Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Month XII Progress Report


The Roman numeral used to mark my months in the village is a statement. If the NFL can do it to designate one meaningless event from another to sell beer to an audience that doesn’t understand Roman numerals than I can do it for a readership that does understand them and the significance of these progress reports, which may or may not be apparent to this blog’s author.

Village Health
With the upcoming testing of 700-800 villagers this August 28-29 for diabetes and high blood pressure by a team from the Diabetes Association of Samoa and a group of newly arrived American specialists, health issues may become my primary emphasis in the months ahead. I fully don’t understand the ramifications of what I have started.

Garden Project
I am happy to report there is a glut of Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) being produced in the village. Undeservedly, I shall take credit for this overlooking the real motivators of rapidly rising food prices and hunger. My focus is to continue to produce and give away otherwise unavailable seeds for sweet corn, okra, sugar snap peas, green peppers, sunflowers, and peanuts. I am becoming an “expert” among the locals. Of course, it doesn’t take much to become an expert. When I asked the Agriculture Department why I had such a poor corn yield, they asked whether I planted during a full moon.

My bees still languish in another village, native jays eat my watermelon blossoms, and I killed a chicken leaving tens of others to feed on my cabbage. I can chin myself eight times.

Telecenter/Computer Training
The Ministry of Communication is waiting to see if a proposal will be granted this October. If so, my village is up there in the hunt for a telecenter.

As for training teachers on how to use the computers they already have, my boyish enthusiasm is gone.

Small Business
Working with a one-armed single mother on better ways to run her little store is a real pleasure. She wants and is eager to learn basic business skills. Other stores seem interested as to what I am doing. It seems I have been viewing a lot of her DVDs lately. I plan to approach them with my “consulting” services soon

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