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I have refitted all the gas pipe for Amatuku and the bio meter and told Mr Lee what to do. He has to put more waste into the digester for it to produce gas. They have got more pigs on the pig pen but problems cleaning it. (…) Regards, sikeli

24 / 09 / 10 - 20 : 00

We had a lovely view last night of the Full Moon and Jupiter on the same horizontal line, rising at sunset, close together. As I was walking along the road a group of children were looking at the Moon, which then was partly obscured by light cloud, causing a coloured ‘corona’. One was pointing and saying ‘rainbow’. Not exactly right but near enough. So I pointed out Jupiter to them, and Venus in the opposite direction. All this fuss down here on Earth and the Heavens just continue as ever!, John

24 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

(…) I was just going to pop in & see Nala with Florent & Scott after 3pm but I didn't manage to wake up because I got too much sun when we were biomass sampling the other day (it was hot - factor 50 sun cream & still got badly burnt!), so I thought I would just have 5 minutes to cool down on the bed in front of the fan..... and napped between 3 & 7!!! Ooops!!

However, this evening, Scott & I went over to see Nala - Scott wanted a photo with for his poster presentation at our university research conference...

Sikeli said his digester was up and running well.

Cheers, Sarah

23 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

We did a fieldwork with students at USP - doing a biomass assessment of the ocean and lagoon sides of the causeway - will be working on the results with the students tomorrow... Cheers, Sarah

22 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

(…) GoT is very quiet at the moment because there are no MP's here - they are still on outer islands as Nivaga has broken down.

I am writing "off-line" - so unsure as to when you will receive it - because we have had no internet connection now for several days, except for a few brief periods of maybe 15 minutes every so often (the problem with the late election results is that there were no lines of communication between Funafuti & outer islands - more problems for telecom... we still have no phone connection at the house...). Even the GoT internet was down earlier this morning!!

Florent & I had a meeting with Diana today. I gave Diana the details of what we have been doing in Nanumea (also gave an interview before we went) so I am learning my lessons about media communication - thanks Gilliane!!! Both interviews are going out on the news this evening (I think Diana was grateful for the stories as it is so slack here at the moment!!).

(…) Sikeli was in Amatuku yesterday - I have not had chance to see him yet as it has been absolute madness... Yesterday I was in a mess after staying up all night to hear Thursdays election results (Panapasi left TMC at 6.30am!!). So I had an early night yesterday evening and didn't manage to see Sikeli after he got back from Amatuku, and Sikeli was out with his Fijian mates and I think all the boys were out until around 3am!! Today, I haven't had sight nor sound of Sikeli either.... So I will see what the situation is re the pipe and the re-fit when I manage to catch up with him...

(…) I will go-ahead with the purchasing for Nanumea as soon as Risassi gets back...
Bye for now, Sarah

21 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

Tuvalu Election Results - September 20, 2010

After last week's national elections, the elected members of Tuvalu’s new Parliament are returning to Funafuti, the capital, from their home islands. From the 15 members, a new government will be formed to lead for the next 4 years. With one of Tuvalu’s two passenger vessels out of commission, this might take longer than usual, but the new Tuvaluan Government-members are expected to be sworn in before Tuvalu celebrates its 32nd Anniversary as an independent nation on October 1st.
According to Mrs Le Gallic, Alofa Tuvalu President, “tthe results seem to show that the Tuvaluan communities were satisfied with the previous government: 8 of the 10 members of Government were re-elected and 3 of 5 members of the opposition lost their seat. The new government should be a good one”.

Elected MPs
Maatia Toafa (531) & Willy Telavi (443)
Monise Laafai (379) & Falesa Pitoi (296)
Fauoa Mani (314) & Vete Sakaio (314)
Isaia Italeli (263) &
Taom Tanukale (246)
Apisai Ielemia (597) & Taukelina Finikaso (541)
Enele Sopoaga (490) & 
Lotoala Metia (399)
Kausea Natano (436) & Kamuta Latasi (302)

Namoliki Sualiki (148)

20 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

In Paris, we got the first results via Japan, thru Soma’s facebook. He was listening to Radio Tuvalu and was kind enough to write his notes in English for us to get things right. Eliala in Fiji was following closely on facebook as well. Sandrine got the news live too. She was visiting the Parisian office during her holidays in France. The last results came via Tau's facebook at around 11pm Paris Time.

