Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, 6, 1974 THE LETHBRIOQE HERALD World shortages are disaster in Vietnam By Lotta Hitschmanova, USC executive director Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, executive director of the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, has recently returned to Canada from her fifth survey in Vietnam. This is what she has found. It is of course only natural that the general sudden deterioration of conditions around the world, due to the oil crisis, the population explosion and the frightening spread of hunger, unrest and shortages of basic commodities all would have particularly disastrous repercussions on a country like Vietnam. Here, in a land torn by war and destruction and its grim after effects for over 20 years, 54 per cent of the national budget is earmarked for defence; eight per cent for education and only 0.4 per cent for social welfare. Since the withdrawal of American troops the unemployment rate has risen alarmingly because literally millions are suddenly without a job. At the same time the cost of living has gone up by 25 per cent to 30 per cent; it is now so high that everyone who possibly can is trying to manage two jobs, and even three, in order to assure at least a minumum of food for his family South Vietnam now has a population of about 19 million and among them more than IVz million are unemployed. How do they live; how do they eat; how can they continue their daily has been the foremost question on my mind. One afternoon, after a strenuous field trip, we sat down on the terrace of the Continental Hotel, right in downtown Saigon, for a glass of ginger ale. I began to count: in less, than .15 minutes I was offered 14 different items for sale by peddlers, young and old, their wares ranging from cashew nuts to inlaid pictures, meticulously executed; newspapers with the latest news on what was happening around the world; there was the vendor of Time magazine and of innumerable soft cover books, bought from departing GI's, others selling sweets; and there was the little boy with his elaborate equipment to shine the shoes of the rich who can afford such a luxury. And then there are the street, children pressing their faces against the windows of our restaurant, with longing eyes, stretching out their dirty, open hands to ask for something to eat. Some of course are professional beggars and it is not difficult to detect them, but there are so many, many others with hunger and illness written on their smudged faces and you wonder where to begin to help I visited many institutions, ranging from the most pitiful orphanages lacking even the basic essentials such as sufficient water for the many children to bathe and enough food for at least one decent meal a day. I saw an old people's Home which will haunt me for a long, long time The section for the aged at Phu My housing over inmates of all ages, run by devoted Vietnamese nuns will always remain one of my most dreadful memories of Vietnam, a terrifying indictment of what war does to the most innocent and defenceless Of course I went to many other institutions as well and one of the most striking is the Douglas Gray Home for handicapped children a haven for 41 little victims of polio, now lovingly taken care of by a British male nurse, Douglas Gray, who once in his extraordinarily varied career worked on an icebreaker in Canada Practically single handedly around the clock he has been caring for these terribly handicapped children, each needing his expertise, his warm love and his encouragement It was obvious from the moment I entered this little quiet paradise that more staff was needed and I am happy that our board has already sanctioned the necessary funds to pay the salaries for three additional people, a nurse, and administrator and a physiotherapist. Readers are of course aware that it has always been a USC principle to help people help themselves. These past few weeks I saw some splendidly successful examples of our approach and our chicken farm just outside Saigon is one of them. It is run by two sighted and ten blind men. One year ago our imaginative Vietnamese director submitted this project to me, but I was most skeptical. Only when experts at the Canadian Government Experimental Farm in Ottawa endorsed the project and confirmed that blind people indeed could successfully care for chickens, provided there were some sighted supervisors employed as well, did I agree to invest USC funds. After exactly one year the project is already running splendidly: we have not had one single death from an epidemic: our broilers are finding a ready market in the city and our USC team is happy and excited that their work is crowned with success. Wages and running expenses are already being paid from the proceeds of the sale of our birds and of vegetables which are grown by the blind on the same plot of land. This is just Book review one of the many successful demonstration projects which dot USC experimental areas, to demonstrate what can be done to rehabilitate human beings with knowledge, and with imagination. As every year, my suitcase is bulging with new projects I am anxious to submit to our board in the hope there will be sufficient funds in our Ottawa bank account to underwrite them all. Have you ever heard of the tribal people in the central mountain areas of Vietnam nomads until recently because the soil used for cultivation required a period of three years of rest, to become productive again.. Last year, in one of the refugee camps I visited, I was profoundly impressed by the need and the dignity of these Montagnard people, just getting ready to return to their liberated villages in the central mountain areas. We provided tools the most basic tools for the farmers at per family and coconut seedlings as well, to help start life anew. According to the Ministry of Ethnic Minorities and our own USC field representative, this project is so successful that we have been officially requested to continue this same kind of aid by taking another 545 families under our USC wings. To me, there