Saturday, September 30, 2006

UN Peace Day in Griffith Park

Reporting here on the peace rally at Griffith Park. It was quite small despite the big hopes and visions, but a good thing nonetheless. I was going through what I assume is a replica of Dr. Jane Goodall's tent where she lived for decades in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, looking at the old typwriter, her diary, vintage camera and the like wondering what it would be like to write while being bug bit from a lack of screens surrounded by the smell of damp rotting canvas, when I walked out the back and there she was standing beside the tent. It was a little unnerving. I just didn't expect it at that point. I smiled at her and she back then folks began to swarm around her with a neverending request for group pictures. Typical celebrity stuff that some movie extras do for their scrapbooks but I never took to this sort of photo stalking.

I intended to say something about being a biologist myself but never got the chance despite my close proximity. Her environmental education program looks impressive worldwide. I don't how they will stop all wars, but she's got some good ideas. This is a one woman who has made a difference and continues to. Most biologists work in obscurity, but her project and the fame of the Leakeys has propelled her into mega-stardom. Might as well make hay with it. The Gombe chimps are being slaughtered for meat to give you some idea of how slim things are in that part of Africa.

Celebrities attending were topped by Daryl Hannah and Julia Butterfly Hill of tree sitting fame. Her book was published and mine, well, wasn't. Nothing like a girl up a tree to gain attention. That's what it takes.

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