Due to a blundered budget for a project which has now be halted mid air, I have been spending two mornings a week working with a team of 9 builders to instill the importance of planning and accuracy in relation to construction This is not any normal training session, the group is made up of men from 18 - 45, some of whom cannot read and write, let alone perform basic, necessary calculations. Those within the group who were lucky enough to finish school, usually the younger ones, have a good attention span and show a lot of interest. As for the older ones, it is a struggle, but fortunately pride and large egos do not stand in the way of learning, it is more to do with a lack of confidence from a severely limited educational background. These men are by no means stupid, just try to imagine what life would be like without the education you received both at home and in school - difficult to comprehend, I know!
Education really is the key and on a very positive note, we have managed to get support from an NGO called Street Child to take over the teacher training and rehabilitation of the primary school in John Obey. This alone is key to the future development of this small community.
This weeks community meeting was set to discuss how the community can leverage the tourism that tribewanted brings to the area, a shame indeed, but as many people cannot comprehend the different needs and wants of visiting tourists there is not much in the way of local produce on sale. Lot's of potential though from making country clothes, to bottling chilli sauce and forest honey.
|Selection of local potions|
|Village expert in stick and tyre games!|
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, from a 10 day trip in a dug-out canoe along the Moa river to Tiwai islands, a national park which boasts the highest density of primates in Africa, to Christmas with friends on the islands and working closely with the women of John Obey to build confidence, capacity and hold workshops on health and sex education.
Life is good!