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•   Jean Pearman (Gross)  11/26
•   Don Barr  11/28
•   John Robinson  11/29
•   Stephanie Kaza  12/3
•   Ann Rosen (Rhys)  12/3
•   Marsha Quesenberry (Darcy)  12/4
•   Richard Isackes  12/6
•   Paul Osterman  12/6
•   Meredith Poole  12/6
•   Andrea Gavlik (Swan)  12/9
•   Dennis Burech  12/10
•   Warren Darcy  12/10
•   Donna Miller (Cleverdon)  12/10
•   Susan Reese (Painter)  12/11
•   Thomas Ukena  12/12
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The Review published this article this past Friday.

It should be noted that the Fossil Fuel Working Group, which brought the matter to the board of trustees for consideration was never asking for immediate divestment.  Their call was to bring such a move in line with the College's goal of a zero carbon footprint by 2025.  The board's resolution is a satisfactory public statement of intent.  

Oberlin now joins 74 other institutions of higher education and hundreds of other organizations in pledging to reduce or eliminate investment in fossil fuels.  Members of our class wrote both positive and negative opinions about this move in an earlier forum discussion.


Another Great Lesson from Dan Miller 

Dan favors us occasionally with his adventures in veterinary and agricutural work as he travels the world in his retirement.


Greetings, Everyone,


Timor Leste, otherwise known as East Timor, is a new country that occupies the eastern half of the island, Timor, while the western half is Indonesia with the exception of a small chunk that belongs to Timor Leste.  It has an interesting history.  Originally it was a Portuguese colony mainly as a source of trade in sandalwood since the 1600’s.  It continued as a Portuguese concession until the Portuguese revolution and the declaration of independence in 1975.  Nine days after it got its independence from Portugal, it was invaded by the Indonesian army under Suharto, a US client at the time, so we didn’t interfere and pretty much blocked news of the conflict.  There was a bloody guerrilla war that lasted until the Indonesians finally came under international pressure and sort of withdrew.  The years after that the Indonesians kept stirring the pot, but now things have settled down.  There was a period after the Timorese regained their independence from Indonesia when a UN Peace Keeping force and an Australian military force were necessary to control political violence between those who wanted independence and those who wanted to remain part of Indonesia.


Because of their history, people still speak Portuguese, but many people now are learning English.  The grandfather of my counterpart can speak Japanese thanks to the occupation during WWII.  The local language is Tetum and is the common language that almost everyone speaks and, along with Portuguese, is an official language.


The US dollar is the currency although they make their own coins with 1 rupee equal a penny.  The main source of foreign exchange is an offshore oil well to the north, but they also grow coffee and have a decent tourist industry centered on the beaches.  I haven’t heard or read about any big Club Med type operations, but I have seen some nice small places.  The biggest problem for tourists is getting here.  From Mexico I had to take five flights, Monterrey to Detroit, Detroit to JFK, JFK to Seoul, Seoul to Bali and Bali to Dili, the capitol of Timor Leste.  A more expensive option would have been Monterrey to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Sydney, Sydney to Darwin and Darwin to Dili.  Another insignificant source of income is fishing which is mostly used for local consumption.


The country is poor, one of the poorest I’ve worked in, but it lacks the grinding poverty I’ve seen elsewhere.  The poverty is shared.  They do have paved two lane roads that are in good condition going to most of the country, but after the road ends at a town that it was built to connect to the rest of the country, it becomes a dirt road.  The village where I worked first was connected to the dirt road by a path that in part went through a creek bed.  During the wet season, a vehicle would not have been able to reach the village.  


The town where I worked from, Maliana, the third largest town in TL, pop around 14,000, is no different from towns elsewhere around the world - paved streets, stop lights, concrete block buildings and houses, a market with numerous stalls selling vegetables, dried fish, salt, sugar, beauty aids, soap and detergent, utensils and tools of all kinds, and everything else associated with normal life plus a supermarket about five times the size of a 7/11.  


Manufactured items and processed food are mostly imported from Indonesia although China exports some things to Timor Leste while Japan and Korea also export to Timor Leste, Hondas and Yamahas.  The rural houses are mostly made of cement block, but quite a few of them have wooden or bamboo walls.  Some of them have roofs thatched with palm leaves, but others have corrugated galvanized sheets for roofs.  Some of the block houses have tile roofs, but no matter the type of house, they mostly had big satellite dishes in the yard for TV sets.  Electricity goes to almost every village.  Of course everyone has a smart phone and many people wander around hypnotized by whatever is on their phone.  Sound familiar?


In the yard there are chickens, occasionally goats, pigs (I once say a woman washing her pig in the stream by the house) and cattle.  They have gardens with vegetables, and flowers are ubiquitous.  The animals run loose looking for their own food although the diet may be augmented by the owner, especially for the pigs.  The cattle and water buffalo graze the rice paddies during the dry season when nothing grows except some irrigation.  There are numerous rivers running down from the central mountains, but during the dry season, May - Nov, they go dry with maybe a small amount of water that can be used to irrigate along the banks of the river.


