Around the World / International Day of Peace

An Outreach event took place at The College of New Jersey on September 20, 2016. A collaborative effort between The College of New Jersey (TCNJ- Administrators and Professors who made their students aware of the event), the Peace Corps (Recruiter Dan Turkel and two PC Student Ambassadors at TCNJ who worked to promote the event) and RPCV-NJ proved to be very successful. Too many to count, there were at least several dozen attendees at the event, some waiting in line outside the room before it actually began at 5pm. The activity continued throughout the two hours of the event.

Thanks to all NJ RPCVs who helped out with this event!

Peace Corps Around the World Fair – September 20

Around the World Fair: Over 15 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be present representing their countries of service. This is your chance to speak with volunteers from a variety of countries and assignments and expose your senses to photos, clothing, art, music and more from around the globe.

Parking Directions: The event will take place in Room 212 of the Education Building. Parking is available in either the Metzger Garage or Forcina Garage. The Education building and both of these garages are marked with yellow stars in this map. No parking permit will be necessary.

Make a difference in a community overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Our online application takes less than an hour to complete and allows you to choose where and how you would like to serve. Explore the current Volunteer openings or contact a recruiter who served in the Peace Corps and can guide you through the application process.


For questions about this event, contact Daniel Turkel.

For more information, visit the official website.

Coffee and Conversation – September 29

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Starbucks Coffee 
(1150 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Hamilton Township, NJ)
Anytime between 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Stop by anytime between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM.  Drop by for five minutes to say hello.  Stay longer if you can.  Connect with members of the Trenton/Hamilton area Peace Corps community. Meet National Peace Corps Association Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson. Learn more about exciting initiatives at the NPCA, get connected to the New Jersey Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and find out the important role you can play to ensure the future of a strong, vibrant Peace Corps.
A special presentation on NPCA programs and activities will be held at 5:30 PM.
Questions? Call 301-891-2146

Free Concert and Meteor Viewing – September 14

Followed by Meteor Viewing if the Night is Clear

Duke Island Park (191 Old York Road, Bridgewater) is a delightful venue for an outdoor concert. Bring your blanket, lawn chair, picnic basket etc.
Open to the public & FREE (except for food purchases).
Family & friends welcome too.
5:30pm  Meet to the right of the stage. Area will be marked by a Peace Corps flag/banner on a pole.

Bring your appetite – for great food and music! A variety of food trucks selling a range of culinary delights will be on hand beginning at 6pm to start the festivities.

7pm – 8:30pm Concert

Then the music begins at 7pm. Tramps Like Us brings more than 25 years of musicianship that have won this band the hard-earned distinction of the most revered Bruce Springsteen Tribute band. Given high praise by dozens of publications, radio stations, and music industry personnel, they are the only tribute band to be endorsed by the official Springsteen Radio Station: E Street Radio on Sirius XM. The group captures the classic Springsteen sound, and remains true to the spirit and energy of the music, while delivering songs with the passion and conviction of the Boss.

8:30 – 9:00pm+ Perseid Meteor Shower (although park closes shortly after theconcert is finished)

If the night is clear, meteors may be visible following the concert. The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place during this time, peaking August 12-13th.

NOTE:  In case of threat of inclement weather please call 908 722-1200 ext. 7. The Somerset County Park Commission will also post weather updates on Twitter and Facebook.

RSVP & Questions: Christie Musa or 908.283.9990

This concert series is made possible by the generous donation of the Somerset County Park Foundation, with contributing funding from Magic 98.3 WMGQ, Hyatt House Branchburg, The Courier News, and Horizon Services.

NPCA Peace Corps Connect

The Sept. 21-25 Peace Corps Connect in D.C. is coming up quickly, and we need to pool our efforts to help mobilize our Peace Corps community to join hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fellow RPCVs for one or more days of Peace Corps Connect. 2016 is Peace Corps’ 55th anniversary!

And if you activate your free NPCA membership on the National Peace Corps Association’s database, you’ll get a 15% discount to Peace Corps Connect

Peace Corps Connect is going to be a dynamic, productive, and fun!


Wednesday morning, Sept. 21 is the International Day of Peace screening of the powerfully inspiring filmRefugee: the Eritrean Exodus, including a post-screening discussion with The America Team for Displaced Eritreans. 

Thursday morning, Sept. 22 is Capitol Hill Advocacy Day to ensure the future of the Peace Corps.. Our Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, on Thursday morning, September 22, RPCV constituents will walk the hallways of Congress to convince Congress that the world needs a bigger, better, Peace Corps now more than ever.

