Remembering our Friend

Our dear friend and colleague, Catherine Saltwick, passed away on 30 May 2008 in Botswana, Africa where she was posted as a Peace Corps Volunteer. We, her fellow Peace Corps Volunteers, have created this blog to honor her and to allow all of her many friends, PCVs and her family to share their stories and their grief. To say we are shocked and saddened by the accident that took her from us is an understatement. To say she is missed and will never be forgotten is a truth.

Cathy was a seeker of truth, a seeker of adventure and a seeker of love and she found it all in Botswana. She served in the small village of Mookane and enjoyed her Peace Corps experience so much, she had just signed up for an extended third year of service, where she was to be posted at PSI in Gaborone. She spoke fluent Setswana, a feat few of her fellow PCVs accomplished. She said that the Peace Corps changed her for the better, but we all thought she was wonderful the first day we met her. Her motto was: “It’s all good,” and she said it often.

Cathy is respected by so many and we will miss her terribly. Her spirit lives on in each of us because she touched our lives with her inner and outer beauty, with her love of life, with her calm assurance of confidence and contentment and with her life of service and caring about others.

We are proud to call her a friend and we love her.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Hi everyone. i have recently been getting emails from people saying that they are being spammed from this blog. this is due to the fact that we have allowed users the ability to email comments and have them posted without validating them. to remedy this problem, these features have been disabled. if anyone wishes to take over as moderator please let me know.

Thank you
Jason Wucinski
PCV Botoswana 2006-2009

Saturday, August 16, 2008

scholarship in Cathy's name

Hi Friends of Cathy. I wrote earlier about our dance performance that will be used to create a scholarship in Cathy's name. Since then, my e-mail disappeared and I would really like to keep in touch with those of you who are interested in being a part of this venture. will you please e-mail me with your contact info again and I will be in touch. Thanks so much, Kim Gockel:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

dance/service scholarship in Cathy's name.......

Hello, My name is Kim Gockel and I am an old friend of Cathy's from her Westlake Dance Center days. I recently attended her memorial and was very touched and inspired by the service organizations Cathy was involved in and the stories people were there to tell about Cathy to honor her and remember her as the fun-loving, caring and special person she was. My friends and I from dance remember her as a great friend and fellow dancer.
I am the director of an annual benefit performance called, "En L'air." Each year, for the last 5 years we have presented an annual performance of local dancers and choreographers and used the proceeds to benefit local charities such as Union Gospel Mission, Hopelink, Village Foundation, Ashley House and Consolidated Works. We take great pride in giving back to the community through dance. This year, I am so inspired by Cathy's story that I would like to start a scholarship for dancers who have also been highly involved in service projects, events, etc. and who plan to go on to college continuing their involvement in community/world service as well as pursue dance. We would like the show to be a tribute to Cathy and her work and we would love for you, her friends and family to be involved as much as you would like.
I would love to speak to someone who could help me in finding pictures, videos, etc. that we could use for part of the show. We are in the planning stages as of now. Our performance will be held on Nov. 15 and 16, 2008 at Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle. Please feel free to contact me @ if you are interested in contributing to our performance. We would love for someone to speak about Cathy and share her love of dance and people with our audiences.
A friend and I were talking about Cathy's death and we realized that it was definitely possible that we may never have seen Cathy again even if she had lived, but that her death was extremely difficult being the person that she was. Someone at the service said something to the effect of no matter when you were a part of Cathy's life, she left something with you and I find this to be very true. She was extra special to a lot of people.
Thank-you, Kim Gockel, En L'air Dance
It's a talkathon – but it's not just talk.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cathy's burial

For those wishing to visit Cathy, we chose a grave in Crown Hill Cemetary in Seattle (where her grandfather is also buried). It's a nice sunny spot, which she would have liked. 

The i'm Talkathon starts 6/24/08.  For now, give amongst yourselves. Learn More

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saltwick/Uyyek family web page

Hello, everyone, this is Mike Uyyek, Cathy’s brother-in-law.  On behalf of the Saltwick family, I’d like to thank you for your kind words and warm thoughts. The link below takes you to the memorial web page I created for Cathy, and in a week (if my poor, antiquated computer doesn’t spontaneously combust from the sheer effort), I will have video of the memorial service on Saturday, June 14th available for you to view, if you were unable to attend. If you have really low bandwidth and can’t view the video, I may be able to make a VCD/DVD available to you. If you are a current or former PCV and not in the US, I would suggest contacting you local Peace Corps representative, because I will also be making a disc available to Peggy McClure in Botswana for copying and distribution as she sees appropriate. Thanks again.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our Friend Cathy

Cathy and I have remained in constant communication since
introduced. It was apparent early on she was more than just another
pretty face. Cathy had a substantial intelligence behind her smile.
What solidified our relationship was the active engagement of that
intelligence. Over the years we have leaned on each other through
difficult times and shared our collective knowledge and life

This pseudo sibling relationship fostered into many positive
attributes. I encouraged her to write her memoirs while in Africa for
eventual publication. When bored to tears, she depended on a quick
pick-me-up, which often degraded to dumb blonde jokes. Never taking
offense, she countered with a barrage of bald old man jokes. We
laughed until we cried. During a get together last year, our group
sat for seven consecutive hours, without a break, just to play catch
up. A memorial evening indeed.

In one of her last emails, she detailed a plan to extend for another
year in Africa. She acknowledged meeting someone she was interested
in, and was very happy with the work she had accomplished. Wonderful
news indeed. Something to do, Someone to love, and something to look
forward to; the recipe for a prosperous life was finally hers.

I do take some comfort in knowing she was truly happy during this
untimely passing. Cathy above all was a genuine, brutally honest, and
fiercely independent young lady. She will be dearly missed. Our
deepest condolences are offered to the Saltwick family.


Rick McDonald


I knew Cathy in high school. I haven’t seen her in 20 years but am not surprised to hear that she spent her life finding ways to help others. She was compassionate and caring and I was lucky to have been able to call her my friend.    

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Remembering Cathy: a great friend and a great teacher

I met Cathy in the Peace Corps. We were in the same volunteer group, Bots-5. At first, Cathy was quite and reserved like me. We bonded a bit during our training, because we were both from Seattle. During the two years in Botswana I got to know Cathy well. We had many lengthy discussions about life, dreams, religion, faith and love. We were both at a cross road in our lives trying to figure out paths that we shall choose to realize our lives' dreams. Cathy had many dreams. She wanted to travel and see the world, she wanted to learn other languages, she wanted to help people in need and she wanted to fall in love.
Cathy was a good listener and she was very understanding. She knew how to lift my spirits and she was very generous. We went to Mozambique together during our holiday. I always wanted to swim in the ocean, but was very scared to do so. Cathy took me by my hand into the beautiful Indian Ocean and held my hand until I was no longer afraid to be in the ocean on my own. I had my first sun burn during the same holiday and didn't know what to do. Cathy gave me tips what to do take care of my sun burns. She used to sneak behind me and give me very warm hugs. I always loved her spontaneity and loving friendship. Cathy always tried to see the best in people. She was so polite and showed people that she cared.
I remember her being blissfully happy during our final good bye in Botswana. She found the love of her life and a great position with an International NGO. Her future looked so bright and her heart was filled with joy. I will never forget Cathy and all her love, friendship and teachings will be part of me forever.
Chami Arachchi
Peace Corps Volunteer-Botswana