August 03, 2008 | Ronda Jambe

Hola! From the Parliamentary Triangle to Costa Rica

Only a few more weeks to go, then an adventure. What is more tempting: finding another contract in Canberra, and having money pour in for rather little effort, or vanishing overseas to study Spanish in Costa Rica?
Someday maybe I will tell my story about the wastage in the public service, but not now. They are all too polite and kind, so why make waves? And they let me do a climate change presentation, which was well attended with lots of sensible comments and questions. I’ve got lots of time for people who bring their own lunches, purchase renewable energy and get rainwater tanks without being forced to.
My message was one of governance, as always. What are we thinking, when we watch programs about The Cars That Ate China? My mind turns to community gardens, compost piles outside public buildings, and a chef in white apron and hat harvesting herbs on a walkway for the cafe meals nearby. During school holidays parents are wandering among the plants, quietly adding their child’s lunch scraps to the compost pile. None of these things exist now in the Parliamentary Triangle, even though I can see them when I close my eyes. Can words make things happen?
In today’s world, perhaps being driven at least half crazy with grief or knowledge is an adaptable way to go.
And go I will, come hell, high water, or more maintence problems on Qantas. Of the many things that need to be sorted out before I go, high on the list is a good carbon offset for my travel. A friend says find one that funds renewable energy, rather than trees, as the tree ones can be dodgy. Any suggestions?
The malaria tablets and typhoid injection: tick. The garden tidy, the dentist, the travel insurance, arrangements for uoloading photos, last year’s tax: all still waiting.
But it’s just in time to get away, as my mother is recovering from an operation and my junkie son may not survive until I return. I hope to not be here when the worst happens. Too terrible to discuss, like the elephants now in danger of extinction:
The estimate is elephants gone from the wild in Africa by 2020. Well, after chocking back tears (and I HATE being such a crybaby) I thought: well, maybe I’ll be gone by then, too. The thought of living in a world that let the elephants get poached out of existence is actually much worse than one more junkie dying early. And not beautiful, neither. If only I could inject him with some of my energy or courage, but that’s not the way it works.
But Costa Rica awaits, along with an old friend who has been living there for a year. She and I will learn Spanish together, and I hope to get good enough to discuss the illegal shark fin harvesting documented in the film SharkWater. Or maybe learn to salsa….
Also high on the list is getting a few things together for a joint showing in December, which if I am lucky, might have a few of my pics. The kiddie projects can wait, although I started playing with the ideas for one yesterday, I think Pusses at an Exhibition has a nice ring to it. This needs more staging, but after looking at a few kiddie art sites I think there’s some fun to be had:
It has rained this week in Canberra, another friend stayed overnight, and told about the 20 or 30% energy savings her company achieved in their commercial buildings, while also getting a return on their investment. This was partly just by installing monitoring equipment that lets them know where it is going and when. It seems that top 30% is easily achieved, the next 30% will be harder, and the final 35% (because that is where we are heading as the oil runs out) will be where we start reengineering our lives.
Al Gore’s latest challenge is for 100% renewable energy within 10 years. Good on ya’, Big Al! And it is doable, if we create the kind of vertical curve of change that could equal our nearly vertical curves of energy use, population growth, and so many other variables that we seem to accept. Mobile phone adoption? Probably pretty close to an exponential chart. Likewise digital cameras, etc.
But only if we insist. At my talks, I insist on insisting. As a minor functionary on a contract, I can sit and be patient. But as a citizen, I want to be a screamer. I’ll know I’m gaining fluency when I can talk climate change to the Ticos.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:30 pm | Comments (6) |
Filed under: General


  1. Ronda:
    Do you want someone to carry your bags? Toothbrush and spare socks packed already …. ready to go. 🙂
    Almost everything I have heard about Costa Rica has been nice.
    A little historical snippet: back in the ‘Thirties, Costa Rica was one of a tiny handful of countries that formally recognized the Manchurian government set up by the Imperial Japanese and nominally headed by Emperor Aisingoro P’u-I [Man-Chou-Kuo/ Manzhouguo/ Manshukoku]. Don’t know if there was too much trade between Costa Rica and Manchoukuo at the time ….
    Surprised you didn’t mention Yellow Fever vaccination for Costa Rica – has yellow fever been completely eradicated there?

    Comment by Graham Bell — August 4, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

  2. Costa Rica is apparently the only country that doesn’t have an army.
    But I’d better check out the yellow fever, getting tropical diseases would surely ruin the fun.

    Comment by ronda jambe — August 5, 2008 @ 7:15 am

  3. True …. but don’t upset their police.

    Comment by Graham Bell — August 5, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  4. Rhonda ,don’t ever write about the wastage in the PS.No one will ever believe you.It would be more believable that you wrote about the aliens in your closet.

    Comment by Arjay — August 6, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  5. Rhonda ,don’t ever write about the wastage in the PS.No one will ever believe you.It would be more believable that you wrote about the aliens in your closet.

    Comment by Arjay — August 6, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  6. Arjay, you have thrown down the gauntlet.
    But there are aliens in my closet!

    Comment by ronda jambe — August 7, 2008 @ 6:56 am

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