Category Archives: E&E RPCVs Group News

E&E RPCVs Group News

From the Co-presidents

Amanda Sutker (Adaba, West Arsi, 2012–14) and Janet Lee (Emdeber 1974-76)

Co-presidents, Amanda and Janet


How time flies! It was not all that long ago we were feasting on Ethiopian food at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C.  Now we are closing in on the next NPCA Peace Corps Connect conference in Denver (August 5, 6).

We thought it would be a good time to update everyone on progress of our goals at this mid-term.

We are grateful to Randy Marcus (Asella 1966-68) for taking on the major task for monitoring our finances, including banking, Legacy Program funds, and IRS filings.

A quick update on our 2016-17 goals:

E&E RPCV Presidential Goals for 2016-17

    • Reach out to recently Returned Volunteers for Board membership to ensure continuity and diversity of ideas.
      • Recruited Anthony Navarette (Mizan Teferi 2012-2014).
        Anthony recently accepted a position as an International Trade Specialist in the Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C.
    • Investigate and implement a web presence that is integrated with the National Peace Corps Association building upon the strong foundation of current and past board members.
      • Amanda and Janet recently received training in SilkStart, a web platform in use by the National Peace Corps Association.
      • We will be recruiting a webmaster, web designers, artists, photographers, and storytellers to keep everyone up to date.
      • Hope to launch by the NPCA conference in Denver.
    • Increase membership and involvement of recently Returned Volunteers to Ethiopia & Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
      • Working with NPCA on joint membership lists.
      • A revitalized web presence should help get out the word as NPCA moves to a new subscription model.
    • Investigate opportunities for fundraising to support operations of the membership and the Legacy Program grants.
      • Fundraising has been progressing well.
      • Updates are in this issue of The Herald
    • Establish a fund and set criteria for support of current Peace Corps Partnership Program grants for Volunteers in country.
      • A proposal and guidelines have been submitted to the Board for approval.
      • Anticipate roll out next year.
    • Plan for E&E RPCV activities in conjunction with the NPCA Peace Corps Connect conference in Denver
      • Date has been moved to August 5, 6 2017.
      • Updates in this issue of The Herald

We look forward to seeing everyone in Denver at Peace Corps Connect in Denver.


E&E RPCVs Group News

E&E RPCV Board Financial Report

A major duty of the E&E RPCV Board is the careful stewardship of its fiscal resources.  Treasurer Randy Marcus provided the year end financial report to the board and it was approved by the board by acclimation.

As part of the report, Marcus listed his duties and accomplishments for 2016.

  • Receiving and depositing Legacy Project donations and voluntary fees (which we used to call dues)
  •  Tallying and keeping track of the amount collected for each Legacy Project
  •  Distributing funds to Legacy Project recipients when instructed to do so by the RPCV champion
  •  Sending out formal acknowledgement letters to donors for tax purposes
  •  Keeping track of operating expenses that come out of unobligated funds (non-LP money)
  •  Paying for approved expenses like the Hyatt Hotel conference room last year, bank fees, website costs, etc.
  •  Compiling an annual financial report for the board
  •  Filing non-profit tax forms to the IRS, to Maryland (our official address), and the NY State Charities Bureau (where EERPCVs, Inc. is incorporated)


E&E RPCV Financial Report 2016

Prepared by Randy Marcus

Money In
NPCA dues, fees, cash received
Legacy Project Axum Library
Legacy Project Borana Students
Legacy Project Hesperian Health Guides
Legacy Project ITC Lab Mettu
Total Money In

Total Received
$ 1,339.19
$ 5,078.00
$ 1,694.21
$ 68.00

Money Out
Business Expenses
Legacy Project Borana Students
Legacy Project Hesperian health guides
Legacy Project ITC Lab Mettu
Net Total Money Out
Net Total (Money In less Money Out)

Total Out
$ 1,148.87
$ 2,044.57
$ 2,000.00$25,348.61$2,889.79











Please note. Legacy Program funds are restricted and may only be applied to that fund. Donations received in a prior fiscal year may be applied the following year or at the point when a sufficient amount of funds have been raised to warrant expending a bank transfer fee.

Treasurer Marcus has noted that although we had a positive cash flow for FY 2016, the organization will need to recoup the loss of the portion of dues previously received by NPCA since they have changed their due structure to voluntary membership. Donations to the general fund are greatly needed.

