That special kind of feeling… (travel & Africa)

Almost all of my ideas and inspirations for Happy-simply have come from travelling and Africa – here is why…

Normal Life in the Life of Lunny

There are actually a couple special kinds of feelings I want to look at in this one. They are both related to travel however.

The first is the feeling I get of being in a new country.

20170914_140254 My first time in Liberia and West Africa. I love how different a street can look and feel from one country to the next…

The pattern is remarkably similar for each new country where I am a kiddy in a candy store for the first three days with sensory overload but a continuous beaming smile on my face. After the first few days, and usually some long walks creating my own motion animation or documentary of the new people and place that I am a part of, I settle into the details. It is then a fun discovery of listening, learning, observing, guessing and trying to tap into the beats of daily life…

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Is Formal Education Really Education?

Some of the biggest learning lessons I’ve had in life was building the two Happy-simply homes. Imagine if building a house was a part of every child’s education…

Normal Life in the Life of Lunny

For the first time in 10 months I have the opportunity to write as a normal native natural human! I can write as I wish with the primary focus of connecting to people, feelings, understanding and discovery without an academic straightjacket on telling me what is and isn’t acceptable (just like using isn’t instead of is not!).

Before complaining too much about my academic experience I want to say that I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to put my life on hold, dedicate my time and effort to academic studies and learning, and to be able to have this observation, especially when it is on scholarship.

BUT…

Looking back on the past 10 months it resoundingly shows me is that I am just as uninspired by formal education as I have always been since grade 1, when I was 5 years old.

Why isn’t school from day one about…

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Building of the week: the half-house

Love love love this idea and another possibility is to build a simple one story and have it prep’ed to add another…

Make Wealth History

Architecture is often the preserve of the elite. Many of the world’s leading architects work on flagship developments for the richest in society, and RIBA’s house of the year was built for Lord Rothschild, after all. Most of the rest of us make do with off-the-shelf boxes, so I’m always interested in architects that want to work for the poorest.

Alejandro Aravena is one of those. He’s built over a thousand homes for ordinary people in Chile, with thousands more in the pipeline. His practice, Elemental, has projects all over the world, but their speciality is social housing. In particular, Aravena has become known for the half-house.

The idea was hatched in 2003, when he was asked to build 100 houses for low income families in Iquique, Chile. When his team did the maths on the government’s budget for the programme, they realised there was no way to make…

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What I do in my other Happy Simply life

Tiny home are not the new normal here they are just normal. The majority of people here in South Sudan live in tiny homes in large numbers and without clean running water, solar electricity, toilet (compost or otherwise) and romantic notions of Happy, simply living.20150323_140740

My inspiration and creation of Happy, simply comes from the time I spend living and learning in developing countries. I am fortunate to choose to live in a tiny home and live simply when in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia but the majority world (living on less than $20 a day) doesn’t choose to live in tiny homes, they just do because there is no other choice.

I’m not here to point an evil finger at the tiny house community in the privileged world because I would be criticising myself but I do want to share with people why and how I came to join the simple living / tiny house / simplicity movement.20150323_151013

I wrote a blog last night that helped sum up where my heart lies in life and wanted to share with you as it is important to me to recognise the information and inspiration that brought me to Happy, simply. https://lunny06.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/look-up-into-the-night-sky-and-think-about-humanity/

You can also take a look at the other life I live (usually for around half a year every year or so). Follow along if you like and any blog I write always goes through my Teaspoons of Change blog warehouse – http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/

I miss my Happy, simply homes especially when I have to live in UN security approved hotels here in South Sudan!

Also I will write a blog with more detail on the Teaspoons of Change global citizenship tour I’ll be doing in the second half of this year from South Sudan to Australia via the Middle East, Europe, Central and SE Asia, but here is the route map and dates at least: http://link.globalpovertyproject.com/2015ToChMap ToCh 2015 Tour - map

See you somewhere, somewhen? 🙂

When common sense and being human doesn’t prevail

The best in the west is not always the best…

I am always a long believer that the west has more to learn from Africa than it does helping Africa. I know my life if significantly ‘richer’ from having spent some time in parts of Africa. I have learnt invaluable lessons on resilience, resourcefulness, community, sharing, etc…

IMG_0593 (1024x512)This learning and these perspective turned into total frustration in the past week or so. I got news that the Happy, simply self-sufficient tiny home that I built with a group of volunteers in Australia in June last year will need to be moved. It needs to be moved because of ‘litigation and insurance concerns’. I have agreed with the group and I even understand where they are coming from and why, and if I was in their position I would be making the same decision so I don’t have ill feelings towards them or the eco village community. What it does though is sicken me to the bottom of my heart that humanity and common sense cannot prevail.

20141215_160406 (1024x768)It have been 1000x harder taking this news while being in South Sudan where common sense, personal responsibility and being human is still the normal way of life. Example: if you trip on the footpath (if there is one or there is one without most of it missing) you are the unlucky one and it is your fault for not watching out more closely while walking. Even if you are in a building that was not well made and it collapses on your head you are unlucky but still it is your personal responsibility.

