I like global projects that leave everyone surprised and a little more open-hearted.
Today my neighbor was telling me about a time when he was a young man in Vietnam and talking to a farmer in a remote place. The guy wasn’t at all astonished when my neighbor hold him that Americans would soon land on the moon. Of course Americans would do that. He wasn’t fazed when my neighbor told him that when he returned home to Oregon, he was going to buy a car. But, my neighbor said, “when I told him that in America we wash our cars with drinking water, he leaped back in disbelief and shock.”
I like projects that illustrate community power–what happens when people put their skills and assets together to see what can be created.
I’ve helped raise money for school building and library planting in Ethiopia. The 2016 Maji trip will be different. I don’t yet know quite what it will look like. I do know that I’m drawn to a project of apple trees planted in the dream that some day apples can be sold to create, oh, a kindergarten, perhaps.
In my Portland neighborhood, the Woodlawn Triangle, we have a Facebook page called Foodlawn where people can arrange to trade food–last summer, for example, I traded tomatoes for duck eggs. I also got to know a young neighbor who had a large sunny yard and neither time nor knowledge to grow vegetables. She and one of my sisters and I created a community vegetable garden with only three participants–not me, myself and I, but close.
In my own backyard, I’m creating wildlife habitat. I don’t really have either the sun or the flat spaces for edibles except in pots.
But three of us in the Woodlawn neighborhood putting what we have together = some new astonishment each time I got there. This morning, for example…