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John Paul II

John Paul II- for the Grateful Web

Everybody who stayed on earth the last couple of weeks (I think most of you did), Christian or no Christian, does know pope John Paul II deceased. Although it is the second time a pope dies since I'm alive, it is the first time I experienced it consciously. That is why I want to write something about it, even though I am not a real Christian.

 

A couple of weeks before the pope died, I read "Angels and Demons" of Dan Brown, in which a pope dies and the election of a new pope is described as well. By this, my interest for this case had been awoken. I wanted to compare the things I read in this book with the things that were happening in reality.

 

Since we were overwhelmed by the news on TV, radio, newspapers, etc. I won't give an overview of the man Karol Wojtyla (yes, the Holy Father had a real name!) or the pontificate of the John Paul II. Instead, I will give my view on several things that occurred.

 

The appearance of the pope on Easter was very touching. He was very sick and did not manage to pronounce "Urbi et Orbi" for the first time in his life, although he tried very hard. It was very sad to see such an affected man; a man who probably realized it was the last time he would appear for the religious people.

 

The telecasts following the days of the death of John Paul II were incredible: the St-Peter's square and the streets around were full of people who wanted to greet the deceased pope for the last time. People had to stay in line for about twelve hours, and a lot of people did not even manage to see the pope since they were too many. When people have to stand in line for so many hours, I'm always wondering how they manage to eat, drink, and especially go to toilet! You can not leave your place in these situations, not even for one second, can you?

 

Curious as I was, I watched a piece of the funeral, that was broadcasted all over the world. This time, even more people were gathered in Rome: 4 million people attended the funeral that lasted 2,5 hours. Three hundred and sixty priests were needed to give all those present a chance to go to Communion. Unbelievable!

 

I was a bit disappointed when seeing the coffin: I thought that a man, who was called the Holy Father, would get a very adorned coffin that is set on a height during the church service. But as we all could see, the coffin was very simple; only a cross and "M" of Maria on the upper side. Furthermore, it was put on the ground. Although, it was put on a mosaic that was made after the pope was shot in 1981, it was still strange to see the coffin was not set on a height. They said it was the pope's wish to have a funeral (and gravestone) very soberly, in line with his austerely life…

 

The election of the new pope went very fast. Only 4 election rounds were needed to select a new Holy Father. When I turned on the television that day, I saw again a lot of people on the St-Peter's square. Immediately, I realized a new pope had been chosen. Since all these people were gathered again, I thought they already knew who the new pope was. But a few minutes later it became clear the new pope was not announced yet. Can we conclude then that (religious) people don't really mind who the pope is, as long as they have a pope? That is a bit strange, no…?

 

According to me, it was no surprise the German cardinal Ratzinger appeared on the balcony. I must say that, even as a not real Christian, it made my flesh creep when I heard the famous words "habemus papam".

 

Now it is waiting whether this pope will yearly express the well-known words "Bedankt voor die bloemen" to the Dutch- and Flemish-speaking people as well, or whether he will pronounce a new sentence…

Brazilian Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro

- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web

When you think of Brazil, what comes to mind???  I'd say Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, samba…right? Yeah, there is a lot more to Brazil than just that, but honestly, those are all some pretty awesome things that my Country is known for.. I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about the Carnaval, since I was just there for that, this past Feb.

It's really hard to try and describe something so indescribable, so unbelievably out of control as Brazilian Carnaval…Just try to imagine yourself experiencing the ultimate feeling of exhilaration, freedom, fun, excitement, enthusiasm, happiness…!!!! I'm sure that the thought of hundreds of people dancing, singing, sweating, moving, smiling, laughing, drinking, flirting, feeling joy, all cramped up against each other in the middle of the street in Rio somewhere at 04:30 am, to the blasting sound of a live samba band embedded in the middle of the crowd, might not be that hard to envision. However, the electrifying energy that takes over, that seems to contaminate everyone there, is something I believe I can't transport to a piece of paper…

This is the street Carnaval, which spreads around scattered streets and blocks, in different cities throughout Brazil, during those 4 days a year when the whole Country seems to set it's timer to a different pace, to function and operate on a festive and laid back mode…where almost every other matter gets postponed 'til "after Carnaval…"because the overall mood in the Country becomes that of "there's nothing that can't wait 'til past ash Wednesday…."

