How to Make (and Keep) a Traveler’s Hippocratic Oath

Originally posted on Everywhere Once:

Tours you can take, although we'll pass

Tours you can take, although we’ll pass

First, do no harm.

It’s an oath sworn by physicians and a pledge that every traveler should make as well. As guests in the places we visit the very least we can do is respect our hosts by not hurting their country or their people.

Unfortunately such pledges are easier made than kept. That’s especially true in areas of the world that lack strong regulations protecting vulnerable populations. It’s not uncommon to see plenty of exploitive activities marketed to tourists. And sometimes those activities are even cleverly disguised to prey on our very desire to do good.

Visiting and volunteering in a children’s orphanage in Cambodia, for example, sounds like a good way of directing your travel dollars to a worthwhile cause. That is until you learn about the fake orphanages that separate children from their parents for the sole purpose of separating…

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Fort Bragg soldier pleads for help in bringing combat dog back home

Originally posted on

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Specialist Brent Grommet is fighting a different kind of battle these days. Back from Afghanistan, he’s coping with and recovering from spinal and traumatic brain injuries and PTSD.

But it seems his own progress is taking a backseat to another mission. Grommet is trying to get his dog back, according to WTVD-TV.

The 23-year-old soldier is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but his focus has been on the Fort Bragg area where he’s been told his combat buddy, a young German Shepard named Matty, now lives. The challenge is now to convince Matty’s adopted family to return him to the first friend he ever knew.

“They’re not dog and handler, they’re brothers,” said Don Grommet, the soldier’s father.

Specialist Grommet and Matty were paired in the fall of 2012 as a part of the Tactical Explosive Detector Dog program. After graduating…

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BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Riverton, Wyoming Aug. 25th

Originally posted on Straight from the Horse's Heart:

In the heart of Wyoming (and greedy cattle and sheep activists), the wild horses desperately need your voice and your presence, so please try to attend this meeting in Riverton, Wyoming on Aug. 25th (hotels/motels listed HERE).  Also, if the roundups are not stopped, please try to go to the roundups that are supposed to start Aug. 20th.  Bring a friend.  Invite media to both this meeting and to the roundups.

If you can’t be at this meeting, send the media and your Congressional representatives the article about this written by Carol Walker and the press release by the Cloud Foundation that were posted here the past week.

Again, here in America, you can make a public comment and say anything you want (brave Americans have died so we could have fee speech), even if the BLM wants you to think your comment “should” only pertain to topics listed…

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To start the day …. To the kind-hearted!!

mud fur and feathers:

Tears of Joy!

Originally posted on It Is What It Is:


~~July 26, 2014~ 

The world can be a cruel place ….

Restore your faith in humanity in 4 minutes flat

At a time when tragedy dominates world affairs, it’s easy to despair at the path some ‘leaders’ have led us down. But if you’re worried about losing faith in humankind, despair not: we have the antidote.

Rich or poor; young or old; Australian, Chinese or Brazilian — we looked the world over and found one universal trait that truly unites us all: kindness.

Do take a moment and find some tissues, because there’s more where that came from.

Courageous deeds caught on film can sweep across the world in an instant, but it’s acts of kindness, that don’t get any airtime, that change the world every day.

Read on, be gentle, and be inspired.





~~Faith in humanity … restored!~~

~~Published on Jul 22…

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Pioneer Woman Museum

pioneer woman museum
A trip to the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma, with two of our granddaughters was an enjoyable experience.  The girls got to see two weaving looms in use, and learned lots of new things about pioneer women who helped settle Oklahoma.  A rainy day during a week of RV camping gave us a good excuse to get out and spend an afternoon at the museum.  The museum itself is simply chock-a-block full of information about the life and experiences of early white settlers in OK.  The areas covered:  Fiber Art, An Oklahoma Woman – A Patchwork in Time and Space, Coming to the Cherokee Strip, Small Blessings, Heart of the Home, Living the Good Life, Out of the Kitchen, Into the Fire, A Cultured Life, Help from the Past, Hope For the Future, Breaking News – Oklahoma Women Journalists, Bending the Rules, Bound to Please, A History of Corsets,and last, but not least, there is the Education Room with a small display of artifacts.  We all enjoyed the time spent, and each had a particularly favorite display.  The older of our two granddaughters was very interested in the weaving demonstration and posed many articulate questions to the docent.  She also liked the Breaking News, Oklahoma Women Journalists section.  Her interest there was perhaps sparked by her father’s work as a journalist.  The younger girl really liked three of the areas – a Cultured Life with it’s fine collection of musical instruments, Bending the Rules with it’s list of preposterous etiquette rules and the adage that “well-behaved women seldom make history.”  That really appealed to her.  She also liked the gallery’s four flipbooks which gave information on the times and trends of notable Oklahoma women.  T-shirt souveniers rounded out their educational and fun day.  Hooray for camping with kids and a chance to share their enthusiasm and curiosity.  If you get a chance to visit Ponca City, OK, make sure to include a visit to the Pioneer Woman Museum.  There are many other sites of interest in and around this small city – The Standing Bear Museum, the Marland House and the Marland Mansion are just a few, and all worthy of a day each.  If you can manage to visit the Standing Bear Museum during a Pow-Wow, the scope and pleasure of the experience will be greatly amplified.

We’re Home!

A 12-week hiatus away from media. Wow, almost unbelievable. We spent most of the time in Chesapeake, VA, caring for an ailing family member. Have never seen so much traffic and was struck by how much development has taken place in the 12 years since we were last in that area. Must say, I prefer the slower life pace of the Western Plains area. Amenities such as a veritable smorgasbord of shopping opportunities were definitely nice, but that positive attribute was greatly weighed down by the frantic pace of everything. We got to visit numerous family members and units and attended some nice community affairs, but it’s definitely NICE to be home! Our two Siamese kitties and six birds also agree. They all made the trip, some 5,500 miles, with us.

How to Help Zoo Animals in Ukraine Zoo

The Earth Organization is asking for help to provide food for starving animals in the Nikolaev Zoo in Southern Ukraine.  Government funds for the zoo have dried up, as I reported in this blog on April 11.  That story was originally posted by Igor Purlantov.  The beleaguered zoo, in a country in turmoil, has about 8,000 animals, and they are in desperate need of help.  The Earth Organization is a non-profit which actually purchases the needed food and medicines or supplies for the recipients, instead of randomly sending money.  A reader of my blog kindly passed along this website address where you can make donations to The Earth Organization for those zoo animals:   I will always carry the memory of the terrible destiny of the zoo animals in Kuwait at the hands of an invading army.  Let us pray that these unwilling Ukraine animals will not suffer a like fate.