Sunday, April 24, 2011

I had an ideal easter sunday morning! went on a horseback safari with friends Amanda and Todd, got to meet a beautiful horse named seeshaw (or something) and rode with giraffes, zebras, and antelopes! In the back of this picture, there is a family of giraffes (see more pictures on that other tab).

I think I'm in love with horseback riding.

Afterwards, we went to a farmers market and had cappucinno's latte's and croissants at a cafe with homemade chutney and hot sauce. I wish I could've stayed longer; they sold ducklings, homemade jam and salsas, large american-style muffins, pineapple beer and other goodies.

It is going to be incredibly difficult to tear myself away from this place. The sound of the river, fish jumping, birds cooing, bats flapping, good food, a hot open air shower, a nice tent, drinking and eating at leisure without having to face the challenges of flagging down and negotiating with taxi drivers, walking on hot, dusty roads, getting stuck in bad traffic, waiting in long lines at the atm, and what I'm dreading most, finding transportation to my village.

But all good things must come to an end... right? :(

Happy Easter Everyone!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Public Blogging?

There's a crazy dog here who spends all day in the corner of the guest kitchen staring at a round nut from one of the trees. If you manage to grab the nut and throw it, the dog chases it, grabs it, and puts it in the exact same spot in the guest kitchen, then lies down in front of it and proceeds to stare at it again. It's amazing. It's kind of what I imagine my life might be like if I went crazy, maybe from spending my whole life in a place like this. Maun is beautiful, and this backpackers is great, but there's not much in terms of productive things one can do here if you're not in the business of tourism. Yesterday, probably because of the presence of Prince Harry and his posse, the bar was bussling with activity by 9AM, people were taking all shorts of liquor shots while I was still eating my breakfast! And by shots, I don't just mean your normal brunch delights like bloody mary's and mamosa's I mean tequilla and double-vokda shots! Serious stuff!

I am really seriously bummed this morning. The internet wasn't working last night and isn't working again yet. I was looking forward to spending some time sending emails and browsing the net. I was so looking forward to it, that I bought P80 worth of internet (100mb). If the internet is out all weekend… sniff. I don't want to think about such horrible things.

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internet is back. Sigh. I am cheating by purchasing internet and not doing it the "peace corps way" i.e. walking 5 miles to get free internet?

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There's a site called Click Botswana (http://www.click-botswana.com/blogs.php) that has a bunch of blogs it looks like from locals in Botswana about all sorts of different subjects. I had the good fortunate to make a friend who works for the company and who pitched the idea of starting a volunteer blog on what it's like to be a volunteer in Botswana. The blog would hopefully raise awareness on volunteerism in Botswana and generate support for NGO's in need. It's exciting and it's definitely new territory, especially since I'll be gingerly straddling the lines between the sometimes embarrassing honesty that sometimes characterizes my writing, the responsibility of being politically correct that comes with being a Peace Corps Volunteer, and the subject of volunteerism and NGO capacity building which to me is still a relatively new field.

At the risk of getting too carried away with my own excitement, here are a number of topics I was thinking of addressing that would hopefully be interesting and p.c. at the same time:

  • development and establishment of small NGO's
  • the importance of NGO networking, small success stories of NGO collaboration
  • getting input from community stakeholders, often from the most unexpected places
  • Community contribution: getting community support from a community that is impoverished-- how does one get resources from a resource-less and ego-less society?
Are there any other topics or human interest stories I've already written about or told you guys about that you think would make a good entry on this blog?

Thanks in advance for the input!
And by the way, this is the best Saturday morning ever-- lying in a hammock riverside on a sunny, breezy morning drinking a bloody mary, checking my email, and reading a good book. There's something that seems so incredibly sacred about this moment... Amen.

-Sunny



Friday, April 22, 2011

Prince Harry is sitting here chillin just at Backpackers, aaaaaaand I
had no idea who he was till just now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apples and Tigers and Rhino's, OH MY!

This week, I went to complete the mural at the Little Friends Center in Serowe that I started in January. The Little Friends Centre is an all-community run preschool for OVC children (cutest children in the world.)