And that's how it goes during those crazy few days most Brazilian wait the whole year for…lots of booze, lots of women (and cute guys too), lots of music, lots of dancing….'til the sun comes up, so you can go get a few hours of sleep to try and get rid of you hangover, and to get ready to do it all over again….

There are also other ways to experience the Carnaval in Brazil..there's the big parade of the "Samba Schools" in Rio, which is a real competition, with judges, classifications, ranks and all…  I had the privilege to be a part of this huge and incredible event this year, as a member of "Grande Rio", one of the participating "schools", which I'm proud to say, came out in 3rd place.

There are a lot of tourists from all over the world  that come to be in the parade every year, as this is something that anyone can be a part of, as long as you purchase the costume of the one particular "school" you want to go out in, and learn how to sing that school's samba lyrics, so you can sing along (not mandatory, but recommended..!)

Brazilians are indeed very happy and friendly people, who like to party like there's no tomorrow, and who, for the most part, have a very positive and spontaneous way about them, finding pleasure in simple things, and enjoying life regardless of what their social and financial situation might be…Therefore, If you ever feel like experiencing Brazil and getting to understand a little bit about its people, I recommend you drop by for Carnaval sometime. You can be a participant, or just choose to watch as a spectator..either way I'm sure the contagious energy of those passionate and exciting people will blow you away, and make you want to go back again…

For more info about Carnaval in Brazil, you can check this website:

www.ipanema.com  and/or if you want to see more pictures from my trip, click here.

Home Brewing Wine: Easy, Fun, Cheap

Out of all the miracles recorded in religious texts, history and fiction, I think Jesus' first miracle is my favorite.  After all, what is better than turning water into wine? This got me into the most rewarding hobby I have every tried – home brewing.

Turning water into wine is hardly a miracle, though it will take you more time than it did Jesus. The equipment to get started is around $75. Any home brew store can help you get started. You can use a lot of this same equipment to make beer as well, though beer is a little more difficult than wine to make.

Hotel & Inns Review: Boulder Corporate Rentals Hotel Alternative

<A HREF=Boulder Corporate Rentals - for the Grateful Web" title="Boulder Corporate Rentals " hspace="0" vspace="0" width="240" />

Reviewer: JUSTIN HANCOCK
Staying at: Remington Post, Boulder CO
When:          Fall 2004

Boulder Corporate Rentals


I heard of Boulder Corporate Rentals from friends at work, and they were very accommodating with my hectic home purchase.

The accommodation, a private terraced one bedroom, was quiet and larger then I expected. It was clean and fully stocked with everything I needed.  I used and loved Remington's indoor heated pool, and the on site staff accepted several critical documents for me at the Remington Office when I was out of town.

I had to call and reschedule my leaving date 4 or 5 times, but Michele, Mike, and Barney were understanding and flexible every time.

I finally did buy my house in Boulder, thanks to Boulder Corporate Rentals, I never worried about the changing closing date.

Thank you!

Justin Hancock, Fall 2004

*****

Editors Note: Boulder Corporate Rentals is a for profit company some editors of Grateful Web have an interest in.

I met Jane Goodall!

Jane Goodall - One of the world''s best known animal researchers- for the Grateful Web

I just wanted to share with you something very exciting that happened yesterday - I met Jane Goodall!  I even got to sit next to her at a table for about 45 minutes, and exchange opinions on international "development", the exploitation of people and resources, and the Bush administration.  She was here because her organization Roots and Shoots that focuses on empowering youth to care for their environment will now be collaborating with Peace Corps to get Roots and Shoots programs established in rural villages.  It is very exciting work!  It is immensely heartening and inspiring to listen to her speak, and to know that there are positive forces at work out there in the world!

Also exciting is that she may be speaking at the University of Nebraska in March, when I am there, and so I might get to see her again (as will some of you!)!  She hopes to go to Nebraska to see the Sandhill Cranes and is trying to set up a speaking engagement at the University to encourage more students to vote in this year's election, and to vote for the Democratic candidate.  She says we may not get a good Democrat but at least a Democrat and Bush will be out of there.  With him in office the whole world is in danger.

If you want to help Jane, I'm sure she has websites where you can donate money to help fund her research on chimps or to help the Roots and Shoots program.  I am inspired! (Editor's Note:  Click on Jane to view her site).

