Mary E. Trimble: Hunting for Bush Pig

by Mary E. Trimble

Mr. Lopi, superintendent of the UN well digging project and Bruce’s counterpart, returned upriver to his home and workplace about a month after my husband Bruce started as Mechanical Advisor. Apparently Mr. Lopi had been working downriver for the last several weeks. Mr. Lopi had become a man of stature and had a job of importance and leadership, bringing water to areas desperate for this precious commodity. Mr. Lopi had two wives and seventeen children. Amazingly, his salary after working for his government for about twenty years was equal to the modest monthly living allowance we each received, a sum many single volunteers found inadequate.

I marveled that Gambians managed at all. Of course, most people where we lived didn’t pay rent, didn’t pay utilities because there weren’t any, didn’t have cars, and medical attention was paid by the government. Still, they needed clothing and what food they didn’t grow.

I found Mr. Lopi appealing. Tall, he had that amazing African male physique. My association with him was very different from Bruce’s. Although they managed a cordial relationship, Bruce was often frustrated and felt that Mr. Lopi based decisions on political advantage rather than public need. Bruce, totally uninterested in the politics of the project, just wanted to get the job done.

via Hunting for Bush Pig | Mary E. Trimble.

Joan Husby: A Long Fall on Mt. Pilchuck

by Joan Husby

Not too many people survive a fifteen-hundred-foot fall down a mountainside and live to tell about it. My friend and Granite Falls classmate Gary Weber is one of them.

Fifty years ago this winter, Mt. Pilchuck State Park put into operation its new Riblet Tramway Company’s double chair lift. It ran from just above today’s parking lot to the 4000-foot level of the mountain. A Herald newspaper story dated December 31, 1963 described how they tested the new machinery. They loaded containers holding 400 pounds of water on the chairs going uphill, then ran them all the way to the top of the lift. They tried out the regular and the auxiliary motors. They checked the brake system thoroughly. Then the testers climbed on and rode to the top and back. They pronounced the chair lift ready for business, starting the next day, January 1, 1964.

Gary and another classmate, Dick Larson, had been working for the Forest Service at Verlot, but in the winter they had the job of taking care of the road leading to Mt. Pilchuck State Park. He also worked at the park itself. He was there for the construction of the chair lift. One of the workers wrestled a machine on skidders, like a donkey engine, to where the top of the lift would be. He attached cables around the base of trees or to boulders and winched the big machine up the nearly vertical inclines. Once it was situated, he ran a cable down the mountain for hauling equipment to where it was needed.

via Sun Breaks: A Long Fall on Mt. Pilchuck.

Ginger Kauffman: Burundi On My Mind

A widow and her 2 children (and a crowd of friends) stand outside her home, which was built by funds provided by a donor.

by Ginger Kauffman

Two years ago just now I was on my way home from Burundi where I had spent two weeks with a team from Sister Connection, a ministry to widows and orphans* of that small central African country. We visited the homes of widows that had been built with funds provided by Sister Connection donors, assisted in a retreat for the widows and one for their kids, toured Mt Hope, visited a hospital and the Busoma Project (a feeding program for undernourished, and delivered quilts to the orphans that were donated by Quilts Beyond Borders. Please indulge me one more time as I share a few photos from that trip.

(*The word orphan is used for a child without a father in Burundi.)

To date, 1244 homes have been built for widows and their families, at a cost of $600 per home. And there are now 658 widow and orphan-led households that are connected to sponsors. For just $30 a month these funds provide food, seed to plant, clothing, routine medical care, school supplies and household necessities. Learn how you can be involved with Sister Connection!

via Three Minutes to Nine: Burundi On My Mind.

Mary E. Trimble Book Review: Sarah’s Key

by Mary E. Trimble

In 1942, Sarah, ten years old, was frightened when she and her parents were rounded up in the middle of the night by French police. Her younger brother, only four years old, refused to go and Sarah helped him hide in their secret hiding place, believing they’d only be gone for a short while and then return home.

A multi-layered, well-crafted novel, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay alternates between 1942 France and present day. The story evolves around the true events of the dark period in France’s history where thousands of Jewish families were rounded up and forcibly kept in the Velodrome d’Hiv, eventually taken to transit camps and finally packed off to Auschwitz.

Even before the roundup, Sarah realizes grim changes in her homeland. Jews are required to wear yellow stars on their clothing, even to school. They are no longer allowed in some stores and restaurants, places of business are closed, leaving many Jews without income. The year 1942 signaled dark times for Jews, but they had no idea of the horrors that awaited them.

via Book Review: Sarah’s Key | Mary E. Trimble.