You may send checks to:

Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs
c/o Randy Marcus
1634 Martha Terrace
Rockville MD 20852-4134

Make out your check to “Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs,” and in the subject line enter “General Fund.” Include your email for tax receipt.

E&E RPCVs Group News

NPCA 55th Anniversary Celebration at the Ethiopian Embassy


A group of RPCVs who all served from 2012 to 2014: Joel Ziebell (Mertulemariam), Jessi McAllister (Mekelle), Scott McAllister (Mekelle), Pamela Cayemitte (Korem), Anthony Navarett (Mizan-Aman), Elle Brown (Emdeber, Mekelle), Marissa Henderson (Agaro), Amanda Sutker (Adaba, West Arsi).  -click-

Over 115 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Ethiopia and Eritrea, family, and friends attended the banquet reception hosted by Ambassador Girma Birru on Friday, September 23rd in conjunction with the National Peace Corps Association Conference:  Peace Corps Connect held in Washington, DC.  Returned Volunteers from the 1960s mingled with Volunteers who left Ethiopia in just the past year and shared experiences.


Senator Harris Wofford with Janet Lee, editor of The Herald

Never one to miss a gathering of his Ethiopian RPCV colleagues was Senator Harris Wofford, former special assistant to John F. Kennedy, one of  the founding fathers of the Peace Corps, former Director of Operations in Ethiopia from 1962 to ’64 and Associate Director of Peace Corps from 1964 to ’66. The National Peace Corps Association’s Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award named in his honor, is awarded each year at the NPCA annual conference. Last year’s recipient was Ethiopian Berhane Daba, President and Founder of Ethiopian Women with Disabilities National Association (EWDNA), an organization that works to empower women with disabilities.

Barry and Marian, past editors of The Herald

Barry and Marian, past editors of The Herald

Also spotted in the crowd were E&E RPCV past-president Marian Haley Beil (Debre Berhan 1962–64), Barry Hillenbrand (Debre Marcos 1963–65), past editor of The Herald, and board member John Coyne, author of many novels, books on Ethiopia, and golf.


RPCV Tom Andrews (Mekele, Addis 1964-66) and Ted Vestal (Staff 1964–66)

Theodore Vestal (Associate Director, PC/Ethiopia 1964–66), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Oklahoma State University author of The Lion of Judah in the New World, among others (Addis Ababa 1962–64) was also there.

A vast array of Ethiopian food, including doro wat, kitfo, atakilt wat, miser wat, and injera, was served buffet style to the delight of all of the guests. Ethiopian wine and beer were also available. Good company. Good food. We were all in Ethiopian foodie paradise.


Stephen Cristofar (Asmara, Adi Quala, Debarola — Eritrea 1962-64) served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s program. Ato Misgina Tesfay Gebreselassie, Minster Counselor at the Ethiopian Embassy, introduced Ambassador Girma Birru, who in turned welcomed the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and spoke of the ongoing relationship between the RPCVS and the people of Ethiopia.  E&E RPCV Vice President Leo Cecchini followed with short remarks.

Dwight and Janet present on their Legacy Project

Dwight and Janet speak about their RPCV Legacy Project

Janet Lee (Emdeber, 1974–76) and Dwight Sullivan (Yergalem, Dodola, 1970–72) made a presentation about their new Legacy Project, Axum Children’s Library Enhancement. The Embassy staff presented to the community a short video travelogue that highlighted the country that we have all grown to love.

Amanda and Janet, the new co-presidents

Amanda and Janet, the new co-presidents

Amanda Sutker (Adaba, West Arsi, 2012–14) eloquently closed the program through words of appreciation of the efforts of the Volunteers who broke ground in Ethiopia in the early days and the opportunities ahead for all Volunteers to work together on common goals.

Many thanks to the local arrangements committee: Stephen Cristofar, Amanda Sutker, and Randy Marcus (Asella 1966-68) for organizing this event for all to share.


Herb Resnick, Jess Himmelfarb, Meg McCuen,  Judy Armayor Smith (Asmara 63–65, Mark Brecker (Asmara 64–66), Embassy staff member, Amanda Sutker, Alyssa Shumaker, Ambassador Girma Biru, Janet Lee -click-

In closing, the Ambassador and staff gathered all those resplendent in their habesha libs to join him for a final photo.


