11 April 2008

On Vacation: April 12 - April 27

The Short

I will not be around to check my email/journal/wall for the next two weeks from April 12 - April 27. If you need to get a hold of me call my cell but it had better be important.

The Long

I have amazing friends. I have four wonderful people in my life who are willing... no, eager to truck their bottoms a world away to Fiji to come to vacation and to visit me. It goes without saying that I am horribly excited to have the chance to share my life here with my friends.

We have some loosely woven plans for our time here. The rough itinerary includes scuba diving, hiking, relaxing on tropical beaches, wind sailing, 'horse boarding', visiting various local sites, and hopefully getting a taste of real life in Fiji. I am nothing short of giddy - I have needed this leave for weeks now and its so nice to finally be at that moment.

See you all in two weeks with a hard drive full of photos.

03 April 2008

A Few Thoughts On Culture

Culture is not a style of music or a particular dance step. It is not a single craft based on generations of artistic tradition.

Culture is much more elusive. It is the assumptions we make about the world around us. It is the unspoken interpretation of events. It is no more and no less than our entire personal perspective on reality.

Culture cannot be sifted like rice, separating one aspect from another with enough effort. We are each a fusion of innumerable influences, unique unto ourselves. Each person encountered is a singular manifestation of culture, a phenomenon impossible to replicate.

02 April 2008

Donations for the Senior Citizens Centre

As most of you who read this know, I am working in Fiji at Senior Center as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Currently, the Centre is struggling to get by and while thinking of potential solutions, it occurred to me how much excess we have at home in the US... often small things that are prohibitively expensive here. So with several of my friends coming in three weeks for a visit, I thought I would invite those back home to support my work here and directly aid a community of disadvantaged elders in a developing nation.

Here's what I am asking for: Consider the following list and see if you can offer to donate any of the following items. If you can, please comment below on the post so that there are no duplicate gifts. My mother has offered her house in Worcester as a shipping/dropping off point, where the gifts will be collected by those coming to visit and then delivered directly to the seniors here in Ba.

For practicality purposes, items should be small and lightweight. If you can think of something useful that is not on the list, please just send me an email. For those of you who would like to offer a monetary donation, I am currently working on establishing a PayPal account for the centre, which should be in place by the end of the week.

For details, shipping or otherwise, please email me - raedochartaigh at gmail dot com

I would like to have all donations in Worcester by April 5th.

Please make sure to list your donation in the comments, i.e. which video you have donated. If you wish to you can do so anonymously.

The List

  • Diabetes Testing Strips (Unlimited)
  • Diabetes Testing Machine (1)
  • Portable DVD Player (1)
  • Secondhand PC Laptops (2)
  • Ink Cartridges for a Canon iP1000 - Color and Black (Unlimited)
  • DVDs for Golden Oldies Ex: Exercise Video (Unlimited)
  • Lightweight Arts and Craft Supplies
  • Appropriate Health Posters & Pamphlets
  • Simple Crafting Manuals Ex: Watercolors and Brushes

The Details of the Center

Their Website

The Senior Citizens Ba Community Centre (SCBCC) is a not-for-profit, non-government organization registered in 2005 under Fiji's Charitable Trust Act. The SCBCC works to support the elderly of Ba by providing access to health services, education, social gatherings, and financial opportunities. It seeks to raise awareness within the community regarding elder issues and a senior's right to independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity.

In striving to fulfill this mission, the SCBCC offers a variety programs and services to the local senior community. Current programs include: Weekly enrichment activities, monthly health clinics, health & lifestyle education, outreach & home visitation, social events and referral & advocacy.

At the moment, we are developing some new and needed programs to better serve our seniors. These programs include stroke awareness & management, education on aging for the families of seniors, basic technology training, and opportunities for income generating projects.