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.

May 2015 Book Club Selection

The Springs of Namje
Goyal, Rajeev*: The Springs of Namje: A Ten-year Journey From the Villages of Nepal to the Halls of Congress (2012)

* RPCV Nepal (2001-2003)

Discussion: Friday, May 22, 2015, 7:00-8:30 pm. Location at the home of Don Messerschmidt, 1218 SE 121st Ave in Vancouver WA, 360-256-8596. Participating in our discussion–in person–will be Rajeev Goyal, the book’s author! Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Booklist: Goyal, the son of Indian immigrants, joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to teach English in the small village of Namje in eastern Nepal. In this very frank memoir of the hardships, failures, and successes, he recalls dealing with the discomforts of the caste system and learning that supposedly ignorant villagers had skills and knowledge helpful to developing their communities and nations. He is brutally honest about the unintended consequences of well-meaning efforts, such as building a water pump system to pull water up the mountain, a project that likely brought the villagers into contact with Maoist rebels. When his service ended, Goyal remained involved in issues of development, including boosting funding for the Peace Corps. He tells the story of his 10-year journey as attorney and activist, walking the halls of Congress, shaking hands and securing promises for more funding at a time of budget cutting, eventually securing an additional $60 million for the Peace Corps. An honest and inspiring look at the hard work and reward of development efforts.

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

April 12th, 2015 Business Meeting Minutes

Columbia River Peace Corps Association

Business Meeting

April 12, 2015

Board Member Present Position Present?
Patrick Findler President x
Erin Gettling Secretary x
Matthew Forgue Treasurer x
Phyllis Shelton Fundraising Coordinator x
Joel Salter Grants Coordinator x
Angie Basurtto Program Coordinator
Kat Barnes Education Coordinator x
Dré Mayrose Education Coordinator
Meaghan Corwin Webmaster/Newsletter Editor x
Adrienne Wolf-Lockett Membership Coordinator x
Bob Lockett Membership Coordinator x
Tom DeMeo Service Coordinator x
Susie Robillard E-Update Editor x
Nora Olsgaard Events Coordinator
Liz Samuels Scheduling Coordinator x
Gordon Young Networking Coordinator x
  1. Introductions

Name, years and country of service, and one memento you have from your country of service.

  1. Announcements/Business

Tom: was approached by 82nd Avenue Association about participation in a parade on April 25th. He has not heard from board; can he assume that we are not interested? Need to know tonight and an approximate number of people. After a discussion, it was decided that Tom will tell the association that they can at least expect a banner and hopefully a small group of flags. Gordon Young will be the point person on this, and a Facebook announcement will be sent out.

Bill: CRPCA is looking for a coordinator for Grand Floral Parade this year–June 6th. Job entails flag pick-up, assigning flags to members, and coordinating day-of logistics. There has also been a parade practice and picnic the evening before in years past. Need answer immediately. Gordon: I’ll do it! Met with much applause. Phyllis: if attendance is dwindling, are we burning ourselves out? Should we continue doing this? Gordon: I think it’s still worth it.

Bill: Also up for discussion is purchasing flags from Jack Kirkwood and his organization instead of renting year after year. Matthew: find out how much he wants and find a place to store. Phyllis and Tom volunteered storage. Susie: we could also generate money by renting them out ourselves.

Joel: Grants committee changeover time! Any volunteers? Bob Wolf-Lockett, Adrienne Wolf-Lockett, Gordon Young, Phyllis Shelton, and Erin Gettling all volunteered. Joel will remain as grants coordinator.

  1. Grants Presentation

Adrienne Wolf-Locket presented a proposal for a summer camp in Robins Bay Jamaica. The camp serves elementary school kids, grades 1-6, who would not otherwise have anything to do in the summer. Includes lunch and field trips. Fundraising for camp is now being done by RAISE, and Adrienne and Bob are doing what they can to assist. Bob and Adrienne were the first administrators of this camp, but leadership has since been transferred to locals. Asking for $1,000.

Joel presented a proposal on behalf of “Andando” for a women’s poultry cooperative in Senegal. 80 women and their families are involved. Money would go toward construction of a poultry production facility and initial stock/food/medicine. Similar projects have been successful and there is a model in place. Asking for $2,000, but project could move forward with alternative funding sources if not fully funded, it just might take longer.

Joel: the committee proposes to fund each project at $1,000.

Discussion: Tom: I would support giving $1,000 to each, provided we get progress reports from both groups. Bill noted that such reports are standard procedure.

Phyllis: how can we get the money to these groups? Tom can take money to Jamaica, or it can be transferred to the organization in Florida. Joel will contact Lewis Kiker from Andando about transferring funds to Senegal.

Bill: I move that we accept the committee’s recommendation of $1,000 to the Andando Foundation’s poultry project and $1,000 to Robins Bay summer camp. Patrick seconded. The motion carried.

  1. Elections

Bob Wolf-Lockett: membership coordinator duties include checking the P.O. Box, which the current coordinators have not been doing. Bob recommends changing the description to reflect current practice. Bill suggested removing the P.O. Box responsibility from the job description and voting at the next meeting.

Patrick facilitated nominations:

  • President: Tom DeMeo
  • Secretary: Erin Gettling
  • Treasurer: Phyllis Shelton
  • E-Update Editor: Susie Robillard
  • Newsletter Editor & Webmaster: Meaghan Corwin
  • Education Coordinator: open position
  • Events Coordinator: open position
  • Fundraising Coordinator: open position
  • Grants Coordinator: Joel Salter
  • Membership Coordinators: Adrienne and Bob Wolf-Lockett
  • Networking Coordinator: Gordon Young
  • Program Coordinator: Bill Stein
  • Scheduling Coordinator: Mike Waite
  • Service Coordinator: open position

All nominees were elected unanimously.

After being elected Program coordinator, Bill suggested business meetings quarterly, the minimum required by our bylaws, to make more room for speakers. Meeting months would be January, April, July, and October, plus an annual business meeting in September when the budget is presented. Those present were in agreement.

Tom will continue coordinating service events, but the board will actively recruit for a Service Coordinator, as well as the other open positions.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30.