E&E RPCVs Group News

Notes from the business meeting of E&E RPCVs

Crystal City Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia
September 24, 2016


Ethiopian Ambassador
Ambassador Girma Birru speaks at the E&ERPCV business meeting

Ambassador Girma Birru speaks at the E&ERPCV business meeting

At the general business meeting of the Ethiopia & Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in conjunction with the National Peace Corps Association annual conference —Peace Corps Connect 2016, His Excellency, Girma Birru, Ambassador of Ethiopia, was in attendance to answer questions of concern and interest.

Ambassador Girma thanked the audience for the opportunity to speak, and commented on the close connection that RPCVS from Ethiopia have maintained with Ethiopia since their service. He appreciated the huge investment Peace Corps Volunteers have made on education and continues to make through the development process. Peace Corps teachers had a great impact on education, the success of which continues to today.

Speakers included from top — Sarah Pentico Samuel, unknown, Karen Blanchard and Chuck Kreiman

Speakers included, from top — Sarah Pentico Samuel, Gerry Jones, Karen Blanchard and Chuck Kreiman

The Ambassador fielded questions respectfully submitted from the floor of an audience of approximately 50 individuals. The comments and questions were on topics including:

  • the reports of civil unrest in the country and the response from the government,
  • investment from outside,
  • telecommunications,
  • plans to increase per capita income,
  • supplying power to the countryside through a variety of means including wind and hydropower,
  • the success of government controlled Ethiopian Airlines,
  • the significant influx of refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, and South Sudan,
  • the border conflict with Eritrea,
  • and the increase in girls’ education.

Ato Misgina Tesfay Gebreselassie, Minster Counselor at the Ethiopian Embassy, took copious notes for further review. E&E RPCVS are grateful to the Ambassador and Ato Misgina for the time taken to have this conversation.

Coffee ceremony
Sara prepares and serves the coffee

Sara prepares and serves the coffee, here to Ted Vestal and Laverne Berry (64-66)

Tebabu Assefa and his wife, Sara, Founders of Blessed Coffee performed a traditional coffee ceremony that was enjoyed by all in attendance.

tebebu-assefaTebabu explained his journey in coming to the U.S. and eventually founding Blessed Coffee. He has graciously offered to work with E&E RPCVS in fundraising activities.


The E&E business meeting
Stephen and Leo run the business meeting

Stephen and Leo run the business meeting

Leo Cecchini (Asmara 1962-64) ran the business meeting and Steve Cristofar (Asmara, Adi Quala, Debarola — Eritrea 1962-64) served as chief organizer of the program. Leo gave a brief overview of events during the last year upon the resignation of Marian Haley Beil (Debra Berhan 1962-64) a year ago.

The new board has five new members, several from the D.C. area. The financial operations will reside with Randy Marcus (Asella 1966-68), the new treasurer, who lives in the  Maryland suburbs of Washington.  All banking services have been transferred to a nearby bank.  Leo introduced all of the board members in attendance:  Amanda Sutker, John Coyne, Steve Cristofar, Randy, and Janet Lee.   Leo announced that the board had voted and the new President would be a co-presidency held by Amanda and Janet.

Janet then gave a report on the RPCV Legacy Program projects for Kristen Barados (Fenote Selam from 2007-2009), board member and Legacy Project lead, who was unable to attend. The E&E RPCV Legacy program started in 2003 and has raised $260,000 for eight projects. E&E RPCV is a 501 (c) 3 and donations through the organization are tax deductible.  RPCVS are urged to consider planning a Legacy project, and submitting a proposal to the Board for approval. The champion of the project must personally pledge 10 percent to the project. Once sanctioned, the project is included on the E&E RPCV webpage  and fundraising may begin. Current projects include:

Janet also notified the membership that back issues of The Herald have been scanned and can be found at: The Herald Archives

Janet also encouraged members to “like” the E&ERPCV Facebook page.

Finally, Janet announced that the next NPCA conference will be held in Denver, June 23 and 24, 2017. She will form a local arrangements committee to work on housing, an Ethiopian meal and the business meeting.


Past and present presidents

As the meeting closed, Co-Presidents, Amanda Sutker and Janet Lee presented Marian Haley Beil a small bouquet of flowers and a gift certificate on behalf of the membership.