Pamela's Xmas in Africa

- for the Grateful Web
Dar- for the Grateful Web

I hope the Holiday Season is looking to be a happy one, and the transition into winter is welcoming!  The change in seasons here is as abrupt as elsewhere in Africa, from last month bone dry and blazing forest, field and brush fires all around, adding smoke to the already dusty air and to now flash flood downpour every afternoon, usually clearing off to a cool crisp evening and a fresh sky of sparkling stars.  Gardens are flourishing again, and field planting has begun. 

I'm continuing work with the beekeeping and chicken projects, the school garden and tree nursery, and conducting health seminars.  Together with several very enthusiastic students, we've started an after school youth group to focus on issues such as animal husbandry, sustainable farming practices, life skills, and environmental education.  I just recently painted a mural of the world map at the school, and next year hope to do more educational murals, perhaps incorporating creative assistance from the students.  Next year my focus will also be on building fuel-efficient stoves and completing the school and community library, which will be funded by a $2,100 grant recently received from the US Embassy. 

Life in the village has been good, but I definitely have been needing to get away for a while!  I just came from Dar, where I began the process of purchasing the books for the library, but I also went to see the doctor, and for some R&R on the beach!  I had a couple extra days to spend on Zanzibar, where the volunteers hosted a full moon beach party!  It was a great time - we ate incredible amounts of seafood - octopus spaghetti, lobster, and a fish barbeque.  I wish you all could have been there!  I wish every one of you could come visit to experience swimming in the waves of the turquoise blue Indian Ocean.  If you were to come visit, you could also experience listening to the Muslim call to prayer on the roof of a hotel in downtown Dar es Salaam at sunset, and eating Indian and Ethiopian food!  But I realize how unfeasible this is for most of you, so I hope I can share with you my experience s as much as possible.

After returning to site today, I will be leaving again on the 20th to go to Lake Nyasa (Malawi) with my friend Gwen and her family who will be here to visit, then spending Christmas with other volunteers in the town of Mbeya, and continuing on with my friend Carolyn to take the train across Zambia to go to Victoria Falls for New Year's!  Woohoo! 

Will it really be 2004 already?  I have a feeling time will fly again next year.  It will begin with even more traveling.  After returning from Zambia, I have to go to South Africa AGAIN, this time to have gallbladder surgery.  It has been giving me problems, and the doctors decided it would be better to take it now, rather than wait for another attack when I'm way out in the bush far from medical care.  I will then return to Dar for the last few days of our Mid-Service Conference.  After possibly spending a few more days on the beach, I'll be at site for the month of February, and then will be back in Nebraska for most of the month of March for my sister's wedding!  YEAH!  I hope to see some of you then!

Hamjambo? An update from Pamela

Tiananmen Square- for the Grateful Web

I just wanted to report on the first week of vacation, since so much has happened so far!  We began with an adventurous trek to Lake Malawi, 11hours, 3 buses and the last hour in the back of a truck, arriving finally at 10pm!  But it was all worth it, because the Lake was absolutely beautiful.  Pure grey sand, crystal clear water, and green mountains jutting up all around.  We rode in a dug out canoe across the bay to snorkel in a rocky area with colorful fish, and to visit a remote village where the people specialize in pottery making.  This was one of the most incredible village experiences I have had, because the people obviously hadn't had much exposure to white people or the outside world, especially the children, but were still very friendly and welcoming.

 

The "resort" where we stayed didn't have much to offer as far as food or activities, but the newly built red roofed cottages were very clean and comfortable.  The light, smells, and feel of the place reminded me so much of summer camp!  We spent three full relaxing days on the beach, swimming, reading, and eating incredibly yummy mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and several other unusual and unknown fruits!

 

We celebrated Christmas Eve with a South African couple who were camping there, and had their campsite all decorated with homemade foil garland and ornaments, and wreaths and candle holders made out of tree branches, fruits and pinecones.  They also made chocolate cake over the camp fire and had an entire array of hor'dourves.  "What would you like to drink?", they asked.  "We have tequila, rum, vodka, gin, beer, and red wine."  It was a great Christmas! 

 

On Christmas Day morning, we got a ride back to Mbeya in a super SUV with 4 Chinese guys, all engineers working for the roads department.  We had very interesting conversations, covering a broad range of topics from Tiananmen Square and democratic reform in China to of course basketball!  And what made it even more interesting were that these conversations were in three languages: Chinese, English and Swahili!  They took us out for Christmas dinner at a 70s decor hotel where we ate chicken curry.

 

Yesterday Carolyn and I hiked to the top of one of the nearest mountains around Mbeya, and this afternoon are boarding a bus to Lusaka, Zambia, where we will get another bus to the town of Livingstone.  The adventure continues...

