TNRPCVs featured on NPCA website

August Featured Advocates: Tennessee RPCVs

By Jonathan Pearson on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

(l to r) In Nashville, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Angie Harris (Papua New Guinea 91-93), Susanne Bennett (Togo 05-07) and Evan Campa (South Africa 04-06) make plans to meet their lawmakers

We’re hearing good things from around the country as members of the Peace Corps community are reaching out and scheduling district office meetings during the National Peace Corps Association’s first-ever locally based advocacy mobilization during the August congressional recess.

Nashville Tennessee is just one of the places where this is happening.  ”RPCVs are active, engaged and responsible citizens who vote,” says Angie Harris, one of the lead organizers of the local advocacy initiative of the Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  ”We want our government officials and our local communities to be aware of the importance of the Peace Corps and how serving as a volunteer has impacted our personal and professional lives in a positive way.”

About a half-dozen RPCVs came together last month to start mapping out a meeting strategy.  The group reviewed materials provided by the NPCA and divided responsibilities for seeking and scheduling meetings.  From Nashville to Jackson to Memphis, meetings are being sought with at least half the members of the Tennessee congressional delegation.

While the group will be making specific requests on Peace Corps funding, safety and security legislation, and Peace Corps commemorative legislation, basic education will also be part of the effort.  ”We know as RPCVs that promoting the Third Goal  (bringing the world back home) is an integral part of promoting the values of the Peace Corps,” said Harris.  ”Tennessee RPCVs want our representatives to know about the global work that volunteers do as well as the service that RPCVs continue to do at home.  And, we want to acknowledge and thank our representatives who have supported the Peace Corps.”

Congratulations to Angie and fellow Tennessee RPCVs Susanne Bennett, Evan Campa, Hope Collins, Dave Keiser, and Sheila Denemark for their local leadership in advancing district meeting advocacy efforts.  It’s an endeavor that is much more than raising awareness about their personal volunteer experiences.  As Harris notes, “Advocating for the Peace Corps is important to us because we want other Americans to have the same opportunities as we did to serve as volunteers.”

20 TNRPCVS needed for FRAMING on August 28


Phill Robinson was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya.  Before he suddenly passed away in 2009, Phill helped to establish the TNRPCVs.  As Habitat for Humanity’s Marketing Director, Phill also volunteered to build houses for the organization.  His favorite days to work on builds are called ‘framing days”.  As its name refers, this is the process of creating a frame of the house, the basis of any building.  Phill liked these days the most because he knew that it was exciting to see the significant progress by the end of the day. 

Mark your calendars!  Habitat’s framing day this fall is Sunday, August 28. The TNRPCVS need 20 volunteers to commit to this day.

If you are interested and can oblige to most of the day, please click this link and fill out the form  It only takes a  minute!

Peace Corps Recruting Event, Nashville: Get Answers To Your Questions

Nashville: Get Answers To Your Questions


Do you have questions like these?
• Where will I live?
• What will I eat?
• How will I get around?
• Can my family and friends visit me?

JOIN US for our next GlobeTalk Information Session in Nashville and have these and any other questions answered by recruiter Toby Rowell, who served in Zambia as an Environment Volunteer.

• Peace Corps staff share their overseas story
• DVD featuring Volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps
• How to apply and other information for those interested in applying
• Updated details about our all expenses paid benefits package PLUS graduate school fellowships
• Open discussion and questions from the audience
• Insider Tips Fact Sheet and other material

Bring your friends/family and your questions!

GlobeTalk Information Session
Wednesday, June 15th
Tennessee Foreign Language Institute
227 French Landing Drive #100
Nashville, TN 37228

Contact: Toby Rowell

Cinco de Mayo Service Social


On May 5th, TNRPCV will be working with Rebuilding Together Nashville to help repair a home that was damaged in the May 2010 flood. This will be a chance to help a homeowner affected by the flood and also a chance to spend time conversing with friends and possibly making fun of the way they hold their paint brush. Work will begin at 8am and conclude at 3pm. All necessary tools and materials will be provided. After the project there will be a gathering from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Yazoo Brewery Taproom to celebrate everyone’s hard work as well as the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.  Please email me if you are interested in volunteering at

If you’re a big Facebook user, you can also RSVP through our Facebook event page.

Event details about Rebuilding Together can be found at

John Ceglarek – Ukraine, 2008-2010

Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Event in Nashville


Mayor Karl Dean will be the guest speaker at a Nashville event to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  This event is one of many celebrations that will occur worldwide to mark this historic date.  The local event will also feature a panel of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from the past five decades who will discuss their experiences in the Peace Corps!


 The Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (TNRPCV) is a Tennessee-based non-profit uniting and empowering the Tennessee Peace Corps community through service and support.   On March 5, 2011 TNRPCV will host a symposium celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  The event will feature a history of the Peace Corps, along with a panel of former Peace Corps Volunteers discussing their life as a volunteer.  Our Keynote Speaker Mayor Karl Dean will discuss the importance of community service and volunteerism.   Over 50 former Peace Corps Volunteers, now living in Tennessee, are expected at the event.   Overall attendance is estimated at 250.


