Category Archives: Events

Current and past events

Outreach Presentation: Christie Musa RPCV Sierra Leone ’81-83

A presentation was made on her Peace Corps experience in Sierra Leone by Christie Musa, Inland Fisheries Extension Agent 1981-83.

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Howell Farms Potato Planting – April 25

Howell Living History Farm 

GPS destination is 70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville, NJ 08530

10am – 4pm

RPCVs welcome beginning 9am for coffee & bagels.

Each year the Farm invites the public to join forces with its staff and volunteers to plant a special crop of potatoes to be donated to the Greater Mercer Food Cooperative and other local hunger projects.
Visitors to the Farm can join the field crew, planting seed potatoes in furrows opened with animal drawn equipment.

This year, farmer Rob Flory will have oxen Jim and John in the field plowing furrows where we will plant seed potatoes.

Plowing a community garden in Trenton

Plowing a community garden in Trenton

Pete Watson
Picture: plowing

RPCV Picnic in Waretown, NJ – May 3rd

Please join us and bring your family & friends on May 3rd for a Spring Picnic at:
905 Wells Mills Road (Route 532), Waretown, NJ
Days activities will include a hike lead by local expert Phil Levy, a Peace Corps Show and Tell, and a cookout on the grill!
Spouses/friends/family members are welcome!
Please RSVP by April 26th to:
Anthony Privetera

Ethnic Dining – Topo Vietnamese cuisine in Hackettstown, NJ

On a beautiful spring day, April 19, 2015, RPCVs and family members gathered in Hackettstown (Warren County) to enjoy Vietnamese food at Topo Restaurant  recommended by Allison Wawrin. The restaurant was easy to find and the décor bright and cheerful with setting was adequate for the eight attendees.

The food was excellent, from the Topo sampler (with fish, peanut and curry sauces) and pickled appetizers to the varied dishes ordered by attendees. A wide selection of foods from breakfast/brunch items to luncheon specials and regular menu items was available and by all accounts the food was delicious.

04.19.15 Topo-Hackettstown IMG_8562

As always, the camaraderie of RPCVs and friends was enjoyable.

Jersey Cares Day – Volunteer at Hillsborough YMCA on May 2

For the third year in the row, RPCV-NJ is participating in Jersey Cares Day, a state-wide day of volunteering.

We are planning to participate in the volunteer activity “It’s Fun to Paint at the YMCA in Hillsborough” in Hillsborough, NJ. The volunteer activity runs from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, May 2nd.

The Somerset Valley YMCA is a cause-driven nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. They work to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Volunteers are needed to beatify the outdoor space by performing general landscaping and mulch the playground and camp area, paint colorful line games on the blacktop, and give the benches a fresh coat of stain. Volunteers are also needed to paint several spaces throughout the facility.

If you are interested in participating you must register on the Jersey Cares Website. Please follow these steps to register. If you have any questions, please email – the website can be difficult to work with so please reach out if you have any problems.

To register for the RPCV-NJ Jersey Cares Team, follow these steps:

Go to:

Click “Sign up with a team” then “Sign up with an existing team”

If you have never made an account for Jersey Cares before, click “register”

After you’ve registered, click “Find an Opportunity” and scroll to “It’s Fun to Paint at the YMCA in Hillsborough” – Click sign up with a team and choose RPCV-NJ from the drop down menu.

Once registered, Jersey Cares will send you a confirmation.

RPCV-NJ Family Picnic and Animal Bell Presentation – June 28

Sunday, June 28, 2015
11:00am to 5:00pm

Harmony Recreation Area Pavilion
Route 519 South, Harmon, NJ
**Note: if the address 3003 Belvidere Avenue, Phillipsburg, NJ is used, you can get directions online to the Harmony Recreation area (Phillipsburg street address but in Harmony Township- Route 519/Belvidere Avenue)**

Rain or Shine! Please bring some food and/or beverage to share, ethnic dishes welcomed. Crock pots and warming trays can be plugged in. If a grill is desired, you would have to bring one to use. Bring sports equipment, kites etc. A playground and large open fields are available for recreation. Picnic tables are available under the pavilion but also a large open grassy area if you want to bring a blanket or lawn chair(s).

Family and friends welcome! Prospective volunteers or those who have joined the Peace Corps and are preparing to serve are welcome too.

Please RSVP to Christie Musa or contact with questions:
Cell: 908.283.9990 or email

Jim Diamond & wife Betty (RPCVs Chad 1971-73) will share their collection of domestic animal bells from around the world. 20-25 of the bells from a collection of 82 bells from 29 countries will be displayed and Jim will describe where and how animal bells are made; why herders uses animal bells; then ring each bell and describe a brief story for each bell. Children are invited to take part in the presentation.

Lasting Impressions – Art Exhibit

Thank you to everyone for attending the “Lasting Impressions” Art Exhibit Reception on April 11th. Below are some photos from the event.



Owen Fitzgerald RPCV Mali speaking to a packed house at Lasting Impressions Art reception.




The Exhibit runs from April 11-May 26, 2015 

How artist’s perspectives were influenced by working in Peace Corps’ health, education, and development programs.Curated by returned Peace Corps volunteer artists Nancie Gunkelman and Adam Swart, this exhibition highlights the Peace Corps legacy in New Jersey and the surrounding region through the works of artists who have successfully employed alternative means to communicate with non-literate communities and diverse age groups on health care issues. These Peace Corps volunteers used visual and performance art in inventive ways to build understanding on health issues including HIV education, malarial prevention, vaccination programs, water and sanitation, and nutrition. The exhibition also showcases the profound effects that Peace Corps experiences have had on the artists themselves. These impressions, impacting the artists’ points of view, sensibilities, creativity, and methods of expression, are so powerful that they last a lifetime.

lasting impressions 1


Mabel Douglass Library
8 Chapel Drive; New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-5008

You can park in the Douglass Parking Deck, or in Lot 70 (which is right next to the parking deck). There’s no proper address, but here’s three ways of finding it:
– Douglass Parking Deck, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
– Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (It’s a short one-way street)
– Or use these coordinates: 40.483611, -74.437861 or 40°29’01.0″N 74°26’16.3″W

Confirmed artists:
Adam Swart (RPCV Nepal)
Bernie Oberoski (RPCV Papua New Guinea)
Brian Knudsen (RPCV China)
Chuck Miley (RPCV Malaysia)
David Miller (RPCV Afghanistan)
Ellen Papciak-Rose (RPCV Botswana)
Ken Shuey (RPCV Malaysia)
Margaret Najjar (RPCV Tunisia)
Nancie Gunkelman (RPCV Kenya)
Owen Fitzgerald (RPCV Mali)
Patricia McLaughlin (RPCV Costa Rica)
Rosemary Venter (RPCV Colombia)
Rosalind Pace (RPCV Afghanistan)
Terese Maineri (RPCV Guatemala)

Read an article about the art exhibit on the Rutgers Library website.

Questions, contact Nancie Gunkelman

Peace Corps Commemorative National Design Competition

The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF) is sponsoring a two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in the heart of Washington, DC.

This competition will provide designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling work of public art that will be bold and inspirational.

The design should focus on and express American ideals and values that are the essence of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps service. It should be about America and our aspirations as a people, and about the Peace Corps as a manifestation of those aspirations.

Registration, entry fees and Stage I design concept submissions due on or before: June 12, 2015, 4 p.m. ET

For more information about the competition, visit the official website.