May 2014 Newsletter

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Note from CAPCA’s President
If you are in downtown Chicago, head over to Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn Streets), and stop at the Peace Corps Commemorative Plaque. Sometimes it is nice to remember the difference we made and the community we share.  To get involved in that community locally, CAPCA has a Happy Hour on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Plymouth Rooftop Bar at 5:30pm.  CAPCA also has a monthly job session on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Peace Corps Recruiting Office at 55 W Monroe at 12 noon. 

If you are interested in getting involved with CAPCA’s working Board of Directors to help plan other events, please contact me at 

mkkacen@yahoo.com.Thanks,Kathy Kacen, CAPCA President



CAPCA Launches New Website
By Alice Geglio, CAPCA Webmaster

In April, CAPCA launched a website redesign at www.capca.org. The new site will give RPCVs a place to learn about fun opportunities to meet other Chicago-area RPCVs and help promote community service, education, and cross-cultural understanding. Here are a few of the new features:
    • EVENTS: Join CAPCA for networking, volunteering, and all kinds of fun.
    • MEMBERSHIP: Support CAPCA and take full advantage of our member benefits for just $15 a year!
    • GRANTS: Learn about the projects your donations help fund.
    • GET INVOLVED: See the many ways – big and small – you can help organize CAPCA activities.

Special thanks to the members of CAPCA’s Website Superteam — especially RPCV Blake Van Fleteran — for volunteering their weekends.

Chris Foltz, a Chicago social enterprise strategist, donated countless hours to oversee the website overhaul. Chris, who is best known around Chicago for heading up the Social Policy Institute, worked pro bono and we hope that his office will always be full of coffee, pizza and RPCVs with bright ideas.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to serve in the Peace Corps myself,” Chris said. “But I believe so strongly in the mission. So when the opportunity came to help I had to jump at it, because what I can say for certain is, not a day goes by that I don’t feel the effects of returning Peace Corps members; throughout Illinois and the country. And I wanted more of that.”

For more information about the Social Policy Institute and Chris Foltz, see our website.


Trivia Night Supports Peace Corps Partnership Projects
CAPCA held its second international-themed Trivia Night on April 8 at the Black Rock Pub in Chicago’s Roscoe Village.  The organizers stumped players with questions about food from around the world, global transportation and Peace Corps facts.A team of RPCVs made up of Virginia DeLancey, Robyn Michaels and Ron Cox out-scored five other teams. Raffle prizes included Cubs tickets, an REI backpack, books and calendars.The evening raised $750 that will help CAPCA fund Peace Corps Partnership Projects (PCPP) led by Chicago area PCVs. Congrats to the winners of last night’s CAPCA Trivia Night – RPCVs Virginia DeLancey, Robyn Michaels and Ron Cox. CAPCA Board Member Lee Losey, right, awarded them with the CAPCA Cup Trophy.



Community Service Committee & Social Committee Report
We would like to introduce two brand new CAPCA Board members who have taken over as Community Service and Social Committee Chairs. Caroline Lucas (Armenia 2011-2013) and Kara Zucker (El Salvador 2011-2013) are new to Chicago, new to CAPCA, and ready to provide some fantastic programs and opportunities for the RPCVs of Chicagoland!Be sure to check Facebook to keep up to date with the event schedule. We are planning a summer of fun, including a book drive, concerts, hiking, and of course the happy hour (third Wednesday of each month, 5:30 p.m.), and more.If you have ideas or would like to get involved planning fun events, please contact us:Caroline – carolinel303@gmail.com
Kara – kara.zucker@gmail.com




CAPCA Supports PCPP Development Projects
CAPCA has donated almost $1,300 to the Peace Corps Partnership Program projects of 3 Chicago area PCVs and their local communities since the beginning of 2014.We have helped support:

A National Spelling Bee in Guinea: 1140 students from 38 middle schools participated in local and regional French-language spelling bees, culminating in a national competition. CAPCA contributed $299 to support PCV Hannah Koppel and her Guinean partners.


* The Border to Border Public Health Trainings in Armenia.  Fourteen volunteers are walking across Armenia and partnering with the Armenian Red Cross to lead healthy lifestyle sessions for 1000 participants in villages en route.  CAPCA contributed $500 to support the project, led by PCVs including Bobbie Seltzer of Chicago and partners.


