"Oops, I farted."
I quite like the phrase program I'm using. These words are far more useful to me than "Where is the ticket counter?" I am also learning such gems as "Which is the best beer?" and "It wasn't me."
But the best bit is that I'm starting to get a grasp of the in-between words, the ones that make the nouns and verbs and stuff make sense. You know, like the ones that mean did you, are you, what is, where is, is it, me, you, mine, yours, that sort of thing.
I'm guessing that at some point I'll have to start constructing them but right now I'm happy knowing when someone's admitting to blowing off. Yep.
So this weekend I spent in Christchurch. Well, Wainui to be precise, which is about 1 hour 20 minutes out of Christchurch on the coast after you go over the hills. It's basically across the harbour from Akaroa, and is one of those tiny settlements that has a school that's hanging on by the skin of its teeth and no shop.
Kathy and Bruce live at the end of a metal road above Wainui. It's only about 3km from the settlement up the hill, but it may as well be the moon. Nobody goes up there unless they're there to see these guys. Here's the view from their front porch:
They're basically turning the place into a giant food garden. Successive owners have planted fruit and nut trees which are now mature, and Bruce and Kathy have added an almond orchard, coppices and large vegie gardens, and are underplanting the mature trees with, um, I guess you could call them herb swards. So eventually, wherever you go you'll be able to pick something edible. It's neat! And very much a work in progress.
They are both stepping off the Kiwiburn organising crew to spend more time on the property, and since a bunch of other people are also stepping down this year, the gathering was to shoot the shit among those who are staying and try to come up with ways to make the transition between old crew and new crew as smooth as possible.
We also spent a bit of time talking about the scaleability of the current organisational structure now that the festival itself is approaching a population of 1000, and the possible use of a project management software suite that's designed by burners with burn event organising in mind. It's called Asana and it's pretty groovy.
And we also ate a lot of cheese, played a lot of Cards Against Humanity, and laughed raucously a lot.
I'm knackered, but I also have confidence that KB is in good hands, and that if we manage to implement even half of the ideas that came out of the weekend, it should reduce the burnout level of those doing the work by spreading the workload more evenly among volunteers, create autonomy for the teams, and make the whole thing more attractive to people who want to help but don't want to commit to serving on the excom.
For those who actually give a shit about that, there'll be a draft proposal out in about a week for comment and feedback. For those who just want a burn to go to, it seems the idea of dropping to every two years has been forgotten now that folk are stepping up to do the work.
Also, it was quite nice to spend a weekend practicing my friendly-skills for Foo, which is a bit more daunting because I'm not as familiar with the territory, and will have more people. But I do remember how to converse apparently. That's good.
Hey, maybe I could try conversing in my stilted Finnish! "Hei, olen Wendy ja haluan tehdä juttuja. Anteeksi, minulta pääsi pieru. Odotta.. en se minä ollut..."
I'll totally be a hit with the geeks.