Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day #352 -- 3 million trees

Krista Tippett, a public radio host, interviewed Wangari Maathai in 2006, and I was fortunate to have heard a rebroadcast two years ago. In introducing the program, which Tippett called Planting the Future, Tippett said:

She is a biologist by training, in her late 60s, with flashing black eyes and a presence that fills the room. Wangari Maathai received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Sitting across from her, it is not hard to imagine that this woman stood up to a dictator and won, and that she's fought off encroaching desert by planting 30 million trees. Wangari Maathai knows what many in the West have forgotten: that ecological crises are often the hidden root cause of war.

. . . For a quarter-century, she battled powerful economic forces and Kenya's tyrannical ruler, Daniel arap Moi. She was beaten and imprisoned, but her Green Belt Movement has now spread to 600 communities and into 20 countries. "The Earth was naked," Wangari Maathai has said. "For me, the mission was to try to cover it with green."

Caption:Wangari Maathai of Kenya holds her Nobel Peace Prize in the Oslo City Hall, Norway, on Dec. 10, 2004. The first African woman recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize has died after a long battle with cancer, it was announced Monday. (Bjorn Sigurdson, Pool/Associated Press)

Wangari Maathai died earlier this week at the age of only 71, and a Nairobi twitter post about her death said, “No wonder the sun is not shining today.” That’s quite an epitaph.

At the fair last week, I had a lot of children ask me what happened to honey bees when they died. The sun keeps on shining when a bee dies, but—in their small way—every bee in a hive counts. Those 30,000,000 trees that Wangaari’s force of women planted, most likely depend on bees for pollination. Those trees will grow stronger and healthier, not only because of Wangari Maathai, but also because of bees.

BEEattitude for Day # 352:
       Blessed are those who find something in life to be passionate about, for their enthusiasm shall enrich their lives and those of others.

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AggiePete said...

Wonderful story - the spider one upset me though about the little fuzzie being a spider meal. God bless it .....

Fran Stewart said...

Yes, Petie. I agree. It seemed right to put such an uplifting story as this one about Wangari Maathai to balance the dead-bee story.

The spider's still there, this time with three little coccoons hanging, waiting her attention. But they're all much smaller than the bee cocoon was, so I'm assuming another type of dead bug...

AggiePete said...

Well good - I don't begrudge any living thing having to eat to survive but the little fuzzies work so very hard ... just soft hearted me feeling for them. I'll certainly miss the 'tales of the little fuzzies'. Hugs!

Fran Stewart said...

Don't worry/// There are still plenty of tales to be told.

AggiePete said...

And no one, dear Fran, tells them like you! Thank you for endless hours of reading enjoyment - it means alot.

Fran Stewart said...

As your comments mean so much to me. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing for only two or three people (the ones--you and Cathy) who leave the most comments.

My reader's statistics tell me that's wrong, but I so enjoy the feedback.

Of course, when I ask a bee joke, I always get a lot more comments, but most of them come as direct email to me.

AggiePete said...

You know, some people are 'readers'; others enjoy writing and 'visiting' with you as if you were right here with us. Keep on keepin' on with what you do!
Will be doing the Race for the Cure here in Houston tomorrow (17 years 'well' April 1st) so looking forward to the cool morning walk/run.

Fran Stewart said...

17 years, Petie? Congratulations!