Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

Medical Writing Institute click here

MJoTAtalks click here

Emerald Pademelon Press LLC click here

Peace Scientists click here

Dr Susanna loves the countries and the peoples of Africa

Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

Bookmark and Share
The vision of Wangari Maathai lives

Wangari Maathai's legacy. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2011 v5n1 p930

In Kenya, I remember water boiled and poured into insulated flasks and carried for later consumption. No sight of disposable plastic water bottles or sacks. I was told that was Wangari Maathai's doing; she would not permit her beloved Kenya to be trashed with plastic bottles. Trees planted, her doing. The beautiful open space that is Uhuru Park, she so objected to building an ugly massive development that the money folks pulled out.

I remember in Nigeria reading her book and weeping over the stories of relatives forcibly conscripted to fight European wars, and never any official word of their fates. I am fighting for the right of every African to be healthy and educated because lives of women like her and Florence Nightingale tell me I must.

I was searching for data about food and health on Sunday night late, when news started trickling from my Kenyan friends that Wangari Maathi had died overnight in what had been before Independence, the white man's hospital, Nairobi Hospital. I wrote the following:

Dr Wangari Maathai died. I am so very sad. She was a scientist and a heroine. So much she did. Hard to recall anyone who influenced health and wealth and the environment as much as she.

I met her son in June 2004, in the human resources office of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. A tall, good looking, confident young man who looked like an athlete. When his mother won her Nobel prize, he had to nip off to Stockholm, which was when I realized who he was. He spent a year working in a Biochemistry lab, and then, I hoped, launched into a spectacular career.

Most men and women slip in and out of lives and no-one notices; 100 years, 200 years from now, we will be talking about Wangari Maathai. Thank you for living. You did well.

Wangari Maathai has died. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2011 v5n1 p927

Wangari Maathai died, and the next day I headed to a beach to make sense of a superhero dying, a scientist who was a leader with a beautiful smile.

The sea holds all the answers and all the questions. I asked the sea what I needed to know, why Wangari lived, how she was able to summon the strength she had when everything in her personal and professional life was under attack.

The waves crashed and the seagull squawked and old men threw in fishing lines. The answers came from the sandpipers, who were 3, who repeatedly ran towards the crashing waves and dug in the sand for worms. The instant a wave crashed, they ran back to the shore ahead of it, and then when the energy from the water could not move the water anymore, the sandpipers ran back again, out towards the crashing waves. Again and again and again and again.

When I got back to my computer, I saw that Wanda had posted on my page a video of Wangari talking about a huge fire in the forest, and all the huge animals standing around ringing their hands, but the tiny hummingbird scooped up a drop of water and dumped it on the fire, returning again and again and again and again.

She said she was a hummingbird, but I know she was a sandpiper, because she was not alone. And I know she now is surrounded by a legion of angels, telling her she did well, she came to earth naked and left it filled with her vision and her love. Wangari Maathai will live for ever. We must always remember her.

Wangari Maathai's leadership. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2011 v5n1 p1001

Since I learned that Professor Wangari Maathai died, through posts on Facebook from Nairobi on Sep 25, 2011, I am sad that she is no longer around to fight battles.

But I know she left her lieutenants and captains, and hopefully, generals, and I know that her love of Kenya and the earth and her vision will live forever.

In my 6 years of living in African communities inside and outside Africa, I am always looking for the leaders who will make change. I am thinking how Professor Maathai disciplined and educated herself first. Her approach was to ask how she could be a servant to the earth and to future generations. She didn't run out and raise funds and demand loyalty and describe herself as the captain of the ship.

Oh no. A hummingbird, putting out a fire by dumping one drop of water at a time.