Cascade Campus - Columbia River Peace Corps Association

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					                       Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)

                                 in Portland, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010

     Location: Portland Community College | Cascade Campus, Terrell Hall
     Those present for the 2/6/2010 regional meeting were:

We had 22 participants from:
 Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)
 Idaho Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (Idaho RPCVs)
 Inland Northwest Peace Corps Association (INPCA)
 Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (MPCE)
 Oregon Historical Society (OHS)
 Seattle Peace Corps recruiting office (Peace Corps)
 and West Cascade Peace Corps Association (WCPCA).
             Bill Saphir (MPCE),
             Bill Stein (CRPCA),, 503-830-0817
             Brenda Michel (CRPCA),, 503-408-6933
             Brian Newhouse (CRPCA),, 770-713-4590
             Delores Schwindt (INPCA),, 509-489-2005
             Elizabeth Samuels (CRPCA),, 503-228-7706
             Gabriella Maertens (CRPCA),, 503-254-5161
             James Cloutier (WCPCA), 541-342-3797
             Joana Ramos (SEAPAX),, 206-229-2420
             Joe Hindman (NPCA),, 541-673-3956
             Kevin Laughlin (Idaho RPCVs),, 208-724-1478
             Madeleine Mader (CRPCA)
             Marjan Wazeka (CRPCA),, 503-227-8414
             Marta Wicke (CRPCA),, 480-747-3875
             Martin Kaplan (MPCE),, 503-699-9833
             Melanie Forthun (Peace Corps),, 206-239-6603
             Nicole Dino (MPCE),
             Paulette Thompson (SEAPAX),, 206-325-8073
             Phyllis Shelton (CRPCA),, 503-704-6298
             Rachael Snow (OHS),, 503-306-5237
             Richard Ireland (CRPCA),, 503-246-0479
             Wayne Thompson (WCPCA),

A recommended book to read was suggested as each person introduced him/herself to the group.
     Ansary, Tamin - Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2009)
     Ansary, Tamin - West of Kabul, East of New York: an Afghan American Story (2002)
     Brown-Waite, Eve - First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria : How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a
      Third World Adventure Changed My Life (2009)
     Clarke, Suanna - A House in Fez (2008)
     Cowan, Rachel - Growing Up Yanqui (1975)
     Deedy, Carmen Agra - 14 Cows for America (2009, children's books)
     De Mello, Anthony - The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello (1992)
     Diamond, Jared – Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997)

                                                                                     CRPCA | Jan. 31, 2010 | page 1 of 5
                         Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)

                                    in Portland, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
     Erdman, Sarah - Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village (2003)
     Estés, Clarissa Pinkola - The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die (1995)
     Gilbert, Elizabeth - Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (2006)
     Greenside, Mark - I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany (2008)
     Herrera, Susana - Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin (1999)
     Hirsi Ali, Ayaan - Infidel (2007)
     Hofmann, Corinne - The White Masai (2005)
     Holloway, Kris - Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali (2008)
     Kidder, Tracy - Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003)
     Kurlansky, Mark - A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny (1992)
     Mann, Charles C - 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus (2005)
     Mortenson, Greg - Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations--One School at a
      Time (2006)
     Roam, Dan – Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures
     Santiago, Esmerelda - When I Was Puerto Rican (1993)
     Stewart, Rory - The Places in Between (2006)
     Troost, J Maarten - The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific (2004)
     Wrong, Michela - It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower (2009)


Fairly detailed, really interesting and inspiring group updates followed introductions.
I tried to take lots of notes, but what follows here is just a broad-brush overview of
SOME of the highlights from each spokesperson. _Brenda Michel

 Inland Northwest Peace Corps Association (INPCA)
Their new address was given to us. Their events for the past year included: viewing a documentary of the
small pox vaccination work Peace Corps did in Afghanistan in the very earliest days of Peace Corps;
“manning” a table at a fall folk festival; helping Seattle recruiters visit various universities in the region;
holding a holiday potluck and elections; and fund-raising thru Madison Wisc RPCVs’ calendar sales. INPCA
gave away approx. $500-600 to a worthy organization. They have about 90 folks on their email lists. They
have a fresh new board, few of whom have been active or involved in the group before, so it’s a little
learning curve for them as they shift, expand, and grow.

