EH Notebook #109     Sept 27, 2002

Welcome to EH Notebook, the e-zine where e-friends who have 
attended Elderhostel programs can compare notes. 

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     From the Editor's Notebook

There are two reports on Irish Elderhostels in this issue.  It is 
great to have separate views of such similar programs.  I'll bet 
it is the same bus driver that they both mention.

I have received a very interesting essay on why not to tip at 
Elderhostels.  At my suggestion, it has been posted on SeniorNet.
It is Posting #294 in the Elderhostel discussion, which can be
found in the Education group.

Let me paraphrase the tipping policy as I understand it.  
Elderhostel has included gratuities in the overall fee.  
If you feel that a particular person provided service beyond 
what would be expected, you may personally provide an extra 
gratuity.  Under no circumstances should there be a general 

Bob McAllester

    Comments and Queries

We had registered for a trip to Tucson that has been cancelled. Of 
course we had Airline tickets purchased for that time period. How 
often are trips cancelled? I have to say that this is the first 
out of 8 or so prior trips

Howard Faust 

    Program Reviews

To use an e-mail address, substitute
the "at symbol" for the 3 characters $A$.


    University of Maine at Fort Kent
    Discovering the West of Ireland
    Central Arizona College, San Carlos Apache Reservation
    University of Maine - Cooperative Extension
    Bemidji State University / Duluth, Minnesota
    Bemidji State University / West
    Great Alpine Crossroads: Switzerland's Great Railways
    Medieval and Gaelic Ireland: A Celebration

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University of Maine at Fort Kent 
July 14 to 19, 2002
Literature and Ecology of the New England Forests

Accommodations: Northern Door Inn, Fort Kent, Maine
Shuttle to campus but most everyone drove or walked

Group Coordinator: Don Eno and Shelley Dupuis, Assistant, who was 
a gem in making sure we took advantage of all the Fort Kent, Maine 
and Claire, Canada areas had to offer. 

Meals: as advertised were healthy, hearty and nutritious. All 
meals [with one exception] were served in the school cafeteria. 
The only other group eating with us was the winter biathlon team 
in training. Maybe this is why the meals were so hearty. One 
afternoon took us to Sainte Agathe for lunch at a lakeside resort.

Classes: There were two classes each day in the new lecture hall. 
Ecology of the forest, taught by 'Cat' a young forester was the 
first class of the day. She relied on a power point program and 
then accompanied us to the afternoon field trips. The second class 
taught by Jennifer, a literature teacher, consisted of readings 
from Thoreau, Emerson and Emily Dickinson. We all kept a journal 
of our impressions which turned into a volume of 'Elder Ramblings 
of Rambling Elders' that was presented to us on our last day. Each 
participant had submitted at least one piece of writing that was 
presented on a page which had our picture scanned onto the top. It 
was a great memento of the trip.

Afternoon field trips: We visited a vernal pool to view plant and 
animal life, the Botanical Gardens in New Brunswick and a river 
setting where we all had a chance to concentrate on nature and 
write in our journals. We used the UMaine vans for transportation 
with Don driving one and Shelley the other. There was a free 
afternoon which most used for a trip 'over to Canada' as the motel 
is right across the street from the crossing.

Evening programs: Two presentations were offered: a very enjoyable 
opener 'Math Magic' and a superb look at the Acadian Culture.  

Thomas and Jean Foran

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Discovering the West of Ireland
Aug 28 to Sept 11, 2002

Four nights each in Killarney, Galway and Killybegs [returning to 
Galway for one night pre-departure]

Group Coordinator: Richard Blair, young and effervescent, a 
pleasure to be with.

Coach Driver: Martin Thomas, our driver from three years ago. A 
very intelligent, articulate gentleman who made the trip ever so 
worth while. 

Meals: In all three sites the meals were excellent. Breakfasts all 
included the choice of a 'Fried Irish Breakfast' and a buffet of 
cold cereals, juice, fruit and yogurt. Each site did handle 
breakfast slightly differently with an extended menu in Killybegs. 
Lunches were at both hotel and restaurants while on tour. These 
usually were of the sandwich and soup variety or some other 
simpler fare. Dinners in all three sites were from a menu with 
three choices of appetizer, three of entree and two or three of 
dessert with service in all three of very good quality. There were 
two free afternoons with an 'allowance' for lunch.

Accommodations: The hotels were the International in Killarney, 
the Imperial in Galway and the Bay View in Killybegs; all of which 
were quite nice. Each double room had a double and a single bed, 
good sized, well-equipped bathroom. The location of all three 
hotels was excellent with immediate access to the town center.

Lectures: The lectures were all handled well with both on-site and 
off-site lecture facilities. Some lecturers accompanied us on the 
couch while others met us at the site.

