Archive for February, 2008
February 24th, 2008
The Ministry of Education formally acknowledged the ‘educational and cultural’ value of the Project to
Our efforts to be treated in that context were also accepted by the Minister of Lands – who in issuing the balance of Negotiator Certificates – classified the land as a Conservation Area; we must now submit a plan to the Ministry for how it will be managed.
In this context, the Project is probably unique in today’s world – we would hope that assumption is wrong. But integrating Man into the preservation area as an integral part of it means that Man must recover the original role intended for him in that old story common to most legends of man’s genesis.
Another meeting of Landowners was held on 21 February in the Chief’s Nakamal on the Provincial government’s ground. The Project’s purpose [in calling the meeting] was to engage their real responsibility as landowners – not the god-given right by which they would like to claim ownership – to show them that they must have regard for all the community, especially those that have no such benefit that they will soon obtain. We have a strategy for this that is yet to unfold; it will at the appropriate moment.
Even here, at this extreme outpost of civilization the issue of money [and entitlement] brings about the same unfortunate bizarre emotions as it has everywhere else in the world. We must resolve and satisfy [all] these matters quickly so that an equitable result is obtained. It may be our final act within the civilization we are prepared ‘to ditch’; let us hope so. The meeting agenda addressed the mechanism for quick resolution, We will see if they buy it or not.
A demand of wildly fantastic conditions was prepared and tendered by one group, resulting in anger and petulance when it was rejected. While this turned into a momentary crisis, the conflict resolution which Custom applies [quite elegantly] first removed the sting of hurt feelings. Then ceremonial apologies were made and humbly accepted in the wake of it.
The meeting adjourned after the concept of a trust to represent them instead of the inevitable jealousies that a disparate group of separate deals would ensure ….through which the twenty-odd landowners could negotiate [this time taking into account the rest of the community] was extensively discussed. So they have adjourned to meet next week and consider this [or any other alternatives] to make the process of getting to a lease more efficient.
The cooperation and good-will of these inherently sweet people reopened the program on which the surveyor and his team will now embark. The surveys may take eight weeks or so. Once completed, the final phase of negotiation will begin. Once the lease is done construction will commence.
Anumber of designs have been developed for utility and comfort, all with great respect for natural law. The near exclusive use of native materials sometimes used in new ways is rather exciting. The ‘campus’ is beginning to awaken. Only a few items of technology will be employed – such as how best to exploit the ample springs for our simple purposes here.
We thought we were going to have help by now but, being not being foreigners to pioneering, we’ve managed so far by ourselves, Ruth and I. However, we’ve engaged three couples for maintenance and security. We have planted probably more than two hundred fruit trees to date. And we’ve been accumulating stores of hardwood for structures and floors.
More in due course. Meanwhile, we’re happier here than anywhere else in the world. We’ll post some more pictures.