RETURNED PEACE CORPS V OLUNTEERS OF W ASHINGTON, D.C. ...bringing the experience home.

Fall 2010
Dear Friends,

Seasonal Newsletter
A Word from your President...
Last month I had the honor of attending a dinner hosted by “Friends of Turkey” outside Washington, DC. Members of Turkey groups 1 and 2 came together to celebrate Turkish Independence Day and catch up on old times. I was amazed that after all these years, the friendships that had been made during the Peace Corps were still strong and the stories they told about their days of service were still so fresh in their minds. A woman sitting at my table said, “It’s always great to get the old group back together again.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Groups around the country are celebrating this anniversary by meeting up, planning return visits to their host countries, and reconnecting with old friends. Though RPCV/W has the luxury of having the largest population of returned volunteers anywhere in the world, I encourage you all to reach out to those people from your service who you may have lost touch with over the years. Go through your Peace Corps album again and think about your first night at staging. For some of you, this wasn’t that long ago. For others, it may have been several decades. 10 years have passed since my first staging night in Chicago. There are many people from my Peace Corps group that have since become part of my extended family. Of all the things that I gained from the Peace Corps, it is the people that I met, both host country nationals and fellow volunteers, that I am most grateful for. I hope you encourage your Peace Corps friends around the world to come to Washington, DC next September and join us all in paying tribute to Kennedy’s great vision, and the program that changed all our lives. I can’t think of a better excuse to pick up the phone, send an email, use Facebook, Linked In, or the many other avenues and “ get the old group back together again.” Best wishes this holiday season, Tamar Schiffman Lechter, President, Uzbekistan '01, Ukraine '03

Website: We’re on Facebook!! Twitter: @RPCVW @pc50th_rpcvw Email: communications@ Save the Date:
• Holiday PartyDecember 10, 2010 • Happy Hour at Meridian Point- November 30, 2010 • Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary Events2011 (STAY TUNED!!!)

Your 2010 Board Directors...

1st Row (l to r): *Andrianne Konstas: New Members Director *Chris Austin: Development Director *Joe Ford: Secretary *Natacha Vecroux: Social Director 2nd Row (l to r): *Allison *Corey Taylor: Community Service Director *Bea Tijerina: Vice President Arvis Layton: Membership Director 3rd Row (l to r): *Liza Cushion: Programs Director *Doug Trapp: Web Director *Kristina Owens: Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Liaison 4th Row (l to r) Brandon Roche: Special Events Director China Dickerson: Communications Director Tamar Schiffman: President

Inside this issue:

A Word From Your Directors What We’ve Been Up To For Your Tummy




About RPCV/W and Join!


A Word From Your Directors...
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From the Social Committee Natacha and Brandon...
Some of RPCV/W’s most popular events are happy hours, parties, and other social events. This year these have included our annual picnic and thanksgiving dinner, a film screening, and of course happy hours throughout the D.C. area. Some of our recent events have highlighted the cultural diversity of the first Peace Corps Countries, and RPCV/W will continue to hold one social event a month on a country theme leading up to the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Future events in this series will include dinner at an Indian restaurant with a Bollywood performance, and an author reading at a bookstore. Of course, it is not all highmindedness – these functions are also a lot of fun. In addition to good times these events offer RPCVs an opportunity to network, meet other returned volunteers with similar interests, and a chance to swap stories from the field. They also strengthen the community of returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the Washington area, and reinforce RPCV/ W’s mission to share our unique experiences and commitment to service and in the process create a community that celebrates the diversity of the greater Washington area and world cultures. If you have ideas for additional social events that would appeal to other RPCVs, our Social Director is interested in hearing from you – contact

Happy Hour at Ghana Cafe

From Community Service Director Corey Taylor...
In August, an open letter was sent asking for more input on the various types of community service activities each of you would like to see us cover as an organization. We received great leads from groups such as Intergenerational Bridges, with their efforts in finding mentors age 50 or better for recently immigrated students; we also formed a volunteer group for the National Arboretum, to clear invasive species of ivy; and Escuela Bolivia reached out to us in their efforts to promote education and leadership to underserved Latino families. These are just a few of the suggestions we’ve gotten from our members, and for that we thank you. That said, we’re still open to other suggestions for activities, and to help the impact of those activities go further, we would be grateful to have each of you contribute your time, your skills, and your expertise to community service events. Whether it’s a single effort on a Saturday afternoon or a weekly commitment of one hour to an organization, RPCV/W values your input and your presence – especially your presence. For it’s the hands and minds that get the job done, and there’s still much work to do.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” Mohammed Ali

