Sunday, January 21, 2007

following Darwin's footsteps

I leave Friday for the Galapagos Islands - which are 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador - and finally am getting excited about the trip. I'd been so consumed by my Discovery Channel project I didn't even have time to think about the "Encantadas" or bewitched islands as they once were called.

I am finished with the Discovery Channel project now (whew!) and my animal profiles will appear online sometime in mid-February at I wrote all the animal profiles for Deserts, Shallow Seas, Mountains, Seasonal Forests, and Jungles.

I also have an article on Kemp's ridley sea turtles coming out in Defenders Magazine in their Winter 2007 issue. I already have seen the print copy but it won't be online until Jan 29 or so, but since I'll be gone then I'll include the link and you can visit if you see this post-Jan 29! It will be at (as of right now it is still at Fall 2006).

So now I am going to watch a video on the islands and relax. Things are great, and I feel very blessed! Wishing all my friends and visitors peace and abundant joy! (LOL I originally wrote "abundant oy" - ha ha! :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Peru adventures

My latest magazine article features my tale of adventure in the Peruvian Amazon:
The Road Less Traveled
: Only intrepid explorers journey to the Amazon rain forest, but getting there and back is half the adventure.

"I’m jostling in a beat-up Landcruiser down the Manu Road. As we round a bend, a truck jam-packed with Peruvians is careening straight for us."

I went there in March with my best friend Daline and it's a great tale. I have photos Here. The magazine article published a few photos also. However be forewarned the Global Traveler online site will only let you read the first 2 of 3 pages, which is about 90% of the story anyway, but then you have to register for a free 30 day trial to read the rest. I plan on putting the article on my own site when i get done with this other project.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


As I've been working on my animal profiles for the Discovery Channel, and in the back of my mind thinking of how I can use my life to help the poor and wildlife and the environment, I asked my favorite listserv, Ecolog-L (ecology list), about any proven projects that both alleviate poverty and help wildlife or the environment. And I've gotten some great responses.

Through a series of links I came upon the concept of microlending, which I'd heard of before because if I recall correctly someone won a Nobel Prize for this concept recently. A professor in India, Muhammad Yunus, developed a concept of lending small amounts, $50-100, to the very poor. He was surprised that not only did the small amounts lift them out of poverty and let them become financially independent, they paid the money back. He since started the Grameen Bank (means "Village") that is not only profitable, it has lent out millions of dollars to impoverished people and Yunus has been the visionary behind thousands more institutes around the world that are following suit. Some 6,000 microlending institutions now exist, and this is just something I'm thinking very seriously about thinking how I can get involved in. It's a beautiful concept, and I would love to be able to invest in or donate to such an amazing project.

Here is an article at the Stanford University website on it from the 2004 Global Business and Global Poverty Conference conference.

Visionary Economist Muhammad Yunus Shares Microlending Success Stories

The other thing that has been on my heart is that I was thinking about - and I wrote this to a friend and I'll post it here - that I would love to come up with a way to create a program that would make women and children in refugee camps (which is what most of the refugees are) who have been raped and beaten and humiliated to smile again and laugh. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? I think of how, and I don’t know. I just know that when you can teach a wounded soul that they can smile again after all the horridness of humankind, then the good wins and the “evil” loses. So many people let the darkness take over, and they live their lives that way. I don’t know that I have any special talent for making people smile or laugh, but I would love to figure out a way.

Sometimes just very simple things can do so much.

Monday, January 01, 2007

new year's resolution

Last year my new year's resolution was to pursue this goal:

Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mk 12:30)

I can't imagine any other goal or resolution that could be any better, so as far as I am concerned that will be my resolution every year from here on out! Because we are also told that when you seek God, all else will be given unto you. So it's not about doing anything more or better or different, but simply resting and being in the place I am at, learning to love God more completely and truly, and letting that spill over into my life as I live it and those who share a part of my life.

So there you have it! It's been a busy couple weeks, working on this big project & I have to get back to it. Wishing true peace and joy in 2007 for all.

What I really wish is that we could eliminate the hatred and greed and selfishness around the world that leads to tragedies like war, bloodshed, rape, retaliation. And the resulting victims, the refugees and the poverty and disease. It has really gotten to me lately, and I've been praying how I can make a difference. It is just such a shame that our world has so much, and we apply our wealth so poorly because I know so many more problems could be solved with a bit of generosity and compassion. Nor am I here to solve all the world's problems, but those I feel called to help, I will try to.