Pictures of me
Behind the Scenes of Month Number Two of Meaningful Volunteer
1st May 2009
I write this from some friends' house in Manila. I'm
here because I've worked myself to a frazzle and need some
downtime. So far, I've slept too much, ate a lot of bad
food, watched some movies and blobbed out on the Internet.
What made me so frazzled? Well, all of this:
The RYE School Proposal
I need money to get the RYE
School built. A lot of time went into producing this
proposal for a Korea-based Human Rights fund. I am almost
certainly wont get any of the $US47,000 on offer, but at
least I have a kick-butt proposal that can be used for
Computer Demonstration Day
The demo day was crazy.
People are so keen to learn about computers. Currently, we
have four computer classes. One kid who is part of the
English program was in tears when some of his classmates
formed part of a new computer class and he didn't. I'd love
- of course - to include him as well, but I just don't have
RYE School Summer Classes Underway
It is great to
have classes actually being taught now. I'm pleased with
how all the systems that I worked so hard on are coming
together. The systems are not perfect yet and need some
work, but they'll be nigh-on-perfect soon.
I don't personally want to do is teach. Don't get me wrong,
I lurv teaching. It is one of life's great joys.
But just about anyone can teach*, but there are
certain things that only I can do. Those are the things
that I need to work on.
And one of things that I am working on are systems
so that I can make myself redundant here in the Philippines
so that I can move onto other countries and projects.
School Supplies Donated
I love Korea. I miss it
so. So it was especially nice when my good buddy
Jyoung-Ah Kim visited me with school supplies in tow. She
was like cool breath of fresh air which reminded me of all
the good times I had in Korea. I got to know Jyoung-Ah
during my work with the
of the Vagina Monologues. She was the superstar
responsible for the production. I was her go-to-guy for
pretty much everything except acting.
As she left on the ferry, I
couldn't help but feel a little abandoned on the island.
But, on the plus side, I know of five (!) other friends and
activist types who are visiting me here. Woot!
I love the rather odd game of cricket.
One of the reasons I love it is that is measurable in so
many ways; it is a statisticians dream sport.
Maybe this is why I was so keen to measure the students in
every possible way.
It is serving as a great
motivational tool for the students. They know they are
being measured and they know that the better they do, the
more chance they have of being sponsored.
I love it
when a plan comes together
RYE School Site
Yay! I found somewhere to build the
school. Actually the Meaningful Volunteer website is a
little out of date. I've actually found three sites onto
which to build the school, each with their own pluses and
RYE School Building Plans
- the very first Meaningful Volunteer - worked hard on the
RYE School plans and they look damn fine!
obviously working hard to get it done right and need to
organize things like architect plans and building permits.
There is a lot of red tape, but hopefully all worth it in
Picohydro and Green Energy
I'm forever flip-flopping
about whether to power the school via solar energy or hydro
energy. Fortunately, a green energy expert is coming from
South Korea to help me out!
All about the local health care centers
A lot of
Project Lifecycle work is documenting what we discover so
that others don't have to. It is not as glamorous as
helping the elderly to read, but it is very important.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say those two aforementioned
glamorous links are actually damaging the communities and
not actually helping them.
Making a replicable
teaching system is easy compared to making a replicable
sexual health system that introduces a new contraceptive
method, but as I progress on this project I see ways of
producing a "Barangay (village) Packet" that will
enable new volunteers to introduce the method into other
Sexual Health Surveys
It is good to have something
tangible for all the work Ingrid and I have been doing. We
made some mistakes with the surveys, but these will be
documented and talked about in the academic-style paper we
Here's a little
sneak peek for all you dedicated crazymalc readers. The
graph shows the number of days between one child being born
and the start of the next pregnancy. It is interesting to
note that about 40% of women are getting pregnant again
within 18 months of giving birth.
How we will save the mangroves
I think if someone did
a survey of mangrove projects around the world, a first
approximation would show that all mangrove projects are
I hope to not repeat the same mistakes with
Project Mangrove. Hence all the detailed project planning.
*Gasp* Busy. Busy.
I am happy with the way all the projects are progressing.
If I could wish for anything for Meaningful Volunteer, it
would be for more volunteers to help me with this stuff!
* Especially with kick butt Meaningful
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to have a meaningful impact on developing communities.
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