Field trips: Since the focus of the trip was on the west coast of 
Ireland, the choice of sites was excellent. Killarney is a town, 
Galway a small city and Killybegs a fishing village.

We enjoyed also seeing the Dingle Peninsula and its archaeology, 
Blasket Centre to learn about the writers, Ring of Kerry and home 
of Daniel O'Connell and the Kerry Bog Village. Also visited was 
the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee 
to learn more about W.B. Yeats and later visited Drumcliffe to see 
his burial place. 

A highlight of the trip was the trip to the Aran Islands by ferry 
and the site of the fort Dun Anghous on Inismoor. We heard music 
and tried to learn the penny whistle in Castlemaine, heard South 
Sligo music in the Coleman in Gurteen and regaled at an evening of 
traditional music, song and dance in Carron on the edge of the 
burren and then an evening of Donegal music and song back at the 

At different sites we heard speakers on Folklore and Mythology, 
the Life of a Killybegs Fisherman, Community Development, 
Protestant Culture in Donegal and much, much more.

Language schools and weaving workshops and a family dinner. Ours 
was on a working farm in Castleisland, the home of my ancestors.

We clocked 1320 miles on this trip up and back down the coast and 
highly recommend this trip to anyone.       

Thomas and Jean Foran

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Central Arizona College, San Carlos Apache Reservation
Sept 8-13, 2002

This Elderhostel was held at the Apache Gold Casino and Hotel.  
This is a modern and comfortable hotel located five miles east of 
Globe, Arizona.  The conference facilities are connected to the 
hotel by a covered walkway.  The washrooms for the classrooms are 
inside the casino area, but still convenient.  The whole complex 
is wheelchair accessible.  Unfortunately, the only way to get 
there is by automobile; it is about a hundred miles from the 
Phoenix airport.  It's elevation is over 3000 feet so it tends to 
be at least ten degrees cooler than Phoenix.

There were only eleven Elderhostelers in this group.  The only 
time I have attended a smaller Elderhostel was in 1998 at the 
White Mountain Apache Reservation, which borders the San Carlos 
Apache Reservation to the north.  The small group makes for a very 
good learning experience.  We all fit easily in one van for our 
field trips.

Meals were served to us in our conference room.  Most were good 
but not outstanding.  We had no selection.

The three classes were: Copper Mining: Arizona's Past to Present 
Walk in the Footsteps of an Ancient Civilization: Archaeological 
Arizona Apache Culture and Traditions

The Copper Mining course was taught by Ruth Carter and turned out 
to be more about general geology than copper mining.  As such, it 
was an interesting and well-taught course.  The Thursday field 
trip was to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and was mostly botany.  
On the way back, we did stop at the observation area of an 
extremely large open pit copper mine.  We could also see many 
instances of how mining operations have reshaped the landscape in 
the area around Globe.

The Archaeology course was taught primarily by David Morris, a 
Choctaw Indian who has wound up in Arizona.  He is an interesting 
lecturer and punster.  To supplement his lectures, he showed 
slides and examples of his own rock art, which he creates and 
sells.  This course also included a Tuesday field trip to 
archaeological ruins at Tonto National Monument and Besh-Be-Gowah.

The Apache Culture and Traditions course was covered by Douglas 
Miles, an Apache artist and actor and his brother Dale who works 
in the tribal school.  Douglas showed us a TV film that had 
purported to take place on the Navajo Reservation but was actually 
filmed on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.  Douglas had played a 
role in it.

Dave DeJong presented another pair of lectures that delved into 
the long and complicated history of US/Indian relations.  The many 
treaties, how they came to happen and how they were or were not 
honored.  How the Indian Reservation system evolved and changed 
with time.  The thinking that caused many western Indians to be 
sent away to schools like the Carlisle Indian School in 
Pennsylvania.  And the evolution of Indian relations today.

Dave's lectures were an in-depth treatment.  Very good.  More than 
we could possibly absorb in a few hours.

On Friday, Grace and I and our friend left early so we could enjoy 
our seven hour drive back to Santa Fe, but one of the other 
hostelers has filled us in on Friday activity, so I include that 
as a supplemental report.

We wholeheartedly recommend this Elderhostel to anyone who can get 

Bob   Grace McAllester

. . . .

