Discussions of closed economies and export vs inmport aside, finding money here is interesting. People tend to have some money from selling kava or other such garden produce, yet no one really admits to having any. Even opening a bank account is sort of an odd idea, most money is kept in a sock under the bed. So, raising money for a cause like a new school building or toilets is a mix of challenge and scripted routine.
|Showing off previous training.|
There are, as far as I can tell, four ways of raising money. The most common and easiest to do is a kava night. One or more people supply a huge amount of kava which friends and family help to grind and milk then is sold for 20 vatu a shell. The price is different in different places, its 100 vt a shell in Vila and most provincial centers. 100 vt is the equivalent of about $1.10. The second and almost as common form of fundraiser is selling prepared food. The mamas, with and without the help of the men, cook massive quantities of laplap, le soup(boiled cabbage, sometimes with other veggies or noodles), rice and usually fish or chicken. The standard price is 50 vt for a chunk of laplap with fish and coconut milk. Basically, a full meal for $0.50.
|A Kung-Fu stick form.|
The other two forms of fundraisers are a bit more complicated to put together and I’ve only been to one of each. The first is the equivalent of a school carnival. There are games of chance, like mini lottery draws, raffle tickets, games of skill like kicking a soccer ball through a tire or driving a nail into the ground in one swing and food. Usually, there is also a mini-tournament for volleyball or other less active sport. These take a LOT of planning but tend to bring in a good amount of money. The last option is the soccer tournament. The teams pay in (usually by doing their own kava night fundraisers) and then the winning team gets a goodly prize and every evening is an opportunity to sell kava and food, either for the fundraiser or for private profit.
|Beating up on my primary student, a classic.|
It took a year but the innovation is happening. The Maorip Tae Kwon Do Karate Klub, now renamed the Maorip Hwa Rang Do Karate Klub, was asked to come do a show at the primary school. I am impressed with the innovation that it shows to do that. So, we set a date and did some practice for the show. Of course, the people who showed up to practice for it two weeks before were not the same people who showed up to do the show, which required some quick edits and a two hour morning rehearsal. Which changed again when two people who were not at either rehearsal showed up in time to do the show. We managed and the show went fine. Not great, but no one got hurt. (I did kick Jason in the face, but only lightly.)