March 2015 Newsletter

Contents of March 2015 Newsletter – Volume 35, Issue 3

  • Letter from the editor
  • Announcements
  • Invitation to Serve on the CRPCA Board
  • Fundraiser! Kenyan Cooking Class & Dinner Party
  • CRPCA Crafting Night
  • 25th Cascade Festival of African Films
  • RPCV Speaks at Creative Mornings
  • Madagascar in Focus: Talk and Art Show Benefit
  • Book Group Update
  • 2015 NW Regional RPCV Family Campout
  • 2015 CRPCA Family Campout
  • Recruiting Host Families for Reed's Host Family Program
  • CRPCA March to May events

Originally sent via Mailchimp.

Letter from the editor

The March newsletter is jam-packed with information as the Portland area thaws out from winter. The biggest news, of course, is the upcoming board elections, to be help in April; quite a few positions are coming open, so please check the announcement and see if there's something that suits your skills or interest. The year's tastiest fundraiser is happening in March, and a new CRPCA adult crafting night is coming up this week, so hopefully you've had a chance to recover from all your pre-holiday crafting. Contact Erin for more information (contact information in the announcement below). Check the rest of the newsletter for more great upcoming events. We didn't receive any leads on RPCV or current PCV profiles this month, so if you would like to be profiled in April (or know of someone who should be), please get in touch! If you have any announcements or information that you'd like shared in the April newsletter, send it my way before March 25.

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


¶ Would you like to recruit for Peace Corps and live in PDX? Apply now for a field-based recruiter position and inspire the next generation of Peace Corps Volunteers. The posting will close March 4 and details are available online. Feel free to spread the word!

¶ Peace Corps Week 2015 (#PCWeek2015) is around the corner and we hope you'll celebrate with us! Visit the Peace Corps Week section of for opportunities and inspiration to get involved in your community. In order to celebrate Peace Corps Week in Portland, the PC recruiters have put together a neat event at the Mazama Mountaineering Center, on March 7th. There will be storytelling and sharing. Further details in the events calendar below.

¶ Nominations are open for the Lillian Carter Award. Nominations for this prestigious award are accepted on a biennial basis, from Peace Corps staff, returned Peace Corps Volunteers and RPCV groups. Nominees must have served in Peace Corps as a senior (age 50+) and shown a demonstrated commitment to the Peace Corps' third goal: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Further information on the nomination process can be found on the Peace Corps Website.

¶ Copies of the 2015 International Calendars are still available. We'lll have them at all CRPCA social activities through the end of the year, but you can also contact your neighborhood representative (info on the CRPCA website) to get your calendar(s), or you can make an order through our checkout page. Proceeds from the calendar sales support the CRPCA grants program.

Invitation to Serve Your Local Peace Corps Organization

At our April 12 potluck and business meeting, CRPCA’s assembled members will elect our 2015-2016 Board. We invite all members who would like to engage more with CRPCA to consider serving on our Board from May 2015 through April 2016. Elections will be held for all 15 Board positions. Known openings (incumbents not running for re-election) are listed here in italics.