Supplemental Report

They saved the most interesting for the last. We had a very 
intriguing breakfast on Friday morning. Eggs-scrambled, sausage 
and hashed potatoes. Along with the usual OJ but with pound 
cake??? and rolls. Then for lunch we got to go to the Casino for 
their buffet lunch. All of us sat at one table. We had an 
extensive menu of main dishes-shrimp, pasta etc., salads of all 
sorts and a large assortment of desserts of the sort we had gotten 
during the week. We were down to only 6 people with the 
coordinator and instructor (for ethnobotany - which was 
exceptional, both a slide show and samples brought for show and 
tell). That morning we had a chance to show our native skill at 
throwing a dummy arrow with an atlatl. Good exercise in the 
morning sun.

I really liked the information about the legal, archeology, 
geology, botany, art and field trips. The only disappointment was 
the Apache culture or the lack of it as far as I could see. My 
"sour grapes" since I had been to excellent presentations by Hopi, 
Zuni, Navajo, Yavapai and Pueblo natives. We got to visit with 
them one on one. See their crafts. Eat with some. See a dance. Get 
some feeling for their culture. I did not get a feeling for the 
Apache other than they were usually successful raiders!

Cal in California
Cal Matthews

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University of Maine - Cooperative Extension
Tanglewood 4H Camp   Learning Center

>From Maine to Your Table
September 15-21, 2002

My husband and I just returned from another very good Elderhostel. 
We learned about food produced in Mid-Coast Maine and visited many 
farms and other locales. We were housed at the Trade Winds Motor 
Lodge in Rockland.  The rooms were very comfortable and had A/C.  
There was also a nice indoor pool and hot tub which a few of us 
used.  The breakfasts were very good.

The suppers were just ok.  Most of our lunches were away from the 
motel. We had a delicious lunch with many fresh vegetables and 
salads at the Tanglewood 4H Camp on Tuesday.  On Wednesday we had 
a good box lunch prepared by the Knox-Lincoln Homemakers, and on 
Thursday a delicious pot luck sampler prepared by the women of St 
Giles' Episcopal Church.  Friday we did lunch on our own at the 
Common Ground Fair and were given money for this.

On Monday morning we had a very good lecture and slides on Maine 
agriculture given by Mark Hutchinson of the Extension Service. 
After lunch we visited the County Fair Farm where we toured the 
farm by wagon, and learned all about the modern ways they were 
raising their crops.  The highlights were picking some Macintosh 
Apples and finding our way through the Corn Maze.

Tuesday morning we had a lecture and demonstration on the 
fisheries by Sherm Hoyt from U. Maine Cooperative Extension.  We 
then went to the Tanglewood 4H Camp, stopping at their organic 
garden on the way and picking some beautiful tomatoes for our own 
consumption.  After lunch we visited the Cellardoor Winery for a 
tour.  This was followed by a very informative tour and Samples at 
the State of Maine Cheese factory and store.

Wednesday was a beautiful morning for our boat trip on the Lively 
Lady II. Here we learned and saw how lobster traps were pulled 
from the bay and how the lobsterman works.  This was followed by a 
free afternoon.  

Thursday morning we visited Brodis Blueberries where we learned 
first hand how wild Maine blueberries are grown, harvested and 
marketed. This is a farm with 200 acres of berries. In the 
afternoon we visited Oyster River Mushroom Co. and learned how 
Shitake mushrooms are raised, harvested and marketed.  This was 
extremely interesting and very different from other types of 

Friday was spent at the Common Ground Agricultural Fair in Unity 
Maine. This is a fair sponsored by the Organic Farmers in the 
area, and was a great way to end the week.

We had two evening programs.  One a talk on integrated pest 
management by one of our coordinators, Karen Meisenheimer, who 
runs the garden at the 4H camp.  The other was a program by the 
Dream Weavers, a woman's barbershop quartet.  They were excellent.

Our other coordinator was Joe Gray who is an expert on natural 
history, forestry and geology.  

I recommend attending this Elderhostel.

Helen Sternheim

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Bemidji State University / Duluth

We just finished two excellent Elderhostels sponsored by Bemidji 
State University Elderhostel Programs. 

The first was in Duluth, MN.  Accommodations were in a commercial 
resort motel.  Breakfasts were continental buffet.  Lunches and 
dinners were sit down meals served by waitpersons.  At each meal 
we had a choice of two or three entrees.                  

The topics included mining in Minnesota and shipping on Lake 
Superior. One field trip took us to an open pit iron mine.  We 
arrived in time to see the weekly blasting operation. At another 
mine, now owned and operated by the State of Minnesota, we were 
lowered about a third of a mile in an elevator and then put in 
tiny rail cars to see how iron was extracted in an underground 

The shipping part of the program included a cruse in the Duluth 
harbor, a trip to an Army Corp. of Engineering station, and a trip 
to a lighthouse.

The lecturers were knowledgeable and good communicators. 

. . . .

