Monday, July 31, 2006

Vanishing websites for provinces!

When I read in the Fiji Times that Rewa Province have a website - as I thought that didn't look right, so I looked up . It doesn't work either though such a site should exist.

A few months ago I looked at the Ra Province site which was set up in April. It really looked very good and was about their plans for the future. Alas, that site, today, is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. When loving Peace Corp or volunteers or paid web-designers set up sites - at I don't know what cost to the Provinces - who is left there to maintain them? Perhaps the girls have gone to fetch firewood!
The cartoon is from the Fiji Times.


Pandabonium said...

Nice that you include your sketches.

That cartoon is funny. The internet and access to it is one of the very few technological tools which I think could be helpful in Fiji, if only to show what the cultures people aspire to emulate are doing wrong.

I know Laminar Flow is big on political organizing and information sharing via internet, and I agree, but it will be very tricky going forward to balance the good and bad influences that come through the medium. And by bad I'm not talking about the blatant stuff like "porn" but rather the more subtle cultural influences.

In this regard a look at TV is instructive. Within just three years of TV coming to Fiji, problems like bulemia and anorexia went from 3% to 15% amoung teens in the areas that recieved it. (I don't watch TV myself - even in the US and Japan).

Opps. Time for my 12 step program Andonandonandon Anon. Sorry.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Even the language changes with the influemces of television and the internet - the American influence.
Mainly though it's the way people sit and focus on a screen and don't get out and walk and play sports as much.
Then there is the consumerism angle.
As in all countries there develops a internet-literate group and the others.
Rotary clubs here, there, and everwhere send old computers to the South Pacific islands, then we find out that the school doesn't even have a 24 hour electricity source!
Websites for the Fijian provinces could be excellent for presenting their aims and concerns, which includes Fiji people who have gone overseas but still want to keep in touch, and contribute financially back to their provinces.

nzm said...

I imagine that introducing computers to some of the remote Fijian villages will be much like the experience in Africa that my former kindergarted teacher went through.

Can you believe that I'm still in touch with my kindergarten teacher from Fiji, even though I haven't been to kindergarten for 40+ years? :-)

Anne left Fiji to work for the UN based in New York in the Women's Affairs section. She was tasked with the job of working with African countries to set up computers in the villages so that the African women could learn more about their world.

The task was huge, because just to start with, each village has its own dialect, so numerous interfaces had to be translated.

The big day arrived - the computer was installed in the classroom, the women gathered around to watch as the PC was switched on and powered up. Once everything was working, one of the village women was asked if she wanted to try out the computer.

She sat down, picked up the mouse, and hit it onto the screen, and then moved it around on the sceen to try to work the computer. It was obviously going to take a while for the basic skills to be learned before the computer could be used efficiently!

At that stage, all the government working men in the room were asked to leave because they were all falling about laughing!

Who knows what's happened to those computers now. Anne has since moved on and is back in her hometown of Melbourne, still working on Women's Affairs as part of the WTC.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi Mzm
Ann worked at the Y didn't she? I didn't know she's retired back to Melbourne. What an amazing life she has had. Ruth, her co-worker in those early years in Fiji, is also back in Australia in Queensland, doing something to do with ecology awareness, etc. I always thought she ought to be a politician.

nzm said...

I figured that you know Anne and Ruth. Yes - that's them!

Anne hasn't retired - she's still actively working in the WTC in women's affairs. We had dinner with them about this time last year when we were in Melbourne for a conference.

Ruth is still tripping around the Pacific from her Qld base. Mum still gets long Xmas newsletters from her with all their activities which mostly stem around bird-watching and hiking!

I don't think that either of them would have enjoyed being a politician - too much bs, talking and not enough action. They'd rather get stuck in and make a difference!