A monthly newsletter of The West Cascade Peace Corps Association in Oregon's Southern Willamette Valley

March 2012

Upcoming Events

  • March 3: Celebrating Peace Corps 51
  • March 5: WCPCA March 5th Board Meeting from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the home of Dorothy Soper
  • March 8: WCPCA Discussion Group, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the New Day Bakery, 449 Blair
  • March 22: WCPCA Discussion Group, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the New Day Bakery, 449 Blair
  • April 10: Food for Lane County’s Chefs’ Night Out at the Hult Center, 8:30 - 10 pm. Enjoy culinary treats before helping clean up.
  • April 13: WCPCA potluck at the home of Diane and George Jeffcott, 6-9 pm.

In This Issue

From The Board

From Members and the Wider World

Volunteer Opportunities

ReConnections is the monthly newsletter of the West Cascade Peace Corps Association (WCPCA) and can be found online at http://www.westcascadepca.org under the "News" heading. If you have a question about the WCPCA, would no longer like to receive the newsletter, or are interested in becoming more involved with the WCPCA, please contact info@westcascadepca.org.

Contributions to ReConnections are always welcome, although the editors and the WCPCA board reserve the right to choose what will be published. Please send contributions to newsletter@westcascadepca.org.

Editors:Keith Beyer, Deb Jones, Dorothy Soper
Newsletter Design: Felicia Kenney

Newsletter transition

Many years ago, in 2006, Felicia Kenney introduced the WCPCA membership to the great advantages of using computer technology. In the years since, she has designed and produced the monthly newsletter, Reconnections, organized and managed the website, created the database for members, and maintained an email list for additional local friends of the Peace Corps.

All of us have been the beneficiaries of these changes as the organization has grown and prospered and carried out its mission while keeping membership dues low. Our most hearty “thank yous” are extended to Felicia for her contributions which have taken extensive technical knowledge, much patience, and many, many hours of hard work.

The rest of us now need to take on some of these responsibilities as Felicia deserves an opportunity to embrace new activities while keeping her hand in WCPCA technical affairs. Felicia will continue with her responsibilities for the website, the database, and myriad other technical matters.

Responsibility for producing the newsletter will be assumed by new WCPCA member, Deb Jones. Keith Beyer will continue to edit the newsletter. Dorothy Soper will work in the short term with Keith. But we need one or two additional volunteers to help with editing. If you are willing to devote a few hours each month to this task, please let us know at . On the job training is available.

Thanks very much in advance to WCPCA members who are willing to help with the task of maintaining the newsletter as our primary networking tool.

Dorothy Soper

2012 Membership Directory

Thank you to Felicia Kenney for organizing the 2012 membership directory which lists WCPCA’s 150 members and includes bios for many. Members are listed first alphabetically with contact information and bios, and then by country of service.

The directory lists members only and is available to members only. It’s a .pdf document that was sent via email to members in mid-February. Those of us involved in organizing it, Felicia Kenney, Miriam Aiken, and Dorothy Soper, hope that you’ll enjoy having this convenient electronic reference, perhaps on your desktop.

If you don’t have a directory, all you have to do is join the organization and you’ll receive one. Visit the “Membership” page on the website, www.westcascadepca.org.

April Potluck

The Friday, April 13th, potluck will be at the home of Diane and George Jeffcott, 6-9 pm. Program description coming soon. Visit the “Calendar” on the website.

Josette Green

U of O Peace Corps recruiter updates

I was debriefed on available positions currently around the world and the way that PC recruiting is changing. We are heavily looking at "Scarce Skills" and targeting specific skills. To be competitive it is very important to have either French or Spanish, and the minimum volunteer hours are a must before applying. With limited positions I am forced to be a little more serious with students about picking up these skills before applying. Just wanted to give you a heads up as well when you run into students and the information that you give out. It is becoming more and more important for students to learn about what they will need well in advance of applying.

Hannah Klausman

Chefs’ Night Out volunteering

For many years WCPCA volunteers have joined the cleanup crew for this major fundraising activity. We’re asking now for volunteers to help on Tuesday, April 10th, 8:30 - 10:00 pm at the Hult Center.

Volunteers first join the festivities by sampling the tasty wares of sixty or more local restaurants. This prepares you for the evening’s task of helping to clean up after the restaurants have left. Work starts shortly after 9pm and continues for about an hour or so. Come and enjoy the treats and then the exercise!! We know that our contributions are highly valued.

If you can help please contact WCPCA member Vince Ceccacci. Send an email to info@westcascadepca.org with “Chef’s Night Out” in the subject line.

Vince Ceccacci

Marketing a new tee shirt

The new WCPCA tee shirt with a James Cloutier design will soon be ready to market to individuals as well as on a wholesale basis to businesses and other RPCV groups.

This effort will be a major WCPCA fundraiser in 2012 and we need several to work together on it. Many thanks in advance for helping out.

We need volunteers to devise marketing strategies and mail tee shirts in response to orders. This amounts to a few hours of work per month. If you can help, please email info@westcascadepca.org and write “Tee shirts” in the subject line. The new shirt will be unveiled in April. It’s beautiful!

Dorothy Soper

February Potluck, appreciation

We extend an enthusiastic thank you to Tom and Nancy English who hosted our February potluck. We greatly appreciated their warm hospitality and welcome smiles on a rainy evening.

WCPCA member, Serena Parcell, (Swaziland 2008-2010), spoke to us about her project in HIV-AIDS education. She shared stunning information about the extraordinarily high incidence of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland and its impact on the country. We are deeply grateful for the information and insights that she shared with us.

Maggie Keenan

Presentation to OASIS, appreciation

Thank you to Hannah Klausman, U of O Peace Corps recruiter, Julie Olson, and Dorothy Soper who gave a presentation on Peace Corps service and current opportunities to OASIS in February.

Peace Corps 51 celebration

Join us to celebrate Peace Corps 51 on Saturday, March 3rd, at Cozmic Pizza, 199 W. 8th Avenue in Eugene. We’ll enjoy the lively music of Carnival Brasil and sing Happy Birthday to the Peace Corps about 9:00 pm.

Wayne Thompson

National Peace Corps Association’s annual meeting

Join the National Peace Corps Association’s return to the “Annual Gathering.” NPCA invites you to Minneapolis, MN on the weekend of June 29-July 1, 2012 for an event that will encourage you to continue “bringing the world back home” while visiting with friends and having fun. Specific event details will be coming soon. NPCA wants to give this event a Peace Corps inspired name – enter the contest to name the annual event! The winner will receive free conference registration. For details see the NPCA website, www.peacecorpsconnect.org.

Thank you from a Peace Corps Partnership project director

Thank you enote from an Oregon PCV and organizer of the Peace Corps Partnership project, Gender Empowerment Weekends, to which WCPCA contributed $300 in 2011.

Hey there! :)

I thought I would write some of our donors with an update!! Today as snow is finally falling in Ukraine it is not slowing our progress. We are lesson planning, translating more difficult vocab, and preparing my site for an active American camp! Something like this has never been done in our village, so it’s a huge learning opportunity for our administration team as well. We are working together and getting excited for children around the region to come, enjoy, and learn at our empowerment weekends! Thank you for making these camps possible.

Take care, Anne Falla, 1/18/12