PLACID,




PLACIDíS RESPONSE TO FUNDING TO HELP LUHOMBERO / MARCH 2017

With this support from Canada, I feel to be strongly energized. It gives a lot of meaning only to me but rather to the many.

I feel as if on my head there were very heavy stones and now they get drop down leaving me with light wait [weight].

With this budget, I am now going to start the rehabilitation project fully.

There is a certain nurse, known as Kibiriti, who has worked at the Mama Doctor clinic at Mahenge. She is important to know because this nurse can get the medication for the recovering patients.

I have communicated with Kibiriti in a very effective way so there is no more worry on how I will get drugs from the Mama Doctor clinic. I will get the drugs and put them here at St. Peter Claver Dispensary in Luhombero so that the doctor and nurses can take care of them.

With this support I am going to start with three workers, namely Digna, Paul Nkano and Kilimo. I hope to begin with not less than 8 acres or 10 acres. Irrigation takes the first priority. I have a vision to realize in that. This will make Digna and others to be here at Luhombero as soon as possible. I will handle all these matters as I will be here with them always.

What is important for them is their medication. With the doctor and nurses here at Luhombero, things will be under control. I have the connection with the doctors at Mama Doctor clinic there at Mahenge so the constant supply of medication is assured.

For now I have managed to mobilize people at one of my outstations to plant cash nut trees. It has become very effective. It is about 250 trees which takes not less than 13 acres. This crop has a great demand in Tanzania and even outside Tanzania. Seedlings are provided free by the government. I took the seedlings with my motorcycle to the site. I am very happy to start this. It is a three-year program after which I expect to start harvesting.

The arrival of a tractor would of course be a great impact but I realize that is not possible. Perhaps someday.

I do not have equivalent words to express myself. It is very movelous [marvelous]. As long as you work and strive for the lowly and disadvantaged people, miraculously you will be awarded abundantly and joyously.

- Father Placid, Luhombero, Tanzania



Anne draft



Hi Darlin':

Chilly, clammy, damp morning but HEY! there is blue showing in the sky. Patches of blue surrounded by whitish cloud, and, so far, no sign of gray, dark gray, or threatening-black and the sea gulls aren't winging inland. That's a sure sign Big Gert is about to have herself a display, the gulls race away from the chuck, follow the river up into the protection of the bush.

Poor gulls are unaware their protection is on the firing line. Western Forest Products has plans to clearcut, and that's bad news for all of us, especially for the old growth.

I think we all know I'm not university educated, I'm not a forester, nor am I an economist, so I probably can't see what they will insist on calling "the whole picture". But, from my pinnacle of uneducated misinformation it seems stupid to hack down the last stands of old growth. Those grandmothers have been here for years, probably about the time Christopher Columbus hawked the queen's jewels. They have survived everything Big Gert and the elder goddesses of weather have chucked at them, and they could probably continue to live and grow for centuries more if we just left them alone.

Reforestation is the big buzz we hear from the provincial government and from the forestry corporations. As I remember it they've even said they'll plant two baby trees for every adult they fall. Well, we're waiting to see that happen, but if you're going to plant seedlings, it only makes sense to grow those seedlings from the seeds of the best adults you can find. That would be the grandmothers, the old growth. They're worth far more as a source of seed than they will be as bleeding stumps.

But, hey, what would I know, eh? After all, it doesn't really matter if the elk , deer, wolves, bears, martens, mink, and who even knows how many other life forms are made homeless, even killed. It doesn't really matter if the mycelium is destroyed. None of that is going to show up in the profit and loss columns. Who cares if the sea gulls have no place to go to find protection from storms.

We stopped Western Forest Products in 2013 , but they're back. Determined little suckers! Most of the guys they employ are from some place else, I don't think there are many people from Tahsis employed by them. But the mantra has sounded, jobs, jobs, jobs, it's all about jobs. There were some well paying jobs as lamplighters in the days before electricity, but they're gone now. There were jobs slaughtering buffalo but they're gone, as are the mule skinners who took 20-mule teams hauling freight wagons across the prairies. There were jobs as guards at Dachau and Bergen-Belsen and we aren't mourning the loss of those jobs! Jobs come and jobs go, the worker adapts and re-trains. But when those grandmothers are gone, they are gone.

And we are the poorer for their loss.

The reno/repair on my sardine can continues. When I bought this little bit of backfill I thought I had done my due diligence. Just goes to show what "thought" gets you. Here we are, fifteen years later and Big Gertrude Hanson's hissy fits and the composting of the hog fuel on which this thing is perched have brought us to the point we're now cowering. I understand how Ozymandius must have felt. I have cold feet because of holes in the floor, but they'll be re-covered as soon as the dry rot is removed.

No, I won't bore you with the litany of wah wah. One day it will happen to you, and then you'll know first-hand. Poor sod ye be.

My good friend of fifteen years, Skinny Minnie Ambereyes, mutt extraordinaire, has gone where all good dogs go. I am devastated. Didn't think it would hit me this hard, but damn, this place is empty. My not-quite-but-almost son Gareth and his partner Melinda came up from Victoria for a visit, they slept at my daughters' place because of the reno insanity here but came over at dawn-crack daily and the instruments stayed here. Gareth can play more instruments than I can name, he has a band which plays at a pub in Victoria, the band is Black Angus and I'm not sure but I think the pub is the Irish Times or something suitably Celtic. Anyway, we had music all day and evening, right up until bedtime. The night before they left we were all in the living room and Gareth was talking with my daughter. Min got up, walked over to him, and howled. (We called it singing). So Gareth struck a few chords and Min sang some more. Then she came over to stand in front of me and do her tippety-tappety with her front feet. I got up and Min and I danced, Gareth played, others clapped, and then the other dogs got into the fun of it. MerryMary the pug, Carbon the Schipperke, and even ancient Lox, the poodly-mix were cavorting. Lox stood on his back legs and pawed the air with his front feet, turned in a partial circle and yipped.

Sadly we did not have a video camera but I have it safely stored in my memory-bank. Such absolute nutsiness, such fun!

And mere days later she was gone. She's out behind the lilac bush, next to her buddy Smiley D. Guy, Pug-meister. But I like to think she's somewhere there is music, and she is singing and dancing and not wearing a collar.

The pussywillows have gone from silver to gold as they make pollen. Some of it drifts down onto the graves behind the lilac bush, that seems comforting. I have some primroses and crocus daring to defy this on-going misery of a winter. I don't know what we did to deserve this past winter, but I'm sorry we did it and I promise I'll try not to do it again in future. This has been bitter!

Ah, but we're back on Daylight saving so Spring must be ready to show herself. I don't understand "spring forward, fall back" , I don't see the point of it, it's still just one day at a time, nothing is extended, we don't get another day of life for every year we've been here. But, hey, there is so much going on and I don't see the point of much of it, either. Site C, I don't see the point of that. Clear cutting old growth, that's pointless and stupid and..

I think I should put my soap box away for this morning, I'm starting to go in circles. Not much point in that, either!