Thursday, May 10, 2007

General Blog Report #1

Friday Arrive Manado, North Sulawesi, spend one night in the Formosa, make plans with Femy for visiting the Lata Lata site on our return.

Saturday Travel day, Fly to Ternate and by speed boat to Sofifi, then public minivan to arrive Kusuri at 8:30pm…

Sunday attend church service in Tobelo and catch up with Peter and Esther. Peter is immediately onto setting up the BGAN satellite receiver that I brought. One of his workers took an old water container and made a rain protection dome for the antenna and mounted it on the roof. The reception is excellent and fast. Without a doubt this will be a money saver. In addition Peter can send and receive SMS messages which will help communicate with Tobelo and Manado in a big way.

Monday Prep day. We spend the day purchasing teaching supplies.

Tuesday; The first ½ day of class from 9 to 12:30.

Wednesday A full day of class from 8:30: to 5:00pm

Thursday another ½ day of class and then a demonstration of filter construction.

This year’s students have been in clinic basic training now for 2 months. The students are still getting use to each other and finding out what is required of them. When we arrived Esther let three of them go because they weren’t making the grade, some missing the point of the work altogether. It is pretty critical to weed out the class early or they end up investing time in workers that won’t make it in the long run.

Friday April 27: After doing 3 days of Hygiene training with our team we spent the morning at the local grade school watching last years hygiene students teach a class of 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. Sitting in the back of the school room the whole class seemed very absorbed in the lessons. Anis, Onald, Olan and Sara took the stories we had taught them a year ago and put life into them. Onald and Anis acted out a skit, they invented, and the hand washing song was a big hit as usual. This was very encouraging for Robin and I because it meant that last year’s training was not lost….in fact the whole presentation was exceptionally well done and clearly had been rehearsed and presented several times previously. Next week the medical team will teach the Fire Safety course to the same grade school students. The Fire Safety course was taught to this new medical team by the February, 2007 Fairbanks team, ( Cady’s, Aldrich’s, and Colp’s) using the same kind of participatory teaching methods.

We had changed our schedule to be able to observe this class and I think the day was worth working around…to observe the outcome of our efforts from last year.

After dinner we presented the Lifewater hygiene training certificates. Our students showed a great deal of appreciation. Three days of teaching seems like such a small amount of information to pass on yet the enthusiasm for us to do this teaching is huge, Peter and Esther are pleased because it fits so well with their goals for this work.

Saturday, April 28: I spent the morning doing some mapping of the grounds with Murray and his twin brother Caleb. (Murray will take a year off because he is getting married to Bronwyn. Caleb will fill in while he is gone.) Murray has planted so many fruit trees around that in about 5 years this place will be a paradise. There are durion, lansat, rambutan, mangostene, nutmeg, coffee, avocado and others. Lemon trees will be coming soon. Many of these will be profitable. If there was an export arrangement for the coffee it could be very worthwhile but local people do not provide enough market so it needs exporting.

Seismic Check on Buildings: Peter showed the damage that was due to the last earthquake. It appears pretty superficial but the next few buildings will be constructed with a little more thought to seismic proofing. The new hospital ward will have a new type of construction with solid concrete walls cast between surface layers of some sort of fiber reinforced concrete boards. The gold mine is providing the design and materials for this – the mine is proving to be a great ally in this work.

Sunday, April 29: Beach day. Together with Murray, Bronwyn, Caleb, Jaimee and the kids with several others we spent the day at a very nice coral beach snorkeling and cooking Damper -- bread on a stick (pronounced ‘dampah’ by the Ausies). The choral was everywhere and I butchered up my feet trying to get past to the deep water. I already had major bug bites so the combination of cuts and bites aggravating.

Monday, April 30: 12 pm -- Sitting in the base house just before lunch the rain is coming down in buckets and the whole class is inside preparing for what I call the ‘practicum’ of the class where we go to a village to teach. We leave in 2 hours. The room is so loud with the rain on the roof but spirits are high as the excitement of the road trip is building. The students are nearly prepared. They are coloring poster sets and singing songs that they intend to teach. The drumming is beautiful. A thunder clap sounded so loud outside the house it set the 3 year old Joey to screaming.

Arriving in Sasur about 4:30pm we were entertaining the children in the school yard tying balloons when the pastor arrived and welcomed us into his house. He said we should start our class immediately since the evenings are the best time to get adult participation. One of the teams quickly organized themselves and presented the first half of our training. It went pretty well but I could see where we didn’t really make the lessons clear to our students and as a result they made some errors. I still have to figure out how to correct such errors without embarrassing the new trainees in front of the whole village.

Tuesday, May 1: Presentation in Popon, approx 3km further on the road from Sasur. We made the presentation to a group of 30 adults, mostly elderly…no children. It appears the village must have understood the class was for the older group of residents.

Wednesday, May 2

Thursday, May 3

Friday, May 4 Meet with the Gold Mine community development man, Swingli. (and Harris).

Saturday, May 5 Flight cancelled out of Kao -- trip to Kanaan cancelled.

Sunday, May 6 Last night spent at Santika

Monday, May 7 Flight at 7:45pm Manado to Singapore

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