Friday, December 5, 2008

Progress Report: Month XV


New Primary School
No official word yet. I feel confident on getting the award to build a new primary school.

Both my village of Iva and the neighboring village of Vaisaulu are on board for an expanded testing program including monthly testing, weight ins, and weight control education. The first step is to get the necessary testing equipment of blood sugar test strips, a blood pressure cuff, and scale. Trying to get this equipment is hard, but I am hopeful that persistence counts for something. If all goes well, we shall start after the holidays in January.


The small neighboring village has applied for money on their own to start home garden plots. I am to be the “expert”. I am trying to see if the Women’s Committee of my village wants to undertake such a project.

I have come to the realization that Samoans don’t know how to garden. They are used to growing taro and bananas for food and money in large plantation plots. The whole notion of growing lots of vegetables in a small space is new to them. For home gardens to succeed a lot needs to be done than just supplying seeds and tools.

My own garden is taking up less of my time as I now have done the things which take up the most time. I still spend a few hours a day in it, but I have finished with the heavy stuff. Now it is mainly plant, water, harvest, and eat. Currently I am growing okra, sunflowers, peanuts, beans, tomatoes, and some cabbage.

Small Business
The single mother with whom I am consulting continues to deposit money in the bank.

My newest product is a salted raw peanut. People love them once they get over the fear that it is poison. This goes along with the salted sunflower seeds. My jam is always in demand. So salted seeds and jam seem to be the best ways to make a buck. Although it may seem incongruous to be selling these items while at the same time trying to reduce diabetes and hypertension, these are better foods than what Samoans normally eat.

Sewing Machines
The Women’s Committee is canceling the fashion show. They are busy weaving mats for Christmas. Maybe next year. Probably never.

Bees just don’t seem to be a priority. Of course, the way things happen here, they could appear next week.

No new developments.

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