I'd been looking forward to more serious discussion of the Peace Corps, and that's what occurred. The conversation was reflective and far from self congratulatory.
Many of the participants talked about how suspicious people had been.
Clearly the US was exporting its homeless and prostitutes, dumping them in 3rd world countries. That was how Peace Corps was sometimes perceived by some of the rural students in Ethiopia.
And when the US was up to no good, as in Vietnam, Peace Corps volunteers got a lot of push back. They paid a price for horrific stupidity in the Pentagon a lot.
Art Kohn came right out and said that, as a Fulbright Scholar, he was unambiguously an agent of the USG, State Department in particular. Not a secret.
I wish I'd been more able to engage but Python work is at high tide. Not that I was ever in the Peace Corps myself. Some friends of mine were. The topic interests me.
Thirsters is the natural place to bring it up as founder Bob Textor was one of its several architects.
I stayed in a corner with my head in my laptop most of the time, thinking about code and context managers and such.
Carol (mom) came with me and she wishes she could hear better.
We had a good time anyway.
I've been eying the Thirsters for their importance in Peace Work. Now that AFSC is quitting the Portland Peace Program (we carry on without much Quaker support), I'm casting about for other ways to configure our Portland matrix.
Of course a lot of people are interested in so-called peace work. Or call it citizen diplomacy or whatever. I'm just looking for new ways to participate, given AFSC's decision to give up its role.
I talked at length with a woman who knows the Humanists of Greater Portland is also looking for new angles. She was asking about interns and PSU. I had no direct answer about how to find one.
Making room for the emptiness i.e. allowing the vacuum to take shape, is probably better than fighting it.
I'll wait for a way to open. We're in a state of "casting about" (sounds like I Ching).
On the way over, mom talked about Mexico and how one of their low level officials made a ridiculous ass of himself by disrespecting the Sioux.
The Mexican government appears to be in some kind of unstable mess again, with native peoples saying enough is enough already. But then they've been saying that for awhile right?