Bumpy road! Through beautiful teak forests. Arrived to a warm welcome and immediately saw the brick making machine. It was a focal point with lots of willing helpers, on-lookers and diligent workers. It seemed like had work and I thought I would investigate the machine’s lubrication points and make sure it was working smoothly. Helped to get a production line of bricks going to the Swinburne tradie team with the enthusiastic tribal people. It was great to see the walls rising up from the foundations and form of the new teachers accommodation taking shape.
Was invited to several houses of the village – looked quite good, although I saw that most use wood heating and cooking – this was a big twofold problem; the wood comes from a precious and threatened nature reserve and burning wood inside is really bad for the respiratory system of the family.
Some villages had gas bottles, but I learnt later that they are difficult to get and there is a small annual quota to how many one family can use.
After a wonderful lunch with the group, looked at the existing teacher accommodation. This was really of a miserable standard. Not weather proof at all. I would have a very low expectation of being shielded from the elements if I lived in it. Imagining these conditions really made me think how significant this project is to the tribal people of Jamnya and how important it is help them and how much we can learn along the way.
By John Burne.
Visit to Jamnya (12 Jan 2015)