Newsletter                                                                                                 September 17, 2007

The first frost is lightly coating the fields this morning. The air is noticeably cooler and invitingly clear as we move past the midpoint of September and approach autumn here in New York, our second fall in our new home in rural Hillsdale. It is a glorious time of year and yes – another school year is underway. Anyone reading this newsletter in South Africa or Namibia is moving toward longer days and warmer temps as spring and summer approach. I hope wherever you are that you are well as you embark on new beginnings and continue works in progress.

The Farrell family is active and thriving as each of us begins new classes, school years, and projects. Katie is starting her Peace Corps Masters Degree in International Public Health at Univ of Washington in Seattle. Jack has transferred to SUNY Albany to begin his junior year and so far is pleased with the larger school and closer proximity to home. Maggie is a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz, happy to be back with friends and looking forward to basketball season. Colleen begins senior year at Taconic Hills HS after spending two weeks in Ecuador this summer with a group called Global Volunteers. Ann Marie also went on the trip and they both thought it was a great experience. Patrick is a junior at TH, playing soccer, involved with the volunteer fire department and enjoying the privileges of having his driver’s license. Colleen has hers too now so there is less driving for Ann Marie and I and more freedom for them. Ann Marie starts her second year teaching kindergarten at Taconic Hills and will be looping with this group going on to first grade with them next year. She is excited about the challenge and opportunity, and a year wiser with regard to the new school. This newsletter may be a little shorter than usual, in part because I have begun a web journal or “blog” that will have frequent news updates. Also, because Mary Jain says I should keep the newsletters briefer, and she is a valued advisor who generously does all the work that allows me to do what I do.

BRIDGES OF PEACE WEB JOURNAL and TRIP to AFRICA

I have started the blog because I am trying to get the Bridges of Peace (BOP) project growing forward and think regular connections with teachers, students, and others involved and interested may be the best way to do this. If you’d like to follow the progress of BOP, or learn how to get involved, please read the journal. It can be accessed through my web site at www.johnfarrell.net or by going directly to http://bridgesofpeace.spaces.live.com/ . I am traveling to Namibia and South Africa for two weeks in October to visit schools and projects helping disadvantaged children, and to create new Bridges of Peace connections. There will updates on this trip plus details of concerts here in the US with Thula Sizwe, the Zulu Singing Group from South Africa.

THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

This friday, September 21 is The International Day of Peace. September 21 was established as The International Day of Peace  by a United Nations Resolution in 1981. For information, posters, and activities go to the web site  http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/

 

NEW CD INCLUDES SONGWRITING TRACKS

My new CD, “All Around Us: Songs Exploring Science and Nature” is getting positive reviews from teachers using it. The CD includes three instrumental tracks provided to help you and your students write and perform your own songs. For more information, or to order CD’s or books, go to the web site or call Mary Jain at 607-965-8983. Songs on the CD include; What’s So Great About the Great White Shark?; There’s A Bear Over There; Volcano; Baby Dolphin; The Paleontologist Song; I Am an Amphibian; In the Garden; Underneath the Sea and more.

In closing I wish you joy, good health, and challenging opportunities to learn and grow in love and peace. I hope to see or hear from you soon.

Love and Thanks,

John