is no more fulfilling feeling than the knowledge that all those precious Friendship Dollars entrusted to us across Canada, often by the very young and the very old, are bearing extraordinary fruit How do I keep my sanity, my eternal optimism and my conviction that our work must go on? I am confronted day and night by human need on such an immense scale that you can only fathom it if you are in the thick of problems like those confronting Vietnam and Bangladesh. My answer is very simple: I have witnessed almost unbelievable victories and progress in spite of tremendous odds in countries like Korea, Greece and Hong Kong and my belief in human ability and possibilities has never failed me. The problem that confronts the world is not lack of imagination, goodwill and knowledge to do things well and with a heart; the problems are the evils of war and destruction and misunderstandings that continue to threaten this rapidly shrinking world of ours, taking 'it to the very brink of complete destruction. I am more convinced than ever before that the majority of the world's people really want only three very basic, very simple things: bread, a job and peace. Comic books mirror Americans "The Comic-Stripped American" by Arthur Asa Berger (Walker Co., 225 pages, distributed by Fitzhenry Whiteside This may be the first book which deals with the way comic strips reflect American culture, as the author claims, but it is not the first time that perception of the comics has surfaced. There are plenty of allusions to it in books and articles. A recent piece in The Herald drew attention to the way in which male chauvinist attitudes are mirrored in the portrayal of women in the comic strips. Some of the male figures don't fare too well either the nincompoop Dagwood Bumstead, for instance. In Dagwood, says Berger, we have the rather 7 -T -K ,-JCi Does your present TV look Eike THEN PRESENT THIS SPECIAL COUPON Service Department Parts Labour FREE ESTIMATES in Shop till June 15, 1974 M all Acme TV locations: EDMONTON CALGAIY CAlfiARY 7912-104 St S.W. 432-7499 295-1093 299-4555 DISCOUNT REODE0I LETHWBD6E LETHIWD6E H. 347-9979 327-9391 329-9319 depressing image of the contemporary conception of the American husband an irrelevance. But Berger agrees that women are put down in the comics. "Women in the comics tend to be characterized as love objects, one more complication in some male's pursuit of power and glory Following a chapter on comics generally, the author deals with a number of individual strips under three classifications: the generations. The first generation, the innocents, includes: The Yellow Kid; The Katzenjammer Kids; Mutt and Jeff; Krazy Kat. The second generation, the modern age, includes: Little Orphan Annie; Buck Rogers; Blondie; Dick Tracy; Flash Gordon; Superman; Batman; Pogo; Peanuts. The third generation, -the age of confusion, deals with marvel comics, eroticomics and underground comics. Most of the individual treatments are accompanied by sample strips. Those who cannot bear to read the comic strips for the fun of it should read this book and under its direction take up the serious business of following the commentary on 'human (American) behavior to be found therein. DOUG WALKER Books in brief "The Night The Water by Clive King, (Longman Canada, 137 Apu. the young native boy. finds himself all alone in his village of Kukuri Mukuri Char after a cyclone desolates his home and kills his family and relatives. How he manages to stay alive and carve a new life for himself should make interesting reading for both boys and girls 12 years and up. ANNE SZALAVARY "Westerns" by Philip French, (William Heinemann Ltd., 176 pages. If you like a good western it won't necessarily follow that you'll like this book. I've always seen the western as an Indian vs cowboy; goodguy vs badguy; train or bank robbery, or battle against the wilderness type of motion picture. The author of this book finds almost every western made to have some weird social connotation. Kid you know High Noon was really about the Korean War or Cheyenne Autumn compared to the German persecution of the Jews? Humbug1 A western is western and nothing else. Freudian overtones, typing political figures with westerns or searching for Communist bad guys to go against the super all-Ametican hero idea is bunk. As Freud himself once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." GARRY ALLISON Hidden Meanings Different parts working together is what makes a machine or a society. Photo and text by David Ely, Herald reporter Could you live there By Marie Sorgard, local writer On several occasions I have read articles with the title "Could You Live Invariably these articles concern cities, and often large cities. I have often wondered why suburban living has not been considered. In addition to their tourist attractions Canada's large cities boast of the following features, excellent schools, universities, theatres, service clubs, and recreational facilities. One can spend an evening in a variety of ways, at a night club, a ballet performance, or enjoy dinner at an exclusive restaurant. While these attributes make city life seem attractive there are also characteristics which are not quite so favorable. The incidence of crime has a tendency to be on the increase in the larger centres. Many people live in one location for years without getting to know their next door neighbors. Children tend to become numerical beings with statistical histories in schools where enrolment is very high. Although seldom publicized, suburban centres, too, have their advantages and disadvantages. Places such as Raymond. Coaldale, and Picture Butte have several things in common. All three are also within commuting distance of Lethbridge. Public libraries have a good selection of books and a pleasant atmosphere. For those requiring more exclusive material the University of Lethbridge Library and the Lethbridge Public Library are only half an hour away. There are medical clinics where you can get an appointment the day you phone for one. Doctors provide services which include periodic visits to