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25 Feb 2017 5:00 PM • Shilla Restaurant, 7917 NW 2nd St., Miami
27 Feb 2017 4:00 PM • FIU - Florida International University
23 Apr 2017 3:00 PM • Oleta River Park, 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami (Manatee Pavilion-East Side of Park)
06 May 2017 5:30 PM • 2151 SW 17th St, Miami







Here are a couple of photos from this years Habitat for Humanity BLITZ build of ten houses in South Miami.

 

Pictured are Tim O’Brien, Korea, Mark Reilly, Honduras, and Daryl Wall, Ecuador.  We worked on House Ten being built in two weeks for Holly; our job was installing Insulation in the entire house.  We worked hard and got a nice T-shirt, hopefully next year we can increase the RPCVSF turnout to more then 3 volunteers.







RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS OF SOUTH FLORIDA, INC.

Present Travel to Namibia and Botswana & Zimbabwe

N a m i b i a   I I

Upon request, a repeat of the amazingly successful Namibia I August 19, 2017 through September 1, 2017. This is a customized safari which means it fits our time frame and is less expensive than regular safaris.


You must act quickly. This is high season in Namibia. We have been allotted 4 rooms to accommodate 7 travelers plus me. This means there are no single rooms available. Solo travelers will be provided a roommate. If none is available, couples will be given first consideration.


To sign on, notify me travel@rpcvsf.org before March 1 so we can coordinate our non-refundable 20% deposits through Ian at The Africa Adventure Company 1-800-882-9453. Full payment for the land package less deposit due March 17, 2017.


The itinerary is the same but some of the lodges in Namibia I were not available this trip. Comparables have been substituted. Note: The land package price includes a portion of trip leader service. The trip leader receives no monetary compensation. International air travel arrangements may be made through Africa Adventure Company or through the airlines directly where frequent flyer miles may be used. These arrangements must be paid for at booking. Travel insurance is recommended.


Most southeastern US travelers will fly to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Johannesburg. We all meet up there around 6:30 pm August 20, 2017, Happy Hour, to initiate the newbies who have never been to Africa. You must take an anti-malaria drug. The recommended one, Malarone, has a generic available and is considered to have minimal side effects. You will be walked through this by me. If you do not intend to take anti-malaria precautions, DO NOT BOOK THIS TRIP.


THIS OPPORTUNITY EXPIRES MARCH 1, 2017


Click Here for Details & Pictures: Zell 2017 Ultimate Namibian Journey - 01-16-17.pdf



BOTSWANA and ZIMBABWE


May 25 through June 5, 2017

 

Botswana has the largest free roaming herds of elephants in Africa and all the Big Five. Chobe National Park is one of the most famous in Africa. The Okavango Delta is a swampy wildlife area that is the world’s largest inland delta, rivers whose routes to the sea are blocked. Zimbabwe is home to Victoria Falls. Swahili speakers call it “Smoke that Thunders”. You will hear it long before seeing it. You will look up in the sky and see water vapor that gives the impression of a forest fire. Both countries are very peaceful now. The world is watching Zimbabwe’s aged President. When he dies, there may be trouble in parts of the country but none is expected near the Falls. The people there depend on tourist dollars and are thought to go to great lengths to keep any problems out of the area.

 

This safari has been organized for 7 travelers by Go2Africa, a South African company out of Cape Town. It is pricey because this is high season in the area. Availability is tight and so we have been given a brief time to place our 30% deposit or lose the space. See attached payment schedule. This safari is unusually popular this season. I have been asked to move it to 2018.

I am expecting a November off-season quote from The Africa Adventure Company.

Note: The price includes a portion of trip leader service. The trip leader receives no monetary compensation.

 

International air from MIA will run around $1500. You can book through Go2Africa or through the airlines directly using frequent flyer miles. Since the deposit is not refundable, we will make it simultaneously when we have 7 travelers. Travel insurance is recommended.

Notify me at travel@rpcvsf.org if you want to join this safari. DEADLINE: February 25, 2017.

  

You are required to take anti-malaria medication. Malarone is the suggested one with the least side effects. A generic version is available. You will be walked through this by me. If you do not intend to take anti-malaria medication, DO NOT BOOK.


Click Here for Details & Pictures: Zell Group Safari to Botswana Zimbabwa .pdf


Travel Coordinator: Gregory Zell (Nigeria 62-64) travel@rpcvsf.org

This is not a fund raiser. No organization funds are involved. The Travel Coordinator is not compensated.

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


RPCVSF Hosts 80 Great Kids @ the 18th Annual Everglades Outing


On Saturday, January 28th, RPCVSF, the Kiwanis Club of Biscayne Bay and the Everglades National Park hosted 80 children from three homeless shelters. We missed one bus load of kids this year because their shelter did not have the funding for a bus and insurance. Hosting were 70 RPCVs and PC Invitees, 10 adult chaperons, 4 Park Rangers, and 2 Law Enforcement Rangers. We provided each child with a lunch and a goodie bag.


 Click Here for More Event Photos: 18th Annual Everglades Photos





Question: Could one of these be a crocodile?


