Sunday, April 26, 2009

Worldview Expo 2009: Thundering Success!

Here's a tired but satisfied Jerome McDonnell setting up for the WBEZ Worldview Global Activism Expo at Northeastern University. The actual event (4/25/09) was, as they say: "Absolutely Fabulous!" Over 3000 people attended and learned about international peace & justice projects and met the activists featured on the Worldview Thursday series. The break-out session I led on "Sustainable Strategies for Greener Gardens" was one of the best audiences I'd ever had: diverse, engaged, knowledgeable and with a sense of humor. Throughout the Expo, many fascinating people interested in our Earthways/AFOPADI project stopped by our table. We hope to soon connect with their generous offers of assistance. It amazed me that people with skills and connections I hadn't imagined materialized out of the air...which later in the day spawned ferocious thunderstorms to remind us all of the power of nature!

Speaking of nature in general and landscapes in particular, Jerome said he was going to take a day off after the Expo to work in his garden. When we taped the 4/21/09 Worldview radio segment, we had discussed native plants, especially prairie grasses. So, yesterday, I asked him which ones he intended to plant. When you read this, I hope he'll be enjoying a much-deserved day of planting plugs of Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Julie's Guatemala Report on Worldview 21 April 2009

Haven't had your fill of Guatemala yet?

As part of their promo week prior to the 2nd Annual Global Activism Expo, Worldview asked me back to give a radio update on my recent trip to the Earthways/AFOPADI Reforesting & Organic Agriculture Project in Guatemala. Catch the Worldview interview this Tuesday, 21 April 2009, on WBEZ, 91.5 FM, at noon and again at 9 pm or on their podcast.

Above you can see me listening intently to a few community reps in one of the mountain villages which has newly partnered with Earthways/AFOPADI. Anybody want to donate funds to help facilitate the process of education/building/maintenance for 35 new corn storage silos???

Friday, April 10, 2009

WBEZ's Worldview: Global Activism Expo 2009

Saturday April 25th at Northeastern University. Free & Fabulous!

I am honored and thrilled to be included. Stop by our table or come hear me speak at a break-out session at 2:30 pm. The topic is, of course, the Earthways/AFOPADI Reforesting & Organic Agriculture in Guatemala. Learn more about growing plants in difficult situations. Introduce yourself...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guatemalan Flower Correction

Re: previous post: I meant to say "Hollyhock." (This photo also by Judette.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Art in a Guatemalan Village

I've just watched the light fade on my first tulips (orange, three days ago) as the snow falls. Typical Chicago in April.

We have so many ways of defining beauty. When I spoke on WBEZ's Worldview last August, I surprised myself by voicing a desire to work with art once basic needs are stabilized in the Guatemalan villages where Earthways helps support AFOPADI's work. But of course it's a matter of art existing in different forms. People have long recognized the artistry of the weavings. To bridge her shyness, I compared the woman's huipil with the color of her gladiolus. Below (Judette's photo), we got a demonstration of the intricate backstrap weaving process. Shortly afterwards, the weaver gave us samples of the natural shampoo (mostly aloe) she and 15 other woman have begun to manufacture. People did not use shampoo in the village before. This is one of the few successful micro-finance projects in the villages we visited. Another involves women who have learned how to slaughter their own pigs. Go local!