July 10th, 2011
About 20 returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV’s) and family members, enjoyed the hospitality of Ann Marie Robustelli and The World Peace Sanctuary, headquarters of The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) on Sunday, July 10th and loved their time there.
Ann Marie gave an overview of the WPPS’s mission and Sanctuary grounds before she led the group into a lovely peace ceremony.
Later the group enjoyed the beautiful summer day by strolling up the Peace Path to the Ceremonial field and back down into the Sacred Grove to walk the Labyrinth.
The RPCV’s represent part of the twelfth group of American volunteers (XLL’s) to live in Ethiopia as part of Peace Corps’ outreach to countries around the world.
The volunteers were assigned as teachers in various parts of the country for a two-year commitment from 1969-1971. Many stayed for a third year. Their experiences in Ethiopia were so unique that they have galvanized into a group that has gathered periodically for reunions ever since their return to the U.S.
The World Peace Sanctuary served as a perfect place for the XII’s to gather as part of this year’s weekend-long reunion.
Discussions took place and a slide show presentation was given by Charles Higgins, one of the XII’s. Charlie is using his expertise as a PhD agronomist to coordinate efforts to increase potato production among farmers who are trying to eke out a living from small plots of land in the high altitude areas of Ethiopia.
Tax deductible donations can be made to the Ethiopian sustainable Food Project at the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin to allow Charlie to continue his efforts with Ethiopian farmers.