January 2, 2003 - Whistler Question: Kenya RPCV Jim Owens leads treks across Africa

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: 01 January 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: January 2, 2003 - Whistler Question: Kenya RPCV Jim Owens leads treks across Africa

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, January 04, 2003 - 4:34 pm: Edit Post

Kenya RPCV Jim Owens leads treks across Africa

Read and comment on this story from the Whistler Question about Kenya RPCV Jim Owens who leads treks across Africa. Starting June 15, 2003, on the island of Zanzibar, his expedition will board an Arab Dhow (boat) for the coast of Tanzania. There, they'll start a two-month, 1,200-kilometre (745-mile) trek, on foot, to the shores of Lake Victoria, following in the footsteps of American reporter Henry Morton Stanley who, upon meeting Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone on Nov. 10, 1871, uttered his famous greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Read the story at:

Couple plans arduous African trek *

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Couple plans arduous African trek
By David Burke Reporter

It started out innocently enough. On Christmas 2001, Don Wensley's gift to his wife Gail was a trip for two to Africa, a continent neither had visited in their fairly extensive travels.

Last March, however, while conducting research to find just the right sort of trip for the 19-year Whistlerites, Gail Wensley came across a small article in the Province newspaper's travel section that caught her fancy.

The article described a trip that's hardly the white-linen safari many couples in their 60s envision taking on what's often called the Lost Continent.

Hardly, indeed. Starting June 15, 2003, on the island of Zanzibar, the Wensleys and six Americans will board an Arab Dhow (boat) for the coast of Tanzania. There, they'll start a two-month, 1,200-kilometre (745-mile) trek, on foot, to the shores of Lake Victoria, following in the footsteps of American reporter Henry Morton Stanley who, upon meeting Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone on Nov. 10, 1871, uttered his famous greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

From there — God willing — they'll be transported by truck through Kenya to Uganda to the headwaters of the fabled Nile River.

The trek on foot, though supported, is being billed as the antithesis of a walk in the park. Led by American Jim Owens on his sixth such trek, the 12-member team will include a Tanzanian physician and two fully armed wildlife officers who will serve as guide/interpreters/protectors of those described by the Wensleys as the "greenhorns" making the trek.

The newcomers will be required to carry some of their own supplies and dig their own latrines every night — and that's in addition to dealing with the physical demands that heat, disease and exhaustion which travel in equatorial Africa can throw at them.

The extensive materials supplied by Owens and his team includes everything one might wish to know about foot maintenance — blisters are seen as the thing most likely to cause discomfort and/or require medical attention — to the types of poisonous snakes an d disease-carrying insects the trekkers may encounter, as well as how to treat the illnesses that may ensue.

Dysentery and malaria are seen as the two major water/food- and insect-borne diseases to be avoided.

"We've been told this is not a trek that you will fail because you are physically weak," Don Wensley, who will be 67 when the trek gets underway, said during an interview at the offices of the Wensleys' place of employment, Whistler Real Estate Co. "You'll fail because you're not mentally strong.

"I think we're both physically capable of making the trip. We'll see if we're mentally strong enough."

Just in case, Gail Wensley has hired a personal trainer to help whip her into good enough condition to make a successful trek.

"You don't want to write the things I've been doing to get ready," Gail Wensley said with a laugh.

Preparations also include a bit of required reading — Alan Moorehead's White Nile, about the adventures/misadventures of explorers such as Stanley, Livingsto ne, Richard Burton and John Speke, et all, in their quest to find the source of the Nile.

The couple's preparations for the journey have become almost all-consuming for Gail Wensley. Don Wensley said the history, geography and mythology of the Europeans' quest for the Nile's source have become a passion, especially for Gail.

"Because we've never been to Africa, there's a real mystique about Africa for us," Don said.

The trek has a humanaritian side as well. Gail Wensley said it's likely that some of the children in the villages through which they will travel will never before have seen a white person.

The team will help distribute humanitarian aid — food, medical supplies, educational materials, etc. — to many villages, some of which, for much of the year, are connected only by footpath to the outside world.

