Last weekend appeared as if it might be last chance I could get up to Mount Shuksan and Mt. Baker National Forest before the snows set in. So, with grand kids again, I went up to see the Fall colors and what happened to the plants that I saw on my last foray a couple of months ago.
This is largely a photo diary of Alpine scenery in the Mt. Baker National Forest and Wilderness Area.
Last year the woman I loved was found murdered in the street where she lived. A week later on All Souls' night I stood on the top step of a church and looked down at the people in the street holding candles for the "Take Back the Night" vigil. Wondering if her killer might be among them, I thought, "I'll find you, whoever you are. However long it takes, I'll find you."
As we celebrate 150 years of protecting Yosemite National Park, we have to look closer at how it became ours in the first place.
The name itself -- Yosemite -- is a slur. It is a Miwok word that means "Those Who Kill." Sometimes it's translated as "Some of Them Are Killers," and it refers to the Ahwanhee people who'd lived in the valley for centuries before the US government ordered its evacuation and later created a national recreation area under the Yosemite Grant Act. But the people who lived there weren't killers. They just lived in a valley that our government wanted to use for entertaining dignitaries.
That is the untold story of Yosemite National Park.
Happy Solstice, everyone. At my house we celebrate this day with the mantra, "May you walk in peace and love."
I work in non-profit. In short, I translate perspectives from people living in a war-addled country for a western ear. An American ear.
As I watch the media whip into a froth about Iraq, I can't help but notice that our perceptions about nation building are similar to our more misguided ideas about humanitarian aid. They both start by thinking that "they" are a problem that "we" can solve. Or control.
Happy Shakespeare's birthday, everyone! The future playwright made his first appearance on the stage called "life" on 23 April 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon in Merrie Olde England and was baptized three days later. Little did John and Mary Shakespeare think that in his lifetime their infant son William was destined to become the greatest playwright and poet in the English--or indeed, any other--language. Join me in celebrating the 450th anniversary of his birth-it'll be fun for the whole family! We have cake (even though it's, ah, cybercake), links, poems, a video clip, and lots of speculation.
Some of you here know me and are familiar with my interest in development and gender equality in Democratic Republic of the Congo. You have extended kind comments and interest in diaries I've written about HEAL Africa in the past, and expressed interest in new projects I stumble across. Well, today I want to tell you about something new and wonderful. I also have an action item for you at the end.
First, I want you to meet Judy Anderson. Here, she is being interviewed at Clinton Global Initiative while she was director at the US based HEAL Africa, which she and her husband Dick founded:
Judy is a talented facilitator. She has been working with national leaders, vulnerable people, and communities to find real solutions so people in Congo can build a better life. She grew up in Congo, and has been focused on helping groups address health, leadership, gender equality, economic growth, and conflict resolution for most of her adult life. Her focus and commitment recently lead her and Dick to found a new non-profit organization called ACT for Congo.
ACT's website is under construction and the tax status is still pending, but Judy is hard at work supporting real change. I think this organization is a genuine treasure. Following lessons learned by Robert Chambers (see Rural Development: Putting the Last First or Whose Reality Counts: Putting the First Last) and Paulo Freire, her goal is to find a way to support effective development projects in Congo that are run by proven Congolese community leaders and grassroots organizers. She partners with credible organizations who are doing effective work and demonstrating measurable, positive change in DRC communities.
International relief organizations have their role in helping countries ravaged by famine, upheaval, and war, but they execute temporary projects with finite goals. External relief does not often create any lasting positive change. Lasting change in Congo has to come from the people of Congo.