Their cattle are interesting.  They are descended from a wild cow, the banteng, that still exists in a state of threat of extinction in parts of Indonesia.  It is not the same species as our cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus), but it is Bos javanicus.  It is fawn colored like a Jersey, but doesn’t carry the same body musculature as our cattle.  It has swept back small horns in the female and the males have more upright horns and are much darker in color.  They are smaller than our cattle with cows weighing in at probably 600 - 800 pounds.  The cattle are exclusively for meat and work, not milk.  The goats, on the other hand, look exactly like the Spanish goats that run around all over TX, and they also run loose everywhere here.  Dogs are not regarded as  family, but they aren’t particularly abused either.  They aren’t trusting of people, but they do attach themselves to a particular house.  


Normally it would be the end of the dry season now.  The rice paddies are dusty dry and most of the rivers coming down from the mountains are dry, but thanks to climate change, things have been getting different for the last few years.  In the first week here, there have been six afternoon thunderstorms, a couple of them gully washers, something that never used to happen, although the La Niña may have something to do with that.  Fortunately or not, they don’t drop enough water to grow anything so the cattle and goats wandering in the empty pastures and rice paddies can’t find any green grass, but it is starting to come.


My project is supposed to teach people how to fatten their cattle for sale.  There is a good market with live weight prices comparable to the US, but there are a lot of obstacles.  First, there is no tradition of caring for animals which normally are allowed to look after themselves. Then there is no source of concentrate as energy for fattening.  Rice is the main grain but is for human consumption.  I have seen a few corn fields but not many.  The only food industry that would have suitable byproducts for feeding cattle is the beer industry (did I mention that the country is more catholic than Mexico?), and since that is concentrated near Dili, it would be too costly to get brewers grains to the rest of the country.  They do have rice bran available for protein, and calcium sources (lime and cement) from the building industry to balance the phosphorus in the bran.  Sweet potatoes are commonly raised, and the vines are quite nutritious and can be fed during the growing season.  Cassava is grown, and the leaves have a high protein content, and the tubers have a high starch content once the cyanide is removed by drying in the sun.  Other sources of fodder are the bean and peanut plants after harvest if they are either properly dried or made into silage, neither of which is done now, although they do feed them to the animals when they graze the aftermath fields.  There are some sources of legume tree forage, Leucaena, available, but not enough.  Last year I did a project in Mali where they ensiled peanut plants after they pulled them up to get the peanuts.  It was successful, and I saw a video of them opening the sacks of silage two months later and the sheep going after the silage like it was candy.  So far the peanut harvest in TL coincides with the dry season so making silage rather than hay is not necessary.


Surprisingly there is no sugar industry here although people will grow a dozen sugar canes for home consumption.  It would be a good source of molasses which can be used it augment the energy intake of cattle.  The fishing industry could also supply fishmeal from the fishing bycatch dried and powdered.


Fattening might possibly work near the end of the harvest season.  There would still be grass and since they raise lots of beans and peanuts, there would be lots of high protein forage available if stored and used correctly.  The problem with growing introduced grass such as Napier in fenced pastures is that the available land is being used to grow rice.  Native grasses grow where crops are not grown.  Probably some accommodation could be made by growing grass along the borders of the paddies and planting annual grasses and legumes in the paddies right after harvest when there is still some ground moisture.  I have emphasized to the participants that before they invest in buying a cow to fatten, they need to have a source of feed.  They also need a place to keep it.  Fattening goats might be a good way to start to learn the process without running as much risk, but the market for goats is not anywhere near as lucrative as for cattle because of cultural norms.


I like the country.  There is potential here and it is worth the effort to visit.  They’re looking for teachers and administrative advisors so visiting here would be a good way to spend retirement.




Daniel K. Miller


The man who is always waving the flag usually waives what it stands for. -Laurence J. Peter


“In a monumental irony, both Julian Assange…and Edward Snowden…stand charged with the very same crimes that are likely to be brought against Mr. Trump. On both Mr. Assange and Mr. Snowden, Mr. Trump argued that they should be executed.”


The courage and character of Ukraine stands in perverse contrast to America’s cowering Republican Party, whose resistance might as well have been led by the Uvalde police. - Mark Leibovich


Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. -Haile Selassie


The One Oberlin Report:

President Ambar and other Oberlin Faculty have planned a speaking tour to inform alumni about this report and the progress towards implementation.

The Report WAS adopted by the General Faculty by a nearly unanimous vote in May.

Links within the article pictured below are not active from this page.

The link to the articles referenced is:


HI, Everyone:

Thanks to Aaron Levin, we now have a recording of the Class Memorial Service, held during the Reunion. Effectively edited, it is about 26 minutes long.  You can listen to it by clicking below. Whatever software you use for listening to audio should start up when you click the link.


Click Here to listen to a recording of the Class of 1968 Memorial Service in Clonick Hall

 If for some reason that doesn't work for you, let me know.  I can email a file that is small enough for most emails to handle.