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Absolutely Al

My good news is that in Geneva we met with Minister Dr. Professor Bountiem who works directly with the Prime Minister of Laos in a very high, official capacity and also is the lead person on technology for the entire country. He invited Vorasone and me to work with him to solve our challenge with the Lao authority who is questioning our technology.

I return to Laos in a few days. Minister Bountiem assured us that he thinks we will overcome this challenge. He is on the left of the attached photo taken in Geneva. Vorasone, my friend and colleague, is on the extreme right. In the meantime, we have established the first draft of a long-term vision for this project. In 10 years we expect to be part of the people who drive open source infrastructure development in both energy and information technology. We will be very active in areas where people are very poor to help provide them with communications and information tools that will help them gain significant income as they wish.

We will do this through collaborative efforts with villagers who will own the technology. We will do this in an innovative, absolutely open, sustainable, humble and honorable way. We will work with partners of villagers where the values of the reconciliation process - respect, equality, careful listening, and long term commitment - are most evident. We will have developed processes that allow us to share our knowledge freely, quickly and continuously, while maintaining the integrity and reputation of the Jhai name and methods.

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And we will highly value humor as an important quality in our relationships. Finally, we will always look at the quality of our relationships from the viewpoint of our own responsibility in them and with a humble sense of our own failings. We are also developing ways to communicate freely our research and development results.

We are documenting carefully our hardware and software. We are designing and implementing ways to monitor them well both in Laos and with techies worldwide. The three riders were from Sweden, Laos who will help us 'unblock the block'and has the power to do so , and the Philippines. The Germans and Filipinos were talking large money in a general way. The others were talking about the potential for deals.

German investment bankers visited several times with a representative of a project in Cambodia and they will be visiting Laos when we install. I had a long talk with a representative from Microsoft and from other corporations from Hewlett Packard. I spoke briefly with John Guage from Sun and expect to meet with him here.

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We were visited by Gremeen Bank, the biggest Foundation in India, Asia Foundation, and several other funders of this type. All expressed great interest and the possibility of support. This is a cumulative list; not just from Geneva. This adds up to 87 countries. If I missed listing your country, please let me know. The farmers' leadership were trained in pruning, organic fertilization, and weeding for increased yields.

This leadership then trained the members. The leadership was also trained in the rudiments of organic and Fair Trade certification. This season we have a similar deal with our US partners. Jhai Foundation is grateful to report that we have received several thousand dollars worth of donations from Thanksgiving Coffee this year in addition to the generous price they gave the farmers via InterAmerican for their coffee. Please buy our coffee at www. We are ahead of our business plan. The farmers are committed to becoming Fair Trade this year and to taking formal steps towards organic certification.

Our model of development in this regard is being copied widely in developing countries. A big piece of this money is in the pipeline initial MOUs have been signed , but none has arrived to date.

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We expect the beginning of this flow this coming Spring and are looking for more partners on this effort. We are very grateful for the openness and generosity of our new partners. Reconciliation We are very grateful that our way of doing our reconciliation work is receiving so much attention and praise. We're also a bit embarassed. We know what we do is not new. It is the fruit of long time work by people bringing their whole selves to relationships with others in difficult circumstances.

It is informed by what I think of as the best of religious traditions of all kinds and of socialism and democratic institutions in their best forms.

Absolutely Al: How Al Gray Dealt With Mobsters, Mental Illness, Marital Woes and the KGB

At the same time, we believe the conscious use of the reconciliation process - overcoming denial about our side of things, - willingness to listen carefully to each others' stories, - willingness to mourn together or separately, as appropriate, - and willingness to stay in the room and work through our problems together, however fitfully, however clumsily, with whatever tools it takes - including taking time out, if necessary, and with humility We know it is working for us. Our projects produce revenue and are sustainable. Our projects are truly owned by the people who need them most by their own assessment of their needs.

And our projects all have wide impact. I actually think pretty much everyone has experience with these methods - if they've been in any long term relationship at all with a degree of success - marriage, parenthood, business, community - any kind.

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All we are saying is that you can apply this in so-called 'development' work, too. And it works. Bounthanh and I have been asked to speak on reconciliation and shame by the Desmond Tutu Peace Center as part of a program at Robbins Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned off the coast of South Africa. I will be speaking in February at the Lockheed Martin facility in Dallas on 'making complicated things simple'. Vorasone Dengkayaphichith and Steve Okay will be speaking in Trieste in February on using WiFi as part of a system that economically empowers poor rural communities.

I believe fervently that reconciliation is the opposite of war and that we are blessed who take part in a reconciliation effort - whether with a partner or a country or someone you just meet. It is like coming home.

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And this old vet is home, now, like you And if you wish to support us now, with a gift of cash, a purchase of coffee, please go to www. If you wish to send a check dated this year, please send it to the below address. And if you wish to give us a car or other major asset, please contact me below.

Most of our funding, however, comes from individual donors and volunteers like you. Thank you We need your support everyday. Abby The Labrador: What did you read there, Sam? Sam: The first one is about the immediate treatments for traumatic psychological stress. For many years, the accepted way of helping has been "critical incident stress debriefing," in which the person is encouraged to talk about the details of what happened to them--e. Abby: That makes sense. People don't want to just hold it all in and get stuck with all of that trauma, do they? Sam: You'd think not, Abby. But in reality, what these researchers found when they looked at several studies was that this debriefing was more effective than other treatments in 3 studies, in 6 studies it made no difference, and in 2 studies it was actually worse.

Abby: Hmmmm. That's pretty thought-provoking, Sam. Sam: Yes.

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In this type of treatment, the procedure is only done once.