They just recently built a brand new classroom made completely out of donated materials and labor. I thought the effort was completely amazing, especially considering how difficult it has been for me to mobilize my community to do anything-- but the situations are completely different. One is a relatively well-off community, the village where the first Botswana President (and current Botswana President lives) and the other is a San resettlement where 99% of the villagers are on welfare (I exaggerate, I'm not sure the exact percentage). There is no comparing the two.

You may remember the little Tigger from above, but what you would not recognize are the little flowers below, flowers that the kids put on themselves with their adorable little hands. This is the brain child of Patti Koenig, the PCV who works in this village. Patti is a wonderful lady who I am very sad to report is leaving us for the States for 2 hip surgeries. This is her last week in Botswana and I'm going to miss her very much.

After we finished the wall, Patti took us to the Rhino Sanctuary for a short game drove during which we saw: Rhinos, Zebras, Eland, Dukers, Impala, Springbok, Wildebeasts, and plenty of small and large birds. I couldn't believe that in 2 hours on this game drive, I saw more animals and got closer to these animals than I did in 8 cumulative days in the CKGR.


Right now, I'm sitting in a backpackers camp in Maun enjoying a cup of (free) instant coffee and a bacon egg breakfast sandwhich, listening to a little Bob Marley and watching the travelers around me from all over the world lounge around with nothing to do. Backpackers are incredibly interesting places to spend your time. There are people from everywhere here doing the most fascinating things.

The reason why I decided to come here for the Easter Weekend is actually kind of funny. Coming from Serowe, I had to pass through Maun to go home. This week, all the government workers in Botswana are on strike. They are demanding a raise on their salaries, they report that they have not received a raise in 5 years even though the price of living has gone up, and though the government is willing to give them 2% (? i thought it might be 6%, not sure), they want 16%. So they are striking for the first time in Botswana history. No teachers in the classrooms, no drivers at the clinics, or nurses in the area, or men manning the border posts (well not totally no, just a few people, for minimal efficiency).

As a Peace Corps volunteer, I am not supposed to get involved and I'm actually rather glad. I don't know how I feel about the strike. All I know is without public transportation to New Xade I won't have a ride home for a few days and that masses of government workers with big signs dancing down the street and chanting and singing is really cool to see. They look so happy. My friend the teacher says she's enjoying herself in New Xade, relaxing without work to do. I can't imagine a picket line in New Xade, no one important would be around to watch!


I miss you all so much. Lately I've been missing home a lot and feeling very moody because of it. I hope you are all ok, have a wonderful Easter.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

True Story

I'm sitting in the outdoor portion of a cafe in Gabs when an elderly white lady sidles by my table into the glass wall next to me. I smile politely and say, "Yeah, that glass is pretty clean..."

-----

"I'm a woman today, I'm told. I caught and killed a chix."
-Hannah, PCV Grogtlaate Settlement.

Friday, April 15, 2011

City Fever

I've been in Gaborone for almost a week now doing various activities from medical appointments, kids camps, and grant writing workshops. Whenever I think of the city, I get excited, like my trips in will be like vacation. Well, the truth is, it is and it isn't. It's so great coming in and getting things done, like getting my teeth taken care of and applying for a mobile internet modem (they couldn't find one in time for me, so they are shipping one to Ghanzi). But on the other hand, coming from a very small rural settlement to the big city with a giant list of things to do is immensely tiring. The list usually looks something like this:

  • order something from the internet
  • call someone
  • meet up with someone
  • pick up a form
  • ask someone about something
  • buy asian food
  • buy white food
  • buy food
  • drink lots of coffee
  • have a cocktail
  • get salad
  • buy cookies

I can always think of one more task I have to complete, or item that would be really awesome to get. I get sent by other people to do stuff to like, get this picture printed, find a book, pick up specialty food items. Of course it's my pleasure to do these things, but at the end of the day, I collapse white-faced and drained in whatever bed or couch I'm crashing in and think-- wow, when can I go home?

Scenes from Gaborone (Pronounced Phlegm-ah-bore-own-nee):
1. In the morning, I walk down the street to my dental appointment and a security guard yells out "CHINA!" when he fails to get my attention, he yells out louder, "HEY! LADY! CHINESE LADY!!!" I keep walking, pretending he's not there and later send the following text to my friend, "'Hey Chinese Lady!"' Rawr. Fucker."