E&E RPCVs Group News

E&E RPCV Board Updates

by Janet Lee (Emdeber 1974-76)

Board members meet in DC: Stephen Cristofar, Leo Cecchini, Janet Lee, Randolph Marcus, John Coyne, Amanda Sutker

Board members meet in DC: Stephen Cristofar, Leo Cecchini, Janet Lee, Randolph Marcus, John Coyne, Amanda Sutker -click_

Amanda Sutker and I agreed to a co-presidency of the E&E RPCV over the next year. A co-presidency will afford a smooth transition as the board adds recently Returned Volunteers to the mix and “seasoned” board members let go of the reigns. I have found in co-editing journals and articles and co-chairing committees the division of duties and responsibilities naturally fall into place. Each partner in the team has strengths to bring to the joint position, urges the other on, and makes decisions collaboratively.  Over the course of this next year, I anticipate that Amanda and I will find a natural groove. The co-presidency also makes much sense coming off the National Peace Corps Association Conference: Peace Corps Connect held in D.C. (Amanda’s current residence) and looking toward the next conference in Denver (my residence and workplace).

To begin our year of service, we have come up with the following goals:

E&E RPCV Presidential Goals for 2016-17
  • Reach out to recently Returned Volunteers for Board membership to ensure continuity and diversity of ideas.
  • Investigate and implement a web presence that is integrated with the National Peace Corps Association building upon the strong foundation of current and past board members.
  • Increase membership and involvement of recently Returned Volunteers to Ethiopia & Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
  • Investigate opportunities for fundraising to support operations of the membership and the Legacy Program grants.
  • Establish a fund and set criteria for support of current Peace Corps Partnership Program grants for volunteers in country.
  • Plan for E&E RPCV activities in conjunction with the NPCA Peace Corps Connect conference in Denver June 23 & 24, 2017

These seem doable, don’t you agree? I like goals that are achievable such as our first goal of reaching out to recently Returned Volunteers.

New Board Member
Anthony Navarrete in Bonga

Anthony Navarrete in Bonga

In fact, I would like to introduce you to our newest board member: Anthony Navarrete (Mizan Teferi 2012-2014).  Anthony served as an English Teacher Trainer in Mizan Teferi, SNNPR, approximately 160 km southwest of Jimma.  While in Mizan he implemented training workshops for English teachers, managed the opening of the Aman Primary School English Language Improvement Center providing 65 teachers and approximately 3,000 students with English language learning materials and a venue to study, and facilitated a weekly club for about 20 students to expose them to interactive learning activities.

Since returning to the U.S., Anthony completed a Master of Arts in International Studies as a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, concentrating on Project Management and International Development. While at DU, he served as the Communications and Events Coordinator for the Latin America Center and managed high profile guests such as the Ambassador of El Salvador, former President of Peru, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile.

Anthony in DC

Anthony in DC

He has recently relocated to the Washington, D.C. area as he awaits his enter-on-duty date to begin his career in the federal government with the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an International Trade Specialist for the Africa and Middle East Division.

Anthony and I became Facebook friends because of the DU connection, but shared a similar interest when he interned for IREX in Washington, D.C. IREX manages significant grants dedicated to promoting and improving access to information, workforce development and early grade literacy on behalf of USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  (See the library connection?)

Anthony and Amanda are also friends, Peace Corps cohorts, and she is even willing to vouch for him. We welcome Anthony!

In Gratitude
John Coyne in Ethiopia

John Coyne in Ethiopia

As the board expands, John Coyne (Addis Ababa 1962–64) has decided to resign. He has served on the E&E RPCV Board for many years in many capacities. He was with the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to go to Ethiopia and taught English at the Commercial School in Addis Ababa.  Upon completion of his service, he worked for the Peace Corps Office in Washington, D.C. before returning to Ethiopia as the Associate Peace Corps Director.

Upon hearing of John’s retirement, board member Randy Marcus wrote,My memory is still good enough to remember your involvement in our training program at UCLA, and recall that you were the first person I shook hands with on our arrival in country in 1966.”

John is a legend in the Peace Corps community and an authority on the history of Peace Corps. In 1995 John returned to the Peace Corps as Special Assistant to the Associate Director for Volunteer Support.

