November 2014 Newsletter

Contents of November 2014 Newsletter – Volume 34, Issue 11

  • President's letter
  • Letter from the editor
  • Announcements
  • CRPCA supports Ebola Relief
  • Careers Built Out of the Peace Corps event
  • Las Libres, the story continues
  • Ladies' Weekend at the Beach
  • CRPCA November to January events

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President's Letter

Dear CRPCA members,

We are pleased to be able to offer a new opportunity for the curious and motivated! As many of you know, the newsletter has run an on-again, off-again feature where RPCVs in the local community have shared stories and reflections on their Peace Corps service.

We would like to formalize and expand this feature with the institution of a new (non-board) position of a newsletter reporter. The reporter(s) would, on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, interview or solicit writing from one or several CRPCA members or RPCVs about: their service, their post-Peace Corps career, or other work or reflections related to the Peace Corps, service, or the international environment.

We are looking for someone who writes, someone who likes to talk to others, someone who loves to bring that spark of inquisitiveness that illuminates a part of someone's life and prompts them to share.

Is this you? Contact us at or with questions or expressions of interest.

— Patrick Findler, Armenia 2008–2011 & Mongolia 2011–2013

Letter from the editor

It's a very newsy newsletter this month. In addition to general announcements, we also have information about CRPCA's involvement with Ebola relief, with a career event to be held at Mercy Corps, and a call to attend a beach getaway (women only, sorry!). There's also the usual calendar of events. We still want to hear from you if you have anything you would like to share, particularly about how you stay connected with your country of service (or third goal activities you do in Portland), so please do get in touch. I'll also be sending out reminders in the weekly update. If you have any announcements or information that you'd like shared in the newsletter, be sure to get that to me before November 25, 2014 (that's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving).

— Meaghan Corwin, Armenia 2008–2011 & Mongolia 2011–2013


¶ At the Oct. 12, 2014, grant review meeting, CRCPCA membership voted to award $1,000 to Behavioral Health Resources toward hot spot wireless technology allowing mobile access to electronic medical records in Olympia, Washington. For more information about the project, contact our grants coordinator, Joel Salter, at

¶ If you are interested in attending Timbers games this year (exact dates TBD), please contact Tom DeMeo, our service coordinator, at so he can make a deposit.

¶ The location for the CRPCA Local 2015 campout has been confirmed. It will take place on June 18-21, 2015, at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, OR. We will be in the Kingfisher Group Site, which has room for 100 people and 30 vehicles, with 15 picnic tables and 2 group fire rings. We will have the site Thurs June 18, Fri, and Sat, leaving Sun June 21st, with 4 pm check in andnoon check out. We hope to see you there!

CRPCA supports Ebola Relief

Ebola Relief 2014 During the regularly scheduled business meeting of October 12, 2014, the membership of the Columbia River Peace Corps Association voted to to donate $1,000 to the Friends of Liberia for the purpose of Ebola relief in West Africa. This money was had been budgeted for CRPCA's grants program, but had been left unallocated after this cycle's grants had been considered and voted on. For more information about how these funds will be used to fight the Ebola epidemic, please see the Friends of Liberia website.

Careers Built Out of the Peace Corps Experience

CRPCA is proud to be a co-organizer, along with the World Affairs Council & the United Nations Assocation, of the career event "Careers Built Out of the Peace Corps Experience." This event will take place on November 15, 2014, from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM, at Mercy Corps. A number of RPCVs will be on hand with presentations and Q&A panels to discuss how their Peace Corps experience laid the foundation for their career. Tabling organizations will also be present, and there will be opportunities for one-on-one networking.

The event is aimed at introducing college and graduate students, teachers, and young professional to the enriching opportunities of Peace Corps and other volunteer experience potentially leading to careers in international and domestic public service. Further information is available at the < a href="">event registration page on Eventbrite: please share!

Volunteer Opportunity! We are still seeking five volunteers to help run this event. If you are interested, please contact Tom DeMeo at

Las Libres, the Story Continues

From Char McKay, Micronesia 1970–1972

Between 2000 and 2008, 130 women from the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, were reported to the authorities for abortion and sentenced to severe prison terms, some up to 30 years. “Las Libres: The Story Continues…” is a documentary film that tells the stories of 6 of these women. It also tells the story of Las Libres, the human rights organization that brought their tragic stories to light.

Film director and writer Gustavo Montana believes that the stories of these women and the activists working night and day by their side engage us all in a broader struggle grounded in basic human rights. What is happening in Mexico is a much larger story that extends to current situations in Argentina, the U.S. and beyond.

FILM PREMIERE in Portland: You can help this cause on at the Portland premiere of “Las Libres: The Story Continues…” with special guest Veronica Cruz, the Executive Director of Las Libres and the recipient of the 2006 Human Rights Defender of the Year Award from Human Rights Watch.

November 16th , 11 AM- box office opens at 9:30
Clinton Street Theater
2522 SE Clinton St. Portland, 97202
Limited seating, all proceeds go to Las Libres.
Coffee and light refreshments served before the film
Admission: $25 general; $15 student – tax deductible. Advance ticket sales by cash or check only, ticket pickup at will call:
Holly Silver, Las Libres Outreach Committee
PO Box 25311 Portland, 97298
Checks payable to: Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette
with Las Libres on memo line. ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT LAS LIBRES

Patron Tickets for private reception: $125 individual or $225 for two, includes hosted private reception in SW Portland from 5:30 to 8 PM on 11/16 to meet Veroncia Cruz.

