City College of San Francisco’s RPCVs Celebrate the 50th
By Guest Contributor on Monday, November 28th, 2011
City College of San Francisco’s Returned Peace Corps Volunteers celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps on Sunday, September 18, 2011, by gathering at my home from 2:00 to 5:00 PM (5:00 PM being what looked most like 50th) to share food, stories, and photos and see off RPCVs who were going to Washington, D.C. for the big gala.
We ate, talked politics, and played a People BINGO game designed to share Peace Corps experiences.
Who married another Peace Corps Volunteer?/ served in Botswana?/Kenya?/Korea?/Lesotho?/ the Philippines?/Thailand?/Tunisia?/Venezuela?/Micronesia?/Polynesia?
We also reminisced about our first City College of SF gathering for RPCVs, which was in February of 2003, when we expressed the hope that our country would not attack Iraq and some of us joined hundreds of other RPCVs to take out an ad in the New York Times to oppose the war.
With the help of a Tongan National, ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, now Tongan Minister of Education, Women’s Affairs and Culture, who sent me the recipes, I made ‘Otai (Tongan punch) and ‘Ota ika (raw fish). I marveled that ‘Ana and I were now keeping in touch through e-mail because in 1970 we were both beginning our first year of teaching, in the same village—one without telephones, electricity or running water. But when I returned in 2008 to attend the coronation of Siaosi Tāufaʻāhau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho Tupou V (King George Tupou V) and to see people from our village of Ha’ateiho, ‘Ana was my host, providing me with the essentials: a towel, a wash cloth, and a cell phone, and she had a really nice laptop, too!
We were all disappointed that Marion Morrison, Ghana 1 1961-1963, wasn’t able to join us because of her preparations for D.C. She was in the first Peace Corps group ever sent abroad.
“I came here just to see her!” Tom White said.
“So did I,” I said, failing to note that I was hosting from my home.
But we still had four decades of Peace Corps service represented—the 1960 through the 1990s. (See the picture caption.)
Yvonne Duncan and Emilie Krustapentus, who met at a refugee camp in Thailand, were on their way to Washington, D.C., as were Chris Bunn and her husband Will Risseeuw, who took the group pictures of us.
This piece was contributed by Tina Martin, City College of San Francisco.