I do agree there needs to be standards and we should try to meet those standards but in the end if you have made a decision to walk down the street or enter into a place, you are responsible for the consequences – just as humans had been until about 100 years ago in the west and as they mostly are in place like here in South Sudan.

When the line really goes off the chart for common sense and into pure inhuman, made-up, artificial, this-has-somehow-become-the-ridiculous-norm territory is when litigation and insurance worries override human common sense. If you stay in the Happy, simply home and in the very highly unlikely minuscule chance you get hurt, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to happen but you are responsible as you took the choice to stay there. If it was because of my fault I would be a good human and help where possible and apologise appropriately. What I wouldn’t do is go beyond that owing you all I have, forever. Accidents happen and unlucky consequences should be dealt with as a human not as a programed inhuman money-wanting victim role-play. I certainly know that there are a lot of people dead, maimed or hurt in South Sudan because of accidents and unlucky situations but their natural mandate is to not make others and the system a victim along with them.

20150322_190139 (1024x540)Western countries should use setting standards as a good service tool for communities to try and lessen accidents where possible but what we have is a system to create fear, scare people and allow the worst case scenario to dictate decisions and actions.

I don’t want to continue this rant as I could for a long time and a lot of people would probably follow along agreeing with me. So referencing my current surroundings in South Sudan  – I love the way of life in the countries I have been in Africa. It is sometimes raw, rough and unforgiving but it is real.

20150322_082745 (1024x768)I am very sad that the Happy, simply home won’t remain in the eco village and I wish being human and self-responsibility won at the end of the day. The best news is the Happy, simply home might have found a new wonderful spot so you will be welcome to stay – as long as you take responsibility for yourself!

Putting It All Together (with bumps)

Hi Folks Far and Wide!

It has been a cruising start to the year with youth empowerment work in Malaysia, family and fun in Australia, creative conversations for Polio Points, dengue fever throughout my body and also in preparation for departure for Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program in South Sudan very soon…

This blog post is an attempt to pull all of my blogs into one central spot but to still maintain all the other blogs, each with their specific train of thought and purpose. So if you are a follower of any one of these blogs:

I will now be blogging on each of those blogs but they will always be doubled up on this blog site ( http://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/ ) .

Therefore if you wish to follow all of these blogs at once I suggest you subscribe to the Teaspoons of Change blog ( https://teaspoonsofchange.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/putting-it-all-together-with-bumps/ )!

Lastly I was very lucky to be on a podcast interview with a great guy and purveyor of interesting people doing interesting things – Joel from Smart and Simple Matters and SimpleRev. Our nearly hour-long conversation was a nice chance for me to lay out the patchwork of diverse and passionate things I get to do in life from polio eradication to youth empowerment to living in tiny houses when possible and to anything and everything to ensure I do what I can to see an end to extreme poverty…

Here is a link to the podcast if you are keen and it is a good chance for me to try and tie a few things together and put them in at least one funnel where they can then splash and land as they need from there… http://www.valueofsimple.com/smart-and-simple-matters-podcast-064-happy-simply-darcy-lunn/  Be sure to check out the other amazing podcasts on there as well!

Will be in touch next from all things polio eradication in South Sudan from next week! Hope to add more experiences (and photos) for the next 4 months…

One of the most important graphs in the world

This is why I love the Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project. If we are overusing the planet there are wonderful alternatives. Happy, simply isn’t just about living simpler and better for people and the planet it is also about celebrating that kind of lifestyle that is richer for the soul, spiritually, for communities and of course for our finite resources…
Continued economic growth isn’t possible on our planet plus it doesn’t make us happier anyway… so why do we continue with this failed system…?

A good follow on this this graph and blog from Make Wealth History is the next post on Simplicity History from my other favourite resource – The Simplicity Institute: http://makewealthhistory.org/2014/10/06/book-review-simple-living-in-history/

In personal news I have completed my Teaspoons of Change 1000km walk and 800km bike ride in Japan and will write a special Happy, simply reflection on the journey… but for now you can see some pics and posts here https://www.facebook.com/teaspoonsofchange

Make Wealth History

Last week the 2014 edition of the Living Planet Report was released. I’ve written about this annual report from WWF and the Footprint Network before. I’ve probably mentioned it just about every year that I’ve been writing the blog, because every year it updates this graph:

This is one of the most important graphs in the world. It’s worth looking at it every year.

biocapacity

It shows, in case you haven’t seen it before, humanity’s ecological footprint. That’s the red line, and it includes our drawdown of renewable natural resources such as timber and fish, and our use of the earth’s systems to absorb and process our waste.

The green line, or green area in this case, is the earth’s biocapacity. This is the amount of resources and services that the earth can sustainably provide.

It can provide more resources, as the line shows – you can overshoot biocapacity. You just…

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