Zambia & Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls- for the Grateful Web

I'm glad I wrote already about the first part of our trip, since there is so much to tell from the second part!  (If you didn't get the first message about Malawi, let me know & I'll send it to ya.) Our journey continued on Saturday the 27th when we boarded a bus in the afternoon for Lusaka, Zambia.  After 13 excruciating hours we arrived in Lusaka at dawn and a few hours later boarded another bus to Livingstone for antoher 7 hour ride, and needless to say our assess were sore!  Throughout the next few days, we recovered and thankfully realized the pain and exhaustion was more than worth it!  In Livingstone we stayed at a super great backpacker hostel called Fawlty Towers, which is owned by a British guy and named after a place in a Monty Python movie.  Thier motto is "It's really not that fawlty, and there's not many towers, but it is perhaps one of the best backpackers in the world." and I would agree with that!  It's certainly the best hostel I've ever stayed in!  It was open and airy with a beautifully landscaped garden patio around the pool, big cushy couches in the main room with satelite TV and internet as w ell as other exquisitely decorated quiet rooms to hand out in, kitchen facilities, dorms, family rooms, doubles, and they allow camping, AWESOME showers, a super friendly staff to help with booking activities, and the best part was it was only $6 a night to stay there! ($8 without Peace Corps discount, and more if you want a private room.) We had lots of time just to chill there, and immensely enjoyed every minute of it!

The first day in Livingstone we walked around town, took in the sights and shopped at the local craft market (bought lots of cool stuff for YOU ALL ).  The second day we went on a walking safari in Livingstone National Park.  When we first pulled in, we encountered 3 bachelor elephants close to the road (I got some great pictures for ya, Vic!) and lucklily we were still in the vehicle otherwise we would have not have been able to be so close.  From the vehicle, we also saw just the tips of hippo heads in the river.  (Unfortunately they are only active at night!)  Then with two armed guards (the guide with a rifle the other with an AK-47) we set out on our walk through the park and came within close range of crocodiles, giraffes, waterbuffalo, wildebeasts, zebras, impala, waterbuck, and other cool creatures like foam frogs, dung beetles and ve lvet mites. The highlight was coming within about 10 yards of 3 rhinoceri (rhinoceruses?), Africa's most endangered animal. These 3 (1 bull and 2 cows) were reintroduced to the park along with 2 others (who died last year) several years ago yet they have not had any offspring and their population as a whole in Africa continues to decline.  They are surprisingly a very docile animal and were mostly dozing while we were near them, hence the reason why we were able to get so close.  The other animals in the park have become accustomed to being protected and do not see humans as a threat, so on several occassions they just stood and stared at us while we stood and stared at them!

The third day, New Year's Eve Day, was absolutely the best day of the trip, spent at Victoria Falls.  WOW is it AMAZING!  Maybe the fact that it's one of the Seven Wonders of the World will help to begin to explain how absolutely AMAZING it is!  What stuck me the most, besides the sheer force and pounding loudness of the water, was the incredible intense colors of the contrasting blue sky, white clouds, dark brown rock, vibrant green plant life, and of course the multiple RAINBOWS in the mist!  We were there just at the beginning of the rainy season so the water level was low, but there were many advantages to this.  One was we were actually able to SEE the falls.  During it's peak the falls can not even sometimes be seen because the mist is so thick!  Another advantage was we were able to rock hop and wade across the top!  (With a guide to direct and assist us across the trecherous parts with the falls rushing down just a few meters away.)  We were able to stand right on the edge and see the falls from view points (such as straight down) that very few people get to see (you would have loved it Vic!).  We also were lucky to be able to swim in a pool on the side of the falls called Angel's Armchair.  Never did I imagine in my life hanging out in my underwear with a bunch of strangers in a cliffside pool on the edge of Victoria Falls!  In the pool you could shower under the falls coming into the pool or swim to the other side and hang over the cliff to wave down to the people rafting.  We felt very lucky to be there and it was an unforgettable experience!

New Year's Eve was an international one; we just stayed in at the hostel and cooked up a big feast and drank several bottles of wine with another PCV from Malawi, a sweet young chap from South Africa, and a kayaker from France.  Later we were joined by a German family with two teenage sons, an American family with 2 twenty-somethings and an Irish boyfriend, and a pool full of drunk and naked British women!  Kwa heri 2003, Karibu 2004!