17 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

16 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

(…) No election results in yet...
I will be popping over to TMC later to check up. At the house we are in the midst of a 2 day party at Amosa's place. It was rocking last night & has been rolling on all day so far... Another 2 pigs are roasting as I write, so I might go over later to have some....

Its quite buzzy here at the moment, but everyone appears to be good natured. I have heard that the brethren were not allowed to vote in the falekaupule on one of the outer islands, so the polling station had to be moved outside!! But there have been many rumours flying around, so I am not too sure about the accuracy of this one...

GEF/UNDP (…) Reminds me of a report I wrote some years ago for big EU project I was running - I was asked to prioritise the risks to the project. The list included natural disasters, civil war, political unrest, etc... I crossed them all out and put "late-payment of the funding tranche by the EU"... They were not amused, but it was true! And they were 4 months late!! And it is the same for this project - we have built up quite a lot of community support and enthusiasm for the activities in Nanumea - but momentum will be lost if we cannot follow through with the pig-pens and next round of stuff...

Families involved in Nanumea have been trained as trainers and will do demonstrations for the community for which they will get paid per demo and per month once up & running - demonstrating digester & garden) - this will move them away from the "dependency" of the Amatuku payment system as they will look after the digester as a matter of course (getting gas and compost as a personal benefit) and be paid for any additional community-related events...

Some sad news about Isala - he passed away on Tuesday evening.

We are starting on the Amatuku re-fit tomorrow. Have had some difficulties in tracking down the PVC pipe that arrived from Fiji. Still haven't found it yet... So will let you know how that saga turns out...
Cheers, Sarah

14 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00


13 / 09 / 10 - 16 : 00

We have constructed 4 biodigester units at Namumea and also conducted a workshop for the 4 who will be running the project.
They will be collecting waste from around the area to feed the digester it will take them 1hour to collect 10kg of waste then take it to the bio tank.
They did not have a concrect piggery for easy collection of waste but they were told the importance of building one.
We took the long boat trip both ways and stayed at the kaupules resident.
We are in funafuti waiting to do the Amatuku for pipe connection if it could be sorted out....
Best regards, Sikeli

… we arrived back safely from Nanumea yesterday (with myself only puking once on the boat on the way back – 48 hrs on the boat without getting off – so I’m getting my sea-legs!!!. We had some laugh and a “pig in a basket” !) The community were great and kaupule support was brilliant, so I just hope that the people who have been selected by the kaupule see things through. I have collected some provisional figures for cement and small equipment today, I’ll do calculations tonight...
Will write more later
Cheers, sarah

12 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

… Was just about to give up when I managed to get a connection - all units are now installed, had last of the workshops this morning but community worker. Ipu is not well, so have left seeds with Sinati & Kaupule gardener to distribute. We will be leaving on the next boat - More details when back in Funcity!!
Cheers, Sarah

10 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

Hi Guys,
Things are going well here in Nanumea - had a big Kaupule meeting yesterday - 59 in attendence, but only 3 women - womens meeting tomorrow. 1 digester has already been fixed up & has some shite in it already.... So we are well on schedule. 4 families are taking part and it is good that they are all enthusiastic at this stage!
Isala (Hilia's uncle) is making some progress, so I think he might make some kind of recovery.
Everyone is being fantastic and we have had so much food given to us the fridge is full!! And there is a whole tuna in the freezer.... Internet has been off since Friday.... but up and running again now.... but who knows for how long!
All the best, Sarah

07 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

Hi Guys,

Just to let you know we, and most of our cargo, arrived safe & sound in Nanumea this morning after stopping off in Nanumaga. (Yesterday we were Otinelu's guests and he showed us around the mangroves in Nanumaga, which was fantastic).

Anyway, 4 tanks and 2 boxes of equipment have arrived (unloaded at 6.30pm), but one of the boxes has been damaged. We will check everything is ok in the morning as there is no light now... And some bad news, Isala (Helia's Uncle) who was a very enthusiastic advocate and active kaupule leader, and was going to be in charge of our first biogas unit had a stroke a few days ago. I plan to visit his family tomorrow and see how he is.

