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? 🙂

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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!