Friday, February 6, 2009

Hasta luego!, our budget´s approved.

Barring some vaguely catastrophic occurrence within the next twenty-four hours, by tomorrow morning we´ll be on some form of floating contraption headed in the direction of Pearl Lagoon, then onwards to Kahkabila. We´ll be gone until the beginning of March and, while there´s no internet access or any other amenities (stores, for example), we´ll have a cell phone.

Kahkabila consists of about 100+ houses with upwards of 500 residents. It is accessible by floating contraption or footpath, and its current sources of power are the two bE energy systems, along with a few personal solar panels or diesel generator systems for basic appliances. We´ll be staying in the house of one of the bE system operators. The wife of another operator will be cooking for us, though we´ll be transporting most of the dry goods up there. Combined cost for cooking and accomodations (in one of the nicest houses in KKB, says Ali) runs a little over $4 a day. While not yet a tourist destination, if they clean up the beaches (they plan to) and arrange some general services, there´s a great deal to like.

Our first and primary role will be, as mentioned, teaching, specifically formal English as a core curriculum for native Creole speakers. We´ll also be doing workshops on some mixture of health, sanitation, water quality (bE volunteers will be ramping up studies on a water filtration system while we´re gone, potentially to be introduced during our second trip), environment, nutrition, math, and basic accounting and budgeting.

Secondly, we´ll be working with the KKB energy commission on both maintenance and organizational matters, and evaluating a number of other energy- and income-related interests, including their tourism plans and additional energy system installations (in various forms). We´ll be testing and demonstrating different energy utilization and efficiency gadgets (like LED lighting and home battery systems), to determine what works well.

Third... We´ll be taking surveys, pictures, trying to learn everyone´s name, playing dominoes, playing baseball (poorly), playing basketball (worse), fishing, swimming, and just generally trying to hang out without being a pain in anyone´s ass. We´re working as a more immersive followup to all of bE´s previous efforts in KKB, plus planning our second trip.

Until March...