Also, I am helping Otinelu with a plan for managing the mangroves in Nanumaga & Mateia with an application for clearing the lagoon in Nanumea of WWII garbage.

I will try & be back in Funafuti to meet Florent.

Cheers, Sarah

Friday morning update: still haven't managed to get an internet connection!! Sikeli has gone to check the cargo & I have been to see Isala. He is in a bad state at the moment. He has regained some movement, but still no speech. He had a stroke on Tuesday, from my own limited experience with my own family members, some recovery this early on is a good indication that things will improve further and I hope that he doesn't stroke again... I can't even begin to tell you how sad I was to see him... Our National Health Service in the UK is crap, but it is better than the NOTHING that is available here...

Anyway, I am going to meet with Punga ­ Isala's son later today to discus the project. I think things will be ok. Punga is 19 and has trained at TMTI so has some insight into biogas already. I just want to make sure he understands what is involved and that things are going to be hard for him now that he has to look after his father & mother (his mum is also disabled as she only has one leg).

03 / 09 / 10 - 18 : 00

Been having fun in Funcity ...

It has taken me & Sikeli 2 days running around to sort out the boat cargo... and we're not finished yet... No one was able to help except Steve (Charles is in Tonga...). Anyway, I think things are now gonna be OK & seemed to have worked out in the inevitable Tuvaluan way...
The cargo was not listed on the manifest & there was no paperwork accompanying the shipment... so I couldn't get the paperwork from Steve ­ however, Sikeli found part of a sales receipt... I waited half a day at customs without anyone managing to make a decision about payment (Charles & Lingi weren't there) so got a note from Loto ­ who was very helpful. With this and 3 hours of trailing around, I managed to get paperwork from Steve (who was great) and dispensation from customs. Flattened the battery on the electric bike by riding up & down to the wharf at least 10 times (no exaggeration), so
hired a scooter from Grace...
There was some concern that the cargo was not on the boat since it was not listed on the manifest, and there is no accompanying paperwork. So, I asked a lady from Marine (at the wharf) if it was on the boat, she thought it was, but Mollissi (Marine) didn't think it was because it wasn't on the manifest. Sikeli asked the mate, who thought he had seen it on the boat... Sikeli & I waited most of yesterday (for Sikeli) and afternoon & early evening (for me) at the wharf for the hold to be opened so we could check the cargo ­
but alas John told us that they were on strike because their pay cheques had not been honoured... Anyway, I thought I arranged to have the cargo stay on the boat as the Nivanga is off to Nanumea on Monday ­ but we went back to the wharf this morning to find 2 digester units had been off­loaded into the warehouse... Relief!! At least some of it had arrived!! And Sikeli has literally just got back from the wharf to find that 2 cartons of equipment have also been unloaded ­ cheques have now been honoured. So, this evenings quest is to locate the other 2 units and the pipe for Amatuku.... And the quest for tomorrow will be to make sure that the 4 units & 2 cartons get put back on the boat & sent to Nanumea.... Sikeli and I have deck & meal tickets for the boat on Monday. ...
So all is OK in the typical Tuvaluan way...
Cheers, Sarah

28 / 08 / 10 - 18 : 00

According to the news we got the situation in Amatuku is saddening. Pipes and fittings wont probably be used immediately but taking the opportunity of the shipping would make sure the equipment is on Funafuti when the time comes. Thanks again Sikeli for being such an Alofian !

28 / 08 / 10 - 16 : 00

I have been to the plastic bio plant and they have already made the 4 units for Tuvalu and I will confirm with W&G the total cost including the 50m polythine pipe for Amatuku and I carton for other fittings.
regards, sikeli

28 / 08 / 10 - 12 : 00

Bula, (…) Deposit has been made. Jack's expect to have the bio digesters ready by thursday. Brgds, David

Bula, I will follow up with the company and thanks david for the quick action. Regards, Sikeli

28 / 08 / 10 - 11 : 00

(…) The boat will be in Suva on the 9th of August and depart for Tuvalu on the 12 of August.
If payment confirmation is made the company can do all the 4 units in 3 days (…)
best regards, Sikeli

28 / 08 / 10 - 10 : 00

27 / 08 / 10 - 18 : 00

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