ReConnections - April 2006
A monthly newsletter of The West Cascade Peace Corps Association in Oregon's Southern Willamette Valley
April 2, Sunday 5:30 PM
Regular monthly meeting. Home of Beth Hunt, 2650 Cresta de Ruta, Eugene, Phone 342-7351.
April 12, Tuesday, 9-11 PM
Food for Lane County Fundraiser cleanup crew. Call Shannon or Michael if you can
April 19, 6 PM
Pub Night at the Vet's Club
1626 Willamette St, Eugene, Call Wayne if questions, 343-6596. Hoist a beer and a
burger and toast peace. Celebrate the 45th Anniv. again and again.
May 9, Tuesday 6-8 PM
NOM (nomination) Party. Send new Peace Corps Volunteers off to service. Native American
Long House on Campus. 1639 Columbia, near Law School. Potluck - give the new Volunteers
tastes to remember.
June 4, Sunday, 5:30 PM
Regular monthly meeting at home of Howard Schuman, 3386 Chaucer Way, Eugene,
July 9, Sunday 2:30 PM
Barbeque at home of Wayne and Rolly Thompson, Fox Hollow Farms, 30781
Fox Hollow Rd, Eugne, continuing Celebration of 45th Anniversary of the Peace Corps. Enjoy
the vista and pet a lamb.
RPCV Regional Campout
Dworshak Park, Orofino, Idaho
Meet other fellow RPCVs.
Have fun & commune with nature.
September 10, Sunday, 5:30 PM
Regular monthly meeting
Date to be Announced
Eugene Celebration. March in the parade and sit in West Cascade booth.
Friends of the Peace Corps Join us!
Directions to 2560 Cresta de Ruta:
East on 18th to Agate
Right on Agate to 21st Street
Left on 21st to Fairmont
Right on Fairmont and follow to:
Stop sign, turn right on Spring Blvd
Wind up hill on Spring to stop sign at 5-way intersection
Turn extreme left on Madrona Dr., go up hill with a turn right
Right on Highland, past Woodland to Cresta de Ruta
Right turn to 2650 Cresta de Ruta
Watch for a bright yellow fire hydrant left of the driveway
Park only on the right side of the road. Call 342-7351 if you
get lost.Contact other RPCVs to carpool or notify Beryl at 687-7095
to get a ride.
It's time . . .
Next Potluck meeting of West Cascade Peace
Corps Association is: April 2, Sunday, 5:30 PM at the home of Beth
Hunt (Chile). She and her husband John Allcott live at 2560 Cresta
de Ruta in the beautiful hills of Eugene. Phone is 342-7351.
The program will center on the crisis in Darfur with the
speakers Paul Jeffrey, Bill Roy and Roz Slovic - of the Lane County
Darfur Coalition. They have recently returned from Darfur and can give
a true picture of the situation there.
Set aside that date and join us for an informative and
lively discussion on what can be done to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Bring along a potluck dish to share and enjoy the food
and company of some of the best folks in the area.
Peace Corps Campus Representative
220 Hendricks Hall
Winter Office Hours
West Cascade Peace Corps Association Board
President: Beryl Brinkman, Afghanistan (1967-69)
Phone 687-7095, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Wayne Thompson, Peru (1964-66)
Phone 343-6596, email@example.com
Treasurer: Lori Matthew, Benin (1994-96)
Phone 485-3622, firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Secretaries: Shannon Micheel, Dominican Rep. (95-97)
& Michael Kresko (Russia/Seychelles (95-97)
Board Members at Large
Moriah Hart, Moldova, (1999-2001)
Maggie Keenan, Philippines, (1987-90)
Phone 687-8454, Maggie@elaw.org
James Cloutier, Kenya, (1965-66)
Phone 342-3797, email@example.com
John Michael McLean, Thailand,(72-75)
Phone 687-2505 firstname.lastname@example.org
Campus Recruiter: Sarah Schrock, Kenya (2000-02)
Phone 346-6026, email@example.com
Past President: Pennie Moblo, Tonga (1971-73)
Phone 343-6443, firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter: Beryl Brinkman, James Cloutiier, Marsha Partlow
Minutes from Board Meeting
By Michael Kresko, Co-Secretary
Held at the home of Beryl Brinkman on Sunday, March 19 at 10:30 AM. Beryl and Lori provided a
Members Present: Jim Beyer, Beryl Brinkman,
Lori Matthew, Maggie Keenan, Michael Kresko, Penny Moblo, Wayne Thompson and Univ. of Oregon
PC recruiter - Sarah Schrock.
