Welcome to the Portland Peace Corps Association

logo for Portland Peace Corps Association, Portland, Oregon President’s welcome, by Phyllis Shelton (Honduras 1986-1988)

Welcome to the Portland Peace Corps Association (PPCA) web page! We are a group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Greater Portland, SW Washington area.

As you probably already know, those of us who share the Peace Corps experience have a unique bond, and it doesn’t matter what country you served in or what decade you were there, it just feels right to sit down, share a meal and a story or dive into a meaningful service project shoulder to shoulder. CRPCA is a place where people who served in the 60s are just as apt to attend a pub night, service event, book club, potluck or special fundraising event as the volunteer who is so freshly returned they are still suffering from reverse culture shock! Family friendly events are important to many of our members, and networking for jobs or making friends when you are new in town are a big attraction too.

We are committed to ideals of service and community, both at home and abroad. Every year we collectively spend hundreds of hours on local service projects, give out thousands of dollars in grants to well vetted projects sponsored by returned or currently serving volunteers, so the good work continues. We are also happy to welcome prospective volunteers at our events. Come meet us and find out what it is really like; we are happy to share stories.

Our calendar is full of interesting events, check it out and see what is coming up, we would love to see you at one of our events soon.

Connect with us via Facebook, our website crpca.org, or by viewing our 50+ years of newsletters.

June 2019 Book Club Selection

Mating
Rush, Norman*: Mating** (1991)

* Peace Corps Director, Botswana 1978-1983

** 1991 National Book Award for Fiction, 1992 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

Discussion: Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Ann and Roger Crockett, 1922 NE 12th Ave in Portland, 801-388-8235. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Library Journal: As in Whites, Rush’s first collection of stories, this novel juxtaposes the relationship of two white Americans in Botswana against village life in that country. A woman anthropologist narrates her pursuit of and life with Nelson Denoon, a utopian socialist who set up an experimental matriarchal culture among poor African women in a remote area. Having met Denoon at a party, the anthropologist undertakes a dangerous trek alone through the Kalahari to Tsau, the site. After she gains the acceptance of the women, she is permitted to join Denoon, and their love story develops, interspersed with incidents in the village. Though there is plenty of action and interaction among the characters, this is largely a novel of ideas and anthropological information. The humor is at a sophisticated level, as is the vocabulary.

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

Grand Floral Parade! Saturday, June 8, 10am-2pm

There’s Nothing Like a Parade!

Come join us for the Grand Floral Parade, where the Portland Returned Peace Corps Association will be represented by members carrying flags from countries around the world! This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, June 8. The route starts at the Memorial Coliseum, crosses the Burnside bride, and ends up at Providence Park downtown. See a detailed route map here.

Note that GFP organizers require that all marchers complete a “Hold Harmless Form” for liability purposes. Download the form here, sccan and email to Tom DeMeo at service AT crpca.org or mail hard copy to 1002 SE 50th Avenue, Portland, OR 97215.

If interested in holding a flag and adding to the impressive collection of countries Peace Corps served in, follow the link here to sign up!
Let’s make this the biggest parade yet!

All participants get a free t-shirt, with the new logo! If you would be interested in a shirt for the parade- or just in general! – please email newsletter AT crpca.org with your interest, quantity, and size(s). They are still in design, but leaning towards navy polo or pocket T-shirt.

If you are a member of Portland Peace Corps, you get first choice. Sign up before May 11th to ensure the best chance get the flag of your country before we send it out to a wider audience! The early bird gets the worm – or flag, in this case!

We need your help with recruiting! Whoever recruits the most RPCVs to the parade wins a pair of free Timbers or Thorns tickets! Just e-mail president AT crpca.org with the names of folks you recruited.

Hope to see you there!

May 2019 Book Club Selection

The Fox Was Ever the Hunter
Müller, Herta*: The Fox Was Ever the Hunter (1992/2016)

* 2009 Nobel Literature Prize

Discussion: Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Lee Norris, 3748 SE Salmon St in Portland, 503-236-0998. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Publishers Weekly: Set in Romania at the end of the Ceausescu era, this Kafkaesque tale offers a glimpse of a society unhinged by fear and paranoia and crushed by the hopelessness of its dead-end future. Its principal characters include Clara, a worker in a wire-making factory; her lover, Pavel, a married lawyer; Paul, a musician whose concerts have been raided by the police; and Adina, a schoolteacher who discovers that someone is regularly entering her apartment and systematically—and symbolically—dismembering a fox rug in her bedroom. Suspicions suggest that someone in this circle of friends and acquaintances is giving information to the authorities—but who? Nobel Prize–winner Müller (The Hunger Angel) foregrounds her tale against a bleak landscape mired in pollution and industrial waste, where the natural world is menacing: poplar trees ringing the town are described as “knives,” and the sun as a “blazing pumpkin.” In short, staccato chapters etched with her spare but crystalline prose, she parades scores of nameless working-class people who seem devoid of any inner life and whose prospects for rising above their circumstances are summed up as “Nothing but this gutter of poverty, hopelessness, and tedium, from mother to child and on to that child’s children.” More than a portrait of individual lives under the suffocating weight of a dictatorship, Müller’s novel is a searing appraisal of a people whose souls have been strangled by despair.

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