On New Year's Day we boarded a bus to Lusaka, where we stayed one night in a really seedy hostel (definitely a few steps down from Fawlty Towers), but there we were lucky to meet a British/Tanzanian couple selling cheap first class tickets on the train leaving the next day to Tanzania.  So we took the train back, which we originally ruled out of our travel plans due to the extra time and expense versus the bus.  But it was really enjoyable and from now on, whenever I have the extra time I will much prefer to take the train!  The views, especially in Tanzania were incredible, passing 2 through 2 mountain ranges and 2 wild game parks. The train ride was 44 hours, and I arrived in Dar yesterday.

Travelling to Zambia has inspired me to travel more in Africa, but I'd like to do it when I have a larger budget to work with and can afford to do things like white water raft on the Zambezi (said to be the BEST white water rafting in the world!) which we very much wanted to do on this trip but could not due to the cost ($95).  We also would have liked to see the rest of the Falls from the Zimbabwe side, which was also cost prohibitive due to having to buy a $55 visa.  A great trip to do someday would be to arrive at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe after trekking up through Botswana and Namibia, and first touring the Cape Winelands and spending time in Cape Town.  $$$$$  Someday..

Happy New Year from Africa! -by Pamela

- for the Grateful Web

Hi Everyone! Hope your holidays were warm and wonderful!  Mine were fantastic, I spent them with other volunteers in the area.  We cooked up a couple of huge feasts and made memories to last a lifetime!  If I hadn't had gotten together with other volunteers, it might not have felt like the holidays at all.  Christmas here is very subdued, because most Tanzanians don't have any money to spend on things like gifts or decorations.  In the village, the Tanzanians I know spent Christmas by going to church and spending time with their families, which is what Christmas is all about anyway.  For New Year's, the other volunteers and I had a big party at my friend Carolyn's house, who is my nearest PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) neighbor.  There were 19 PCVs and several members of her village government and their families who showed up.  It was great to have the villagers there!  They are used to big parties, because they have them all th e time.  However, their drinks of choice are ulanzi (fermented bamboo sap) and pombe (a brew cooked up from corn and millet).  I find ulanzi to be quite tasty, like a Bartles and James wine cooler, but pombe I find to be terribly repulsive!  At our PCV gatherings, we stick to the traditional wine and beer.

Now it's back to the business of settling into my new home.  For our first three months of service, we are not expected to do anything except set up our houses and get to know the people and needs of our villages.  I have already become good friends with several of my female neighbors, the mamas, who are either teachers or wives of teachers at the school.  It is not acceptable here to be friends with someone of the opposite sex, but all the mamas bond together and support each other.  They have been very supportive of me so far by sending their kids over with cuttings of flowers for my front yard, helping me haul water from the well 150 yds from my house (with buckets on our heads!), and giving me fresh harvested beans and potatoes from their farms.  I have tried to return their favors by baking them cakes and breads and sharing vegetable seeds.

One of the biggest tasks I have accomplished so far, with the help of Doris, a neighbor girl, is digging up a large area for a garden.  The area was previously sod, and it was a tremendous amount of work overturning the soil and removing all the grass!  Doris (who is only 16 and half the size of me) could swing the jembe, a large hoe, up over her head and get it twice as far down into the ground as I could!  Of course, she's been doing this her whole life.  A common sight around my village now is all the women and children out working in their fields, swinging jembes.  The women will often do this all day long, sometimes with babies slung over their backs!   Most fields are planted to corn, beans, potatoes, and pumpkins or other squash, and these are usually intercropped together.  It is a goal of mine to encourage growing other vegetables as well, like tomatoes, carrots, mchicha (a local green), onions, etc.  I have been told however, that it may be too cold here to grow certain things like watermelon, peanuts, and maybe even tomatoes and green peppers!

My village is at elevation 6,000 ft, and every night I sleep with 2 heavy blankets. Some mornings I can see my breath!  It's hard to believe this is the warmest time of year, and hard to believe I am in Africa!  Never did I imagine I would be writing home asking my folks to send a hat, gloves, and long johns!  I will certainly need them come June and July.  Oh but I'm not complaining!  I would be complaining if I was one of the other volunteers who live down in the lowlands or along the coast.  They say they do nothing every afternoon except sit nearly naked in front of a fan and try not to sweat.  No thanks!  I'd rather be curled up under a blanket any day. 

