Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Just heard from my friend Mary W, who was at Gray's Papaya in New York trying to scrounge enough change for a hot dog. She only had $0.75 and the hot dogs were $1.25.

Suddenly a homeless man came and asked her for some change. She replied that she was looking for some herself. "What do you need?" he asked. "Well, I'm 50 cents short of a hot dog," she replied. "Here," he said, and gave her two quarters.

Mary offered to split the hot dog with him, but he refused, saying, "you should eat it." "No, you should eat it," she said. "You look like you need it," he responded. And she gave in and ate the hot dog.


Sort of a Manu Chao meets Manu Dibango...

Chao and Dibango

For those of you who didn't get the previous reference:
Manu Chao

Manu Dibango

Friday, July 27, 2007

Response to RPCV Gabon Letter

July 9, 2007

Dear Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Gabon:

I appreciate your concern and support for the Peace Corps and for former Peace Corps Tanzania Country Director Christine Djondo, who departed Tanzania after U.S. Ambassador Michael Retzer exercised his authority as chief of mission and withdrew her country clearance, effective June 8, 2007.

Ms Djondo is a highly respected Peace Corps staff member who did an outstanding job of leading the Peace Corps program in Tanzania. Prior to her tenure in Tanzania, she exhibited similarly fine leadership qualities while serving as country director in Lesotho and Gabon.

Although we remain disappointed with the Ambassador's decision, we are delighted to have Ms. Djondo on our headquarters staff serving as the Special Assistant to the Regional Director for Africa. In that capacity, she is the focal point for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the Africa Region. The PEPFAR program model that was unveiled under Ms. Djondo's leadership and guidance in Tanzania is being replicated in other Peace Corps countries in Africa, and she is uniquely qualified for coordinating that effort.

Ms. Djondo has always been held in high regard by the Peace Corps for her leadership and management skills, and we are extremely confident that she will continue to provide outstanding service to the agency in her new capacity.

In your letter, you request an investigation into Ambassador Retzer's decision regarding Ms. Djondo. I can assure you that all necessary actions with the appropriate parties have been taken with respect to this case, and the Peace Corps in confident that the full integrity and independence of the agency has been reaffirmed. By way of example, I would cite the recent cable by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to chiefs of mission reaffirming the basic principles that govern the relationship between Peace Corps posts and U.S. missions abroad.

It may also interest you to know that former Congressman Mark Green has been nominated as the next U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania. The Peace Corps fully supports his expeditious confirmation, and we are looking forward to working with him.

Again, thank you for your support of Ms. Djondo and the Peace Corps, and for your service to the people of Gabon.


Ron Tschetter
Director, Peace Corps

Plumeria Update



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raiatea and IZ

Amazing Fruit

I've got the exotic fruit poster hanging over my kitchen sink...the diversity of life on this planet is simply marvelous... Click on the image above and zoom in. You'll learn a lot!

...to order, see here or localharvest.org

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Africa Time

This is a great website for current news broadcasts from the African continent.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bag, Borrow or Steal

I don't mean for this to be an ad, but I can't believe this is for real.
It's like the Netflix for handbags!
What will they think of next?
(I like how "steal" is part of their name...I wonder if they'd really go for that option?)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reverend Billy Update

On my summer reading list...

Fabulous Prayers in the Face of the Shopocalypse


Now children, we are all Shopping Sinners. Each of us is walking around in a swirl of gas and oil, plastics and foil. We should all hit our knees and weep and confess together. We are not evil people, but somehow we have allowed the Lords of Consumption to organize us into these mobs that buy and dispose, cry and reload. Yes, the Rapture of the Final Consumption, the Shopture, is underway.

Learn more at revbilly.com and read my article about the amazing preacher/performer/activist here.


The Bruyas are really a creative bunch. My cousin Rachel has developed a non-profit that provides free mustaches to those who are less fortunate than those who have mustaches. For more information, or to get a mustache for yourself, see here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Special K

Isn't she gorgeous?
Kristen Bruya has been a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2006. A native of Missoula, MT, Bruya attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Michigan (BM), University of Cincinnati, and most recently Rice University (MM). From 2000-2004 Bruya was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fl under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She has performed with the Houston, San Antonio, and Columbus Symphonies. Kristen has participated in the summer music festivals of Verbier Switzerland, Tanglewood, Aspen, Spoleto USA, and Music Academy of the West.

Congo Forest Jam


Global gasoline prices vary so widely that it costs just $1.45 to fill a 2007 Honda Civic in Venezuela, $31.42 in the U.S., $81.44 in Britain, and $93.98 in Turkey.

Source: The Week, July 13, 2007


"The urge to save humanity
is almost always
a false front for those
who want to rule it."
-H.L. Mencken, quoted in the Toronto National Post

More of The Other Africa

A little long, a little redundant, but some great images of the Africa we don't see on TV.

A Dream Job

JERUSALEM—Overwhelmed by a constant deluge of prayers and appeals for salvation, Jesus Christ announced Monday the hiring of Tacoma, WA, customer-service supervisor Dean Smoler as Associate Christ. Read the full report here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Just Another Day...

...in Montana!
(Mountain Goat Welcoming Committee, Rock Creek Road)