Do you believe people are inherently (they’re born that way) good? or bad? I’d like to think we’re good and want to help each other. Visit these sites to learn about some international projects that make the world a better, safer place.
HERO RATS! Rats (big ones, but they’re friendly) are trained to sniff land mines in areas of Africa where wars have ended but the mines still remain. Children are often the victims, losing limbs while they’re only trying to gather firewood to heat their homes. Nope, no central heating and air conditioning in those areas! I’ve “adopted” Allen to help pay for his training. Go to apopo.org http://www.apopo.org/newsite/content/index.htm See below (very bottom of this page) for my latest update from Allen, ‘my’ rat.
www.roomtoread.org . A former Microsoft executive, while traveling, discovered he would rather devote time to helping put books in the hands of children. Building libraries in developing (“poor”) countries is what this is about.
www.playpumps.org . We are blessed with plenty of water, for drinking, bathing, swimming, not to mention for helping us take medicine pills. All we do is turn a faucet. Very likely you are aware that there are places in the world where people (mostly women or children) walk a long way with buckets and pails to get water from a well. Playpumps is an ingenious idea: Instead of just a pump that requires the person to yank on its handle, this organization builds merry-go-rounds that spin and act as the pump!! Isn’t that the neatest idea ever?? Take a look at the website and pictures to see it for yourself.
http://kiva.org Former President Bill Clinton even mentioned this in his recent speech at NCSU. It is an on-line organization that allows you to make a personal LOAN (not a donation) to a specific cause or project. These groups/people need money – they already have the materials ready to purchase. Repayment is made so your money can be used to help other people the next time! Lots of neat things to read about – visit kiva!
Allan’s Milestone: Update from your HeroRAT!
(a cute picture of Allen was here but didn’t come through)
How have you been? Hope all is going well in your corner of the world. Here in Tanzania the weather has been cool and nice. I’m enjoying myself immensely with time to play between all my hard work!
My trainers and I are embarking on some great experiments! We are working on some exciting things for the further development of HeroRat programs! The most interesting thing we are doing is trying to study the effect of water on our ability to sniff out landmines! To do this we have been smelling samples with water that a landmine has soaked in for 4 months, and guess what?! It’s a success! My trainers are very proud that I am capable of detecting such trace amounts of TNT!
This is such good news for our hardworking rats in Mozambique who are clearing mines everyday. It proves we have such great noses that we can smell out landmines even in wet conditions, or where water has washed away a lot of the dirt. This information will help us know exactly what conditions we detect best in, and when conditions are not optimal, which conditions we can still manage to detect through. I am a lucky rat to have such a great nose and such interesting work to do!
Of course, none of this would be possible without your help! Thank you for making so many interesting discoveries possible!
Love and whiskers,