From the Membership Committee Andrianne and Arvis...
When did you come back? Where did you serve? What sector were you in? RPCVs find themselves answering and asking these questions quite often. It’s almost a compulsive twitch at networking events and interviews. It seems unfair; to have your Peace Corps service reduced to three close-ended questions. Peace Corps is about more than just a date and place. It’s about the: community you were in, connections you made, and a shared experience. When you join RPCV/W you are becoming a part of a community of 500 members and connecting with those members based on a shared experience. Help RPCV/W learn more about you by: mingling at our monthly happy hours; volunteering with RPCV/W; taking a hike in one of the many local national parks; and getting discounts to annual events (RPCV/W Annual Holiday Party and Picnic). So ask yourselves; do I want to meet more people in the Washington, D.C. area? Could I use a discount at the next happy hour I go to? Is sharing my Peace Corps service with like-minded individuals important to me? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then RPCV/W is ready to welcome you. With RPV/W close-ended questions become conversation starters—happy hour nametags usually cover those questions.

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What We’ve Been Up To... What We’ve Been Up To...
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Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary!!!
Dear Friends, RPCV/W’s part in the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary is sure to be the most exciting parts of the year. There are five committees with truly committed RPCV/W members and RPCVs. The Social and Outreach Committee has already done a wonderful job with two great events to honor the first thirteen Peace Corps countries. In September we celebrated Ghana at Ghana Café. October was the month to Celebrate Chile with a showing of a Chilean movie at the Latin American Film Festival and in November we celebrated Pakistan with a fundraiser for flood relief. The Parade Committee and Wreath laying committee are already tackling planning for RPCV/W’s main events on September 25, 2011. That day will include a Wreath laying program at Arlington National Cemetery, where we will honor the impact of RPCVs, Host country Nationals and remember the fallen Peace Corps volunteers. This program will be followed by a spectacular Parade of Flags across the Arlington Memorial bridge. The Communications committee are beginning to plan ways to document all our events so we can remember this momentous milestone for the Peace Corps. The Development Committee is working on finding ways to ensure we can have wonderful and meaningful events. If you are interested in joining a committee please contact Kristina at Find out what is going to our website or our Facebook page. If you are an RPCV that is involved in regional or a Country group please contact us. We will be needing your help in the future. Best, Kristina Owens, RPCV/W Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary Liaison

A Night at the Ballpark
September 28, 2010 was Washington Nationals Peace Corps Night at Nationals Park. The Peace Corps parade of flags, led by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and staff, took place on the field before first pitch. It was a great night to be a Peace Corps Volunteer and a National's baseball fan!

Partnership for Peace

The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington DC (RPCV/W) is pleased to announce its 2011 Partnership for Peace Recipient. You decided, and this year’s recipient is Academy of Hope!!! This organization will be the focus of our community service, programming, and fundraising efforts for the 2011 calendar year. This program is in its second year and will include a large service event during the 50th Peace Corps Anniversary celebration in September 2011.