Owens, a former Peace Corps worker and teacher in Kenya, also has thought a great deal about team dynamics. For his treks, he seeks out people he feels are likely to be non-confrontat ional and upbeat, even under the harshest conditions, the Wensleys said.

Would-be trekkers must go through an interview with a team psychologist before being accepted.

"They want people who will contribute humour and personality and comradeship that will be beneficial to the group," Don Wensley said.

Said Gail, "We've been told that anyone who causes a problem will be trucked to the nearest train station for exit, so it's a very disciplined sort of trek."

Added Don, with a laugh, "You might make a note that Gail and I are taking separate tents so we don't kill each other."

Gail Wensley is looking for used mirrored women's make-up compacts, without the make-up, to distribute to the village children, many of whom might never have seen their own image.

She's also looking for someone who can help her brush up on her knowledge of Swahili.

To reach her, e-mail to gail@wrec.com or phone (604) 932-5581.
More about the Expedition

Read more about this story at:

Expedition To Distribute 20,000 Moringa Tree Seeds In Tanzania

Expedition To Distribute 20,000 Moringa Tree Seeds In Tanzania
Church World Service Among Sponsors of Outreach Along “Burton & Speke” Route

“Go out of your way a little to make a difference, and big things happen.” That is the counsel of Henry L. Rigali, a member of Second Congregational Church in Palmer, Mass., who has done just that.

Mr. Rigali’s curiosity about something he read in a Sunday church bulletin insert in April is about to bear fruit – literally – in Tanzania, along the most famous route in 19th century western exploration of Africa, the 1,000-mile trail blazed by Sir Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke in 1857.

A dozen hikers – Mr. Rigali and renowned expedition leader Jim Owens among them – will meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 1. Over the next three months, their expedition will retrace the steps of Burton and Speke’s attempt to solve “mankind’s last great geographic riddle” – locating the source of the Nile. The expedition has required several years of planning and is believed to be the first effort in history to retrace the original Buron & Speke path on foot.

Along the way, the expedition will distribute 20,000 Moringa tree seeds, along with instructions for planting, harvesting and using the tasty, highly nutritious leaves, pods and flowers of this indigenous resource against malnutrition. “We don’t expect every seed to grow,” said Mr. Rigali, “but we will distribute enough seeds to plant 100 orchards of 100 moringa trees each. That’s 10,000 trees spread across 1000 miles of rural East Africa, in places where people need it the most.”

All because Mr. Rigali, in church on April 2, noticed the “One Great Hour of Sharing” insert described Church World Service’s work to expand cultivation of the Moringa Oleifera tree.

CWS documented the tree’s dramatic effectiveness against malnutrition, especially among infants, children and mothers, in a 1997-99 pilot project conducted in clinics across southwestern Senegal, where the Moringa tree grows wild. As a result, Senegal’s government is promoting Moringa as part of the national diet.

Church World Service, the humanitarian ministry of the (U.S.) National Council of Churches, and its Senegalese partner AGADA now are expanding Moringa cultivation across Senegal, to other West African countries and beyond. There is no doubt that the tree will grow well in Tanzania. In fact, the 20,000 seeds are being supplied by Optima Ltd., a company based in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Optima has Moringa plantations in Tanzania and has the goal of developing significant Moringa growth by 2006 on farms, large and small, in Tanzania,” Mr. Rigali reported. “What they are lacking is the ability to get the plant into the rural and remote areas of Tanzania. We’ll walk 1,000 miles through rural and remote areas. It’s a nice complement to what they are doing.”

Back to April 2, 2000. Mr. Rigali took the bulletin insert home, logged onto the World Wide Web and did a keyword search for information about the Moringa tree. The more he learned about this scruffy looking, fast growing tree the more he liked it – especially the fact that it is in full leaf at the end of the dry season, precisely when other foods are the scarcest.

Moringa leaf powder conserves well and is easy to use in porridge, biscuits, sauces served over rice or couscous and other recipes. Mr. Rigali said he also was intrigued that Moringa leaf powder helps purify contaminated water by settling the particulate matter.

