Valar Dohaeris – All Men Must Serve

-and women, for that fact but I think that goes without saying. I’m a believer that all leaders or leaders-to-be should have served at least once in their lives. It brings perspective that people of power usually do not get to see.

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With service requires action, action begets progress and so action we shall perform. Service begins for my stint in Omaha, Nebraska with Omaha Permaculture (OP), in hopes that I may be of service and be serviced for therewith.

Presenting the Coordinators of Omaha Permaculture.

Mr. Thome and I were honored to meet the coordinating committee for OP, a friendly bunch all very enthusiastic in what they believe in and for the betterment of Omaha and it’s society. It’s so refreshing to see energy like this in a world where virtue wears thin (I haven’t gotten consent from the team to post names so an introduction will be withheld for now).

Mr. Gus Von Roenn, the Absolute Beast of a Leader

Gus Von Roenn, the founder of OP, is an inspirational man who works simply to help Omaha’s less fortunate society and to improve the livelihood of Omaha in general through communal activities and through remediating vacant lots in the city. He speaks with enthusiasm and passion in his work, as if he has never met disappointment, and it reflects upon all the work he has done in the Omaha Permaculture yard and lots.

He knows every single plant on his lots – every single weed that has sprouted, every vine and every crop that has made its way in. He’d point all of them out to me and Thome while we walked. I doubt I’d be able to remember even half of these (Sorry Gus). Such knowledge is very, very impressive since his background isn’t even in agriculture or ecology.

One of the most humble CEO’s out there, it’s clear to see that he does not do all these for material wants. I salute thee, and the world would be better if there was more of you.

Grant Avenue, one of the lots Gus uses for permaculture.

Now, about the Permaculture practices that he preaches. In layman terms, as best as I can describe based on what I have heard from Gus without hitting Wikipedia is “The practice of using natural methods to remediate land or lots through observation of what the land requires.” Basically, just by looking at what is currently growing, you can tell what the land is lacking, and what the land needs in order to flourish. This practice can be projected unto agriculture, where food crops can be planted in a way where it is beneficial to both the land and itself. Okay? Okay? Nah? Give me a call.

The OP team working with a local kindergarten to work on a nearby lot

It’s not all about the land though, it’s a team effort so neighboring societies are usually invited to maintain the land or lots so that they will be able to grow food crops for their own consumption. It’s a great way to foster neighborly love. So Gus had us work with the Integrated Learning Center people, who is a group helping handicapped individuals. We had a blast with them painting the lots.

Painting away these graffitis with the ILC

So that’s that, learning a whole bunch of new things from the people of OP and having a swell time at the same time. Here’s to learning more in the future. About the community challenge/ IPP though, I don’t think I’ve learned enough relevant information to form one yet. Things learned from OP has not precipitated into anything relevant yet. Hope we’ll get there in time.

It isn’t an Ian blog without a random, funny entry so:

Met one of my friends from back home at the Washington D.C Museum of Natural History. Never thought I’d see another brother from Borneo so far out! Nice to see you here Mr. pongo pygmaeus, I miss home too and let’s hang out again sometimes.

Hey there brother!

The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran orangutan and Tapanuli orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. Like the other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild. Orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. Interesting yea? Come Borneo and I’ll show them to you.

Anyways I hope this has been entertaining for you as much as it has been entertaining for me to write.

This is Ian Chin, signing out. Stay tuned for the next one.

Move over Savage Garden, we’re the real savage garden.

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