Quote for a Sunday – My hero!

So I have wondered this ever since I met her – glad she had an answer for me.

People say to me so often, “Jane how can you be so peaceful when everywhere around you people want books signed, people are asking these questions and yet you seem peaceful,” and I always answer that it is the peace of the forest that I carry inside.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Savory Saturday – Tanzania

Mmmm…so excited to try this today!

Inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall:


    Yield: 2 quarts (8 cups)

In Tanzania, as in other African countries, soups and sauces are served in a consistency that is as thick as our stews. Coconut Bean Soup would be used there as a meatless main dish by increasing the quantities of beans and rice. However, in adapting this recipe in our test kitchen we thinned it to soup consistency with additional water and served it as a delightful soup course. Any dried beans such as black-eyed peas or pea beans can be used in this soup. Just cover with water and cook until tender before combining them with the other ingredients. Coconut milk and the delicate use of curry give the soup its unusual flavor.

In a 3-quart saucepan:

Saute: 1/2 cup ONIONS, chopped finely

  • 1/2 cup GREEN PEPPERS, chopped finely1 tsp. CURRY POWDER1 tsp. SALT1/4 tsp. PEPPER in3 Tbs. MARGARINE OR BUTTER until soft but not brown.

    Add 1 cup FRESH TOMATO cut in 1/2-inch pieces.

    Simmer for two minutes longer.

    Add: 2 1/2 cups KIDNEY BEANS (24-oz. can with liquid)

    2 cups COCONUT MILK (see page 226)

3 cups WATER.

Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup COOKED RICE.

Correct the seasonings to your taste.

Serve one-cup portions in attractive soup bowls.

Garnish each bowl with 1 tsp. shredded coconut

Fantasy Friday – Gombie National Park

I am – probably for the rest of my life – in shock and awe that I met Dr. Jane Goodall, my hero.

So let’s go to her ‘home’:

Gombie National Park

An excited whoop erupts from deep in the forest, boosted immediately by a dozen other voices, rising in volume and tempo and pitch to a frenzied shrieking crescendo. It is the famous ‘pant-hoot’ call: a bonding ritual that allows the participants to identify each other through their individual vocal stylisations. To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spine-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.

Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world. The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community, only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe, is still regularly seen by visitors.

Chimpanzees share about 98% of their genes with humans, and no scientific expertise is required to distinguish between the individual repertoires of pants, hoots and screams that define the celebrities, the powerbrokers, and the supporting characters. Perhaps you will see a flicker of understanding when you look into a chimp’s eyes, assessing you in return – a look of apparent recognition across the narrowest of species barriers.

The most visible of Gombe’s other mammals are also primates. A troop of beachcomber olive baboons, under study since the 1960s, is exceptionally habituated, while red-tailed and red colobus monkeys – the latter regularly hunted by chimps – stick to the forest canopy.

The park’s 200-odd bird species range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter’s twinspots that hop tamely around the visitors’ centre.

After dusk, a dazzling night sky is complemented by the lanterns of hundreds of small wooden boats, bobbing on the lake like a sprawling city.

Is a fantasy and a dream different?

Dr. Jane Goodall – in love

One amazing thing that happened to me in my March Break lifetime was meeting my hero Dr. Jane Goodall.

Who can say that they met their hero in their lifetime, someone they looked up to, aspired to be, and researched hour after hour about?

Not me!

This opportunity arose when Dr. Goodall was in town to discuss the new documentary on her life Jane’s Journey and the Jane Goodall Institude of Canada provided me with a ticket to the movie:

This documentary was great. Aside from the story about Jane Goodall growing up; her research with the chimpanzee’s; her love’s; her losses; and her son – who’s relationship has met hardship in the past – the movie was outstanding. The music, screenplay, and cinematography meshed so organically.

So, there she was. Standing amongst a throng of admirers who paid $$$ to join the pre-game schmooze fest before the movie, for the opportunity to meet her and shake her hand.

Yes – there she was. There I was.

She had so many people to meet and greet and I was thinking – WOW how does she do this all the time, every day (and travel 300 days of the year), but still have this calm poise as this young girl comes up to stare and shake her hand; as some man approaches and compliments her accomplishments; as this mother bursts into tears and describes how her entire family is in awe of her accomplishments.

Anyway, Thursday evening – I was placed in front of her and, despite all my days of training when I knew I might meet her, I gawked when I looked into her kind, wise eyes. I shook her hand and mumbled something like, “such a pleasure to meet you” and ran away.


I was so embarrassed – but what could I do, in such a setting? People crowding around, waiting for their chance. Plus I knew I would see her again the following evening at the same type of event. Perhaps a chance to redeem myself? Let’s let all these other fans get their chance.

Ok – Friday evening now – I’m set to see Dr. Jane again.

Who gets this? Two days in a row to meet your hero? JGI Canada – thanks so much, again!

Nice – I show up super early when no one is around at the Ontario Science Centre. Quickly, I am escorted to a room where Dr. J would be appearing from.

Wait – I’m too early, and there she is, arriving in style – which means, she calmly walks toward the room in her elegant shawl/caftan so peacefully…how does she do it?

Anyway, I met her yet again. She remembered me, (me thinks/me hopes). And as I listened to her opening speech again and admired the way she was so easily able to tell a story and how sweet and peaceful her voice sounded, I was sure I could never get enough of hearing her.

Please see the movie Jane’s Journey – it is well worth the 2 hours.

I DID get a photo with her – I just have to wait for the photographer to send along the picture I will cherish for the rest of my life…

All I need now is to go to Egypt for a month or two, experience the life-long draw I have had toward ancient Egyptian culture, and I’m good.

Too much to ask?