- TRAVEL is about to announce our newest package, 2 weeks in October in Thailand, a rare comprehensive tour of the entire country. Stay tuned. Your life is incomplete until you have had high tea at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in beautiful downtown (well, maybe just downtown) Bangkok.

Or do you prefer a week in Paris in July with a trip leader who knows the language and the city. If you are interested, email travel@rpcvsf.org. Being interested is free and is not a commitment. You only think you have been to Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. (We do not mention Cape Town when in France.)


RPCVSF Goes to Thailand

October 27, 2019 – November 9, 2019

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

Trip Leader: Greg Zell (Nigeria)

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

This is an unusual comprehensive trip of the entire country of Thailand at the 4 star level. It has been put together by an established Thai travel agency UME Travel

We start in Bangkok, one of the most crowded, vibrant capital cities in the world. We visit the major royal and religious sites, the floating market, and canal network. Then it is on to Kanchaniburi and the River Kwai. You will see the replacement bridge. (Original bridge go boom at end of film.) Also, a reconstruction of a Japanese POW camp and beautiful Commonwealth War Memorial Cemetery. Next we tour Ayutthaya, the ruined ancient capital of Siam. Then we go up into the mountains of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai where we mix with the elephants. Finally we are off to the tropical beach resort of Phuket.

Email request for a complete itinerary, included meals, sights, and hotel description.

Cost: $2275 per person for 12 people double occupancy: LAND PACKAGE Note: The price increases with fewer travelers. Single traveler prices in the full itinerary. AIR PACKAGE FROM MIA: Approximately $1300. 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 APRIL 23, 2019.

This is NOT a final commitment. If we have enough travelers to form a group, we will make our deposit payment together. Otherwise travelers can make arrangements directly with the travel agency.

In Memoriam: George H. W. Bush


By Gregory Zell (Nigeria)I

At our board meeting in May, 1990, President Bob Anderson (Gabon; Ghana) told us he had been asked by the Peace Corps Partnership office in honor of our support for the program to invite 2 of our members to a ceremony at the White House in which President George H. W. Bush was going to send off the first 120 Volunteers to Poland and Hungary.

I looked around the room to see whom I would have to kill to get one of those spots. Fortunately, President Bob was the only one to express an interest. This was a doubly exciting occasion because one of our members, Joe Gmyrek (Thailand; Nepal) was headed for his 3rdPeace Corps assignment. Katie Bagby of Orlando and daughter of my closest friends in high school was also going to Poland. Joe, a Polish-American, was hoping to learn the language which he occasionally heard growing up. Katie, a Spanish major, would earn highest achievement in Polish language skills.

We were escorted through the visitors entrance past the queue by Peace Corps staff and given a short tour of the executive offices including the Oval Office. We ended up in the Rose Garden which had been set up with a stage and folding chairs. The day was beautiful even though there are no roses in the Rose Garden in June. Millie, Mrs. Bush’s dog, was romping, chasing squirrels on the South lawn. Guests arrived and the garden was filling when the general tourists were invited to take up standing room and any unclaimed spaces.

The French doors from the Oval Office opened and out strolled President Bush. He looked SO presidential, tall, trim, impeccably suited. He casually stopped every once in a while to chat up some dignitary or other. I was excited just to be a witness. Of course, I had not voted for him because I do not vote for Republicans. But he was ours until the next election.

He walked up to the stage and its lectern to welcome the crowd. He started to appoint the new Volunteers as 120 Points of Light when there was a stir in the crowd. He peered over the lectern to see that Millie had made her way into the ceremony. He corrected himself: 121 Points of Light.

It is not often Americans come across a courageous politician but GHWB was one of our most courageous. He made a dumb promise of no new taxes in order to get elected. When the Democrats joined by some Republicans offered him a budget reconciliation bill that included a tax increase, he signed it and we had a balanced budget for the first time in many years. It cost him re-election.


OCTOBER 20, 2018  -  94th AeroSquadron Restaurant  -  Miami Int'l Airport

2018 Spirit of Service Awards

Our annual Spirit of Service Learning Award event, held on Saturday, October 6th, 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 the following people:

Finalists - Aileen Ochoa, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Miami Dade College - Kendall Campus; Carlos Gonzalez, English Composition, Miami Dade College - Kendall Campus; and Susannah Brown, Art Education in Elementary & Secondary Schools, Florida Atlantic University.

