Welcome to the Columbia River Peace Corps Association

logo for Columbia River Peace Corps Association, Portland, Oregon President’s welcome, by Tom DeMeo (Ghana 1980-82 and Botswana 1982-84)

Welcome to the Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA), the returned Peace Corps volunteers living in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. We are committed to ideals of service and community, both at home and abroad. Connect with us if you are a potential volunteer wanting to talk with old hands, if you are an returned volunteer looking to connect with others who have shared the unique Peace Corps experience, or if you share our ideals and want to meet others of like mind! Take a look at our calendar to see what upcoming events we have planned: we hold regular service events, social gatherings, and educational opportunities that help us serve our community and engage with the world. Find something that suits your style, and join us – we’d love to have you!

Connect with us via Facebook, our website crpca.org, or by signing up for our newsletter and e-updates.

June 2016 Book Club Selection

Wind in the Bamboo
Mirante, Edith: Wind in the Bamboo: A Journey in Search of Asia’s “Negrito” Indigenous People (2014)

Discussion: Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 7:00-8:30 pm. Location at the home of Carole Beauclerk, 1500 SW Park Ave in Portland. On-street parking in downtown Portland is free beginning at 7:00 pm. Upon arrival, call 503-780-2722 to be buzzed in, then turn right into the building’s lobby and then take an immediate left into the community room. Participating in our discussion–in person–will be Edith Mirante, the book’s author! Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Synopsis: Historically defined as ‘Negrito’ because they physically resemble small Africans, these hunter-gatherers may have the most ancient ancestry in Asia. Nearly exterminated by disease and a cataclysmic volcanic eruption, they now survive in forests of Malaysia, the Philippines and India’s Andaman Islands. Some are armed with spears and blowpipes, a few with mobile phones and graduate degrees. Edith Mirante reveals the story of the ‘Negrito’ peoples through a compelling Chatwinesque narrative of journeys into their remaining lands.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Multnomah Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Show your Peace Corps pride in the Grand Floral Parade

After a year’s absence, CRPCA has been invited to march for a fifth time in the Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade. All Northwest RPCVs are invited to march with us, smiling and waving at an appreciative public while carrying the flag of a Peace Corps country–perhaps yours!

The 2016 parade is Saturday, June 11, morning to early afternoon; our start and end time will be announced in May. The parade goes forward in any weather, and marchers should be prepared to walk four miles.

Volunteer to participate in the parade today (flags are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis!) by filling out
http://goo.gl/forms/1hxhHAjDPu. Then please submit the Rose Festival’s Hold Harmless Agreement to networking AT crpca.org by Fri 5/13. Finally, get familiar with the Rose Festival’s Rules for Parade Participants.

Marchers will have the choice of wearing host country attire OR CRPCA’s parade t-shirt with khaki pants. Our t-shirts were designed by James Cloutier in 2012 for maximum visual impact during the parade. We’re selling our limited remaining supply for $5.00 each. Order your size (adult M, L, or XL) on our Checkout page. The t-shirts will be delivered at select CRPCA events this spring, and they’ll also be available on parade morning.

Questions? Please contact Gordon Young, networking AT crpca.org or 503-631-2876.

May 2016 Book Club Selection


Urbani, Ellen*: Landfall (2015)

* RPCV Guatemala (1991-1993)

Discussion: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Ellen Urbani in West Linn. Participating in our discussion–in person–will be CRPCA’s Ellen Urbani, the book’s author! Contact bookclub AT crpca.org for directions to the venue. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Synopsis: Two mothers and their teenage daughters, whose lives collide in a fatal car crash, take turns narrating Ellen Urbani’s breathtaking novel, Landfall, set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosebud have never met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for the accident that kills Rosebud, a young woman so much like herself but for the color of her skin, unfolds alongside Rosebud’s battle to survive the devastating flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward and to find help for her unstable mother. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm and, in a stunning twist, demonstrate how what we think we know can make us blind to what matters most.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Clackamas Co | Ft Vancouver | Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble