Introducing three new Board members
We are pleased that three more RPCVs have volunteered to join the E&E RPCV Board. Please welcome:
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.
Since 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.
(Asmara, Adi Quala, Debarola — Eritrea 1962-64)
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.
Served 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’ 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.
Unlike 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.