(Members not present: Shannon Micheel -
skiing, John McLean, James Cloutier)
Upcoming Events and Activities
The next RPCV meeting will be at the home of Beth Hunt (Chile) in the south hills on April 2.
Car-pooling may be necessary due to limited parking.
Wayne will put a meeting notice with contact
number only in the Register Guard.
Chef's Night Out date is now Tuesday, April 11.
Only a few more people are needed.
The Univ. of Oregon PC nomination (NOM) party will be held Tuesday, May 9 at the Univ. of
Oregon's Longhouse. The West Cascade PCA will be joining
in the celebration in order to mark the
45th anniversary of the US Peace Corps. This will be a potluck dinner.
Sarah needs someone with a food card so food can
be served at the event. Dorothy, Wayne and Lori formed
a committee to assist Sarah with the event. Beryl will
get addresses for invitations. Lori will stamp and mail.
It was suggested that people be seated by regions.
Dorothy is to look into getting RPCV's fresh
from Albania to speak at the June 4th general meeting.
BBQ to be held at Wayne and Rolly Thompson's place on July
8th from 2pm to 5pm. Each WCPCA member invites RPCV non-member.
The situation in Darfur needs more publicity. Wayne will look into setting up a meeting.
The third Wednesday of every month is now designated "pub night" for local RPCV's at the
Vet's Club on Willamette at 6:30.
Beryl will be printing out labels for the directory.
We are making some progress with our website. Vern sent
a CD Rom. Elizabeth Wartluft offered help. We do hope
to post newsletters and activity schedule on the website.
$6585.53 in the bank + $2000 in the Micro-enterprise/ Calvert fund
The account is accruing some charges for transactions due to lack of activity. Lori will look into this.
$299.30 was approved to support Eugene PCV Latham Wood's project in Anelcauhat, Aneityum,
Vanuatu to provide 30 scientific calculators for Teruja Junior
Survey RPCV population for their current
interests and projects in order increase intercommunication
and participation in WPCA
Lori mentioned that the 1st Wednesday of
every month- Cajun Zydeco Dance at the World Cafe 6
PM dinner and 7 PM dancing.
We should get more connected with local, active peace groups in the city- Wayne will contact
It was suggested by Wayne that WCPCA put on a symposium - "Peace as Policy" with speakers, dinner
and music to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Peace Corps.
Hosted in coordination with other local peace
activist groups as a fundraiser for development program in
a country to be determined.
45th Anniversary Peace Corps
Peace Corps still a shining light
By Gordon Radley
FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, on March 1, 1961, President Kennedy officially established the
Peace Corps. He had first mentioned the idea of a
"Peace Corps" during a campaign speech on the steps of
the University of Michigan student union.
When he arrived, hours late, it was 2 a.m.
and freezing cold. He was met by 10,000 students,
chanting his name. Enthused by this welcome, in
unprepared remarks, Kennedy challenged the assembled students
to an undertaking of service: "How many of you are
willing to spend several years of your life in Africa or
Latin America or Asia working for the United States and
Within days, 800 students had signed up to serve.
My sister was among the assembled students who
heard Kennedy's challenge that freezing night in Ann
Arbor. She was a sophomore and when she graduated in
1963, she became a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia.
In May 1961, soon after Kennedy established
the Peace Corps, my brother was one of the first
Americans selected to train for the Peace Corps. He was the
first person to give his life in Peace Corps service. Along
with another volunteer and 37 Colombians, he was killed in
a plane crash in the Colombian Andes on Easter
Upon his death, Kennedy said: "It was the
men and women like him who established the Peace
Corps, demonstrated that it could work and stilled the
critics who thought our nation was too soft." In 1968, when
I graduated from college, I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Central Africa.
When I mention Peace Corps these days, the inevitable response is: "Is that still around? I
hear nothing about it." Yes, Virginia, there is a Peace
Corps. Since 1961 more than 182,000 Americans have
served in 138 countries. Today, there are 7,810
volunteers serving in 75 countries; nearly 60 percent are women.