At lunchtime, some men approach me at the bus rank, "hey china!" I don't respond. "China!!" Silence. "Korea?" More silence. "Japan? ... South Korea?" I keep walking, "Hey lady, where are you from?" I have to smile, but I keep walking. I hear them calling after me. "Where you from? ...Botswana??"

At dinnertime in a busy mall, I walk past a big black man carrying a briefcase and looking very important. As we cross paths, he whispers low and soft in my ear without looking back at me, "China."

2. I woke up this morning feeling quite lonely. It's a big city and for the most part, I am alone. Some volunteers chose to make close circles of friends here. I can see how this can be done. The missionary couple I met this weekend, their church friends, local volunteers, members of my friends' circles from ghanzi, hip hop clubs, ethnic groups... but for some reason I choose to remain anonymous. Maybe I'm a masochist and I like being lonely.

I walked to my appointments feeling a little down and out, tired and limping cause I sprained my knee again. When I stopped in a china shop to pick up a power adapter, I struck up conversation with the chinese lady behind the counter. For me, this is a regular occurrence. For these ladies though, I think it makes their day. When I walk in the stores, I can see the shop owners looking at me, examining my face, my clothes, my tan, my girth, seeing if they know me, where I'm from. The conversations usually go something like this:
"Can I have 2 adapters please?" (in English)
"Yes, here. 20 pula." (in English) Eyes scan my full body, searching for something. What?
"Thank you." Pause. A little hesitation. I'm wondering if I really want to start this... "Are you from China?" I ask (in English)
Eyes look up, a little curious. "Yes... you?" (in English)
"I'm from America, but my parents are from Taiwan." (In English)
Her voice quickens a bit "do you speak Chinese?" (In English)
"Yes, a little. I can hear but not speak" I say (in Chinese)
Woman is excited now. "OH! something something something something economics, something something politics, something something food!" (in Chinese I don't understand completely)
Polite nodding. "yes yes yes! OH yes! Yes I will visit your part of China soon. Yes, where is that again? Blah blah district? OH yes I know that district!" Blatant lie. "What is your name? Oh Fung! Yes I'm Ling. Oh yes. I will come next time I am here. I live..." (switch to English) "far away... about 10 hours... driving.... driv--- driv---" (switch to Chinese) "Far, I live far. I work... ah...." (in English) "Nevermind."

Exit Sunny with new adapters, big smile and new friend who I will likely never see again because I'm too embarrassed that I can't remember her name or understand anything she just told me.

3. There's a pedestrian overpass at the main bus rank in Gabs that I have to pass periodically for various reasons. Each time I've passed this overpass, there is a lady sitting on it with a young child begging for money. She doesn't make eye-contact with any passerbyers. She chooses to sit with her hands held out and her eyes cast downwards. I'm so used to these guys in Chicago and New York that I pass by without thinking. Today, I realized that she's the only beggar I've ever seen in Botswana and I wondered... what's her story? I thought of stopping to talk to her, in whatever Setswana I could manage, but by then I was already through the overpass. Pandhandlers in America are so common, but here, it's a rare thing to see. I think it's cause the government has such an extensive welfare system and generally speaking, the people take responsibility for their less fortunate family members. Still... I wonder. What's her story?

4. I'm walking through an arts and crafts fair where for once people are not heckling me at all. As I'm passing a sweets booth I hear a call, "Wena! Tla Kwano! Come here!" I hear this a lot, sometimes I answer, sometimes I don't. I generally know how the conversations usually go, this one was no different. I turn around, "Nna?" (Meeeeee?)
The women squeal with delight. "Ee!! Wena!! Tla Kwano!" (Yes you, come here!)
I walk over. "Dumella Bomma." (Hello Ladies)
Cacophany of noise from the 3 women talking over each other. "Ke batla..." (I want) "...o montle!" (you are beautiful)...."ditsala wagago" (your friends)
From this and previous experience I gather they think I'm pretty, they want to be friends. Now, I used to be creeeeped out whenever women approach me and say "I want to be your friend." but I'm finding it's a rather harmless common occurrence that usually involves an exchange of phone numbers, a brief explanation of who I am, where I got my setswana name, and where I'm from, and then lots of laughing, "ee!!" (yes) "wa itse!!!" (you know) and "aoo! weno, o mostswana!" (you are motswana). I normally never hear from these women again, or if I do, I don't know who they are and I usually just say "eee" in agreement over the phone until they hang up.

