Wednesday, May 29, 2013

15. Another step towards the boat

Yesterday my friend, Tim Babcock, sent me an email. He was prepared to foot the entire bill for the translation of my book about Rangsa ni Tonun (the book is about both the Rangsa ni Tonun text and our film). This is what he wrote:

This is a small contribution that I am really happy to be able to make --- to a field, textiles, that I love; to causes --- cultural preservation/revitalization, ethical research, community development --- that I strongly believe in, and to various degrees have worked in;
and to the work of someone, i.e. you, whose energy and creative thinking, among many other wonderful traits, really enthuses me!

After I had caught my breath (WOW!), I sat down and looked at the accounts. With a little bit here and a little bit there and a sprinkling of luck, we just might have enough to cover the cost of laying out the book as well. MJA Nashir is looking into the techniques and challenges of copying our film. We want to produce cassettes of book and film. Above is an image showing the way MJA Nashir has visualized it.

The generosity of my friend and believer in our project is a milestone on the long path to launching the Boat Budaya on Lake Toba and finally being able to accomplish the Pulang Kampung III journey.

The clock is ticking and we still have alot to do even just to make the book materialize, but for me this milestone is also a signpost, or a signal tower. It tells us to keep wandering down this path because it will bring us to the Boat Budaya. We will celebrate with the Batak villagers and plenty of happy music.

Thank you, dear Tim Babcock!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

14. Gonna Take a Sustainable Journey

Today I wandered down to the Weverstraat in my town where Wibo Teerlink has his shop, called Cambium. Wibo is an idealist with great understanding and knowledge of modern products that contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. I purchased the new WAKAWAKA gadget from him. It is a solar-powered lamp that can also charge the mobile telephone and tablet.

We talked about strategies for making solar energy available to all participants on the Pulang Kampung III journey. Wibo showed me the American-made LUCI lamps that produce as much light as kerosene lamps to light up cozy gatherings in the night. These would be ideal in the Batak villages at night when we show our film.

And of course, there is the indispensable WAKAWAKA power to charge the mobile telephones. I would like everybody on the voyage to have one of these chargers. These will allow everyone to keep their telephones charged during the journey, even when we are traveling in boat and bus. The youth will be able to keep theirs and afterwards show everyone in the villages how they charge their telephone using the light from the sun. 

The total bill for this solar requirement for the Pulang Kampung III journey will come to 1000 euro, a reasonable price due to Wibo’s goodwill and desire to make this project work. I told him that we would be documenting the journey in film and that useful images will come out of the project that he and the manufacturers of the solar products will be able to use for promotional purposes.

Wibo and I are going to pool our efforts to realize this “solar goal” of Pulang Kampung III. He was very pleased with MJA Nashir’s design of the Pulang Kampung III proposal and will use it when we look for support for the project. When he shook my hand at the end of our meeting, he said confidently, “It is going to work.”

In the meantime, I have my mobile telephone charging at the rate of 1%/minute as my solar charger transforms sunlight into electricity on this cloudy day.