March 2017 Book Club Selection

China's Second Continent
French, Howard W.: China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa (2014)

Discussion: Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the houseboat of Liz Samuels, 3737 NE Marine Dr in Portland. Someone will be there to let people in the gate from 6:15 to 6:30. Park anywhere in the Rose City Yacht Club parking lot. At 6:30 we will walk together to the venue. Call 503-701-6218 if you arrive later. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Booklist: Although several recent books have discussed, in variously alarmist fashion, China’s recent incursions into Africa in pursuit of resources and profit, former New York Times journalist French (A Continent for the Taking, 2004) has the advantage of significant personal experience in both Africa and China. He also speaks Mandarin, so he can converse directly with some of the million or so members of the Chinese diaspora in Africa. They are a diverse lot—doctors, engineers, farmers, entrepreneurs, lobbyists, laborers, and prostitutes, among others—and accounts of their experience are often absent from analyses of Chinese-African relations, which typically focus on infrastructure building and resource grabbing. Interacting with Chinese and Africans in Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Namibia, and elsewhere, French capably illustrates that although the Chinese omnipresence in Africa may be a form of soft imperialism, it is also a result of the crushing pressures—lack of space, merciless business competition, pollution—of modern Chinese society. For many Chinese, he suggests, Africa means opportunity and relative freedom that cannot be had at home. If French is sympathetic to the plight of many Chinese immigrants, however, he remains critical of their casual racism and general callousness about their African hosts. And as he laments the seeming inevitability of corruption and environmental degradation, French’s disappointment in his cherished continent is palpable.

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

Schools for Salone Update

Schools for Salone Update

We recently received the following email from Schools for Salone, an organization to which CRPCA awarded grant money for the installation of solar panels in a primary school.

Dear Joel and the Grants Committee at the CRPCA

Our sincere thanks and gratitude for your generous grant to make it possible for us to install the solar power system in our Sembehun Primary School. I am pleased to report that it is functioning well – and that this project inspired another donor to fund the installation of a second solar power system in another one of our schools, Gbumbeh Primary School.

Despite the trauma occurring in Sierra Leone, all of our school communities remain to this day, free from any suspected cases of Ebola. Our team has been very active working with the communities to remain healthy and productive during this extraordinary time.

Please see our attached report about the solar project that you made possible. If you would like any of the photos in a larger size/file to use as you wish, please let me know and I will forward them to you.

Again, on behalf of the students, teachers and families of Sembehun and Schools for Salone, Bisyaweh! Thenki! Thenki! Thenki!!!

Warmest regards,

Cindy Nofziger