This time, was no different. I told them in my simple setswana where I was from, what I'm doing, and where I live. And amidst laughter, explanations of what my setswana name means, introductions, and exclamations of amusement, we exchanged phone numbers and I was on my way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From Silvia's Facebook Page...

"There are ... other kinds of dreams. Dreams in which failure is
feasible. Honorable ... Worlds in which recognition is not the only
barometer of brilliance or human worth. There are plenty of warriors
that I know and love ... who go to war each day, knowing in advance
that they will fail. True, they're less successful in the most vulgar
sense of the word, but by no means less fulfilled." Arundhati Roy

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Botswana Book Project

Dear Friends, Family, and Readers!

I just got an email from the coordinator at Botswana Book Project that a HUGE shipment of books (20 pallets, close to 40,000 lbs, roughly 30,000 books) have been selected, gathered, and is ready to ship from Atlanta, Georgia to Botswana so that our readers in Xade and Botswana beyond can enjoy all manner of bookage! They are just $2,800 short on shipping costs. If anyone is interested in being a part of this project, please visit the "Want to Help" tab on my blog to see what you can do to help.

Thanks!

Photo: Pam Shelton, Coordinator, and crew at the book warehouse

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I look like a Peace Corps Volunteer

I definitely look like a Peace Corps Volunteer lately. Dirty clothes, ragged, droopy eyes, bandana, cargo pants, chacos and giant backpacking bag filled with clean underwear and nothing else. Yes. This is the life.
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I had a dream last night where I went to some canyons in a bright red boxy jeep and drove to the top of the highest cliff. Right at the top, the surface was so small that the driver and I couldn't see where we were going. One tap on the gas pedal and we inched forward right off the cliff. We fell and fell and fell, all the while I was too afraid to open my eyes. I tried to convince myself to open my eyes, at least to enjoy this plummet cause the view must be spectacular, but I couldn't. All I kept thinking about was, how much is this going to hurt? Is there any possibility that I could be saved? Is there anything I can do to save myself? lessen the pain? induce a heart attack before my body was crushed on impact? Would I end up lying awake on the ground in pain and for how long would I have to endure it before death would take over? And then... at least I'll be able to determine the great mystery of what comes after life. The lady in the car with me, an American missionary in Botswana, took my hands in her own and started praying. Her hands were warm and dry and she kept saying, "God, give us trust."

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Was it strange going to the CKGR so soon after my first trip? No, in fact, in that respect, it was probably one of the best decisions I've made here so far. Was it difficult? Yes. I don't realize how taxing the trip is on me, physically, until I come home and ate all the junk food I have in my house. We had a full crew this time around, 8 people in total. Drivers, Mechanics, Social Worker, Lorry Attendants, and Peace Corps Volunteer. I sat on the middle seat, which is nothing more than a piece of plastic over a sheet of foam on top of the overheated engine. We drove around 10 hours a day, which meant, by day 4 I was nothing but a quivering, sweaty mess of a person with a very sore buttbone.

Entry written on my ipod 4/3/2011
I smell like a mix of mildew, berry soap, and poo. It's night 2 of ckgr trip "the return." as I write this, nearly 50 kids are outside my very thin tent, waiting for their dinner to finish cooking over the fire. It's 8:30 pm and I am lying in bed. I would like to find a comfortable excuse to go outside and mingle, but unfortunately it's Setswana hour at camp CKGR and my attempts to socialize remain unnoticed. Can't blame them, with my tan and the darker than usual darkness outside, it's hard to notice this particular Lekhoa. I guess I just wish I'd said goodnight before sneaking into my tent for the night. (Photo: kids waiting for their Paleche (porridge) in the morning at Old Xade)

This trip is a pick up trip, we're picking students up for the new term. I've been dreading the trip in some ways. Mostly I was worried that the supposed dread of going back to school would cause the children to be all gloom and doom and ruin my own mood and fragile positivity. The first child we met a Kaudwane refused to be consoled and cried for the better part of an hour while we were getting ready to leave. The next stop, Kukame, yielded less dramatic results, though the general atmosphere was quite sober in comparison to the screaming and singing in the drop off trip. We stopped next at Kikao, where we spent the night only a week ago. This time, we only stayed for lunch, but the same families came out to greet us and have lunch together. By have lunch together, I mean we ate and they watched, father, mother, children, goats, and dogs.
(Photo of children at Metsiamanong, CKGR settlement at nightfall)


