The following are comments from readers on articles in past issues of Winds&Waves. Please send your comments  to Letters to the Editor, Dharmalingam Vinasithamby (dvinasithamby@yahoo.com)

The Woman of Iron

Ruth was an incredibly gifted heroic and self-confident woman who embraced the opportunity to make a difference in the world even though that decision would bring her many great challenges in her professional life, albeit small in comparison to the challenges she faced in her personal life. Ruth and I became inseparable when as the Director of the 5th City Preschool in the late 60s my task was to identify and groom a woman from the community to replace me. That was a humongous challenge. And then I met a woman with piercing black eyes whose laugh invited all to love life.

I am the daughter of Ruth Carter, Denise. As I read this article about my mother, tears of joy ran down my face. For her to be remembered as a woman of Iron  is truly an awesome  tribute. I lived, laughed, struggled, played and was educated by this woman, whom you call a woman of Iron. She truly  was a woman of Iron.

My father passed at the age of 37 years and my mother was 36. She was lost but by the grace of God and her perseverance, she made it while raising her four children eight, nine, 10 and 12 years old.

She went back to school to further her education. Ruth had an overwhelming compassion for 5th City and all those who made up its  community. Some would say “Look at those bombs!” She would say “Those are my bombs!” and go over to see what she could do to help them move forward in their life, even if it meant taking from herself or her home to get it done.

So today, my family and I thank you for giving us more joy through the ICAN video and this article. Thank you, we will be celebrating her life on July 31, 2015, on the street they named after her -  3400 Block of 5th Avenue ( Ruth Carter's Lane).

Denise D Gathings
(The article by Lela Jahn appeared in the December 2013 issue of Winds&Waves. To read it, go to: http://windswaves.icai-archives.org/ww-2013-dec/019-ruth-carter.htm)

Lessons from the Village

I'm a Kenyan living in Kenya. Thank you for sharing the April 2015 Winds & Waves magazine with me. It helps me reflect and remember my past while working with the ICA both in Kenya and the Ivory Coast.

Henry Ikatukhu

I enjoyed Dharmalingam's article very much.  As a participant in the start-up consult of an HDP, as well as working in one, we are hungry for current news. 

Mike Tippett, Florida

What a powerful trip down memory lane your article took us.  We were in India about 1980-81, the year before the Sharing Approaches that Work.  We were assigned with Cyprian and Mary D’Souza to consolidate some of the Nava Gram Prayas projects. We were in the Human Development Training School with Brian and Jeanette Stanfield in Maliwada, and lived in the old “castle” that now seems to be the community toilet.  Change does happen. 

One of the key projects was Jawale and we loved visiting there.  How wonderful to hear your stories and to see the photos from the guys from the Netherlands which showed some of the same scenes that we knew so well. 

We also worked some with the Chikhale village project, one time helping to construct a make shift bridge so that a truck could get into the village. 

I returned with the Stovers for a visit to some of those places  around 1997.  So good to have had their leadership.  They had lived in India for six years compared to our one and had so much wisdom to share. 

Again such a wonderful convergence of stories about India for this issue. Tonight we met our granddaughter as she returned home from a portion of her Gap Year Experience abroad. Earlier, she was in India, Cambodia and Thailand.  This trip was her return from a month in Ghana. 

So, coming home from seeing a quick overview of her Ghana trip to read this was like our own return to the Lands of Mystery and the Mountains of Care.  How privileged we are.  Now we send our prayers and some resources to the community in Nepal.  Mark Pixley’s article seemed to have a lot of wisdom in that regard. 

Lynda and John Cock
(llc860@triad.rr.com, www.reJourney.blogspot.com)

Thanks so much for your reflections, learnings and comments.  Besides learning about the villages that Alan Berresford and I visited in 1978 for documentation to be presented to the World Bank, I really appreciated your remarks about what would have been more helpful from the beginning of our work. 

The fact that a couple of villages, such as Maliwada and Chikhale, are now dominated by the larger urban areas and that we could have foreseen this in the early stages and therefore helped people prepare for this future is a priceless learning.

The story of the young tax collector is fascinating reading and I, like you, hope she continues in her work and hopefully has a chance to be part of a new, less corrupt Indian government.

Ann Epps

The highlight for me is the story about the daughter (the tax collector) of Asaram Rokhade.  I met her at the gathering of folks at the ICA centenary celebrations about three years ago. 

I tell you the new generation is really something to enjoy and wonder about.  We had a small gathering of young people, children of ICA folks, in Pune when Don Bayer and Lela Jahn were  visiting Pune around Diwale a couple of years ago.

There is truly something to rejoice in their sense of who they are and what they can turn around.

Rekha and Manoj Prasad also stand out. Rekha is Yashoda's daughter and Manoj is the son of Anil and Lucina Prasad. Ratnamala's two sons are also very impressive. I think Hiraman Kokane has three children and all of them are quite amazing.

Mary D’Souza

(The letters above refer to the December 2013 and the April 2015 issues of Winds&Waves. To read them, go to:


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