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

July 2013

Coming Events

  • July 12-14: WCPCA booth at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta. Volunteers are needed to staff the booth. See details in the article below.
  • July 18: Discussion group, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the New Day Bakery, 449 Blair, Eugene. Topic: The Peace Corps, PCVs, and US Foreign Policy: Is there a conflict between Peace Corps values and US Foreign Policy?
  • August 24-25: WCPCA will take part in the Eugene Celebration with a parade entry on Saturday and a booth on both days. Volunteers are needed. See details in the article below.
  • September 9: The book club will discuss Bread, Salt & Plum Brandy: A True Story of Love and Adventure in a Foreign Land, by Lisa Fisher Cazacu, 7 pm, at the home of Juliet Bender and Charles Goldsmith.
  • October 6: WCPCA board meeting, 7-9 pm, home of Dorothy Soper. All members are welcome.
  • October 11: Potluck with program, 6pm, at the home of Juliet Bender and Charles Goldsmith.

  • To inquire about any of these activities please send an email to info@westcascadepca.org or visit the calendar page of the WCPCA website.

In this Issue

From The Board

Volunteer Opportities

ReConnections is the monthly newsletter of the West Cascade Peace Corps Association (WCPCA) and can be found online at www.westcascadepca.org on the "News" page. 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.

ReConnections serves as a resource to RPCVs and friends in the Eugene and Lane County area through social events, community service projects, and professional development programs that embody the 3rd Goal and spirit of the Peace Corps. The WCPCA board reserves the right to choose which activities, projects, and programs will be published. Suggested items may be submitted to info@westcascadepca.org for consideration.

Editors: Deb Jones and Dorothy Soper
Newsletter Design: Felicia Kenney

Letter from Julia

Malo e Lelei,

As the new president of the board, I wanted to take the time to introduce myself. I was born and raised here in Eugene. I left to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles where I studied Biology. I planned on pursuing a PhD in Oceanography but first I wanted to serve in the Peace Corps.

I was placed in the Kingdom of Tonga, a place I had never heard of. By chance before I shipped out, the King of Tonga was visiting Oregon to shop for an RV. My assignment was to teach secondary science (Biology, Science and Physics). Those days in the classroom changed my life.

Upon completion of my service I returned to the US and entered a Returned Peace Corps Fellowship program at Wichita State University. This program allowed me to continue teaching (and earning money) while I competed a Master's degree. I moved back to Eugene 17 years ago and was hired to teach science at South Eugene High School. I now teach Biology, Life Science, and Environmental Science. This year I organized returned volunteers to speak on the Day of Respect. Many students say they are considering joining the Peace Corps.

Teaching keeps me very busy as does raising 3 boys. My oldest was born in Tonga when I stayed on working as a teacher at a government school. Siotame is a junior at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Wilson, a history buff, is 10 and attends Chavez Elementary. Huxley is 3 and is learning Spanish at New Dream Day Care Center.

As for my dream of becoming an Oceanographer, I will have a small taste of that career this summer. I was one of 25 teachers across the country to be selected for the Teacher at Sea program. I will be aboard a NOAA vessel in the Gulf of Alaska conducting research on the Walleye Pollock population. It is one of the largest fisheries in the world. I am hoping to see a variety of whales when I am there July 20 - August 10. I will be blogging about my adventure.

I look forward to serving as president although I am a newcomer to boards. I look forward to learning more about the organization and how I can best support the goals.

Malo aupito,

Julia Harvey, Board President (Tonga 1990-93)

WCPCA in the Oregon Country Fair, July 12-14

This summer WCPCA will continue its presence at the Country Fair's Peace & Justice Booth in Community Village on July 12th, 13th and 14th, 11am-7pm. The purpose of the Peace Corps table is to (a) provide information about the Peace Corps to prospective applicants and (b) promote WCPCA by connecting with other RPCVs who perhaps are unfamiliar with the organization. If you're interested in volunteering at the event, please send me an email at info@westcascadepca.org and put "Country Fair" in the subject line.

Volunteers will be assigned a two hour work shift during the day of attendance. They'll receive a discounted day pass which permits entry to the fairgrounds as early as 7am. The number of available passes is limited.

If you decide not to volunteer, please feel free to swing by and visit us at the booth!

Andrew Dempsey-Karp (Dominican Republic, 2003-05)

Coming Soon: West Cascade in the Eugene Celebration

Everyone loves a parade! And a booth! West Cascade members, friends, and families will take part in the annual Eugene Celebration over the weekend of August 24th and 25th in downtown Eugene. Save the dates! This is our second call for volunteers to help us organize. We hope to hear from more of you.

For our entry in the parade on Saturday morning, we'd like to identify citizens of as many Peace Corps host countries as possible to join us. It will add interest to our entry if everyone wears at least one article of clothing from a country of service. Marchers will carry flags of host countries along with the West Cascade banner as we represent the 200,000 plus volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps during the last 52 years.

We'll have a booth in the Community Causeway throughout the weekend. Booth minders will answer questions about the Peace Corps, talk about their own service, and introduce WCPCA to new returnees who stop by. We'll have a world map to show where local people have served and where new volunteers will be going. And we'll use the map for a geography game too. The booth will be a lively place.

James will put together the parade entry and Dorothy will organize our booth. If you can help with either activity please send an email to info@westcascadepca.org and write parade or booth or both in the subject line. We'll need your support to make a strong showing. Many thanks in advance.

See our photos from last year's booth for inspiration!

James Cloutier (Kenya, 1964-66)
Dorothy Soper (Ghana, 1963-65)