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"Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place." Farrell
Hochmuth in Zimbabwe at Epworth, Harare.
Mhoroi kubva ku Harare! (Greetings from Harare,
in the Shona language), writes Farrell Hochmuth, a May 1997 graduate
of Southampton College with a major in Environmental Studies, and a minor
in Communications. Farrell is one of seven 1997 Fulbright grant recipients
from Long Island University's Southampton Campus. Among the first students
invloved in Dr. Herbert's Australia program, Farrell's adventures around
the world continued through her Zimbabwean Fulbright grant.
Farrell arrived in Zimbabwe on January 26, 1998
for ten months of work at PELUM (Participatory Ecological Land Use Management).
PELUM is an organization with members in east and southern Africa, and has
approximately 80 members. The memberships provide a small amount of money,
but most funds come from donors, mainly consisting of governmental and non-
governmental European organizations. PELUM is run by the PELUM Association
Regional Desk (PARD). When Farrell arrived, nine people worked at PARD,
and she was the first intern invited to work with the organization.
"I decided that I wanted to come to Zimbabwe
because there are some really innovative techniques being discovered and
used there dealing with sustainable agriculture, water harvesting, grazing
management, and community development. These are all areas which I am interested
in. In the US, we have set standards on how things are done, so there are
very little innovative techniques being used. You could say that American
agriculture is "in a rut." So, I came here to discover these new
techniques, and I hope to apply them when I get home," Farrell says.
"My main project while I am here is to help
organize a college that offers long term training in sustainable agriculture
and community development. We will take 20 students for the first program,
which will run for two years starting [May, 1998]. This is a pilot program
in the southern/eastern African region. Students will travel between 16
different organizations learning different subjects at each place. The organizations
are made up of universities, non-governmental organizations, and governmental
organizations. It has been dubbed "the college without walls."
I am really excited to be a part of this project. I almost wish I could
do college again!"
Farrell found not only her work on the PELUM project
to be gratifying: she also enjoyed the chance to learn about and participate
in the culture of Zimbabwe. Her enthusiastic letters to LIU faculty and
friends clearly convey the essence of this unique experience.
- 3/18/98 Letter -
Farrell settles in...The Pelum Project...Different ways of Zimbabwean living...Home
stay in a rural household
- 4/28/98 Letter -
Preparations for PELUM College students...Rock rabbits...Lake Chivero National
Park horse safari...Amazing!
- 5/31/98 Letter -
Opening of PELUM College!..Tanzania and Zanzibar...Spice Tour...Prison
- 6/7/98 Letter -
Mana Pools...Cape Buffalo...Elephants and other Animals