For Your Tummy...
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Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie
Ingredients: (filling for pies) 5 fist-sized sweet potatoes 3 pie pans (9 to 12 inches) 1 cup of milk 1.5 cup of sugar (add or reduce for sweetness) 2 sticks of butter 2 eggs 1 tea spoon of nutmeg (I use two myself) 1 table spoon of vanilla extract (I use two here again) 1 bottle of draft beer Pie Crust Ingredients (per pie crust): 1.5 cups of Nabisco Honey Graham Crackers (ground up) 1/4 cup of sugar 5 table spoons of butter. cinnamon shaker Process: Boil the 5 sweet potatoes in a huge pot of water for about 50 minutes or until "mashable". Let them cool slightly, and carefully peel off the loose skins. Start mashing!!!!! Add the two sticks of butter and the milk, the sugar and eggs, then finally the nutmeg & vanilla extract. Crunch the graham crackers in a large bowl or container (as crackers might fly about upon getting crunched. Heat the 5 tablespoons of butter to a liquid, then add to the crumbs with the sugar following there after. It will form a graham cracker paste that you'll spread on each pan. Remember that for the shell recipe, it only makes one pie pan, while the filler is enough for three pies or more! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees; if your oven gets really hot fast then reduce to 350 degrees. Fill the graham cracker crust pans with the sweet potato filling. Sprinkling each pie with a bit of cinnamon & nutmeg; Insert the pies into the oven. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven) or until the pies are dark orange on top and the crust looks properly baked. As pies are baking, open bottle of draft beer, drink and relax! (this is optional). When pies are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for a while, because the pies are easier to cut into slices when more solidified ("well duh!"). Serve with Ready Whip or Ice Cream and milk!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” —J.R. Tolkien

Recipe: Malaysian Terong Balado
This vegetarian recipe comes from Malaysia, one of the first Peace Corps countries. Nosh on this dish and others at the local gerai, or food stall. To learn more about Malaysian food and culture, check out the 2011 Peace Corps Calendar - July is all about Malaysia! Ingredients: 1 large Eggplant 3 Garlic cloves, chopped 4 Tbsp Onion, chopped 1 1/2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes 1 tsp Sugar 1 tsp Salt 2 tsp Red hot chili peppers, fresh 1/2 c Water 2 tb Vegetable oil How to Prepare: Cut the eggplant into long quarter-round strips. Bake them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they are soft but not mushy. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the onion, garlic, tomatoes, salt, sugar, peppers and water and mash with a wooden spoon until it forms a coarse paste. Fry the tomato paste in the oil until the liquid is reduced (about 10 minutes). Pour the sauce over the eggplant and serve immediately.

Recipe: Saice (Traditionally found in Tarija-Southern Bolivia)
Ingredients: 1 pound beef (from the hip area) (ground beef works well too) ½ cup oil 1 cup green peas, peeled 2 cups white onion, finely chopped 1 cup tomato, peeled and finely chopped ½ cup ground spicy red pepper ½ teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon oregano, crumbled ½ fresh parsley, finely chopped ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 spoonful salt 3 cups broth or cold water How to prepare: Cut the meat into very small pieces. In a stew pot combine the meat with all the other ingredients, including the broth or water. Set to cook over high heat until it boils and later over low heat, for at least an hour or until everything is very well cooked. If the preparation dries a little, add broth or hot water. It must be very juicy. Serve in a deep plate steamed rice. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and red onion. Add hot sauce to taste.

About RPCV/W
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About RPCV/W
The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C. (RPCV/W) was founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1990 in the District of Columbia. RPCV/W is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world. RPCV/W is a nonprofit 501c3 with over 500 members and representing more than 2,500 returned Peace Corps volunteers, Peace Corps staff, and Peace Corps families and supporters in the greater Washington D.C. area. RPCV/W is governed by an elected board of directors. Our Mission: By fostering opportunities to share our unique experiences and commitment to service, we create a community that celebrates the diversity of the greater Washington area and world cultures.


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Why Join RPCV/W
Benefits of membership in RPCV/W for only $15 a year:
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Members become part of the nation’s largest regional organization of returned Peace Corps volunteers. Members receive first notification and/or access to a growing list of RPCV/W events, including networking and volunteer opportunities. Members also receive access to members-only events and discounts to ticketed events.

Special Offer

Free Membership for 1 YEAR for Recently Returned Volunteers!!
Eligibility: Anyone that has a COS date less than a year from registration is entitled to one year of free membership.

RPCV/W members shape the organization by electing the board of directors, voting for the charity of the year and by voting on special initiatives, as they arise. Recently Returned Volunteers (within one year of your COS date) receive one year of memberships for free. Please use this complementary discount code for your free membership: RPCV/W. This discount code is for Recently Returned Volunteers only and discount usage is monitored by RPCV/W.


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C.

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