It's been an outgoing autumn for me. Last month I was in Taupo, participating (as sponsor, not team member) in the Whai Ora Spirited Women's Adventure Race. This was the second year of the event, and our 2nd year to be involved. Teams of 4 women cast themselves into adventure and sheer effort to complete the Short, Medium or Long Course, 1200 women in all!
It is, as all events are, a sustained level of vision and labour over months proceeding to pull it off, both on the participants and organisers side.
On the way home, I stopped in at the Go Green Expo, and got to meet the owners behind the brands that I love. So cool.
Now I'm in the 2nd week of time in the South Island, for business meetings mixed with grand catch ups with friends (I lived in Queenstown and then Karamea for 15 years). I'm soaking up the yellows and reds of a land getting ready for winter.
Being away from a city centre, I have created few opportunities to work in events. I begrudge the travel away from family any more than the fundamental business workings require.
Being able to meet people, and introduce our products in person, to hear stories and to participate is heartening. We live in our own worlds of family and work, and having the opportunity to mix worlds for just a few hours, that's the sense of community in a larger sense.
In Check it Out, consider making another connection, and I can celebrate by sending you product! My friends Chris and Julia who run non-profit OceansWatch, are asking for donations to allow them to set up 11 villages with rocket cookers. Be part of their vision, to give Solomon Island families an efficient smoke-free way to heat water and food in their homes.
With respect, autumn leaf, Bex
OceansWatch is a Whangarei based organization, working mainly in the SW Pacific. They work at many levels with coastal communities, from reef preservation and marine reserves, to sailing hand-processed coconut oil to New Zealand. They help maintain medical clinics, and work with communities to set up stewardship for their forestry assets.
OceansWatch is our chosen non-profit donation partner for our work through 1% for the Planet and we've been working with them for several years now. My appreciation of their efforts grows every year.
Last month I was able to go to Chris and Julia's home, and OceansWatch base, just outside of Whangarei, and we spent hours talking about their work. Chris gets very excited about new ideas and ways of working with the island communities.
This year's focus is to set up 11 villages with 4 cookers each that can be shared to offer the village a fuel-efficient, smoke-free way to heat water for washing the coconut oil making equipment and for food for the women who participate in the program. Smoke-filled homes create respiratory issues in both adults and children, and is one of the top medical concerns in the islands.
What Part Can you Add?
The cooker is so great, mainly because it's so efficient. The water is heated in a water jacket so the top can be used for regular cooking, for heating the grade 2 coconut oil or for more water. It's faster than a regular cooking fire and uses far less wood, a precious resource now in some islands. It's also made from Stainless Steel so will last for many years.
We've set up 3 options:
For your quarter cooker ($25) donation, we will send you an OUCH 12g tin (NZ).
For your half cooker ($50) donation, you can choose any retail sized product in our on-line shop (NZ).
For your whole cooker ($100) donation, we will send you the retail product of your choice from our on-line shop, PLUS a 250g jar of the villagers' hand-crafted coconut oil, that was sailed from the Solomon Islands last year (NZ).
For those of you outside of New Zealand who want to help, we'll apply equivalent credit to any on-line shop order.
All donations are made through OceansWatch site directly, and they will advise us of your donation amount and e-mail address for the goodies to be sent. All donations are tax-deductible, which makes your money go much further.
Chris will be sailing the cookers to the Solomon Islands in mid May and so we'll hold open this offer until May 10th so that they can organise the cookers to be loaded and ready.
Thank you for your willingness to participate in our world community. I'll let you know what this small group of devoted people can do when we each contribute a small amount, complete with pictures!