Less Consume More Update

Less Consume, More Update: Week Eleven

Today I'm flying home. I have no other quotes to share but these...not about travel but about education and ignorance.

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. -Abraham Lincoln

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -Albert Einstein

A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again. -Alexander Pope

To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant. -Amos Bronson Alcott

Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know. -Daniel J. Boorstin

An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -James Michener

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. -Thomas Paine

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. -Will Durant

Update on Nomadderwhere

Just plain tired

Just plain tired

I'm tired, and I've smelled like a bus station bench for over two months.

After months in a highland village, weeks recharging in village beach resorts, and days talking out issues with Fijians and like-minded thinkers, I'm ready to meet my family in Florida for a wee reunion before heading back to the snow of Indiana.

The project will involve a lot of work and a lot of explaining right here on good ol' Nomadderwhere before it can become anything. But we've got tenacity and don't take this project lightly.

Also, it is with sincere apologies that I report there will be no Video of the Week tomorrow, as internet time here is too expensive and I've been too busy doing absolute squat. But check out Alongside the Village to recap the experiences we've had thus far. And be prepared for the onslaught of good stuff come this Wednesday as I lay out the plan for Nakavika Project content. There's still OH-so much we haven't told you.

Wish me luck that this flight is somewhat smooth...and without snakes.

Less Consume, More Update: Week Ten

One more week before I head back to America, flying home on the 14th. Get this - I get to enjoy two Valentine's Days this year. Let's take one more look at some travel quotes (since I don't have time to check out my favorite travel blogs) before we bring an end to The Nakavika Project.

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. -Henry Miller

As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know that the Matterhorn isn't a tuba. -Temple Fielding

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. -Augustine

Travel doesn't merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind. -Bruce Chatwin

I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. -Caskie Stinnett

Travel is the ruin of all happiness! There's no looking at a building after seeing Italy. -Fanny Burney

There is nothing like a comfortable adventure to put people in a good humor. -Peter Mayle

Update on Nomadderwhere

So the fundraiser...we made $171.80 FJD (roughly $90 USD) by selling our donations to the villagers - clothes, purses, backpacks, balloons, rings - and then doubled this amount with our own project funds to use all the profits on supplies for the dispensary. We ended up sending nearly $400 FJD worth of Band-aids, anti-biotic ointment, and more supplies than I can remember. Vita, the dispensary manager and the village first-aid guru, received the box with her ever-present gratitude.

After two months of setting up a volunteer-based project up in the Highlands of Viti Levu, it has come to our attention that changes have to be made in our plan. I'm in the process of detailing the shifts in concept for a future posting. The project will continue on but in a different vehicle, rather than through volunteers. And in a month or so, a new subdomain will be created just for the Nakavika Project. Look forward to that, why dontcha!

Less Consume, More Update: Week Nine

Once again, I fall victim to the paucity of internet in the village. I don't know what people are writing about or what's going on in this world. It's kinda nice, I gotta say. I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project. Let's make like Janet Jackson and go deep in our thinking, facilitated by some travel quotes:

Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel's immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way. -Ralph Crawshaw

If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel. -Sir Vivian Fuchs

They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea. -Horace, Epistles

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. -Saadi

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read. -Oscar Wilde

I like terra firma - the more firma, the less terra. -George S. Kaufman

Update on Nomadderwhere

Sunday evening we came down to town via Rivers Fiji truck for some much needed rest and internet work. The three of us (Jackie Knowles has joined the project...have I mentioned that?) promised the village we would create a video in honor of the funeral week and the passing of Elias. Thus far, the video is half-way finished and 30 minutes long. We still have a lot of work to do.

We're also in the process of developing written agreements with the village and with our 0n-site coordinator, Abel. Having our main points written on paper makes things much more official in Fiji but still doesn't save us from any future headaches. Making deals and having understandings has proved to be difficult thus far. We'll see how this project pans out. Although, as much trouble as we've had with all this, the reasons for us to be here have solidified even further. There's a reason why humanitarian projects aren't covering every inch of the communities that need them. It's not easy.