He and fellow Ethiopia RPCV, Marian Haley Beil, (Debre Berhan 1962-64) formed Peace Corps Worldwide, as a way to celebrate the Peace Corps experience by publishing stories written by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and current Peace Corps Volunteers serving around the world. Together they also founded the imprint, Peace Corps Writers, publishing 68 books since 2011.  Last but not least, each year since 1990 John and Marian have presented in total 143 named awards to Peace Corps writers for their books of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry, travel writing, photography and the Peace Corps experience.

John has written over 25 books about Peace Corps, writing, works of fiction, and his favorite pastime: golf.  His latest book, Long Ago and Far Away, is a love story set in Ethiopia.

Not one to let grass grow under his feet, John has arranged with National University in California to offer an online-only MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree for Peace Corps writers. He will teach the introductory course that focuses on the Peace Corps experience.

Thank you, John, for your service to the board, service to Ethiopia, and service to the Peace Corps. Although you are no longer on the board, I know that the first email of the day that I receive is one from you related to books, authors, Peace Corps, or Ethiopia.  On behalf of the E&E RPCV Board, we are forever grateful.



E&E RPCVs Group News

The Herald Archives now available

by Janet Lee, Editor (Emdeber 1974-76)

The Ethiopia HeraldWe are pleased to announce that past print issues of The Herald have been scanned and uploaded to the website.  Many thanks to Barry Hillenbrand and Marian Haley Beil for saving these past issues and allowing them to be scanned and uploaded. Click on archives  to find back issues.

These past issues provide a wealth of information on the formation of the Ethiopia and Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, its early players, news items on both Ethiopia and Eritrea, updates on individual Volunteers, advocacy for Peace Corps funding, annual reunions, and the affiliation with the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, now the National Peace Corps Association. Some believed The Herald was (and is) the glue that holds our group together.

The Ethiopia Herald, predecessor to The Herald, was first published in February 1991 shortly after the formation of the Ethiopia/Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers affiliate of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers during the 1990 Eugene RPCV Conference in Eugene, Oregon, July 1990.  Its editor was Marian Haley Beil (Debre Berhan 1962–64). The Ethiopia Herald was printed and mailed to 1,428 RPCVs at a cost of $460.00.  Dues were $35 annually and included $20 National Council membership.

During NCRPC’s Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Peace Corps held in Washington DC in August 1991, 80 RPCVs voted to change the name of the group to Ethiopia & Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the name of the newsletter to The Herald.

In February 2010, after 36 issues had been published in print, The Herald went electronic and where it still resides today.  On April 27, 2012, Marian created the E&ERPCV Facebook group, a closed group, allowing RPCVs from Ethiopia and Eritrea to immediately post news, events and items of interest to all.  It complements, but does not replace The Herald.  Members may click on the link to join Facebook.

Past and present editors of The Herald:

  • Marian Haley Beil (Debre Berhan 1962–64)
  • Hayward Allen (Harar 1962-64)
  • Barry Hillenbrand (Debre Marcos 1963–65)
  • Janet Lee (Emdeber 1974-76)



E&E RPCVs Group News

Introducing three new Board members

We are pleased that three more RPCVs have volunteered to join the E&E RPCV Board. Please welcome:

Rebecca Beauregard
(Motta 2009-11)

Rebecca at the Ert Ale Volcano in Afar Region

Rebecca at the Ert Ale Volcano in Afar Region

I’m happy to join E&E RPCVs to stay connected to the country, the people there and all the RPCVs.

I’m Rebecca, RPCV Ethiopia 09-11 (“Group 2”). I had an incredible experience in Motta, East Gojam, Amhara working as a health volunteer on HIV prevention and supportive services. My counterpart and I implemented many small, youth-led community events including peer-to-peer drama days and a youth summer camp led by our community members.

mottaSince completing my Peace Corps service in 2011, I’ve returned nearly a dozen times, all on personal travel — maintaining connections with friends there, touring, visiting my partner’s family (he’s from there) and overseeing a few small personal projects. And also to fill up on shiro wat!

I’ve spent the past few years working as a Program Manager in humanitarian aid contexts (Yemen and Syria), consider DC/Baltimore my home base and am currently in my last 2 months of grad school at SIT in Vermont. After grad school I hope to be back in DC, though I may venture overseas again.

