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28 Apr 2019 2:00 PM • A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park, 3401 SW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33155 - Shelter # 3


In Memoriam: George H. W. Bush


1924-2018


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.

Volunteers  Needed!


RPCVSF Advocacy Coordinator Ana Ciereszko just let the RPCVSF Board know that she is considering attending the day of action in DC this year on February 28th and hopes that several RPCVSF members join her in Washington D.C. Ana also wrote that she is still interested in handing Advocacy over to someone else so if there is a volunteer willing to take on Advocacy, please e-mail Ana at rpcvsf@rpcvsf.org  or Linda Whitmyre at ftm@rpcvsf.org.


2019 is going to be a big year for NPCA advocacy efforts, and it all starts with The 15th annual National Days of Action, running from February 28th through April. During that period, NPCA wants every state to have one or more advocacy related activity. From organizing a district office meeting with your new member of Congress to incorporating letter writing on key Peace Corps policy issues into a planned pot luck dinner or happy hour, we need you to share your volunteer experience and let your elected representatives know why a strong and well-funded Peace Corps is important to our nation.

RPCVSF  ANNUAL  GENERAL  MEETING




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


Travel Desk Update

The OATtravel last minute trip prices cannot be beat IF you are traveling as a couple and the quality of their packages is fantastic. Exception: the current OAT package for South Africa is NOT the best because they have dropped Lesotho which is well worth a day trip.

Orbitz has been showing a bargain package to Amsterdam in October with an excellent selection of day trips. Share your finds with travel@rpcvsf.org


Follow up our Indonesia Partnership dinner with a trip to Indonesia with the only package that can include Komodo Island, home of the dragons. Check out OATtravel.com AND look into their last minute travel bargains if you are a traveling pair. Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world with a Hindu pocket in Bali, recently became a Peace Corps country. Our restaurant is named for the island that exploded in 1883. For a film interpretation, see: Krakatoa: East of Java. If you check your map, you will find it is west of Java. That’s Hollywood.


Would you be interested in a safari to Tanzania including  Zanzibar in March, 2019? In addition to all those animals in the national parks, there is a walk through the historic Stone Town area of Zanzibar town where all the major explorations of Africa began or ended. The last 3 days of the safari are at an Indian Ocean resort similar to a Club Med: your admission bracelet gets you food and drinks all day and night except call brands. If interested without obligation, contact travel@rpcvsf.org.

Travel @ RPCVSF.org Goes to C e n t r a l A f r i c a


For the Story, Please Click the following: Travel goes to Central Africa.pdf 


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 $587.
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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