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LETTERS for May 30 issue

May 30, 2013
Lahaina News

Resident to go on bee safari

On June 12, 2013, I arrive in Kenya for a 21-day "Bees on Safari" with Prince Sam Bananah, the "Prince of Bees," where he will give bee seminars on sustainable bee farming. We begin with five days in Gilgil, where Wana Duma Children's Project (with Sam's guidance) is building the sustainable orphanage on land given to them by the chief. Using apiculture as part of permaculture, and bio-gas technology using cow dung for fuel, our intent is to provide sustainable orphanages and sustainable habitats for wildlife corridors.

A few months ago, Sam attended a very important permaculture school with the University of Wisconsin Sustainability Project. The Cheetah Alliance sponsored Sam to attend, and he has now become the teacher. In Kirinyaga, Kenya on June 18-20, Sam will be teaching students from the University of Wisconsin as he installs a beehive at a local organic coffee farm.

From Kirinyaga, we will drive to Nairobi, then fly to the Masai Mara. Susan of Wana Duma Children's Project will be my companion and guide - she speaks seven dialects - as we connect with the Masai people about sustainable villages among the best game viewing preserve in Africa. These animals are among the last of their kind in the wild. Fences are being built to keep them from being slaughtered by the Chinese for their medicine and other poachers. They will soon no longer be free to hunt and kill their own food... or migrate with the season.

From the Mara we fly to Samburu, where we will be staying at Intrepids Lodge. Shivani, founder of the Ewaso Lion Project and a great friend, has helped to connect us with Lodge Manager Richard Yoga and village leader Alex. Sam and Alex have already been in contact to arrange installing a working bee hive in the village prior to our arrival. The Prince of Bees will then give the village a talk on bee farming. Then it's back to Wana Duma for a few days, then back to the states.

My intention is to film the unfolding of this groundbreaking project, bring back iMovies showing sustainable bee farming practices and to bring to light the alarming danger our own bees are in at home. But more importantly, for the people in Africa to rebuild a sustainable future for their children and the children who have no parents due to AIDS. In a recent finding by Washington Medical University, bee venom is now known to kill the AIDS virus. It will take ten years for the AMA to begin testing on humans. They don't have that long. We will soon be collecting bee venom.

In addition to this stunning bee curriculum, we are working to get Emmanuel Mbasha from Selous Preserve in Tanzania, where he works as an assistant game warden, to the Kirinyaga seminar. He has asked Selous to sponsor him, and although they have given permission for him to have the leave, finances are not good enough to send Emmanuel to the mountain. So it is up to us to get him there.

Member Amanda Jones, my companion on the 2011 Soul Safari, has completed her study and will soon be a registered nurse in the State of Hawaii. She is also wishing to be a part of Bees on Safari, so she can take her knowledge back to the kids and cu-cus and begin her dream of bringing nursing students to Kenya to share their knowledge and get the education that is not found in a textbook.

The Wana Duma Children's Project has created an Education Fund for these types of donations. Simply go to www.wanaduma.org and hit the donate button to give whatever you wish to help our own Cheetah Alliance members, Amanda Jones and Emmanuel Mbasha, and get a head start at bringing the Bees on Safari over the border into Selous, the largest remaining animal reserve in the world.

And please hurry... they don't have that long.

BONNIE NELSON, Lahaina

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Mahalo from Hospice Maui

On behalf of Hospice Maui, I would like to extend a warm mahalo to everyone who participated in the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, including our sponsor, Bank of Hawaii. A special note of recognition goes out to Maui's youngest philanthropists, the Girls Rock for Charity Walk group - 12 girls ages 8-11 from Kihei who participated in the "Sleepover for a Cause," followed by the charity walk.

These 12 young girls arrived at their friend Coral's home with their sleeping bags under their arms and charity walk sponsorship forms in their hands. In order to qualify for the sleepover (that included dinner, a movie and popcorn), the girls needed to raise a minimum of $35 from their neighborhoods for Hospice Maui. Together, they raised 1,389! The top fundraiser in the group was ten-year-old Chloe LoGrande from Kihei, who raised an impressive $739.

Despite their very busy schedules full of soccer practice, dance classes, music lessons and homework, these girls made the time to fundraise for Hospice Maui. And on Saturday, May 11, they willingly rose at 5:30 a.m. and gave up a Saturday morning to walk 5K.

During the walk, in between discussion about favorite movies and music, I was surprised by the very direct and specific questions about hospice care that would pop into their minds. These young girls were not yet programmed to fear open discussions about end-of-life care. They are at an age where these conversations are not sad, but rather matter-of-fact.

As we walked and talked and I answered their questions, one ten-year-old summed up our discussion best: "So you take the pain out of the really sick people and make them not so scared about dying?" I smiled at the simplicity and accuracy of her statement, and said, "Yes, that's exactly what Hospice Maui tries to do."

Thank you to everyone who generously sponsored these girls as they walked door to door fundraising and learning about giving back to our community.

KIMBER CARHART, Development Director, Hospice Maui

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Past administrations have harassed organizations

The uproar over the IRS' targeting of conservative groups seems to be the flip side of earlier administrations, when groups like Greenpeace, the NAACP and PETA were the agency's favorite targets.

PETA has undergone three expensive and unjust IRS audits, including a 20-month audit during the George W. Bush administration. Each, as verified from Freedom of Information Act materials and as admitted by IRS agents, resulted from the agency bowing to pressure from members of Congress doing the bidding of the meat, research and other industries who were exposed for violating cruelty-to-animals laws through PETA's investigations.

PETA came through each IRS audit with a clean bill of health, but it's a sad day for freedom when social-change advocates are subjected to industry-inspired Congressional inquiries, police surveillance worthy of the East German Stasi, and "homeland security" harassment at airports (for years, I could not reenter the U.S. without being escorted into a back room, having my bags rummaged through, and being held, sometimes for hours).

With ever more repressive laws being proposed - such as "ag-gag" bills designed to prevent undercover investigations on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, and bills to prevent "interference" with or new regulations regarding hunting and fishing - anyone who gives a hoot about what this nation once stood for should vigorously object to this new version of "America: Love It or Leave It." Visit www.PETA.org to learn more.

INGRID E. NEWKIRK, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

 
 
 

 

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