Joana shared the highlights of SEAPAX activities for 2009. The group's annual report can be found on their
website at Currently there are over 650 names on their mailing list, of whom 43 are
dues-paying members. Their major activity of the past year was hosting the 2009 Regional Camp-out in
August near Leavenworth WA. Joana also reported that there are now small satellite groups of SEAPAX in
Bellingham, Olympia and Wenatchee. They meet quarterly, it sounds like. SEAPAX has great collaboration
with the Seattle Peace Corps office and its recruiters; each organization nicely complimenting the other
throughout the year. One challenge she mentioned was engaging the SEAPAX members beyond only the
social mixes, trying to get people involved and willing to do serve events or community service projects.
They, too, raised money selling calendars. Their grant program donated $1500 last year, a portion for a
seed storage project and a portion to local foster kids. They held board elections for their group and had a

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                         Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)

                                     in Portland, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
holiday party. They switched their website from HTML to blog software so that it wouldn’t be so hard to
find a “webmaster” to keep up their site.

 Idaho Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (Idaho RPCVs)
Kevin introduced himself as the new and improved Sam Greer! Sam moved to the Oregon Coast, so he’s
now a member of the Eugene/Lane County/West Cascade RPCV group, and no longer the Big [old] Cheese
of the Boise group. Kevin said they’re missing him, but marching forward all the same *my words+. They’ve
been working with the Idaho State Legislature lobbying for…..? They have a newsletter, are on Facebook,
and have email, but no website, per se, yet. They have 80-90 people on their mailing lists and about 18
paid members. The I.RPCV group has a number of co-chairs for the 50th Anniversary of Peace Corps
event(s) coming up in March of 2011; these people have volunteered to be “worker bees” if someone else
decides the what, the when, and the where, and such. Their 3rd world taxi has been in two parades this
past year and they participate in Peace Corps week each March at the International School.

 West Cascade Peace Corps Association (WCPCA)
This group has 125 members paying between $15 and 30/year in dues. There are 300 RPCVs in the area,
and Corvallis has even more than that!!! The board and committees meet monthly; they have every-other-
month potlucks [i.e. 6 per year]. They have a Nom Party with the U of O recruiter and/or a Seattle
recruiter. Their humanitarian efforts this past year included helping Peace Corps Partnership programs by
sending donations of money. They too sell Madison Wisc calendars as a fund-raising effort. Their service
projects included helping out Food for Lane County. Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea” gave a
talk in Eugene and the WCPCA met before or after it to….? [see book list, above.] They sometimes sell at
Eugene’s wildly popular Saturday Market; they have t-shirts, calendars, and literature at their table. Their
3rd world taxi made an appearance in the Eugene Celebration parade. They have a –wonderful– website
now and are so happy for it. They’ve worked hard to increase their membership from 90 to 125. Most are
local members only, not very many also belong to the NPCA, the National Peace Corps Association. Beryl
Brinkman*, long time member of the WCPCA, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly a few years ago.
Her estate has a foundation thru which the WCPCA can spend its interest earnings, and only the interest.
The WCPCA has 501(c)(3) status. They are in the process of trying to decide what they want to do in
observance and celebration of the 50th anniversary of PC coming up March 2011.

*Beryl served in Afghanistan and was part of the Peace Corps contingent vaccinating Afghanis against small pox in the early 1960s.
See reference to this work, above, inside the INPCA paragraph.

 Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)
This group has about 213 members. It’s moving toward more potlucks (more than six per year) since
they’re so well attended, so popular! Bill Stein gave an overview of all the group’s regular and special
events including the group’s first annual LOCAL camp-out this past June; a silent auction and dance;
calendar sales; restaurant gatherings; pub nights; service events; speakers’ bureau; newsletter changes;
plans to revamp the group’s website; modifying our governance documents so they conform with state
laws and regulations; holding a “post COS” conference for everyone no matter when they COS’d from PC;
formalizing our grant program; and donating twice last year money we raised specifically to give away!