ailing elderly patients in need of reassurance as well as medical aid. This is a great asset as it allows these people to remain at home where they can retain their sense of independence and feel secure in the knowledge that they are being cared for. At the same time it leaves hospital beds available for patients who are urgently in need of them. Living in a small town does not mean deprivation. Most have adequate shopping facilities for everyday living, churches, service clubs, swimming pools, golf courses, and curling and skating rinks. School enrolment is lower than in a city and there is more opportunity to get to know your children's teachers. You may also get to know your children's friends and find, to your surprise, that your interest in them becomes almost parental Although the crime rate may be in proportion to that of a metropolitan city it is easier to control: people in a small community are more knowledgeable about what is going on around them. Formal entertainment is usually available only on special occasions. Therefore the programs that are held in conjunction with social functions must rely on local talent. Consequently much talent which might have gone undiscovered comes to the fore as people are provided with an opportunity to get up on a stage and speak, sing, or play an instrument. As one becomes involved, either as an individual or a family, a sense of belonging evolves, and there is little time for loneliness or boredom. Occasionally, however, a family coming from the city, where they have been victims of the isolation syndrome, may find the involvement of small town life too strenuous for the first while But eventually everything falls into place and a schedule is established. The family atmosphere of the neighborhood may result in a loss of privacy, as everyone usually knows what everyone else is doing. This has its favorable features too, though The day you have been stricken with a strep throat and can't manage to crawl out of bed it is nice to have the lady across the street take the 4-year-old twins under her wing. It is also a pleasant surprise to have her miraculously reappear with a casserole and pie before the rest of your family arrives home for lunch Suburban life can be a challenge, but it does offer fresh air, blue sky, gardens, pets and a yard for your child to play in. It also offers a freedom from the pressures of urbanized life that cannot be found elsewhere. ANDY RUSSELL High water WATERTON LAKES PARK Early one summer, years ago, I took a 12 horse outfit across the Rockies on a wilderness trip to clean the down logs and overhanging brush out of 50 miles of trail. Our party consisted of two wranglers, a cook, myself and two guests. One of the guests was Roloff Beny, now widely known for his portrayal of various countries of the world in books illustrated with his great photographs. This was his first experience in mountain packtrain travel. Our way took us over Continental Divide through snow that was soft under the heat of the sun and still deep enough in places to make the horses flounder on the pass leading down onto Akamina Creek. When we reached its fork with the Kishinena River, 'the streams were in roaring flood just short of swimming deep for the horses. It was going to be touchy for loaded packhorses especially where two fords crossed above canyons, deadly traps if a horse got into trouble. There were four fords on the trail ahead, each one worse than the last, for the river was fed by many side streams, all bank full with melted snow. We came to the first of these in mid afternoon and I gave one and all specific instructions to follow me and under no circumstances to stop or get out of line Fnend Roloff was disappointed for he wanted pictures of the crossing but I was adamant. My horses were all trail wise and aware of the danger so we made this first crossing without incident as well as the next. Then we made camp for the night and took the third ford early in the morning at low water. By mid afternoon the nver was boiling again and by the time we reached the fourth ford several miles farther downstream, it looked like we were due for a swim. I reined in my horse at the top of a low bank, where the trail dipped into the crossing, to look it over. The river was big here but much slower. The water was milky with silt and there was no telling how deep it was. but it was open on both banks for half a mile below so the horses could get out anywhere. Stepping down I loosened my cinch and instructed everybody to do the same, for a horse can't swim with a tight cinch and this looked swimming deep. Roloff and my Irish cook rode up beside me and Roloff opined that he would like to get some pictures of this. So I told the cook to take him across first and I would hold the outfit till he was ready with the camera. The cook was riding a half gentled little buckskin mare and when he urged it toward the water his mount shyed. which in turn spooked Roloff's horse and both ended up taking big jumps into the river Just as suddenly both went clear out of sight to come up snorting water out of their noses as they swam for the far side. Fortunately Roloff had his camera inside his jacket and it stayed dry, but he was wide eyed with the shock of the cold water. We swam the rest of the outfit across as Roloff got his pictures but it was easy to see that his respect for mountain rivers had risen some. From there the trail left the Kishinena valley and crossed two high ndges heading due west toward the Flathead River and on the following afternoon we came down to Sage Creek. 11 too was boiling in flood and again we were faced with the prospect of a mighty cold swim Unlike the nver in the song it wasn't a mile wide and an inch deep it was much narrower and nobody knew how deep Generously, offered Roloff the honor of finding out But he was having no part of that idea Grinning and borrowing some western vernacular, he stated. "Come hell or high water. I'm staying behind from now on The pictures will be just as good from the tail end of the outfit Find out how deep the water is vourseir"