  • President. Arranges and conducts officer meetings. Acts as liaison between the organization, the community, National Peace Corps Association, Peace Corps Washington and other National Peace Corps Association groups. Recruits officers if a position is vacated between elections. Ensures that the Bylaws are upheld.
  • Secretary. Keeps records required by ORS 65.771, including minutes from business meetings and up-to-date Bylaws. Writes and submits annual organizational reports to the Secretary of State and the National Peace Corps Association.
  • Treasurer. Has charge of all funds belonging to the organization; keeps on deposit the same. Receives and disburses funds as required. Keeps required financial records. The organization owns all software necessary to fill this role and CRPCA’s finances are fairly simple. This is a great opportunity to gain some valuable bookkeeping experience.
  • E-update Editor. Prepares and distributes a weekly e-mail to CRPCA’s current members. E-updates may contain news of CRPCA initiatives, reminders of CRPCA events, volunteer requests, announcements of community partners’ events, and job openings of potential interest to our members.
  • Newsletter Editor. Receives from officers, other members, National Peace Corps Association, Peace Corps Washington, other Peace Corps Association groups and members of the community information relevant for the Newsletter. Publishes Newsletter on a regular basis (currently monthly). Distributes Newsletter to membership.
  • Webmaster. Maintains the website ( so that the information is current and relevant. Responds to information requests submitted to the site. Makes sure all dues related to maintaining the site have been paid by the Treasurer. Manages CRPCA group e-mail address(es) and social networking sites.
  • Education Coordinator. Organizes the CRPCA Speakers Bureau. Maintains information on members who are available to speak. Contacts appropriate agencies within the community to arrange speaking engagements. Assists speakers with locating resources for improving their presentations.
  • Events Coordinator. Coordinates the Annual Fundraising Dinner Committee (see Article VIII) and organizes other special and annual events.
  • Fundraising Coordinator. Coordinates the annual calendar sale. Works with the Events Coordinator to organize a charity auction at the Annual Fundraising Dinner. Organizes other fundraisers (events or sales) for the Association and charities selected by the Board.
  • Grants Coordinator. Takes in grant applications. Presents grant requests to the Board. Manages dispersal of grant funds in conjunction with the Treasurer.
  • Membership Coordinator. Maintains membership database. Communicates membership information to the Secretary, Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor. Sends out a welcome message to all new and renewing members. Notifies members when their membership is expiring. Picks-up mail from Association post office box at least monthly. The membership coordinator is also encouraged to actively seek out new members by getting the word out about the Association, networking with potential members at Association events, assisting with membership drives or devising new benefits or incentives for our members.
  • Networking Coordinator. Coordinates CRPCA’s participation in the national Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Mentoring Program. This involves matching mentors with newly arrived RPCVs who request mentoring. Serves as the primary contact for members seeking jobs and for community members who hire RPCVs. Generates content for a web page of job and volunteer opportunities for local RPCVs. Organizes and/or proposes ways CRPCA can assist with members’ job searches.
  • Program Coordinator. Plans programs for meetings and arranges time and place of the programs. Notifies Newsletter Editor and Webmaster and coordinates publicity with the President. Introduces programs at events. Writes or assigns the writing of a report on the program for the Newsletter following each meeting.
  • Scheduling Coordinator. Manages the calendar of CRPCA events, ensuring that no CRPCA activities conflict. Maintains continually-updated event information in calendar format (for the on-line event calendar) and in text format (for pasting into e-updates and newsletters). Serves as the gatekeeper defining what is a CRPCA event, with input from the Board.
  • Service Coordinator. Organizes the Association’s service events. Coordinates the Association’s advocacy for Peace Corps issues.

You must be in attendance on April 12 to be elected or re-elected! Then, in addition to the duties listed above, all Board members are asked to attend our business meetings, generally on second Sundays in June, September, October, December, February, and April. Please contact Patrick Findler at president@crpca or the person currently holding the position to express interest or inquire about a role. A current Board member can be reached at the email addresses listed on the website contact page.

Kenyan Cooking Class & Dinner Party to Benefit CPRCA’s Grants Program

Saturday, March 21st at 5 PM; $35 per person

Join us for a fun-filled Kenyan cooking lesson and dinner. Help prepare the meal and enjoy the fruits of your labor that evening (and later when you impress family and friends with your mastery of Kenyan cooking). Flozzie Randari, from Kitui, Kenya, will be our instructor.

The menu includes: mchuzi stew (chicken & vegetarian), sukuma wiki (traditional collards) served with ugali (polenta) and rice. Beverages and dessert will also be provided.

Hosted by Anne Kimberly and Phyllis Shelton (at the Shelton-DeMeo home) Space for 16 – email to reserve your spot today!

CRPCA Crafting Night


Do you knit, crochet, embroider, quilt, or do anything else crafty? Join CRPCA's inaugural crafting night! Wednesday, March 4th, at 6:00, at the home of Erin Gettling in Northwest Portland. Bring your crafting project and anything you'd like to drink or snack on. Adults only, please. Please email Erin at with any questions and the exact address.

Book Group Update

Don't forget, we're reading Gary Cornelius' (South Africa 2012-2013) Dancing with Gogos (2014) this month. The discussion will take place Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:30-8:00 pm. at the home of Jenny Tsai, 2646 NW Overton St in Portland. Participating in our discussion–live in person–will be Gary Cornelius, the book’s author! Feel free to bring snacks to share. More information on the book club page on the CRPCA website.

25th Cascade Festival of African Films

CRPCA is a proud sponsor of (and will be tabling at) the longest-running annual African film festival in the United States, which is closing this week. The final showings will be:

  • Sunday, March 1st Retrospective Series: CFAF's Top 10 Films
    12 noon, Hyenas (Senegal 1992). This film tells the story of a poor young girl who is seduced, made pregnant, and then cast off and driven out of the village in shame. She turns to prostitution and becomes wealthy. When she returns to the village, the villagers treat her very differently and are prepared to do anything for her. She, in turn, is prepared to ask anything of them.
    2:30 p.m., The Silences of the Palace (Tunisia 1994). Alia, a singer in post-colonial Tunisia, looks back at her childhood in the palace of the Beys, the local rulers. Her mother was a servant in the palace and Alia relives how her mother fought in relentless silence to protect and save her from the destiny that her mother had to suffer.
  • Thursday, March 5th begins the final week of the festival, Women Filmmakers Week, with three guest filmmakers coming to Portland to showcase and discuss their films. Please join us in welcoming them!
    12 noon, Shorts by Women Filmmakers. Seven films, two filmmakers! An opportunity to see and witness the emerging talent of these gifted women filmmakers from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Tunisia and US/Mali.
    2:30 p.m., Under the Starry Sky (Senegal 2013). This film takes us on a journey through the diversity of several cities its characters travel to, confronting us with the realities, hopes, and dreams of contemporary emigration.
    7 p.m., Bound: Africans Versus African Americans (USA/Kenya 2014) with filmmaker Peres Owino in attendance to discuss her film. Bound takes us on a journey through the corridors of African and African American historical experiences as it illuminates the moments that divide and those that bind Africans and African Americans, culminating with ideas that promote reconciliation without assuming it is a quick fix.
  • Friday, March 6th
    7 p.m., Shorts by Women Film makers. See above description. Two of the directors, Ekwa Msangi and Penda Diakite will be in attendance to discuss their films. Saturday, March 7th
    7 p.m. Under the Starry Sky. See above description.
  • Sunday, March 8th Retrospective Series: CFAF's Top 10 Films
    12 noon, A Screaming Man (Chad 2010). The film tells the story of Adam, a former swimming champion and local hero, who works as a pool attendant at a luxury hotel in the capital. When the hotel has new management, Adam is demoted and his son is hired to replace him. Adam is too old to join the civil war still raging. Director Haroun reveals the full tragedy of this African father’s story. Winner of the 2010 Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
    2 p.m., Tsotsi (South Africa 2005). Powerful, violent and thought-provoking Tsotsi is set in a Johannesburg township and follows a group of criminals led by a young man known only as “Tsotsi.” When he finds himself the guardian of a baby whose mother he has shot, long-repressed human feelings threaten to surface and compromise his position. Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

RPCV Speaks at Creative Mornings

Spencer Beebe (Honduras 1968–1971), head of Ecotrust, spoke on February 26 at the Redd on Salmon about doing a community development project in Central Eastside Portland.

Madagascar in Focus: Talk and Art Show Benefit

Corie Hinton, Madagascar Series: "Tsihy Be"

Artist Corie Hinton (Madagascar 2008–2010) will share her experiences living in Madagascar as a PCV on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 7:00 PM. Come learn about Madagascar, listen to Malagasy music, watch a narrated slideshow, and view Corie's series of paintings representing her two years in the country. Print sales will benefit Population Services International, an organization working to improve environmental and health conditions in Madagascar. This talk will be held at Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR, 97219. You can find out more about Corie on her website.

2015 NW Regional RPCV Family Campout

Date: August 13-16, 2015 (2:30 PM Thursday – 1 PM Sunday)
Place: Beacon Rock State Park (Group Site G1), Skamania, WA
Pricing: $18.00 per person flat rate (no matter how many nights you stay.) Kids 14 and under camp FREE! And NO charge for parking.

Right on the Columbia Gorge, you can enjoy the view from the top of Beacon Rock, visit the fish ladders or just hang out at camp and visit.

With room for up to 200 people, this site has plenty of space for games, many tents and small RVs (no hook ups.) Activities will include the quarterly regional group leaders meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday the 15th CRPCA will be providing dinner to all campers, and would love it if any local non campers came out to the park to join in! Day use fee to be paid at the gate. Plenty of parking at the site for our visitors!

Sunday morning’s breakfast is hosted by the 2016 coordinating group.

To register, please send an email with the number in your party and the nights you will be there to We will start collecting the $18.00 per person fee soon, watch for more info in the CRPCA E-Updates.

2015 CRPCA Family Campout

Date: June 18-21, 2015 (4 PM Thursday–Noon Sunday)
Place: Kingfisher Group Site, Milo McIver State Park, Estacada, OR
Pricing: $12.00 per person flat rate (no matter how many nights you stay.) Kids 14 and under camp FREE! And NO charge for parking.

We have reserved the Kingfisher Group site, which will hold up to 100 people, has lots of room for games and space for many tents. This park has hiking trails, boat ramps and a disc golf course on top of being a beautifully forested getaway. Flush toilets are right at our group site along with ample parking. Showers can be found in other parts of the park, which would be a short drive away.

This year we are doing things a bit differently. First, we are expanding to three nights, for those who want to start the weekend Thursday evening. We will have a light meal ready that evening so you can focus on getting your tent set up and not worry about dinner.

Second big change is that kids (14 years old and under) camp FREE! We have a ton of space at this camping location so there will be soccer, volleyball, bocce and croquet just for starters. Any other suggestions for kids activities are welcome!