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                     Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)

                               in Portland, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
 Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (MPCE)
 Oregon Historical Society (OHS)
At this point in the morning, Martin Kaplan, Nicole Dino, Bill Saphir, and Rachel Snow came to the front
and talked to all of us about the partnership between the MPCE and the OHS to do a big show (at the OHS)
in observance and celebration of PC’s 50th Anniversary come March 2011. They described the plan to call
for and start collecting items from RPCVs in the area, and they outlined a lot of what needs to be done to
create such an exhibition at the museum. For instance, they need: donors of money; donors of items and
artifacts; and to do a mailing(s) [to about 3000!]. They need names of major donors; names of corporate
donors; names of employers who’ll match contributions; they need a webmaster, and so on. The exhibit
will run from March thru June of 2011. Much information already exists for distribution, for example,
forms to fill out for anyone interested in helping out in any way; forms for folks who have items or artifacts
they’d like to propose for the exhibit, etc. And these documents can be found on the OHS website and the
CRPCA website, too.

 the NPCA, the National Peace Corps Association
The National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) Western Regional Representative (represents AK, CA, HI,
ID, MT, NV, OR, WA) is Joe Hindman of Roseburg, Oregon, His presentation was
a summary of NPCA highlights of 2009—i.e., RPCVs marching in the Obama Inauguration Parade in D.C., a
bit about our new PC Director who was a former PCV and NPCA board member, financial status (good) of
NPCA, a big increase in the PC budget to over $400M, plans for the 50th anniversary of PC. Joe also
talked about the upcoming possible change in the classification of NPCA members—going from a
membership dues based organization to an alumni model, as well as the possibility of the PC having a
designated area in or near the Washington DC Mall as a commemorative to the PC´s ideals.

 additional matters
Joana, from SEAPAX, talked to us about the NPCA website, specifically about getting reimbursed from
NPCA for local members. To login to the Seattle area’s group’s database, NPCA is requiring that the
individual as well as the group be a member of the NPCA. SEAPAX is not a 501(c)(3). She/they would prefer
that the GROUP have a login code so when officers change, for example, the group’s login will give them

Melanie Forthun, the Peace Corps recruiter from Seattle, told us that the new PC Director to be sworn in
soon is the 4th director who’s an RPCV. His three initiatives include: quality growth (in terms of nos. of
volunteers placed around the world); innovation; and PC’s 3rd goal. Melanie told us that Peace Corps is
very strict about honoring the letter and the spirit of Privacy Laws, Rules and Regulations. She talked a
little about 50th anniversary events; a little about education volunteers (?); that there has been an 18%
increase in applicants to PC but no increase in volunteer slots; and that 1 of 3 who apply actually go

Brian Newhouse, from the CRPCA and a newly returned PC volunteer, described to the group, his ideas for
a “Peace Corps” website where volunteers can submit their projects—they can link them to
Peace Corps Partnership for funding purposes; they can also share project information with other
volunteers in enough detail that they could be replicated by others and/or be used as a “template” or
“primer” of sorts for others to refer to as they design and implement similar or related projects.
Volunteers could promote their work in an effort to diminish the need to reinvent the wheel over and over
again as is often the case when almost be design there’s no institutional memory. Phase I of his project

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                       Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA)

                               in Portland, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
works and functions. Phase II involves domestic Peace Corps. He is working on RSS feeds: local groups;
regional groups; COS groups; and Directors’ pages.

The meeting was adjourned around the noon-hour when many in the group had lunch together at E'Njoni
Cafe (Ethiopian, Eritrean, Mediterranean cuisine). Some then returned to the PCC campus for the 2pm
documentaries that CRPCA sponsored: African Underground (rap music's influence in the recent
Senegalese election) and Water First (clean water in Malawi). In the evening, folks were free to return for
Haile Gerima's 1993 film Sankofa or enjoyed less structured social time in the company of RPCVs.

Respectfully submitted,
-1st draft on Feb 12, 2010
-final dated: June 11, 2010

Brenda Michel, CRPCA Secretary
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Sierra Leone, W. Africa
Health and Rural Development 1986-88
home = 503.408.6933

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