Cooking and Conversation Club

January 14th, 2017




Partnership & Solar

This is Martha Wagley and you donated to my community's PCPP solar grant. I live in the Thaba Tseka District of Lesotho in a small village in the mountains, about 8 hours from the capital, Maseru. I'm a native of Washington State and have been in Lesotho since 2014.

I wanted to say thank you so much for donating to my school's solar power project and give you a brief report of how the project proceeded.


We started the Mokotjana Solar Panel Project in April 2016 to improve academic achievement at our school. In September, the staff developed a plan to implement new teaching practices with the help of the solar power. They identified academic areas in which paper resources could significantly improve student learning, and have budgeted for the purchase of more paper and ink - made possible by the money saved through not using a generator. They also pledged to provide paper testing four times a year, instead of just providing students with blackboard testing. We implemented the paper testing methods for the final exams this November and we are hopeful that these academic improvements will help students achieve passing scores on the national exit exams in the coming years.


As Lesotho is a landlocked country, we bought the solar system in South Africa to save money. It only took us a week to install the system and we now have a fully functioning printer, and light for security purposes and night classes. We finished installing the system on November 18th.The teachers have already begun to use the system to improve academic achievement and are excited to implement the rest of their plan during the next school year, beginning in January 2017.


We are very thankful for your donation. Without you the project would not have been possible. I have attached a couple photos of the installation (one of the wiring to the classrooms from the staff room and one of the installation of the solar panels on the roof) and the students writing the paper exams.

Thank you,
Martha Wagley




RPCVSF Went on Safari to Namibia


By Greg Zell (Nigeria 62-64)


Travel Coordinator, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc. 


The group met up in Johannesburg and went straight to Tribes restaurant in the Emperor’s Palace casino complex for drinks and a bit of ceremony to initiate the 3 newbies Natalie, Ted, and Maria, plus Lisa who visited Morocco previously. Johannesburg will now be Jo'burg always. Now that they were going to be Africa hands, they would no longer say, “Johannesburg. From now on it would be, “Joburg.


At dinner, most tried the ostrich steak fillet (farm-raised, of course) with berry sauce, washed down with a splash of South African bubbly. Both were proclaimed “delicious.”  Next morning was early, the first of many, for an hour and half flight to Windhoek (vind hook), the pretty capital of Namibia.


We were met at the airport by Stewart, our fantastic guide. A 34 year old native of Zimbabwe, he said he was on his way to becoming a hooligan when he decided to pull himself together, started studying wild life and went to guide school. All his younger siblings have African names. For him, his mother just liked “Stewart. He started by setting us straight: Some of you have heard of Africa time. Namibia was a German colony. We do everything on German time. And so it was. We boarded our “safari Ferrari, as he called it, actually an enclosed air conditioned Toyota Land Cruiser for 7 of us and Stewart. Off we went on a short tour of the charming capital. Before heading to the coastal dunes, largest in the world, we stopped at a grocery store for Stewart to fill our coolers with lunch goodies and drinks. Our lunchtime routine: Stewart would pull up under a nice tree. We all pitched in to set up the folding table and chairs, unpack the coolers, chow down, and repack. (Story Continued on our Travel page).



2016 RPCVSF Retreat in Key Largo

Over 70 RPCVS, families and kids enjoyed the weekend in The Keys




House of Pizza - Key Largo - Friday Night - September 9th, 2016



Peace Corps Partnership Program Works !


To Locate and Donate to a Peace Corps Partnership Project, 

Please click the following link: Peace Corps Partnership Program

or Attend an RPCVSF Partnership Dinner




April 7, 2016 - RPCVSF held its' first Partnership Dinner on a weeknight, and the dinner was a sellout. The event raised $554 for a Multipurpose Health Building in Zambia. The dinner was held at Taste Buds of India, organized by Doris Vincent and Subrata Basu spoke on his recent experience as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Belize. Picture Above shows attendees in the process of selecting a Partnership Project.


Nazilongo Community Library Nazilonga, Zambia







July 29th, 2016 - RPCVSF received the following e-mail:


This will be my last update as the library has officially opened!!! It went off without a hitch. In attendence were 15 Peace Corps Volunteers, 5 village Headmen, 600 community members, The Chief, and the Provincial Officer for the Ministry of Education. We finished with about 3000 books of varying reading levels. There were acrobatics, traditional dances, rings of fire, poems, songs and many speeches. We danced, we cried and we read books! This week we had our first classes in the library and the students were thrilled! Next week we will be training a temporary librarian as the district has promised to send us a full time librarian next term!


I would like to thank you all again for your kindness and generosity. In the celebratory speeches you were thanked time an time again and asked to come and visit any time.


Sydney and the Nazilongo Community, Nazilonga, Zambia

--------------------------------------


May 19, 2016 - RPCVSF received the following e-mail:


I would like to send a warm thank you to the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida for supporting my PCPP grant in Zambia! Your contribution will go a long way in helping my community complete a brand new mother's shelter and youth education center in this rural community, and we truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

Rachel

-- 

Rachel Moscato

Community Health Improvement Project

Peace Corps Zambia


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