I ended up giving away half of my lunch, including an untouched package of grapes :( but I guess it was worth it. I don't think they'd ever had grapes or tuna fish before. The whole lunch hour(s), I couldn't help but feel strange about the whole situation. Coming from a new generation of do good-ers who don't do hand outs, it was strange to feel as though this situation called for it. They didn't beg or ask or whine, they merely accepted with gratefulness not only mine but everyone else's leftovers. I found myself wondering if I was doing the right thing, and brainstorming all the negative potential consequences of my actions. Was I demasculating the father? Encouraging a bad stereotype? Increasing dependence? making them feel inferior? What if one of them had an allergic reaction? Or choked? What if god forbid, I caused a death???! (Photo: my friend Dikgologo (meaning "environment") and her friend in Metsiamonong. She said her mom sent them here so they wouldn't get pregnant. Her friend responds to this with a crumped face and an indignant, "they're just jealous")

In the end I decided this is a situation where no amount of theorizing could produce a right answer. This was one of those times where the right decision could only come from being in the right moment at the right time. I realized that, like many of the other experiences I've had here, I could never prepare myself mentally or anticipate every need because the situation is so new, different, and unexpected. All I can do is make the decision to jump in head first, all in and hope that whatever wits and resources I have around me will be enough to save me when I start flailing.
(Photo of Mma Selena and her kids at Kikao. The very clueless child took this one)

It's strangely exhilarating to be a part of something so foreign when you've deluded yourself into thinking that you've already seen everything this world has to offer. It's even more exhilarating to realize that the only way you were able to experience this new thing was by being in it and not just watching it. This is truly not tourism, though I've certainly passed by my share of tourists during my time here, this is peace corps and all the crazy mysterious and sometimes kooky and humbling situations being a PCV puts you in. (Photo: Kids run amuck in the truck at Old Xade while we're waiting to leave for the morning)

So, peace corps, this point goes to you. Couldn't be here doing this thing no white person has ever done without you. And yes, in this situation, I am white. (Though people in Kikao all thought I was Chinese. If I don't correct ppl, does that mean peace corps and America loses the credit, and therefore I am not doing my job?)

P.S. students are definitely not melancholy anymore. They can't seem to stop talking to each other. It's fascinating watching teenagers flirt after being separated from each others for so long. I guess some behaviors are universal.

Friday, April 1, 2011

3-31-2011

Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to the CKGR again, this time to collect the kids. I have my reservations about this trip—I mean reservations in addition to the normal concerns about getting into a truck and entering a roadless, waterless, network-less land with nothing but open skies and lions to keep you company. At least this time I know what practical challenges I have in front of me. I have reservations because this is a “Pick-Up” trip, not a “Drop-Off” trip. As my friend Cherry explained to me today, Drop-Offs are drastically different from Pick-Ups. In Drop-Offs, the kids are excited to go home. They sing, they scream, they dance, and they yell the driver’s name whenever we get within 30km of a settlement. In Pick-Ups, the kids are terrified of going back. They scream, they scream, they scream, and, I’m told, if they have the guts, they scream while they run away. My counterpart says she doesn’t have time for that—it’s either get on or get left behind. If someone runs away, she’s not going after them. There’s some wisdom to that attitude, there’s also some callousness. If I absolutely had to choose one camp or the other, I think I’d say it was wisdom, I’d choose to leave them behind. To be honest, there are too many kids to pick up and the CKGR is too big to go looking for just one. If I had to leave my comfortable home and my warm, happy family for a cold, unfamiliar, and anonymous hostel, I’d scream and run away too. But don’t tell Cherry I said that. Who knows, my opinion may change.

Cherry says that some people here just don’t care about the San children. I can see that. On my trips to Ghanzi, I see the kids picking through their garbage in their tattered, dirty clothes, asking for money, licking old Styrofoam lunch trays like dogs. People ignore them, myself included. It’s just what we do. The other day, I saw a safari bus in front of the white-person grocery store. The kids swarmed it like a pack of vultures on a corpse, next thing I know, the kids are inside the bus exploring the seats, the windows, the engine. The amused and/or terrified Lekhoa (White people or, literally translated, Ocean Vomit) are lounging with them, talking to them, hoping, I’m guessing, to inspire them to pursue another life.

