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 aloha8@embarqmail.com

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.

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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 ngunkelman@gmail.com

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.

2015 National Day of Action Recap

NJ RPCVs Christina Tedder and Sharon Keld met with Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7) and delivered packets in the offices of other New Jersey Congresspersons on March 5th for Peace Corps National Day of Action.

Pictured: Sharon Keld, Christina Tedder, Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7)

Pictured: Sharon Keld, Christina Tedder, Congressman Leonard Lance, (NJ-7)

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Brief report from Sharon Keld:

Snow meant that the government offices were closed, but 70 of the 100 RPCVs (one back just two weeks, and another who is not an RPCV yet but is applying!) who were scheduled to be in DC made it by 8 am.  Many of the appointments we had were cancelled (Booker’s office and Melendez’s office included) but we made the most of it in the House!
We dropped off packets in the offices of every other New Jersey Congresspersons. In some cases we found staffers in – had a great talk with Kate in Sires’s office (he’s pro-Peace Corps). My Congressman, Leonard Lance (NJ-7) was available, and since he had no appointments to rush off to, he spend half an hour with us! Our three asks were joining the Peace Corps caucus, supporting Peace Corps funding, and signing the “Dear Colleague” letter. We didn’t get any promises, but he didn’t say no!

Thanks for all of your great work encouraging support for Peace Corps!

Paintings from the Peace Corps Experience – Event Recap

An exhibit of oil and watercolor paintings by Nancie Gunkelman were the focus of attention at the Zimmerli art library, Rutgers campus, New Brunswick on Saturday, March 7th.

IMG_8297 ppl and watercolors

The event was presented by Rutgers University in cooperation with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey. The exhibit took place as part of a celebration of National Peace Corps Week which commemorates the establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. While the exhibit is in place until March 28th, the reception on Saturday was widely attended by the public including library patrons and staff, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, family and friends.  Continue reading

Ethnic Dining Following Peace Corps Art Exhibit & Reception

Come join us after Peace Corps Art Exhibit & Reception to share a meal and stories. All RPCVs, their family members and future volunteers are welcome!

Saturday, March 7, 2015
4:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Harvest Moon Brewery
392 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ

RSVP on our Meetup page!

Advocacy Update: National Day of Action – March 5th!

On Thursday, March 5th, advocates will gather in Washington from all over the country to meet with legislators and urge their support for a variety of issues for the National Day of Action.

Read more!

RPCV-NJ Annual Meeting – March 28th

Twenty eight people (including 6 Board Members) attended the Annual Meeting in Bridgewater on March 28th. A thorough overview of what has been accomplished over the last year and what is planned for this coming year was provided, including information relative to all RPCV-NJ committees.

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An update on Peace Corps recruiting efforts was provided by Patrick McGettigan, PC Recruiter for South Jersey and Metro Philadelphia. He also brought us up to date on the new Peace Corps application process, answering multiple questions which was very informative.

Patrick also presented information on his experience in Mozambique (2011-13), added to by Greg Harris in the audience, also a recent Mozambique volunteer. His contributions to this meeting are appreciated.

We all look forward to the exciting year ahead and to locating even more RPCVs inn NJ and engaging anyone interested in the organization’s activities. Watch your inbox for news on upcoming events.

Anthony Privetera, Social Chair, arranged a luncheon at nearby Bombay Spice which was attended by twenty-three RPCVs, spouses and friends. The Indian cuisine offered buffet style was quite varied and enjoyed by all. We filled up three tables so it was not possible to get everyone in a single photo.

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