Bemidji State University / West

The second week, at Bemidji, we were housed in a Comfort Inn.   
Breakfast was a continental buffet at the motel.  Lunches and 
dinners were at the college student's dinning room.  The choice of 
food was extensive and well prepared.  One of our dinners was at 
the home of the Elderhostel director, Maury Sullivan.  He and his 
gracious wife made our visit a home away from home.  Another 
dinner was at a local restaurant.  There one of the menu 
selections was a local fish, walleye. a mild white fish.  If you 
have a chance to have walleye, don't miss it.

The topics were Scandinavian immigration to the Midwest, taught by 
Dr. Arthur Lee.  Art, as he insisted on being called, is a retired 
Bemidji University professor. He has a great sense of humor.  His 
lectures were laced with jokes and funny anecdotes.  Even if you 
do not have an interest in Scandinavian migration, Lee's lectures 
will be worth your attendance.    

The other classes were woodcarving and Rosemaling.  My wife had 
never held a paint brush in her hand, yet came home with wonderful 
Rosemaling paintings on bowls, plates and mats.  I, who had never 
carved wood, came home with a creditable Father Christmas.

All in all, these were two very rewarding weeks and we received 
excellent value for our money.

St. Petersburg, FL 

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Great Alpine Crossroads: Switzerland's Great Railways
Train Treks section of the catalog

A five star rating to this program!! The railway theme is 
principally conveyed by 15 days of actual travel on this 
outstanding system through key parts of German, Italian and 
Romantsch speaking Switzerland.  Movement among six  locations 
mainly in 1st class, reserved railway cars.  Further experiences 
on cog and cable conveyances up into the mountains.

A well planned and executed program providing insights into Swiss 
history, culture and political system...breathtaking 
scenery...accommodations ranging from very good to excellent
...food good to gourmet dining.

EH uses The Experiment for International Living organization to 
conduct this program.  Their staff is intelligent, caring, 
creative and enthusiastic.

This has been one of the best travel experiences we've had.

Ron   Natalie Olsen

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Medieval and Gaelic Ireland: A Celebration
(Galway and Kilkenny Ireland)
April 18 to May 1,2002

This was my first trip with the Elderhostel International program, 
although I have traveled extensively abroad and participated in a 
number of Elderhostel programs in the U.S and Canada.

By any measure this program was superb!

The accommodations were at the Imperial Hotel in Galway and the 
Hotel Kilkenny in Kilkenny.  Both were top notch by Elderhostel 
standards.  We had large comfortable queen - double bed rooms with 
full bath in the room. Beds were made and rooms cleaned daily.

The hotel provided the meals and they were excellent. They we 
served in our own smoke free eating area with cloth tablecloths. 
This sample menu is typical.

Oriental salad with balsamic dressing, Thai noodle salad with 
mussels   chili jam, Cream of broccoli soup, Pan-fried breast of 
chicken supreme with peppercorn sauce, Boiled bacon served with 
parsley veloute, Poached fillet of trout enriched with a mushroom 
cream All main courses served with a selection of fresh vegetables 
and potatoes. Traditional rice pudding with fruit condae, Sweet 
coffee cream mille feuille, Selection of ice cream, Tea - 
Selection of Coffees   Mints.

The program provided a balance of interesting lectures and 
worthwhile field trips.  We had a good chance to visit the towns 
of Galway in the west of Ireland and Kilkenny is the south central 
region. The presenters were knowledgeable and interesting.  The 
guides on the bus were informative and entertaining.

The on site coordinator was Sue Phelan and the Bus driver was 
Martin Thomas.  Both were outstanding and the worked very well 

Sue could be anyone's favorite granddaughter. She is bright, very 
competent and personable. Don't be fooled however by her apparent 
mild and accommodating manner.  He has the ability to tactfully 
confront the inevitable stragglers to keep them on schedule. 

She would frequently be checking via her cell phone too confirm 
arrangements prior to arrival to minimize and "hic up" in the 
plans. Her attention to detail and her competence is indicated by 
a situation which occurred when one of the all day guides called 
late in the evening to inform her the he was ill and could not do 
the tour for the next day. By the next morning Sue had rearranged 
the schedule so we still had a full day of activities. 

The agency, which sponsored our Elderhostel, was The Experiment in 
International Living.  They would do well to reward Sue Phelan 
generously.  She will make a name for herself in the field of 
international travel. EIL would be well served to retain her 
services as long as they can.

The bus was very luxurious, --stereo, TV and a rest room. The 
driver, Martin, was also very personable and helpful with no end 
of humorous stories.  He is a careful driver. Something one 
appreciates when traveling the narrow roads of Ireland.

This is a great program!  If you are interested in Ireland don't 
miss this International Elderhostel.

Comments and questions invited.
Richard C. Youngs