Jim Fry wrote:I spent 20+ years helping as I was asked to do, on Pineridge, --and other Rez's. One of my first, and hardest, lessons was to learn to stop talking so much and learn to stop trying to fix their problems. I drove over 70 truck loads of clothing, furniture, food out there (1200 miles one way). We set up a women's and children's shelter. We took Herbalists and Midwives out there to teach. We established Little League teams with uniforms. We paid for Elders to travel to the U. N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. We paid for and accompanied Elders and Medicine Men to go to Iraq to Pray for Peace. We paid for (endless) amounts of winter heat. I took them and gave them cars and pickup trucks. ....All of which they asked me to do.
What we didn't do was (the very obvious, to us) many projects which (we) thought would improve life there. We had learned that they had to decide what to do. Otherwise your (my) idea just won't work.
So my suggestion to you is that if you think rocket heaters is a good idea, suggest it to the Elders, or other folks, you know there. And see if they want a work shop. Or instructors. Or fire bricks. -Ask them first.
My second suggestion is that at the same time you propose mass heaters, you also suggest you could alternatively supply them with pickup trucks and chain saws, so they can go the Black Hills and cut and haul their own wood.
My third suggestion is that whatever you do, promise nothing. Only offer exactly what you can actually DO. They have heard it all before. And been disappointed many times.