School is not compulsory here. These kids have chosen a life of freedom on the street, away from the barbed wire of the hostels, away from the freedom of education. I don’t know if anyone ever sat them down and convinced them that education is important. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had. Cherry’s organization is dedicated to the education of San Children. They used to drive around the streets in their trucks and pick up kids to bring them to “drop out camp” and convince them to go back to school. Of course, now, they register the kids and ask permission from their parents, but the concept is the same: Take a kid off the street, show him a good time, stimulate his mind, and convince him that education is worth pursuing. To be honest, I don’t know if I totally believe it myself-- I know too many people here who have education and nothing else. I also know plenty of people who have lots of things and no education. There’s a lady that’s infamous around New Xade for being drunk. Ironically, she is one of a handful of New Xade adults who has her Form 5 certificate (high school diploma). When she gets drunk, she yells and curses in fairly fluent English. It always surprises me.

The New Xade Coolway Bar burned down yesterday afternoon. My friend Kago, the policeman, told me this when we ran into each other at the white-person supermarket in Ghanzi. At first I was shocked, was anyone hurt? Is everyone ok? Yes he said, then with a smile, maybe now the old men won’t drink so much. Kago is a stand-up guy, he’s never once hit on me and I’ve never seen him bring one drink to his lips. He checks on me when I’m sick and called me when he found out my mother was in the hospital. His livingroom has got 2 pieces of furniture: a TV stand and a neon pink beanbag chair. He’s going on vacation today until Mid-May. He’s taking a certificate course, I think in computers. He says he wants to get another job. He says New Xade is getting too difficult for a policeman. I’m going to miss him, though since I’m being honest in this entry, I’m going to admit that I’m skeptical that he’s going to get another job. Jobs are difficult to come by here, and I see too many people who do nothing in good jobs and too many people who do too much who have nothing.

My friend Bicky is one of the latter. He’s the coordinator of the Orphan Support Group and has been for the past 3+ years. He’s a hardworking father of 5. The problem is, he’s self-employed and highly idealistic. In 2009, he was the preacher at the church. He left that job in 2010 to become a safari guide. In 2011, he returned to New Xade because his family needed him. Now he’s starting 3 different enterprises: running a tuckshop, raising goats, and campaigning for political office. At public events, if he’s not involved in the planning, he’s walking around with a baseball cap, a large plastic bag full of Cheese Curls, and a fisherman’s vest. The fisherman’s vest has airtime cards and candies strategically hanging out of its pockets. “Ey-time, ey-time, ey-time!” he calls, like a hotdog vendor at a baseball game, “Suh-weeeeets!” I bought a “Love Lollipop” from him for 1 pula at the TB event. “It’s very nice!” he said.

Bicky is building an outdoor kitchen, a veranda, and a chicken coup simultaneously in his crowded front yard. When I last spoke to him in person, he basically told me he was done with the support group, “This village doesn’t care,” he said, wiping concrete dust from his forehead and keeping one eye on his fat 2-year-old son wearing pink hand-me-downs. “If I hadn’t given so much of my time to this group,” his voice trailed off, “I could be a rich man.” He reminds me of my father who used to walk around the house in his underwear, singing his favorite song from Fiddler on the Roof, “If I were a rich man, didee didee didee didee didee dum.” Now my father’s rich, but he’s too busy to call.

Ketelelo says he wants to be a doctor because he doesn’t want to be poor like this, he motions to his grandmother’s straw hut in New Xade. His grandmother looks at me from behind a stick fence and smiles shyly as she prepares dinner. Take a picture of the people in CKGR, he tells me. Take a picture and show it to them, that way they can see how remote they are.

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A married San couple living in the CKGR won a court case a few weeks ago, giving them rights to re-open a borehole in Mothomelo, a settlement in the southern half of CKGR. I can say with some pride that I’ve been there and I’ve seen the borehole. It’s nothing more than a pipe coming from the ground, but it signifies decades of defiance and the end of centuries of pure hunting-gathering living. It signifies a new kind of development, one not dictated by the rules and whims of the developer. It signifies an unknown future, full of hope and potential, or disappointment and frustration. To read more about the court case, click here. I'm just kidding, click here.