Steve Cristofar
(Asmara, Adi Quala, Debarola — Eritrea 1962-64)

Steve Cristofer

Steve Cristofer

Born & raised in New York City, educated there through graduate school, moved to Northern Virginia in 1971, lived there since then. Married, with three children and five grandchildren.

debarola-debarwa-mapServed in Peace Corps as teacher in middle & secondary schools in Eritrea (then part of Ethiopia) from 1962 to 1964. Traveled throughout East Africa between school years.

Employed as financial analyst, economist, manager, executive since the Peace Corps in various Federal agencies in NYC & Washington, DC; several contract assignments with UN in Europe. Retired at end of 1999.

Extensive international travel since the Peace Corps, to over 50 countries.

Volunteer work includes Red Cross; Literacy Council of N. Virginia; volunteer usher at Washington, DC theaters; co-leader of 2012 “Return to Ethiopia” group tour; treasurer of local HOA; vice-president & co-founder of the Northern Virginia RPCV group.

Randy Marcus
(Asella 1966-68)

Randy Marcus' latest mug shot

Randy Marcus’ latest mug shot

Randy Marcus has joined the board AND graciously accepted the position of Treasurer.  He states about himself:

City College of New York was a natural choice for me, even though I was also accepted to NYU and Rennsaelaer Polytechnic Institute, since it featured a high quality education with free tuition. Although the school’s longstanding tuition-free policy would soon succumb to budgetary realities, the Class of ‘66 helped keep it on life support for a few additional years with a vigorous protest campaign during our time on campus. Interestingly, our 50-year old mantra, “our position, no tuition,” has been adopted by a 2016 presidential candidate.

asellaUnlike most of my college friends who went on to graduate school, I joined the Peace Corps immediately after graduation from CCNY. For two years, I taught geography in a rural secondary school in Ethiopia, Ras Dargay Secondary School in Asella, Arussi Province (now Arsi Zone) 1966 to 1968.

The experience whetted my appetite for living and working abroad, so in 1967, I took the State Department’s Foreign Service exam at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. I managed to pass, and after undergoing an additional battery of tests back in the US, I entered the Foreign Service in 1969. My first assignment was a stark contrast to my Peace Corps years. I served as civilian advisor to the US military in South Vietnam during the early 1970s. After my return in 1971, I was married, and after a six-month “honeymoon” at the Foreign Service Institute in D.C. studying French, my bride and I relocated to the West African nation of Togo. We learned flexibility, patience, and the importance of a good sense of humor. We traveled all over Togo and surrounding countries and became avid collectors of African art.

Over the course of the next 22 years, we alternated tours in Washington, DC, with foreign postings in Brasília, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires. Each one was a challenge, but we adjusted to local customs and soaked up opportunities to enjoy the arts, the food, and the culture. The US embassy jobs were great too: I covered Brazilian foreign relations, Mexican domestic politics, and the Argentine labor scene. Between assignments, the State Department sponsored me for an academic year at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where I finally earned that graduate degree, a Masters of Public Administration.

During my Foreign Service career, my wife, Irene, a Queens College graduate and a special education teacher, found teaching jobs abroad and in the DC area. We raised three children in an international environment. They are now working in diverse fields. Joshua, our oldest, is a US Air Force officer; Rebecca, our middle child, is a paralegal at medical malpractice law firm; and Deborah, our youngest, works for Capital Bike Share in Washington, DC.

I retired from the State Department in 1996 and spent most of the next 20 years as a counterterrorism analyst for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Defense Department. Since my final retirement in 2013, I worked as a Red Cross volunteer at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

Several years ago, I began working with Abebe Kebede, an Ethiopian-American university professor from my old home town of Asella, and three RPCV colleagues to establish the Asella-Arsi School Development Association (AASDO). The purpose of AASDO was to raise funds for educational materials tor a school library they helped create during their Peace Corps service in the mid-sixties. In 2009, they visited Asella to dedicate the newly stocked library. AASDO currently has members in the US and Ethiopia and is collaborating with Books for Africa to help other school libraries in Ethiopia.

Looking back on it all, it has been a great ride, but I still hope to experience new adventures in the years to come. As Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

Thank you Rebecca, Steve and Randy as well as Leo, John, Janet, Karen, Amanda and Kristen for serving on the board.