It remains as successful and effective as ever, but is
it thriving as it should? The budget of the Peace Corps
is under $320 million, which is less than the budget for
the military's marching bands. It is so small as to be
a "rounding error" in the budget for the State Department.
President Bush has been on record as wanting
to expand Peace Corps. In Congress, there are as
many Republican as Democrats that are Returned
Peace Corps Volunteers. It remains a favorite on the
Hill because it is so successful and cost-effective. Yet, in
this era of fiscal belt tightening, each year Congress cuts
the president's requested budget for the Peace Corps.
Now, more than ever, when America's
primary outreach to the world is militarism, capitalism
globalization, we need to celebrate, honor and
expand that part of the American zeitgeist that is represented
by Peace Corps service. Peace Corps volunteers are
not misguided or naive idealists.
They are not serving because of some
missionary impulse to "do good." They have volunteered to
go overseas because they are willing to live and
work alongside others very different from themselves
and because they know they will learn as much as they
As anyone who has ever served in the Peace Corps will tell you, it is "the hardest job you'll ever
love." Peace Corps volunteers serve quietly, without
fanfare and with little recognition by our country. There are
no parades for returning volunteers and there are no
flag-draped coffins for the volunteers who have given
their lives in Peace Corps service. While our
leaders champion our democratic ideals, it is our Peace
Corps volunteers who are "walking the walk" and showing
the rest of the world that Americans can live and
work alongside others, quietly, humbly and with an open heart.
When this year's budget comes up for approval,
it is time for Congress to recognize the Peace Corps
as the national priority it has become and give it the
funding it needs and deserves.
Gordon Radley of Sausalito is a former
president of Lucasfilm Ltd. He works with public and
private companies in the entertainment and new
media industries. Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA)
(c) 2006 Marin Independent Journal. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of Media
NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.
gets the boot
From the March 2, 2006
Ashland, Oregon Daily Tidings
Strange saga with Peace Corps begs explanation
If there is a better way to prove those
completely distrustful of the present administration correct, it is
hard to fathom right now. Because the Peace Corps'
decision to rescind an offer to send Ashland's Derek Volkart
to Morocco smacks, on the surface anyway, of every allegation of autocratic dictatorial control made by
folks since the stolen election of 2000.
Isn't this still America, where freedom of speech
and the right of every voter to hold elected
officials accountable serve as twin foundations to the tenets
of our democracy? Have American leaders become so concerned about propaganda that a single Peace
Corps volunteer, critical of the present Bush administration is
a threat to our country's image? One would expect
such tactics from behind the Iron Curtain of the 1970s,
not America circa 2006.
Thomas Jefferson, the man who believed upheaval (he used the word "revolution") is necessary to
keep democracy on track, is surely rolling over in his
grave. Are we really to believe that one outspoken critic
from Ashland is enough of a threat to warrant being
removed from his Peace Corps assignment, just days before he
is to leave for a two-year volunteer hitch overseas?
We know this is not as clear-cut as it seems on
the surface. Many Peace Corps veterans will say you
don't allow yourself to be quoted offering harsh criticism
of American policy. Since our story ran, they have
been critical of Mr. Volkart's comments. Peace
Corps guidelines are quite specific about conduct while
on assignment, but at least from the scant information
we have gotten from the Peace Corps officials so far,
the matter is less clear when it comes to actions prior
to starting an assignment. Still, some would argue that
Mr. Volkart was trying to stir the pot and got the comeuppance he was vying for.
Even so, the inconsistency of the official Peace
Corps position is troubling at best, and knee-jerk extremism
at worst. Mr. Volkart is deemed unfit to serve in
Morocco, but instead offered another assignment on the
Pacific Islands? If he's unfit, he's unfit. Are we less
concerned about how Pacific Islanders view America than we
Perhaps more of this story exists and the Peace Corps has a better explanation than what they are
giving us to report. But, until we see such evidence, the
entire strange saga smacks of a systemic problem
all things federal right now. This type of leadership
has implications for all Americans...
We want to know more about this episode in the hope it tells us a little more about just how things are
run back in Washington, D.C. The Ashland Daily Tidings
has issued a request for all internal and external
Peace Corps communication pertaining to the service, or
lack thereof, of Derek Volkart. We want to see for
ourselves why a critic of the Bush administration is not fit to
proudly serve the United States of America on a mission
of peace and environmental advocacy overseas.
