koji berry

koji berry

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I am saving the ocean

I have to write this now, before it is over, before I forget.

I am a volunteer for a really cool project called The Ocean Cleanup. You can google it. It has a website but it is still under construction. This project plans to clean the ocean from floating plastic debris. They have performed a feasibility reports that includes two trips to the Pacific Ocean and a massive computational modelling. The feasibility reports will used to attract sponsors for the real action of cleaning up.

The report, written by 20+ authors, need to be compiled, edited, and cleaned from all the comments before they are read for typesetting. I am one of the editors who are doing this job. There are several other volunteers who work with me right now, spread in both sides of the Pacific. The original plan was that I would stay for one week in Delft, and the print-ready version would be ready at the end of the week. But from the first day I knew that it was impossible, and this is my fourth week of editing. At the end of this week, the book will be ready. Really.

It was a great experience. It also gave me a chance to learn about myself. I was really happy when they said that I could come to Delft, and I have never felt so happy about work for a long time. So I learned that the goal, the reason behind a job is very important for me, much more important than money. For a week, I shared a house with an interesting guy with lots of experience. He is in the "start-over business". I read his books about urban shamanism, and I realized that I did not accept myself completely which might be one cause of my hay fever. He also told me how several homeopathic ways to reduce my symptoms, based on his own experience. Oh, and he said that allergy is partially psychosomatic. He might be true.

And I learned about my way of working. I am really analytic, and I cannot handle a combination of work and intensive communication in one time. A limited communication, suits better to me as it allows me to finish one job before moving to another. So give me something difficult to do and leave me alone. I also have a very sharp eye on details, and I need to learn to prioritize. It hurts me that the references are not done properly, although I chose to say nothing as the priority is to get the book printed on time, as promo-tours are already scheduled.

Having a day job is nice as I had an excuse not to think about the dishes and laundry. However, the house was really abandoned and more house chores was needed in the weekend after I returned.

What project would I be doing after this? I don't know. But right now I am grateful for the chance I have, that my situation allows me to work on this important project. 

Being jobless has its advantages! This reminds me of the Paulo Coelho and his interpreter, Yao, begging for change in Moskow, as told in The Aleph. Yao said that beggars purify the city because it gave people the chance to share their wealth and to show kindness. The jobless volunteer for projects that will  allow the wealthy people to contribute to the better world. We, the jobless people doing volunteer works, we are the beggars of the capitalistic world, and we are purifying the Earth.

Another thing worth remembering. My Delft week was the Holy Week, Semana Santa, and last year I was in Rome with my parents and Lrrr. We had a White Thursday mass with the newly crowned pope. This White Thursday I had a mass in Delft. Masses in the Netherlands were normally really boring, but here the choir was good and the priest had a good preach. He talked about Father van der Lugt who was killed in Syria after years of being a carer for the people in Homs. He also talked about Pope Francis, who in a recent audience with five teenagers said that he was an authoritarian but that was a mistake he has learned from. We are not suppose to point others and saying that we are better than them. We are here to serve.

I had a feeling that I was supposed to be there. It feels alright.

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