Mr. Rigali – an attorney and avid outdoorsman who first met Jim Owens on a 1998 hike along the Appalachian Trail and agreed to provide legal counsel for the upcoming Burton & Speke Expedition – started to explore whether the expedition might distribute Moringa tree seeds to villages along its 1,000-mile route.

He asked his pastor, the Rev. Jeff Erb, a long-time supporter of Church World Service and of CROPWALKS which raise funds to fight hunger worldwide, to get more information from Church World Service.

Pastor Erb called William E. Wildey of the CWS/CROP Office in Ludlow, Mass., who made the connection with CWS/CROP’s main office in Elkhart, Ind., and in turn with Lowell Fuglie, CWS West Africa Director, who supplied information about planting, harvesting and using Moringa products and pointed the way to Optima Ltd. for the seeds.

“This walk across Tanzania is helping plant thousands of Moringa trees, which will produce food for generations to come,” commented Mr. Wildey of CWS/CROP. “The thousands of Americans who walk in CROPWALKS every year also are helping plant Moringa trees and other seeds of hope through their fund-raising efforts.”

The Moringa seed component of the Burton & Speke Expedition has led to Church World Service signing on as an expedition co-sponsor and has enlisted many other partners along the way. Partners include Boy Scout Troop 161 in Palmer, Mass., and the Second Congregational Church’s sewing circle, the Cut Ups, who are collaborating on production of 100 colorfully labeled 6”x9” seed pouches, each with 100 plastic sandwich bags (rolled tight by the boys) to be used as plant starters. Optima Ltd. will have the 20,000 seeds waiting for the hikers in Dar es Salaam.

The group’s motto is “Kindness Matters” and it is their intention to share that kindness as they travel. The expeditioners will distribute items including soccer balls, ball caps, t-shirts, and containers of bubble makers. The YMCA in Springfield, Mass., provided 1000 ballpoint pens bearing the expedition motto in both English and Swahili to be given away.

The expeditioners, who are all qualified in advanced wilderness first aid, will also distribute a considerable supply of medical equipment, including disinfectants, sterile bandages, antibiotics, anti-fungal creams, and snake bite kits.

Mr. Rigali will walk with the Burton & Speke Expedition for about two and a half weeks before breaking away to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. On the eve of his departure for Tanzania, he reflected, “Anyone can make an impact on the quality of life for people by sharing kindness and having a little creativity.

“Sometimes we get so caught up in the here-and-now that we don’t see the opportunity right in front of us. But if we are in our right mind, we see the opportunity and pick up on it.”

Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

Top Stories and Discussion on PCOL
Improvements needed in Volunteer Support ServicesWhere the Peace Corps Bill stands
Dodd's Amended Bill passes in SenateElection 2002:  RPCVs run for office
Peace Corps Volunteers Safe in Ivory CoastA Profile of Gaddi Vasquez
Sargent Shriver and the Politics of Life911:  A Different America
USA Freedom Corps - "paved with good intentions"PCV hostage rescued from terrorists

Top Stories and Discussion on PCOL
GAO reports on Volunteer Safety and SecurityPeace Corps out of Russia?
Help the New Peace Corps Bill pass CongressUSA Freedom Cops TIPS Program
Senior Staff Appointments at Peace Corps HeadquartersFor the Peace Corps Fallen
Senator Dodd holds Hearings on New Peace Corps LegislationThe Debate over the Peace Corps Fund
Why the Peace Corps needs a Fourth GoalThe Peace Corps 40th plus one
The Case for Peace Corps IndependenceThe Controversy over Lariam
The Peace Corps and Homeland SecurityDirector Vasquez meets with RPCVs
RPCV Congressmen support Peace Corps' autonomyPeace Corps Expansion:  The Numbers Game?
When should the Peace Corps return to Afghanistan?Peace Corps Cartoons

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kenya; Special Interests -Adventure



By moringa on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 11:02 am: Edit Post

We are exporters of

Moringa seeds
Moringa leaf powder
Moringa oil
senna leaves
lemon grass
Indian origin herbs
Herbal extracts
Essential oils

Email :- asian@nde.vsnl.net.in

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.