Martha Thinks

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dr. Jane and the Scouts

sometimes right in your little corner of the world, in a dining room full of 8 year old boys, amazing things happen. It was Wednesday, time for Ronan's scout meeting. We had been told beforehand that we would have a guest speaker, someone who had written about chimps.
What we got a grandmother of one of the 8 year-old-scouts who edited Dr. Jane Goodall's definitive book about studying chimps in Gombe, Tanzania.
It was the most amazing tale of how Vivian worked for Harvard Press and was hired to work with Dr. Jane on her book. She was in her 50's at the time and set off on a 3 week journey that involved snowstorms in Sweden, missed flights and boat rides. She told us about those days living in very rustic conditions and how Jane would be gone all day with her notebook. I don't know if the boys appreciated it all at the time. I kept telling them to think of the most famous person you know and Dr. Jane Goodall would be right up there with them.

It was a thrill for the parents, that's for sure. Such an elegant lady, such a treasured memory for her. So I said to her "what did you do with the kids when you were gone?" "Oh, they were teenagers then" she said, "they were fine." Oh, sorry, just picking myself up off the floor. Maybe her teenagers. Vivian with her now-grown daughter, Katie, above.

Stemming from Dr. Jane’s work is an organization called “Saving the Chimps,” which is providing an island home in Florida for 262 chimps in this country who have been abused or cast aside.

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