Returning on Wednesday to the village, we will be having an immediate meeting the headmaster, as he has returned from school break for the first week of classes. We're hoping to discuss the needs of the school, identify things in our power we could do to improve the school, and develop the project even further.

On Saturday, we are also having a fundraiser for the project, which will function much like a yard sale. Using donations both Jackie and I brought over from America, we will provide the village mothers a chance to peruse clothing, purses, backpacks and knick-knacks at a very low price (think a $.25 USD or less). Every mother will be allowed one item per child, and the profits of this fundraiser will go toward buying fever reducer for the village dispensary. The project will also double the final earnings in order to enable more medicine to get to those who need it. The idea behind selling our donations is about teaching the mothers to invest in their child's health, not just use what medicine is free and continue to give money to their children only for candy and billiard games. We'll see how this goes.

Less Consume, More Update: Week Eight

Sadly, I'm not able to read the blogs I regularly follow, thanks to a lack of internet in the village. Instead I'm looking inward while on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. -James A. Michener

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. -Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

If an ass goes traveling, he'll not come home a horse. -Thomas Fuller

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. -Izaak Walton

Update on Nomadderwhere

Without a doubt, the most dramatic week in Nakavika yet...

The spot where Elias last stood

The spot where Elias last stood

A 45 year-old man died of a heart attack this week in the village, and the stress of the week has caused some interesting, some negative, some unexpected changes in the village. Updates will come very soon in the form of blog posts, as this weekly space isn't sufficient for telling the stories of these surreal and movie-like adventures.

The bottom line for this project: whatever program we create in Nakavika will certainly be an adventure for the strong and the tough-skinned. This is no trip to paradise. This is true work against the odds for the good.

Less Consume, More Update: Week Seven

I've got no clue what other bloggers are up to these days, nor the latest in news or developments in...well, nuthin'. But I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast. -Ernest Hemingway

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. -Robert Louis Stevenson

Travel is 90% anticipation and 10% recollection. -Edward Streeter

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has comes to see. -G.K. Chesterton

There is a ghost that eats handkerchiefs; it keeps you company on all your travels. -Christian Morganstern

The more I see of other countries the more I love my own. -Madame De Stael

Update on Nomadderwhere

Welcome to the weekend update with Lindsay Clark, Garrett Russell and Tina Fey.

The chief of the Namosi province announced this week that all kava drinking must stop by 10pm, in order to improve province health, productivity and family time. Noble plan, chief…I'm on board. However, when no one seems to have watches, it's going to be hard to gauge the cut-off, especially when there's no one in the village interested in ratting people out. Noble plan…ain't gonna happen.

Garrett and I found out this week there is a village "nurse" - someone with basic aid training and a government funded dispensary. She happens to be the coolest women we've met thus far up here, and we've given her all of our medical resources in order to train children and adults to find her for first aid. Throughout this experience, we've expressed the interest in finding Garrett a protege to carry on with first aid help in the village. We found it mildly funny, and a wee bit annoying, we never knew she existed until now. The project's potential has just tripled in the health department.

The Nakavika Project is gaining momentum as many talks have occurred between the village and ourselves. It looks as if, after proper introduction and explanation of the whole concept to the elders, we'll be all set for having our own volunteer program in the highlands. Details are fairly squared away, and a website is in the works. Abel will be our point man in the village and the main coordinator of all things NP locally.

Speaking of the NP, our team is not just two but three! Jackie Knowles has joined the project and is currently enjoying day three up in the village. She will be staying with Vita, the village nurse and our new best friend, along with her very smart and adorable children. They also have a cat I earned the privilege of naming "Lady Snugs" after a long petting session where I gained a friend and also determined the gender of this previously androgynous cat. Don't read that last sentence with a dirty mind…sicko.

We experienced our first fundraiser in the village this week, one dedicated to collecting funds for a village lady headed for teacher's college. The evening involved dancing, kava, Akon, island rhythms, and most likely a little fire rum. Details are to come.

