Advice for a Techno-pelli

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Techno-pelli's Shadow.JPG Have been thinking about some of the lessons I´m learning here about doing fieldwork, living life, etc. Here is Techno-pelli´s shadow on the path down from Namarin to Tuncarta. The stuff I´m putting here is a list of things I need to remember, and maybe it´s partially a poem, and possibly it might be useful to other techno-pellis out there.

NOTE ALSO: The comments function should be working now, so if you would like to add your own advice for a techno-pelli, please feel free to do so. Thanks to one of the readers of htis blog (you know who you are) for reminding me to be thoughtful and ethical about what I post here, You´ll see a couple of the things on the list relate directly to your comments.

Advice for a Techno-pelli


Check all the pockets.


Not everybody likes your music,

or your visit to this place.

You're welcome in many places in the community--

But not here!

Or not now!


Tractor time costs more--

you can wait--

watch, maybe you'll learn something,

and pitch in if they'll let you.


Sometimes there are only three stones

firm in the muddy path--step carefully.


People will ask for your help--

give as much as you can--

don't promise to change lives--

know your true worth and limits as a traveler.


Sometimes your technology won't work.

Sometimes your technology won't be appreciated.

Sometimes your technology will be useful to people you visit.

Be aware of when each of these appear true.

Act accordingly.


Most of the places you walk in your adventures

are walked daily by four-year-olds.


Sweet treats in your pockets

are always welcome.


Kids can be helpful guides, but remember,

they don't know all the houses.

(they do know the location of all bad dogs.)


Dogs, horses, sheep and some people

don't really much like strangers.


For dogs, a stone in your hand (even bluffed)

can be useful.


Bring everything inside you,

not just your brain--

and use it all, every day.

You're first human,

traveler second.


Women standing at the top of the cliff path,

            having their morning chat while hand-spinning wool,

                        do not want you to take their pictures. Don´t ask.


Young men of the community might keep their distance--

            they have their reasons.


Old men will ask you questions you can't answer

about why your country is wealthier than theirs.

Old women who have never worn shoes

will probably not talk to you--

there's a good chance they do not speak

the same language as others in the community.


People will tell you a certain old woman

is more than 100-years-old--

this may or may not be true.


Morning yoga is a good way to keep mental balance while journeying.

Good idea to keep it up back home.


Folks back home want a polished and edited

version of your story.


The stories need to be (mostly) true,

and carefully told--

honor the trust of those you visit.


Wash your shoes before you go home.

1 Comment

"You're first human, traveler second"

Ah, but you're also a human traveling. A unique and often stressful status. This may mean that being human first makes you crabby, clueless, out-of-sorts, giddy, forgetful, thoughtful, generous, just plain weird, and worn out.

Glad you got your picture technology worked out.

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This page contains a single entry by David Syring published on August 6, 2009 2:07 PM.

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