Saturday the 20th we will have a potluck dinner, and would love it if non campers came out to the park to join in! $5.00 day use fee to be paid at the gate. Plenty of parking at the site for our visitors!

To register, please send an email with the number in your party and the nights you will be there to We will start collecting the $12.00 per person fee soon, watch for more info in the CRPCA E-Updates

Recruiting host families for Reed's Host Family Program

International Student Services at Reed College is seeking members of the community to participate in our Host Family Program for international students and language scholars. The Host Family Program is a non-residential friendship program and our goal is to introduce international students and scholars to a local family who will befriend them, introduce them to the local community, support their student or scholar's experience at Reed, and enjoy the opportunity for cultural exchange.

Host families provide a "home away from home" for students whose families are often very far away and often play an important part in helping international students adjust to Reed and the U.S. The relationship begins when families and students and scholars communicate over the summer and coordinate welcoming their student or scholar to Portland by picking them up from the airport, bringing them to campus, and helping them settle into their residence halls. During the school year, host families and students/scholars establish and define a relationship that works for both sides. Most get together at least once per month, and the International Student Services office also organizes three structured on-campus events to bring international visitors and their host families together as a group.

For more information, contact Anne Kimberly at or Dana Lawson at; you can also visit Reed's International Student Services Host Family Program website.

CRPCA March to May events

March 2015

Saturday, 03/07/15, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm – Portland Peace Corps Week Event Mazamas Mountaineering Center on SE Stark and 43rd Ave in Portland. Following the national theme this year, there will be a story hour entitled “Host Country Heroes.”  Recruiting office is looking for about 7-8 folks who would be willing to share a prepared story about someone in their country of service who inspired them.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact Sarah Kassel at or 503.206.2442.

Saturday, 03/07/15, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Salon Francophone – Portland Community College – Cascade Campus, 705 North Killingsworth Street in Portland. We will attend the evening showing of Under the Starry Sky, in French, at the Cascade Festival of African Films in the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building then get together afterwards for discussion and refreshments. Hosted by Alden Jencks, or 503 238-4782, and Gabriella Maertens.

Sunday, 03/08/15, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Potluck Gathering4261 SE Alder St. in Portland. Please bring a dish to share  to the 6pm potluck dinner. After dinner, starting at 7pm, there will be a presentation by Peggy McClure. Peggy McClure was Country Director in Botswana for 4 years, then transferred to be CD in Morocco in December 2010 for another 2.5 years.  She had a great experience in both countries. She returned to Portland, Oregon in spring of 2013.  She was also a PCV in Togo after college in the early 1970s. Hosted by Anne Kimberly (503-234-4094).

Tuesday, 03/10/15, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Book Club2646 NW Overton St. in Portland. The book to read is Dancing with Gogos by South Africa RPCV Gary Cornelius (2014). Participating in our discussion–in person–will be Gary Cornelius, the book’s author! See our Upcoming Book Discussions page,, for more information. Feel free to bring snacks to share. Hosted by Jenny Tsai.

Thursday, 03/12/15, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pmService ActivityOregon Food Bank, 7900 NE 33rd Drive in Portland. We will be packing food at the Volunteer Center. Children over age 6 with adult chaperones are welcome to volunteer with us. RSVP to Last minute additions are welcome. The food bank reminds us not to wear open-toed shoes.

Friday, 03/20/15, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pmSalon Francophone 4311 S.E. 37th Ave. (Kailash Ecovillage) Portland, OR 97202 – We plan to welcome in the Vernal Equinox with joyous French conversation. Diane Henkels will host the event at her home.RSVP:  dhenkels A or 541 270-6001. If you plan to attend,please bring a potluck contribution if you can; or else a hearty thanks for the others’ efforts if you can’t.   A bientôt.

Saturday, 03/21/15 – Kenyan Dinner Fund Raiser1002 SE 50th Avenue in Portland. Cooking class/Sit down dinner for 20. Proceeds go to CRPCA. Hosted by Anne Kimberly and Phyllis Shelton 503-704-6298.

Wednesday, 03/25/15, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Job Search Support GroupLocation: TBA – Informal gathering of CRPCA members and friends who are seeking new work. Stay tuned for location.   Contact Gordon at networking A for more information.

Thursday, 03/27/15, 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm – Service ActivityEvening Hospitality for the Homeless – St. Andre Bessette, 601 W Burnside in Portland. We'll be serving a meal and helping in the kitchen. Meet at the front door as a group at 5:45 PM; if no one is there please wait and someone will come downstairs to meet you.  Children over age 6 with adult chaperone are welcome to volunteer with us! (Families with young children can leave early.)  Last minute additions welcome.

Monday, 03/30/15, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm – 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.