Less Consume, More Update: Week Six

What's going on in the world? I haven't the slightest, but I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

Twenty years from now you will be mor disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

The heaviest baggage for a traveler is an empty purse. -English Proverb

Travelers never think that they are foreigners. -Mason Cooley

The Promised Land always lies on the other side of the wilderness. -Havelock Ellis

He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices. -Carlo Goldoni

I have found that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. -Mark Twain

Update on Nomadderwhere

After a very appreciated vacation to Rakiraki and Pacific Harbor, Garrett and I came back to the village in full force, prepared with more resources (adult and children's books, supplies for managing money, instructional tools, sharpeners, etc.). We're making the following changes to our schedules and classes:

  • Creating weekly schedules for ourselves to feel and be more productive in work as well as cover more ground in our cultural pursuits

  • Establishing a set time for children's classes every weekday to keep from the kids lingering around all day long

  • Create and publicize two weekly seminars for the youth members and adults that will cover various topics of their interest (see The Itinerary for details)

  • Incorporate reading time after classes with the kids, which will include reading to groups of kids and asking questions and promoting individual reading if they're curious

We also came back to the village before our host mother returned from her trip home (Savusavu). I was appointed the woman of the house and had to clean and prepare food for ourselves. Garrett and I wanted to make American dishes with Fijian ingredients, such as:

  • Mashed cassava (with butter, salt and maybe a little cream?)

  • Vegetable soup (with beans and veggies)

  • Whole wheat tortillas with a bean and veggie mixture

  • Who knows what else...

We'll be back to the internet on the 14th of January! See you then!

Less Consume, More Update: Week Five

You've heard the story. I don't got no internet up where I'm living. I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. -Kahlil Gibran

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Confucius

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. -Ursula K. Le Guin

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. -George Moore

Bless not only the road but the bumps on the road. They are all part of higher journey. -Julia Cameron

A good traveler has to fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. -Lao-Tzu

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindness. -author unknown

Update on Nomadderwhere

Volivoli Beach Resort in Rakiraki

Volivoli Beach Resort in Rakiraki

First things first. Check out the second issue of the Nomadderwhere Newsletter, which features sneak peaks at future written posts, travel recommendations, developments with the site and more.

Free wireless internet. Ocean views from our $13 per night clean dorm room. $2 beers and free snorkeling. 88°F and sunny with a breeze that does its job to cool our steamy bodies. World-class scuba diving a couple meters off shore. Independence, protein and the termination of our farmer's tans. Oh sweet life.

We needed a break from the village, not just emotionally or mentally but physically. Both Garrett and I have contracted minor gastro-intestional issues due to either the diet change or bacteria in the highland water. It's possible the hurricane we braved a couple weeks ago made the water source a little questionable. The river water was possibly septic, and the force of the river knocked out the village's water pipes.

While we hit up the beach this week, we're in the process of revamping our project objectives and creating more structure to our daily programs. Now that we know what works, what doesn't, what's needed and what the village people relate to, we can allocate our funds in the right direction and be more productive and valuable to the village. We'll return this week in full force.

3 Questions...do you have 30 seconds?

If you've got a moment, I created 3 quick questions to find out how to best offer and create value to those of you following Nomadderwhere. I want to know why you keep coming back and what you hope to see in the future. Thanks for your help!

Less Consume, More Update: Week Four

I don't know what's going on in the world, thanks to the paucity of such luxuries as internet or power. Instead of checking out the world hum, I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

I am one of those who never knows the direction of my journey until I have almost arrived. -Anna Louise Strong

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey. -Babs Hoffman

Through travel I first became aware of the outside world. -Eudora Welty

The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist. -Russell Baker

My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone. -Diane Arbus

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. -Lao-Tzu

Update on Nomadderwhere

Oh boy. This week has been interesting - our third up in the village and one that has presented its share of cultural obstacles. We're feeling a smidge "nickel-and-dimed" by our hosts, but the main factor that contributes to our frustration comes from the lack of planning and informing. We are left out of many discussions that involve us, but we're getting our thoughts and points across slowly but surely.

This week, we celebrated Christmas in the village - the first white people ("kaivalangi") to do so in the village. Now we are on our way to somewhere touristy, beautiful and relaxing for a week or so.