Winners - Dr. Ann Graziotti, Community Health Nursing Practicum & Advanced Concepts Practicum, Miami Dade College - Medical Campus; Dr. Joshua Schriftman, ENG/SOC Publishing, Justice & the Freedom of Speech, University of Miami; and Dr. Pamela Hall, Senior Seminar - Psychology Capstone Course, Barry University.

One additional finalist, Liza Greenberg, College Prep Reading and Writing & English Composition, Miami Dade College - InterAmerican Campus, and one other winner, Dr. Jan Sokol-Katz, Juvenile Delinquency, University of Miami, were unable to attend.

All recipients expressed gratitude to RPCVSF for the award and recognition they received.

Front row - Finalists and Winners - Dr. Ann Graziotti, Susannah Brown, Dr. Joshua Schriftman, Carlos Gonzalez, Aileen Ochoa

Back row - RPCVSF SSL Committee Members - Mary Lamberts (Thailand, 70-72), Dave Garcia (Kenya, 88-90), Linda Whitmyre (Malaysia, 67-69),  Josh Young (Malawi, 84-86 & Paraguay, 88-90), Ana Ciereszko (St. Vincent & the Grenadines, 69-71)

Dr. Pamela Hall

RPCV Josh Young welcomes attendees

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

Dear Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida,

My name is John DeLeo Jr, and I am a PCV from Fort Lauderdale, FL, currently serving in the TEFL program in Kyrgyz Republic. I have attached a picture of me wearing my 2017 Everglades Outing t-shirt while volunteering at a kindergarten in Osh City, Kyrgyzstan, during my school break. Thank you..

Peace Corps Partnership Program

August 11, 2018 - Partnership Dinner in Miami at a famous Argentinian restaurant and grill.  For details and to register, just click on Partnership  Dinner in the Calendar at the top of this page.

August 5th, 2018 - Partnership Dinner in Hollywood raised $210 which is 100% matched by RPCVSF for a $420 contribution to the Peace Corps Partnership Program. See the photos of this event in Our Photo Album in the Menu to the left.

These two dinners supported a Girls Greenhouse Initiative in Armenia (led by a PCV from Florida); and a Resources for Girls' Empowerment and Equality in Moldova.

FYI - The Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) connects Volunteers and their communities with the private sector in the U.S. and around the world in order to fund community initiated and led projects.

PCPP is a proven mechanism for supporting small community-based grants.  Over the past ten years, PCPP has funded over 7,200 Volunteer projects in nearly every sector, totaling more than 19.8 million dollars in grant funds. Last year alone, PCPP funded 930 projects in 57 countries, touching the lives of 1.5 million people across the globe.

Over the same 10 year period, RPCVSF sent to PCPP over $16,800 that was contributed by diners and matched by RPCVSF. We have been doing Partnership Dinners  for almost 35 years! Our thanks to all the diners for their contributions and all the wonderful restaurants who have made our contributions possible.

30 Folks Attended Partnership Dinner at an Argentinian Restaurant in Miami - 11AUG18

For more photos of the Event, please see Our Photo Album to the Left

Thanks from Itimbo, Iringa, Tanzania

RPCVSF's Donation through the Peace Corps Partnership Program helped build this school!

For More Photos of the Construction, Please see Our Photo Album to the left.

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

Back to the Everglades National Park

On April 8th, 2018, a group of RPCVs and their friends and families visited the Everglades National Park to tour the Nike Hercules Missile site that was activated during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. For more information about tours, just Google "everglades missile base tour."

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 2018 19th Annual Everglades Outing

This year 29 RPCVSF members, 11 Kiwanis Club of Biscayne Bay members and six park rangers from the Everglades National Park hosted 78 wonderful kids and 37 accompanying adults from five homeless shelters for a day in the Florida Everglades. The total attendance including guests was 169.

For more photos of the day, please click on "Our Photo Album" on the left side menu.

Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species.

 Among the Everglades' abundant wildlife are the endangered leatherback turtle, Florida panther and West Indian manatee. The Everglades is the only place in the world where the American alligator and the American Crocodile coexist.

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 $625.
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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