I have my PDC and sure it taught me a lot, but nothing I couldnt have learned on my own
I'm curious about this statement.
As I apply it to my own experiences and the PDC I took, I think it could be true for me also. Surely it is true for nearly everything we encounter.
For me, there was a great deal of information that I never would have tried to gain. I never would have thought I needed to learn it. Further, even if I had found the information, I'm not sure I would have given it much weight. But at the PDC I encountered all sorts of things I never expected and it was a life changing experience.
In a way, to me, the PDC was like experiencing a piece of art. Or reading an amazing book. Sure, I could have acquired paint and made my own painting, or I could have fired up the word processor and written my own book. But it would have been a lame substitute.
While I feel that I could have gathered all of that information on my own, I feel certain that I would not have.
I enjoyed taking my PDC so much, I am looking forward to hanging out near the PDC going on in montana in April.
I am enrolled in a PC Teachers course this Autumn. Oddly enough...I never really intend on teaching again...in fact I was one of the first teachers of the fellow hosting it (Delvin). http://www.gaiacraft.com/home/2012/7/8/permaculture-teacher-training.html I see no reason not to pay to learn. If you can't/don't want to pay simply call what you are doing something else. For awhile I was calling the few projects I did 'Lancescaping'. But seriously, you really only have to 'pay yourself' (vide: save) every time you have income and stash it away (I've preferred silver as a storage form to avoid banks). It doesn't have to be much (5-10%) but it adds up over time. Set a time limit then use your non-squandered savings to take a course. If I were allowed in the US (I'm apparently a 'plant terrorist!) I would have loved to have gone to the 'Financial Permaculture' (funny how 'Permaculture' shows up on a 'Permaculture forum with a red underline hey!). A few of us are thinking about pooling our money to send someone down South if another happens. http://www.financialpermaculture.org/ . When a group of us decided in 2002 to get our PDC's we pooled money and did a 'mail order' course from Australia and since it was a group we got a 50% discount (if memory serves!).
There's always a 'make an offer' strategy. Find a few others who can't seem to afford a course, get together and see if you can invite someone who can teach it. Without having to go through the advertising/promotional aspects (which are probably a hassle!) and making it as intensive as possible...you may find someone who is interested. Maybe they just want to see your part of the world, maybe they have free time...who knows. We, at one point in time, were going to invite Graham from http://www.spiralseed.co.uk/ for a 5 day PC 'discussion'...he agreed if his plane fare/housing/food etc. were paid. Simply because we share a similar climate.
Anyhow...that's enough on that.