* Math & Science Conferences in Tanzania: More than 2,000 students and 100 teachers are attending interactive math and science seminars during a series of competitions and conferences focused on interactive learning methods making use of locally available materials.  CAPCA contributed $500 to support PCV Steve Bonomo of Tinley Park and local partners.CAPCA also attempted to support a School Fitness Project in Ukraine. Teachers and students were to be trained on newly-procured fitness equipment at their school. CAPCA contributed $646.30 to support PCV Ben Cox of Chicago.  However, the project was suspended when volunteers were evacuated from Ukraine in February.  The funds will be returned to CAPCA to be used for other PCPP grants.CAPCA looks for great sustainable and capacity-building projects that are part of the Peace Corps Partnership Program.  If you know any currently serving PCVs from Chicago/NW Indiana who are developing great projects and seeking support, they may contact Marcy Huttas, Virginia DeLancey, and the CAPCA grants committee at grants@capca.orgThanks for being part of CAPCA’s efforts to support currently serving PCVs through the PCPP program – our donations support projects that help members of communities around the world learn, advance, and attain their potential!




Member Support Program
The CAPCA Member Support program continues to focus on providing career and job search support to RPCVS who are either recently returned to the US or are trying to make a career or job change.  Monthly job support sessions held at the Chicago Peace Corps office provide opportunities for networking and assistance in resume and cover letter preparation, interviewing, and other related topics.  Follow-up guidance and networking assistance are also provided when needed.The sessions are jointly facilitated by CAPCA Board member John Beasley and CAPCA President Kathy Kacen.  John brings to the table extensive experience as a human resource executive, most recently as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for a large Chicago based company.  Kathy relies on her extensive experience in the Chicago market and her numerous networking contacts to help program participants make networking connections.RPCVs who have questions or are unable to attend one of the monthly sessions can contact John atjohnbeasley@comcast.net to discuss other options.   The Member Support Program also provides Chicago area coordination for the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Mentor Program which helps RPCVS who want an ongoing mentoring relationship upon returning to Chicago.  Individuals interested in a mentor can learn more and sign up at the NPCA web site.




A Little Taste of Indonesia
Article by Margaret Sheridan
Photos by Maria SantonatoOn March, 27th, nineteen CAPCA members went to Indonesia without passports, or the hassle of TSA at O’Hare. The venue was Rickshaw Republic, 2312 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago. Our hosts were Oscar Setiawan, the chef, and his mother, Elice, the hostess.

The Setiawan family comes from Jakarta, Indonesia and opened their restaurant more than one year ago. The only Indonesian restaurant in Chicago, it offers a delightful combination of stir-fry rice and noodle dishes, chicken and shrimp satay, vegetable fritters, main course items such as braised beef in coconut cream, fish in spicy chili sauce, myriad noodle and rice entrees, and desserts of fruits, sticky rice and custards. Rickshaw Republic is BYOB. It is closed Mondays. Check out their website: www.RickshawRepublic.com.For our dinner, Oscar and Elice created a special feast: an all vegetarian dinner of steamed turmeric-scented rice (called nasi tumpeng) that arrived with six side dishes, such as various vegetable dishes that complemented the main dish, and a pyramid-shaped structure of rice. Oscar explained that the dish is a special menu, often served at weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.No one went home hungry. We returned for second helpings to the counter buffet. Oscar obliged the CAPCA budget of $26, including tax and tip. (The BYOB policy was also applauded).

As fascinating as the food was, the colorful décor was equally captivating. There were many photos of Indonesia by Oscar and his friend Richard Susanto, a professional photographer. The three rooms were decorated with authentic umbrellas (suspended from the ceiling) and an array of wooden puppets and masks. The colors and shapes of the artifacts dazzled the eye.The group saluted several members, including Bobbie Seltzer, now serving in Armenia, who returned for the birth of her grandchild. Caitlin Johnson bid farewell as social secretary as she departed Chicago for her round-the-world travel adventure. New member Suzanne Weiss got her assignment for Albania, next March. We saluted Peace Corps that arrived in Java, Indonesia in 2009. The good spirits of CAPCA members, plus the hospitality of the Setiawan family, assured a future return to Rickshaw Republic. A good time was had by all…minus the craziness of O’Hare.




Peace Corps Connect – Nashville 2014
Peace Corps Connect – 2014 will be in Nashville, June 19-21, 2014 for its third annual gathering–this year in Music City.The  National Peace Corps Association and the Tennessee Returned Peace Corps Volunteers invite you to join your fellow Peace Corps Community members to learn about the various ways our community members continue to serve and educate the world around us. They also hope you’ll use the opportunity to tell your own stories, meet up with old friends and make new ones.
Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #PCCNASH.
Download the Tennessee Peace Corps Connect Travel Guide

When and Where: 
Thursday June 19: Peace Corps Career event (separate registration) at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1008 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212 (Link to Google map)
Friday June 20, 2014:  Vanderbilt University, Sarratt Student Center, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-0002 (Google map)
Saturday June 21, 2014:  CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203  (Link to Google map



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