December 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm #250772
This is my first post on your forum, so I’d like to introduce myself a little. Maybe these usually go in the Introduce yourself section but I also have some other things to say.
My name is Chris, I’m Dutch, 23 yrs old and living in China now. I’m interested in permaculture (especially the practical aspects), and things related to it. The reasons are that I like nature and the lifestyle of doing things yourself. And I think it might be very important in the future for people to rely on and care for things that are more local. I hope we can slowly move in that direction before it becomes absolutely necessary and there’s no more opportunity to think things over and design them well.
Right now I’m not really trying to put anything like permaculture or self-sufficiency in practice. I’m in the middle of trying to set up an English training school for kids and I hope I can get that up and running well enough for someone here to take over. Then I’m thinking about maybe going to Australia (or back “home”) and do seasonal work to save some money. My main goal for the next few years is studying environmental science in Hong Kong, because I want to do something sustainable development related in Asia (probably China).
The reason I’m writing is because I’d like to get to know some people with similar interests and ideas to mine (or interesting different ones) to talk with. For some reason I never keep visiting particular forums for a long time, I don’t seem to have the inclination. So knowing myself, I’d like talking on msn most.. I find it more relaxed than having unanswered mails to worry about and a good way to spend a bit of free time.
I have a lot of things I’m interested in and think about, but always lack people to discuss them with. And being here in China I miss conversations with people that speak English (or Dutch) well, too.
Besides permaculture (for lack of a more convenient word) another thing I’m very enthusiastic about is social bussiness, after reading Muhammad Yunus’ book “Creating a World without Poverty”. The basic idea is that if you have a social goal, the best way of doing it is by making the activity profitable. I think that makes a lot of sense.. for example, yesterday I heard about some region in Pakistan with two endangered goat species. Local people and foreign hunters had been shooting a lot of them, then someone managed to get the local tribes to stop hunting and start protecting them .. When the population had grown 15 times in size, they started allowing a few of them to be hunted each year. The difference was that hunting license fees had gone up from 100 dollars to 25.000 dollars (apparently a price some are willing to pay to shoot rare animals.. their horns are really amazing though.. google sulaiman markhor pics.). This meant a lot of extra income for the local tribes and a good reason for them to continue protecting the goats.. This to me is a very good and natural solution to the problem.. just telling the local people the goats might die out doesn’t make much of a difference, nor does buying up land and hiring guards (who quit the minute funding ends), and the government doesn’t have much influence in what happens in those regions, even if they’d want to. That’s not the best example of a “social bussiness”, but the same principle. After I read that book I’ve been thinking about a lot of things from the perspective of that concept and it can apply to so many situations.
This example reminds me of another thing. The place where I got this example from is a website of a radio program called Spotlight. They use simple English with a limited vocubalary and they speak very slowly and clearly, so it’s easy for people still learning English to understand. I recommended this site to people on my Chinese variant of livespace to improve their English. I think they make really good programs, a lot of things about fair-trade, eco-systems, poverty, people with inspiring life stories, the future of cars etc.. That made me think.. a lot of people here seem to lack perspective about things like these and looking at China’s growing economy and their environmental issue, I think that’s something they could use. They’re also very interested in studying English and curious. So I thought to myself it would be good to write some little articles about some broadcasts I particularly like, and suggest them to study all the vocabulary and listen to it. Some people already copied my “blog entry” about that site to their own sites, so it might spread a little at least, even if only for the learning English part.
I wasn’t planning on writing such a long post, but I got carried away. I’m really enthusiastic about things like this.. but there’s not really anyone to discuss them with. The problem is these things often only stay ideas and I never do much with them or learn about the subjects in more depth. Maybe if someone would tell me one idea is better than another, or knows more about it and can give me some suggestions, that would be motivating already. I’d like talking to anyone about things like these and a lot of the topics you discuss on this forum, maybe exchange links and suggestions for books on msn sometimes, or just have a chat. I’m pretty casual…
If you like you can add me me on msn: firstname.lastname@example.org . And any comments on here I’d like to read too.
-ChrisDecember 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm #447113
Sounds like an interesting life you lead. We had a Chinese exchange teacher stay with us some years ago (English teacher) and we loved sharing stories about our various interests and countries. Poor fellow, he had to keep a diary of all our slang and what it meant 😆 We didn’t realise how much slang we actually use in our day to day conversations.
We have lived an almost self sufficient lifestyle (completely chemical free/permaculture/organic principles) for the past 4 years. With the exception of growing our own grain we pretty much live off the place and have a lot of information on our website http://www.sarariver.com if you want to check it out at some time. We are actually in the process of selling and starting again at the moment.
I have just completed a two year course in organic agriculture (CertIV) and intend to do my Diploma in Organic Agriculture next year.
Anyway, this is also getting long so may catch up with you sometime.
I loved your story about the goatDecember 13, 2009 at 11:39 am #447114
Thanks for your reply. One of the reasons I don’t like writing on forums is I hate it when you don’t really get reactions.
It is interesting for me to be here now. Starting the “school” (it’s just in my apartment) is fun and I can learn from it. But actually it’s easy to live a dull life here, I don’t have to work much here.
I know it’s hard for Chinese people to understand every day English but I’ve gotten used to what kind of things they know.. sometimes I have to translate native speakers’ English into simple English.
I saw your site.. that’s great. I don’t have the goal of living self-sufficiently myself now, but I think that’s one of the most admirable things you can do, especially helping others with the things you learn from the exprience. I looked at what certIV is but I’m not really sure, is it something Australian?
In China people live very differently from western countries.. almost everybody lives in a flat and most cities only have apartment blocks until it suddenly turns into countryside, so no endless suburbs. And people use every available patch of dirt to grow vegetables, especially the grandparents. I hope I can do something with urban agriculture here in the future.. if they would use all those flat roofs here, that would be a very good start.
Maybe I’ll come back to this forum some more to read.. but you can always add me on msn if you use that.
– ChrisDecember 13, 2009 at 8:15 pm #447115
Chris, it sounds like you’re doing & seeing lots of interesting things. If you give it time & join in the conversations here, I think you’ll find many who share your ideas. 🙂December 13, 2009 at 8:43 pm #447116
What a wonderful gift you are giving to the world, if only more were like you. Drop in often to the site we have some wonderful people here with great ideas of how to live and love your life. Keep up the awesome work you are doing there’s nothing like touching the world of another person and making a difference.
A thousand mile journey begins with the first step.
Take care of yourself.
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