Sunday, March 11, 2007

Living in 'the Bubble'

One of my classmates tells me that living in Poatina is like living in a bubble. Sometimes, when the light is just right, you can even see the bubble shimmer as you approach town. It's a unique place, unlike any other town in the area, a place of safety and refuge for some, a bit too isolated for others.

Well, it IS a bit of a drive to a supermarket, and mail doesn't seem to find it's way here. The road doesn't even go through the town, you have to take a turn-off. The streets are safe for young people to walk on, or ride their scooters. Some of them here even ride unicycles to school...

Just in the last week they have put speed bumps all around the town, not so much to slow the traffic down, as to give the unicyclists more of a challenge! I'm a bit worried about the lack of street sense of the younger children when they leave the bubble. They've never really had to worry about watching for traffic as they play on the road.

One thing that sets Poatina apart is the 'Book of Norms'. It's a bit like Leviticus, but with less animal sacrifice. By following the guidelines set out therein, it makes this level of community life possible. Some of the norms take a little getting used to, but by setting up clear boundaries, everyone knows where they stand, and the vulnerable are protected. It's an interesting paradox that people are more free when they know where the boundaries are.

By the way, if you click on the pictures, you can see them at a bigger size, if you want!

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