Thursday, January 14, 2010

OLD Post - Tanna Update



(Photo: Village houses in Kumahau, South Tanna)

I've been getting a lot done here in Vila, but expect to be back on Tanna in the coming days... likely within the week, but the exact date of travel is uncertain.

As of now, I will still be stationed on Tanna, but I have the freedom to move around and be involved in whatever projects are happening, or to start whatever projects my mind can dream up. I'm excited about this prospect, at least for the time being, because it allows me to be involved in (hopefully) some pretty far-reaching and effective projects, but, at the same time, allows me access to live (as much or as little as I choose) like the locals. Ideally, I'd like to have a home somewhere remote (like my village) where I live on par with their lifestyles, but to have a second home, of sorts, for work... which would be a 'model home', a structure built either of all local materials, all modern materials, or a very efficient combination which could be used as a training model for building on the island. Since it would be a work home, I would likely not be there much during the day, leaving it open to be used as a model often, AND because it would need to be centrally located near the business and political centers, it would maximize on the number of people on the island and in the province who would be able to see it. The two homes allows me to gain an appreciation and understanding for the living conditions and lifestyle of the more remote villagers, with my first home, and at the same time, allows me to infuse new ideas in design, technique, materials, and maintenance into their current understandings with the second 'model' home. These being separate, I can have both without them overlapping and thereby jeopardizing one or the other.

I am hoping to help identify other projects where "models" or "examples of success" or "improvement" could be identified and used to help train management and propagate successful methods. Some people are already working on things like this in agriculture, but it needs much help, and can easily be expanded to other sectors with equal success.

So, basically, for the time being I've gotten what I want, which is freedom to do, well, whatever I want in terms of projects. That is exciting. As usual, there is way more to do that I should commit to, so in the next few weeks, I will identify what my projects will be, gathering Germaine details along the way, and then finally start work. Looking forward, I can see this being successful if it goes on for two years, but I can also see that if I spend 6 months to a year getting a handle on work on Tanna, and gaining the first hand experience of the people on the ground and their conditions, that I could move to Vila and make a bigger impact with that knowledge. Of course, that would be a good idea for me or anyone else really from PC. It doesn't seem to happen much, and so don't have high expectations for this coming to be. If it doesn't, I expect to be equally satisfied with my productivity on the ground in Tanna as I would be moving to Vila to work on administration, funding, and oversight (assessment of projects and project planning). There's so much to do, I'm just going to be glad to be able to work on one project that will help, but, being still young and ambitious, the more I can accomplish with the same amount of effort, the better. I will work towards that goal while keeping a healthy amount of time reserved for self-sustenance and self-enrichment as well.

So, that's basically it. I hope that settles some anxiety. I know that it has for me, and now I am simply filled with anticipation, and a readiness to begin that I expect the rest of my group is feeling with equal strength.

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