Thursday afternoon, Sept. 22 is the Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting for affiliate group leaders or aspiring group leaders.  This is an indispensable best practices and networking workshop. We will end the day with a celebratory reception on Capitol Hill in which the first-ever Sam Farr Congressional Leadership Award will be presented.

End of Thursday, Sept. 22, is a celebratory reception on Capitol Hill at which the first-ever Sam Farr Congressional Leadership Award will be presented.


Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24 showcase the cornerstone events of Peace Corps Connect.

Driven by our Peace Corps community, this year’s summit focuses on our contributions to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals as well as to Peace Corps’ Third Goal.

Keynote speakers include Nobel Laureate and Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, author, journalist and documentarian Sebastian Junger, and Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet.

Activate your NPCA membership on NPCA’s new database and get a 15% discount to Peace Corps Connect!

Sunday morning, Sept 25 caps Peace Corps Connect with a Walk for Peace. We will raise the Peace Corps flag high above Washington, D.C. for all to see that we’re 55 and going strong.

Sunday midday, Sept. 25 wraps up Peace Corps Connect with a JAMFEST on Capitol Hill.

This is a national event, so come celebrate alongside Peace Corps community members from around the country.

NJ-RPCVs attend Trenton Thunder Game 7/31

On July 31st, a number of NJ-RPCVs attended a Trenton Thunder baseball game. The picnic area provided a comfortable setting, lots of opportunity to talk to RPCVs, family & friends who attended, plenty of food and the Trenton Thunder won both their games against the Altoona Curve (double header due to postponement of Saturday’s game). One of the attendees even went home with a foul ball!

“Spirit.” Art Exhibition Opening Night

During this 55th year of the Peace Corps, 70 South Gallery’s owner in Morristown NJ initiated an exhibition of photographs from current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Owner Ted Baldanzi recognized that many of today’s youth are not as familiar with the Peace Corps and wanted to help increase the awareness of the Peace Corps with the exhibition. The photographs represent not only the true spirit of the villages the volunteers served in, but also the spirit that developed between the Volunteers and the people that shared their everyday life.

IMG_1555-Wall of Honor - nonfeatured photographer photosIMG_1571-Private Opening

Almost 100 RPCVs from across the country submitted photographs. Among them 15 were selected to be featured and their photographs were on exhibit in the gallery. One photo was also selected from each of the other RPCVs who submitted photos and they were on display on a wall in the gallery.  All photographs were beautifully enlarged and mounted by the store and are for sale. A portion of the proceeds will go to fund sustainable, grassroots community development projects around the world.

The gallery held an open house on Saturday, July 16th and the exhibition will be in place through September 2016. For more information on the exhibit, visit the NPCA website.

RPCV-NJ Family Picnic 7-16-16

By Doug Garatina

On a bright, sunny July day, nineteen RPCV’s and family members gathered together at the Wells Mill County Park for a potluck picnic. This was the second annual South Jersey RPCV-NJ  picnic. Wells Mill Park is located in Waretown, Ocean County.  Although it is called the South Jersey Picnic, RPCV’s from across the state are welcome (the same is true for our North Jersey Picnic).  At this picnic we had people from as far North as Phillipsburg and as far South as Salem County.  The Peace Corps service years of the attendees basically spanned the entire existence of the organization from 1962 to the 21st Century.  We introduced ourselves to each other by showing and explaining three photos from our Peace Corps experience.

Phil Levy was the gracious and very organized host for this event.   He created the event last summer and has grown it in its second year.  A retired science teacher, who served in El Salvador in the 1970’s, Phil also volunteers at the Park’s Nature Center where he provides nature hikes to visitors.  Several of us joined him on a short nature hike near the end of the picnic.  We took a path near the edge of a man-made lake and through a stand of beautiful cedar trees.  Phil pointed out a variety of fauna and flora, including two species of carnivorous plants — pitcher plants and sundews. Also a few people rented a canoe for a fun ride on the lake.

In summary, we had a pleasant day sharing our experiences with other RPCV’s and family members as we enjoyed American and ethnic foods.   Although it was a hot day, none of us melted. (The fact that most of us had served in tropical countries might have helped.)

Photo: Attendees gather with the new Peace Corps banner at Wells Mill County Park.

IMG_1620-NJ RPCV Picnic w banners