While counting down the days to what may be a routine stent procedure, I’ve had moments when I couldn’t think straight, dropped things, and panicked. Other times I got in a good groove on the computer or in a book. After attending a wonderful presentation at downtown Rochester’s Public Library on their media center, I walked by the free books and told myself, I don’t need another book. Of course I looked and took Laurie Halse Anderson’s Vet Volunteers: Trickster (2000).
I must have already read one of the Vet Volunteers series, and this one was both familiar, with teenaged students volunteering at a small town veterinary office, and new. The main character, David, an immature teenager whose parents were recently divorced, kept making annoying, embarrassing and awkward mistakes that cost him his dream of riding a particular horse. Mixed in with his mishaps were facts about animal care, including how to take care of a healthy ferret, and a crisis that showed what it takes to own horses. The book was just what I needed: a good and fast read.
My favorite part of the Christian Science Monitor Weekly is Points of Progress. It’s always hard to choose which one I like the most. Out of the five mentioned this week (Feb. 13) first was a Mexican American and native woman from Phoenix, Lucinda Hinojos, being selected as artist for this year’s Super Bowl. Bolivian city residents and rural farmers teamed up to keep the waters that flow from the countryside into the cities clean. Amazingly, a particular rat has been trained to sniff out landmines. The African giant-pouched rat can detect the odor of buried mines, ignore scrap metal and clear a space the size of a tennis court in a half hour. They are lighter than dogs, learn faster and need less food. Three hundred of them were part of a nine-month program in Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Keep ‘em coming. They’re all good news.
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