(Update: Peace Corps has reassigned Volkert
Speaker from Panama
E-LAW U.S. invites you to an evening with Kuna Indian lawyer Hector Huertas of Panama on
Wednesday, April 26 at the Many Nations Longhouse (1630
Columbia St., behind the law school) on the U of O Campus.
Hector will speak about his life's work to
empower indigenous communities in his country and his efforts
at the United Nations to expand indigenous rights to
land, traditional knowledge, and culture for all native peoples.
The time of this event will be announced soon. Please mark your calendars! For more information,
call E-LAW U.S. Education Director Carolyn Sykora
(Fiji '84 - '87) at 687-8454, ext. 14. and visit www.elaw.org.
Book by RPCV soon available
Best selling RPCV writer John Coyne has written
a new novel: The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan that draws on Coyne's passion and knowledge of the
game of golf, and his life long fascination with Hall of Fame
golf professional Ben Hogan. The novel is published by
St. Martins/Thomas Dunne books and will be out this spring.
Filled with dazzling description of
hole-by-hole match play drama, laced with stories from that
golden age of the sport, and glimpses of a secret love affair
in the bedrooms of the vast clubhouse, The Caddie
Who Knew Ben Hogan is a novel of friendship, great golf,
and lost love.
Returning as an honored guest to the exclusive country club where he caddied as a boy, Jack
Handley remembers the summer of 1946 when he carried
Ben Hogan's bag in the last Chicago Open. Now a
respected historian, he recounts, to the assembled sons
and daughters of members he once knew, the
dramatic match played between the mysterious and
charismatic Hogan and the young pro he idealized, and of the
love affair between the young home pro and the daughter
of the club's president.
At the end of this magical summer, the club pro
will win and lose at golf and love, and Coyne's young
caddie will learn lessons for life taught to him by one of
golf's finest gentlemen and players of the game, Ben Hogan.
John Coyne, editor of Living on the Edge, fiction
by Peace Corps Writers, served as a secondary
school English teacher in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1962
to 1964 with the first group of PCV's to that country.
After his tour he became an Associate Peace Corps
Director (APCD) in Ethiopia.
West Cascade welcomes new and renewing members
David Berger, Jamaica, 92-94
Beryl Brinkman, 67-69
Mary Cheriel, Philippines, 64-65
Paul Day, India, 65-67
Dale Dow, Guatemala, 84-86
Vern Delk, Guatemala, 84-86
Robert Gundelach, Malaysia, 69-71
Julia Harvey, Tonga, 90-92
Mike Helm, Uganda, 67-69
Jack Honey, Russia, 00-02
Freeman Hudson, Brazil, 64-66
Elizabeth Hunt, Chile, 67-69
Larry Irvin, Uganda, 66-68
Jackson Kellogg, Kyrgystan, 01-03
Sarah Klinghamer, Turkey/Czech, 64-66, 91-93
Rebekah Lambert, Albania, 03-05
Richard Leach, Lesotho, 99-01
Jennie Lind, Jamaica, 92-94
Gail Lundeen, Lesotho, 99-02
Dolly Marshall, Ecudor, 82-84
Lori Matthew, Benin, 94-96
John McLean, Thailand, 72-75
Robert Merrigan, Liberia, 69-71
Bill Mitchell, Ethiopia, 65-67
Penny Moblo, Tonga, 71-93
Michael Mooser, Columbia, 68-70
John Moriarty, Chile, 91-94
Jerry & Vivian Nash, Dominican Republic, 89-91
Don Nordin, India, 67-69
Josh Priollaud, Kyrgyrstan, 03-05
Sylvia Shaw, Lithuania, 99-00
Dorothy Soper, Ghana, 63-95
Artis Mary Spriggs, Afghanistan, 67-69
Heather Sutter, Burkina Faso, 03-05
Marsha & Ed Swartz, Uganda, 64-66
Ellen Syversen, Niger, 89-91
Rolly & Wayne Thompson, Peru, 64-66
Pat Wand, Colombia, 63-65
Elizabeth Wartluft, Morocco, 89-90
Ann Marie Watkins,Jamaica, 94-96
Michael Wells, Western Samoa, 67-69
Donald Wertheimer, Chile, 65-67
Join us at the next Pub Night, April 19 at The
Vet's Club, 1626 Willamette St, Eugene. 6 PM. We will
do this each third Wednesday of the month.