Ladies’ Weekend at the Beach!

Brenda Michel, CRPCA member, offers a proposal for a Women-only, 21 and over, Beach Getaway Weekend on Jan 17-19, 2015, which is Dr. King’s birthday weekend. This would be for Sat. and Sun. nights Jan. 17-18, leaving for home Monday the 19th.

The getaway would take place at “The Sand Castle” luxury beach house rental. It is an oceanfront house in Lincoln City, with hot-tub, four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a gas fireplace. It sleeps twelve easily, and if twelve women sign up it will be $110 each for 2 nights. Since we RPCVs are a hardy lot, if 15 women want to get away, it will be just $87 each for 2 nights. We're planning to eat well, so there would be an additional food contribution. If a dozen of us commit with $$ down, it’s a go; put it on your calendar. If folks are interested but want men and children to be able to come too, please also let me know. I’ll keep everyone apprised of how things are unfolding. Brenda Michel =

Update: As of end Oct, I need five (or more) women to commit so I can book the house. Please join us!!

CRPCA November to January events

November 2014

Monday, 11/03, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm – Writers' Workshop4222 SE Morrison St. in Portland. Please LET PATRICE KNOW ASAP if you plan to participate on 11/03: Bring a writing sample and perhaps a snack to share. See our Writers’ Workshop page for more information. Hosted by Patrice Hudson (503-866-7020).

Friday, 11/07, 5:45 pm to 8:30 pm – Service Activity: Evening Hospitality for the Homeless – St Andre Bessette, 601 W Burnside St. in Portland. Evening hospitality to the homeless, Downtown Chapel (St. Andre Bessette). We'll be serving a meal and helping in the kitchen. Meet at the front door as a group at 5:45 PM. Children over age 6 with adult chaperone are welcome to volunteer with us! RSVP service AT . (Families with children can leave early.) Last minute additions welcome.

Sunday, 11/09, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Potluck Gathering, 3940 SE 47th Ave. in Portland. Please bring a dish to share to the 6pm potluck dinner. After dinner, starting at 7pm, there will be a Kargi gogo food cart from Georgia presentation by RPCV – Mckinze Cook
Located at SW 9th. & Washington downtown-all RPCV's get a dollar off food.

This potluck gathering will be hosted by Linda Centurion, 3940 SE 47th Ave in Portland, across from where eastbound SE Center St ends at SE 47th Ave. Access Center by traveling south on SE 42nd Ave from Powell, then turning east onto Center, or access 47th by traveling west on SE Gladstone St from 52nd, then turning north onto 47th.

Tuesday, 11/11, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Book Club, 5022 SE Mitchell St. in Portland. The book to read is Emma's War by Deborah Scroggins (2002). See our book club page for more information. Note the earlier than usual start; it’s to accommodate our Skype discussion with the author! Feel free to bring your own dinner.
Hosted by Dean Gadda (503-307-6157).

Sunday, 11/15, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm – Career Event: "Careers Built Out of the Peace Corps Experience", Mercy Corps International Building, 45 SW Ankeny Street, in Portland. Our event is aimed at introducing college and graduate students, teachers, and young professional to the enriching opportunities of Peace Corps and other volunteer experience potentially leading to careers in international and domestic public service.

For this purpose, we are bringing together an impressive group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to share with you their experiences across many countries in working with people in need. They will also share the excitement of living and learning within a new cultural setting, and what a maturing impact it has had on their lives. They will speak to how this experience has shaped or otherwise enhanced their careers with open minds and human skills that are enabling them to realize their potentials and their dreams.

You will also learn from a panel about the practical side of preparing yourself to be a volunteer and how to apply. And we will have with us a number of organizations other than the Peace Corps who offer equally valuable experience abroad. There will be time set aside for you to interact one on one with as many of the event organizers, panelists and facilitators as you may wish.

There will be a limited continental breakfast offering on hand to start off the event and another more filling food item with beverage provided during the mid-morning break period while tabling organizations can be consulted for information materials and feedback to your questions.

Co-sponsored by Columbia River Peace Corps Association—United Nations Association of Portland—World Affairs Council of Oregon.

Register at .

Monday, 11/17, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Soirée – Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland. This is a great way to link up with other RPCVs, hear interesting stories from around the world, and grab a drink and a bite to eat among good company. You can usually find us in the front room. Moved up due to the holiday.

Wednesday, 11/19, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Job Search Support GroupLloyd Center in Portland. Informal gathering of CRPCA members and friends who are seeking new work. Location at Lloyd Center in Portland. Meet 7pm at the Food Court (3rd floor) exiting the elevator to the left side of the food court, looking for CRPCA sign plate overlooking the ice rink edge, or call Gordon Young at 206-351-6465 for our location if you arrive later. Contact Gordon at networking AT for more information. Moved up due to Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, 11/24, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Service Activity – Oregon Food Bank, 7900 NE 33rd Dr. in Portland. Repacking food at the Oregon Food Bank Volunteer Action Center (warehouse) so it can be more efficiently distributed. RSVP service AT . (Families with children can leave early if necessary.) Reminder that no open-toed shoes are allowed.