Adjusting to a life of solitude has been somewhat challenging, but I'm sure times will easier once my Swahili improves and I become busy with projects.  For now, I have been spending my time reading, writing letters, sewing, learning how to cook and bake on a charcoal stove, doing yoga, meeting people in the village, working in the garden, and getting out to explore the INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL surroundings on my mountain bike!  It is a very peaceful life, going to bed and rising with the sun, and having no distractions except ones I create myself.

Well, except for the distractions of rats and bugs!  Hopefully soon I will have a cat to take care of the rats, and as for the bugs, I'll have to learn to tolerate them.  Most don't bother me though, and there are some really cool ones here!  Butterflies and moths of all colors, shapes, and sizes, and strange looking beetles, grasshoppers, and dragonflies.  There are some really neat birds as well.  With all the trees near my house, I have several birds that serenade me in the mornings and evenings!  I have been able to identify a few of them with the help of an ID book my friend Lori gave me before I left.  (Thanks Lori!).

Happy Valentine's Day... from Africa!

Pamela in Africa 2003/2004- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web

I am back in Iringa again, to take care of some business and buy certain things that I cannot buy in or near my village, like a new (used) pair of work pants and a new short-wave radio, since mine for some reason is not working.  I have been borrowing my friend Carolyn's radio however, and listening to BBC or VOA everyday.  I find all of this talk about war to be very disturbing, but I also feel removed from it.  There are a few Muslims around in this part of the country, but they do not at all appear to be threatening.  The only adverse attitudes we volunteers have encountered is the occasional "Osama!"  shouted out at us from little boys, usually only in the bigger cities.  There has been terrorist threats on the island of Zanzibar, but no action resulted from them. 

Life in the village continues to be nothing but peaceful.  I am beginning to be very busy - talking with farmers about the problems they are having with their crops and trees, and projects they would like to do.  Beekeeping, medicine for cows, and layer hens are first on the list, but I will not have any funds to initiate these projects until May or June, due to changes in our Peace Corps project budgets.  In the mean time, I have begun helping to weigh babies at "clinic day" which is held once a month for the mamas to bring their babies to be examined.  These days will be good times for me to hold seminars about health and nutrition for the mamas.  Next month already, I'm giving a seminar about how to make banana bread and corn bread!  Bananas and corn are two things that we have an abundance of in the village, and although sweet breads may not be considered to be entirely healthy, they do add some variety to the villager's diets.  Also on Monday, I will begin teaching English to first and second graders at the primary school near my house.  At first I was apprehensive about this since I have never taught English before, but first and second grade should be fairly easy, and I think it will be a lot of fun!  Once the students get to secondary school, all of their courses are taught in English, and many of them fail since English is not adequately taught in primary school, so I feel this is a very important thing to do.  There are four students from my village that attend secondary school (the have to ride their bikes 12 miles every day round trip!), and I have begun to tutor them in English and other subjects.  Very few students have the opportunity to go to secondary school, because not only do they have to pass a very difficult examination (in English!), but their parents also have to pay fees.  So usually, only students with parents who have paying jobs get to go. 

Two opposing attitudes I have observed and experienced here have posed challenges to feeling completely comfortable and "blending in" with Tanzanians.  One attitude is that because I am white and come from America, some villagers seem to think that means I can do anything and have all the answers to their problems.  I feel a lot of undue respect from them, especially when I look around and see many of their answers to their problems (their poverty in particular) are all right here.  Several farmers already make compost and use contours and have fruit trees and beehives.  It's just that the information is not shared.  Some people seem to be saying that only if it comes from me, it will seem like the right thing to do.  How I will convince them that their knowledge is just as, if not more valuable, I do not know. The other attitude is apparent resentment of my material wealth.  I look around my little cottage of a house and think about how few things I have here compared to what I had or what most people have in the States!  But even what I have here is far more than most villagers can ever even hope to have.  This resentment is more blatant when I leave my village, and people shout out at me, begging for money, or when cocky young 20-something males strike up a conversation about the differences between the US and Tanzania, and ask "so why is it that you have a job and I don't?"  Jared Diamond offers an answer to these questions in the book Guns, Germs, and Steel (an excellent read, I highly recommend it), but how do you begin to explain his intricate and elaborate theory in a 10-minute conversation (and in broken Swahili and English)?  I'm not sure this question can ever be answered in a completely satisfying way for those of us who feel guilt, or for those of us who feel resentment, about the disparities in the world. But I'll continue to carry on, waging PEACE!