When we return, we'll be revamping the project to accommodate all the new developments and needs of Nakavika's youth. It will be a real defining moment for us when we get back in January. Also, we plan on implementing these new goals and following them up with a discussion with the village adults to see if this thing could be sustainable and up for another year! We'll keep you up to speed on the progress of the NP!

Less Consume, More Update: Week Three

Maybe some day, villages in the highlands of Fiji will have internet cafes and ...wide spread power outlets. But today, this isn't the case; there fore it's a bit difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it. -Lord Chesterfield

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. -Lao-Tzu

A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other. -M.C. Richards

I sought trains; I found passengers. -Paul Theroux

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we would find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Update on Nomadderwhere

The Nakavika Project is still trucking along, and not only are the children expressing interest in our services, but the youth of the community have started coming over after dinner to review the spelling of their English and expand their vocabularies. They are a hilarious bunch and make it easy to stand in front of people much older and wiser in an attempt to teach.

They've also asked Garrett about how to deal with first aid issues. These boys are rough, and the way they treat their injuries from rugby would make you cringe. Not only are we teaching them about first aid, but we're also learning about Fijian medicine and what they already use in the village (I have already experienced the benefits of Fijian medicine when I cut my hand on bamboo last week).

Garrett is going to participate in a volleyball tournament which is taking place in Nakavika this week, and afterward there will be a dance. The funds for the whole event will go toward acquiring internet in the primary school. We're definitely going to dive into that project and see what we can do to help.

Less Consume, More Update: Week Two

Thanks to a lack of reliable power or internet connection, it's difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Make voyages! Attempt them...there's nothing else. -Tennessee Williams

The road recedes as the traveler advances, leaving a continuous presence. -Richard Le Gallienne

Travel should be no occasional fling, but a normal and frequent, integral part of one's life. -Arthur Frommer

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

Update on Nomadderwhere

I made it to the internet this week! Sitting here in Suva, I am realizing my senses have been either heightened/sharpened from village life. The rancid smells of city life are hitting me quite hard today.

What has happened thus far?

After some wee immigration issues with getting an extension for a volunteer visa, we visited Lautoka to see our contact, Kimbo, and then took the bus along the Queen's Road toward Suva. Fluttering our eyelashes a bit got us dropped off at Namosi Junction, which is a gravel road inland that only carriers and some trucks venture up. We waited for a carrier for three hours before hopping into a packed village truck (where I sat on the floor and Garrett mounted a propane tank). Eventually we made it to the highland police post, where we caught a ride with the police into Nakavika.

Our arrival was greeted by about twenty members of the village along with a scattering of kids. We drank kava and laughed and reminisced about the last time I was in Fiji. We asked for permission to stay in the village, and the spokesman agreed to meet us the following day to hear our plans.

Garrett and I are living with the hosts from my previous trip, and we each have our own room, which is incredibly nice and hospitable of them. We've started weekday classes with the kids, which are going extremely well. The kids hang out around our house all day waiting for "class" to begin.

Next week is all about hand washing, and we'll be turning this rather mundane habit into a fun activity with racing games. More to come next week!

Less Consume, More Update: Week One

Since I no longer have reliable power or internet connection, it's difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'll be looking much more inward, I 'spose, while up in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:

I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. -Hilaire Belloc

The use of traveling is to regulate the imagination by reality... -Samuel Johnson

Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones. -Anne Sophie Swetchine

The place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes. -Jan Myrdal

The thing I do most is look at maps. I study them. If I'm going to a place, I get all the maps and look at them. There's a lot of information on a map. -Paul Theroux

Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find A thousand regions in your mind Yet undiscovered… -Henry David Thoreau

Update on Nomadderwhere

We're in Fiji! Garrett and I have made it to the village safely and are living the dream, getting settled and getting the conversations flowing.

Unfortunately, that's about as much details as I can deliver at this point, but be sure to keep checking for new posts with photos, videos or updates on the project! If you have any questions about what we're doing up there, check out the NP page or post a question below!