NewEarth Peru Blog 4

We meet at last! (23/5/15)

Well, it’s been a long time coming but yesterday I finally met with Jamil!

Despite being very tired after driving through the night to get here from Lima, he managed to find the energy to spend a good deal of time with me… Apart from the pleasantries, welcomes and very aligned general conversations we shared over a cup of tea, we spent some time down at the local bar (which has a breath-taking view of the river) where we got to have a good chat about strategy…

I shared with him my understanding of things (as I shared with you in my last blog of people being disenfranchised with the top down approach), and he was very receptive to the proposed approach of engaging the villagers more going forward. He also however shared his rationale for driving a top down approach until now – with which I can see there is a certain wisdom. The reticence of all the villagers to engage proactively in facilitating new projects means that it is difficult (if not impossible) to have any community lead projects. It is the reason why I conceived of the questionnaire/survey approach as a means of involving the villagers without asking too much of them, and the reason Jamil has focussed on dealing with single individuals in order to expedite exemplar projects so that an example can be quickly established which serves as the nexus point for the villagers to finally start agreeing on things.

A balance of these two approaches seems to be what is now informing the next steps, and we have today spent much of the morning walking the village and surrounding territory to view the areas which are available for immediate projects, with a view to identifying all of the paths of least resistance…

Town Hall

Town Hall

High STreet

The Very Busy High Street

It’s a true delight to finally get to spend some real time with Jamil – we have had an extensive relationship already over skype and email, but the language barrier has always limited the amount of progress we were able to make. Now though, in just 24 hours, we have finally had a chance to understand each other, and I for one like what I see – a kind and generous man who spends little if any time thinking of himself. I would be very surprised were this not the start of a very fruitful relationship…

More to come! Love to all

 

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