National Geographic : 1994 Jan
to Colorado earlier this year, and though watching the light play across the face of the Front Range ev ery morning is great, I get tired of people telling me how much better the scenery is than in West Texas. As an oil company engineer for the past 12 years, I traveled grasslands of that area, watched the sun set behind the Davis Mountains, looked for the mesquite blooms that herald spring, followed the flight of the sandhill crane, and ate chicken-fried steak in every town on or off the map. The people define a land, and nowhere are they more resilient, tough, and friendly than in the beautiful, harsh Chihuahuan Desert. NAOMI B. ORBECK Littleton, Colorado As a kayak enthusiast I have traveled the Pecos many times-from south of Girvin all the way to Iraan, when it has rained enough. At no time dur ing my trips have I seen any sort of pollution, spill ing of oil, or waste by-products littering the banks of the Pecos. There are many operating oil wells and gas plants along the river, and their well and battery locations are spotless. If oil leaks develop along any pipeline, they are immediately taken care of. As for the people out "yonder," you will always receive a smile, help if needed, and some one to talk to over a cup of coffee or a tall glass of iced tea. L. B. LONG Big Lake, Texas Wandering With India's Rabari I admire Robyn Davidson's courage and persis tence as she experienced the hardship of the Rabari people by being part of their lives. In them she was able to glimpse the beauty, affection, and kindness that all human beings possess. The Rabari are luckier than millions of people in India who have very little to eat, no shelter, and minimal help from the government. MANJIT BRAR Vancouver, Washington The photographs of Dilip Mehta crystallize what Robyn Davidson experienced. H. L . BARRETT, JR. Alexandria, Virginia Being a Gypsy and having lived the first 15 years of my life traveling, I felt a kinship with the Rabari and could well understand and envision the ways of their hard-earned life. Even were I not, Davidson laid it out well, telling us of the things that were misery for her but simply a fact of everyday life for the Rabari. One was drawn into the scene by her writing. Ms. Davidson has a new fan. LEO W. COVER Beaumont, Texas Letters should be addressed to FORUM, National GeographicMagazine, Box 37448, Washington, D. C. 20013-7448, and should include the sender'saddress and telephone number. Not all letterscan be used. Those thatare will often be edited and excerpted. Which Lab Has Too Much Flab? It's hard to spot an overweight dog using your eyes. Instead, use your hands. Put your thumbs along your dog's spine and your fingers around his middle. Ifyou can't easiy feel his ribs, you may have a good reason to get your hands on Purina" Fit &Trim®brand adult dog food. Its specially formulated with fewer calories and less fat than the leading brand, to help dogs that lead too much of adog's life. Sotrythe test And ifyour Lab's too flabby (ike the one onthe right), try Purina Fit &Trim. S©1993, RalstonPurina Company Purina®Fit &Trim . What every dog should be.