Skip to Main Content

eUpdate April 18, 2021

eUpdate April 18, 2021

PPCA eUpdate: Peter Hessler to Attend PPCA Book Club and More!

Portland Peace Corps Association

Columbia River Peace Corps Association

Board Elections


Book Club to Host Peter Hessler!

Local Family Campout

PPCA Book Club to Host Peter Hessler! 

Friday 4/23 6:30-8:00pm - Book Club

This is a really big deal for PPCA members! We are hoping that more of you will be able to join us for this special meeting with the one and only Peter Hessler. Many of you read River Town during service and perhaps some of you also read the article he wrote for The New Yorker after Peace Corps China closed suddenly. Well known and respected in the Peace Corps community, we look forward to hosting him later this month! 

Review: © Publishers Weekly: New Yorker foreign correspondent Hessler (Oracle Bones) lived in Egypt during the months and years following the 2011 ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, and his account of learning Arabic, befriending a diverse array of characters, and gingerly probing the sore spots of Egyptian society is at once engrossing and illuminating. While Hessler lives in Cairo and much of the early action centers there, he ventures more widely than most foreigners in the country, and his reporting from sleepy upper Egyptian villages and remote Chinese development projects add complexity. Most of Hessler’s contacts get roughed up and imprisoned by the security services at one point or another, often for inscrutable reasons: “There was no point to the brutality-it served no larger purpose.” He returns frequently to the theme of internal tension and contradiction-that Egyptians “combined rigid tradition with ideas that could be surprisingly open-minded or nonconformist”-to contrast the brittle institutions of the state, such as courts, with the deep-seated social patterns and relationships that provide structure when the state is dysfunctional or ineffectual. Adroitly combining the color and pacing of travel writing and investigative journalism with the tools and insight of anthropological fieldwork and political theory, this stakes a strong claim to being the definitive book to emerge from the Egyptian revolution.

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

The Zoom link is For those for whom that link doesn't work, the Zoom ID is 841-0064-8365 and the passcode is 776434.

PPCA Elections and Goodbye eUpdates!

This past Sunday, our board met to conduct our annual elections, but this has been a strange year! Our PPCA President, Phyllis Shelton, commented that normally elections would take place at our well-attended monthly Sunday Potluck, but we have not had such events this year, so finding possible candidate to fulfill positions has been difficult. By unanimous decision, the PPCA board voted to postpone the transference of power for the following positions until June: President, Communications Coordinator, Advocacy Coordinator and Webmaster. However, we are really excited to welcome our new Membership Coordinator, Alexander Butler (Philippines 2018-2020), who we look forward to telling you more about in our May Newsletter. 

Also by unanimous decision, we have voted to say goodbye to these weekly eUpdates. With the launch of our new website, we would like to show membership a new way to discover the events that are going on each week. Our outgoing Communications Coordinator will be recording a video demonstration of how to use the new website for our May Newsletter. Our monthly Newsletter will continue to be delivered to your inboxes the first of each month!

Please email us with any questions or concerns regarding any of these updates. If you are interested in filling any of the positions on our board, please let us know or attend our next PPCA Meeting on Sunday, May 16th at 7pm. 

PPCA Grant Cycle Reminder

Are you an RPCV who would like help funding a service project or know of a PCV who will be returning to a site this summer and will want help funding a project? Read on!

After a pandemic pause, PPCA’s grant program is back in action. The deadline for submissions in the current round is April 30th, with a total of $3,000 available to be distributed in this round. Decisions will be announced in mid-May. Though the timeline and total allocation differ slightly from what’s on our webpage (the program has been really dynamic as we respond to the pandemic), the rest of the description/process are current. Questions and applications go to

Other PPCA Events 

Tuesday 4/20 7:00-9:00pm - Writer's Workshop

Great opportunity to share and improve your writing! The sessions will be held on Zoom from 7-9 pm. You are welcome to share fiction, non-fiction, poetry, tales of your Peace Corps Experience or other stories.  Send in your name & email to be included in the Zoom meeting.,  The sessions will continue about every  two weeks, Hosted by Mimi Sanders (Turkey 3) & Jenny Tsai (Fiji 90-92). Thank you so much to you both for keeping these workshops going through the pandemic! 

Every Wednesday 6:00-8:00pm - Oregon Food Bank Service (In Person)

PPCA is volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank.  We are packing food at the Volunteer Action Center, 7900 NE 33rd Drive Portland 97211. Must be at least 16 years of age, and sign up individually the previous week by Friday evening.  Spaces are limited.  We work individually at tables with strict covid hygiene procedures.  For questions on signing up please contact Tom DeMeo at

PPCA Local Summer Family Campout

2021 Portland Peace Corps Assoc. LOCAL Summer Family Campout

When: Thursday, July 1 through Monday July 5th  Come for the day, an overnight or two, or all four nights!

Where: Hudson Parcher County Park, Rainier OR. Group Site T014. 50 miles / 1 hr from Portland. 

Who: Everyone is welcome! This is a great site for families w/ kids.

RVers: Go to the “Hudson-Parcher Park, Oregon” page on ASAP to reserve a spot for you and your RV.

Hudson Parcher Park has 10 tent sites, 25 RV sites, a bike camping site, playgrounds for the kids, picnic tables, fire rings, volleyball courts, baseball fields, flushing toilets and hot showers.

Newsletter Photo Contest

Each month, one service photo from a PPCA member is featured in our Newsletter. If you would like a photo of your service to be included in a future Newsletter, please submit a photo from your Peace Corps service to and include 1) your country of service, 2) years served 3) Short caption to go with the photo (i.e. description of what is going on in the photo/where it was taken). As you Communications Coordinator, I have been having a lot of fun including more photos and graphics in these weekly publications. I am always looking for suggestions for how to make these publications more interesting, engaging and inviting, so do not hesitate to reach out with suggestions!

Andrea Franke 

PPCA Communications Coordinator