When:      Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm CST

Where:    Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1008  19th Avenue, Nashville, TN  37212
                Bennett Hall,  Raintree Room

               Click here for Maps and Detailed Directions

Admission:  Free!


Breaking Bread


It is said in Morocco that the finger has taste buds. 

Breaking bread in Morocco is a daily experience.  It happens every meal, at all times of the day, with friends, family and sometimes strangers.  We use it as our utensil.   There’s no need for a fork anymore and slowly it becomes the norm. 

I got hooked on bread and quickly I couldn’t eat anything without it.  So I started buying 50 kg bags of flour once a month and giving it to my neighbor who had an oven to share with me.  They could make as much bread as they wanted for their family as long as they brought me one loaf a day.  Before I knew it, I was eating dinner with them every night for the rest of my service.  Bread was broken.  Bonds were born.  

We’re breaking bread March 1 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  Please bring a dish to share, preferably one from your host country.  I’ll be bringing some yummy Moroccan food.  I think I’ll go with zaalook this time.  You’ll love it.  

Please RSVP to  BYOB. 

Roger Hume’s House
1600B Long Ave.
Nashville, TN  37206

When:  Tuesday March 1, 6:00 – 10:00 PM 

Don’t forget about the Symposium on Sat. March 5.  If you can’t make it from 4:00 – 6:30 pm, we’ll be heading over to the Boundary Bar & Grill for dinner and refreshments immediately afterward.  I hope to see you there. 


Dave Keiser – President
Morocco 98-00

Happy Anniversary!


That’s right!  We’re celebrating our silver anniversary this year with a long slate of events and opportunities to share your experiences and give back to the community.  Peace Corps Week (Feb 28 – March 5) is right around the corner and it’s time to climb up in the attic and dig out that old box of artifacts you call your Peace Corps experience and keep up the Third Goal of sharing your experiences with Americans all over Tennessee.  

Monday, Wednesday & Friday – TNRPCVs will be speaking at area schools across the state.  If you haven’t approached a school, we encourage you to do so.  It’s great fun and the kids love hearing you say funny sounding things.

Tuesday – TNRPCVs will have a booth set up at Volunteer Tennessee’s Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning in Nashville at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. 

Tuesday Night – TNRPCVer Roger Hume (Kazakhstan 95-97) will be hosting an official NPCA Global House Party at his house.  Please bring an international dish to share. Starts at 6PM CST. Andrew & Diana Ray will be hosting a party at the same time in Knoxville.  If you would like to host a party or skype into ours, please email

Thursday – TNRPCV Panel Presentation at Tennessee State University.  TSU just started a Masters International Program in agriculture and we’re stopping by to give them some handy advice. 

Saturday – TNRPCV Symposium & Reception at the Scarritt Bennett Center.  Starts at 4PM with a light reception.  Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will be our special guest.  After party celebration location TBA.  And someone is getting an award. 

I hope you can make it especially to our 1st Annual Tennessee Symposium on Peace Corps Volunteer Service where we will celebrate our past service with a panel presentation spanning five decades of service and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

The Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (TNRPCV) is a Tennessee-based non-profit social welfare organization uniting and empowering the Tennessee Peace Corps community through service and support.   Over 50 former Peace Corps Volunteers, now living in Tennessee, are expected at the event.   Overall attendance is estimated at 250.

When:  Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 4pm to 6pm CST
Where:  Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1008 19th Avenue, Nashville, TN  37212  Bennett Hall,  Raintree Room
Admission:  Free!
RSVP:  Send an email to with your name and number of attendees

Invited Guests:  Honorable members of the Tennessee Legislature, honorable members of the Mayor’s office, charities and non-profits devoted to community service or international aid, the international community of middle Tennessee, and former and future Peace Corps Volunteers!

TNRPCV is a local organization promoting the 3rd goal of Peace Corps:  to help Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries.   Our activities include local charitable events, speaking engagements at schools, and a resource for people interested in joining the Peace Corps.  More information can be found at  or


Dave Keiser – President
Morocco 98-00

50th Anniversary Celebration, March 5, 2011

We need pics of you as a PCV for March 5th Event!

Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (TNRPCV) are hosting an
event to celebrate Peace Corps’s 50th Anniversary during Peace Corps
week in March. As part of this event, we would like to put together a
slideshow of pictures of TNRPCVs from their time of service. Please
send a picture from your service so that it can be part of the slideshow.

Send pics to Casey Woodling,

Save the date! 

PC 50th Anniversary

March  5th, Scarritt Bennet Center, Nashville

TN RPCVs will host a 2-hour event with an introduction from our President, Dave Keiser, followed by keynote speaker, Mayor Karl Dean and panelists representing PC from the 1960s to present.  Refreshments will be served!

Stay tuned for details to be announced!