Gazette: It's a pleasure to meet you, Sectuib Teiu, and to tour the tree nursery that is doing so much to help revive the ruined lands of south Nivet.
Sectuib Teiu: Our nursery has provided trees not only for government afforestation projects, but we've sent out many thousands of trees, shrubs and other plants for individuals and organizations to use in shelterbelts and woodlots, as well as to beautify their grounds and provide food and shelter for birds which help control agricultural pest insects.
Gazette: My father remembered the desert south Nivet had turned into in the years before Unity. Do you think it can be restored to the rich grainlands it once was?
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, I believe it can be done, if not in our lifetime, surely in that of our children and grandchildren. Right now efforts are concentrating on the eastern areas where rainfall is naturally higher and the destruction was less extensive. Gradually the web of life restored there will spread westward and revive those lands. We are developing some strains of cottonwood and other native trees that are especially drought-resistant to use as 'advance scouts' in favored areas of the west, stream valleys and so forth. The Land Management School in Konawa is well known for developing grass and legume forages that can hold the soil and rebuild it.
Gazette: I understand that there are promising signs already.
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, indeed. Already water tables are higher, formerly dry wells are usable again, and streams are running for more of the year than they have within living memory. Wagon trains can cross south Nivet and be assured of water and forage for their horses and mules even in late summer. Waystations have been rebuilt and some small villages have grown up around them, providing fresh food and amenities for travellers. Many people in these villages are 'garden crazy', and they all have village parks. We've donated plants and seeds for community projects like these, and I've been told that there's hot competition between villages for the most beautiful park and waystation grounds, as well as for ornamental plantings around houses and places of business, and for the best garden produce. We've published and distributed educational materials so people can learn to propagate plants and grow their own trees and other stock for local projects, using volunteer labor including that of schoolchildren. Those children will see their future countryside growing up with them, they will love the land they have helped to revive, and they will never let the destruction of these lands happen again. Village councils have written to thank us for our donations and invited us to visit them. Someday I hope to follow the footsteps of Klyd Farris and Risa Tigue and see just how much things have changed.
Stock from Householding Teiu's tree nursery will form a windbreak for a field of forage developed at the Konawa Land Management School.
Gazette: You must be proud of what Teiu has done to improve these people's lives.
Sectuib Teiu: I should emphasize that most of the restoration in these areas is due to the territorial government's efforts in conjunction with the Konawa Land Management School to reestablish grasslands in south Nivet. Before you can have grainlands, you have to have grasslands.
Gazette: With the economy booming and population rising in these years after Unity, do you see a way that Simes can make a living from grasslands, other than raising horses and mules?
Sectuib Teiu: I'd like to see the development of low intensity cattle ranching, with cattle being sold south to Heartland Gen Territory. It can start small with ranchers trading livestock to the Heartland Gens in exchange for leather and other commodities we don't produce much of ourselves in-T.
Gazette: Do you think small scale informal inter-territorial trade like that is possible?
Sectuib Teiu: Why not? Risa Tigue's dream of out-T Gens visiting the Gulf Spring Trade Fair has long been realized, and there's more trade between individuals and businesses in Gulf and Heartland than you might think. They've sent more than Tonyo Logan in-T, you know! It's time more people in Nivet got in on the act. We've not only sold nursery stock and equipment we've developed for large scale nursery production to Heartland government land management people and private nurseries, we've sent ambrov Teiu to Heartland as consultants and trainers. These people are all qualified as Third Order Donors in addition to their skills in nursery operations. They've served changeovers down there and changed some attitudes too! We've invited our customers and other interested people to come up to visit us, and it's wonderful how many have taken us up on the offer and enjoyed their stay in Simeland. Our Sime nursery workers have certainly enjoyed the opportunity to compare notes with their counterparts from the other side of the border.
ambrov Teiu inspect a shelterbelt planted early
in the land restoration program.
Gazette: I can't tell if you're thinking big or thinking small!
Sectuib Teiu: You sound like my sister and First Companion Roza. She always says "Yilli, even when you think small, you think big." It's in the philosophy of our House. We don't think big. We think small and work with the people around us and let the effects spread. If the time is right, the effects will spread far and fast. If not, well, we've helped the people around us at least. Who knows? Some small things we do now could have big effects far down the line, like the wildflowers that reappeared in south Nivet once the water table came back up and the land began to recover. People only knew about them from old poetry and songs, but now you can go down there in the spring and see them coloring the grasslands. The seeds were always there, waiting to grow when the conditions were right.
Gazette: What other projects are you working on with your Householding's philosophy?
Sectuib Teiu: We've had a cooperative arrangement with the Church of Unity for several years now in which we train their missionaries as Third Order Donors for out-T work. They can hardly go into a Gen community preaching their God's message of Unity for Sime and Gen, and tell people that for now God will still have to put up with them murdering a third of their children or letting their kids kill them! So all the out-T missionaries are qualified to manage changeover and serve First Transfer. This is working out extraordinarily well. Even non-religious people in communities that have a Church of Unity mission are requesting help for their children in changeover, and usually the Church has been able to provide it. This program has saved the lives of thousands of people both Sime and Gen, and prevented the lives of new Simes from being blighted by lifelong guilt and regret over a kill and the agony of disjunction. As you may know, the Church has really expanded in-T since Unity, and provides assistance to new immigrants from out-T in adjusting to our culture. Family and friends of Simes the Church missionaries have served in changeover have come in-T to visit them, and the Church has provided help in assuring their safety and comfort during their stays. We've even had requests from out-T young people for Donor training at our House to enable them to provide similar services outside Church auspices. So far we haven't been able to provide such training, but we have plans for the future that may make it possible.
Gazette: Doesn't this conflict with the Tecton's plans to build Sime Centers throughout Gen Territory to provide similar services?
Sectuib Teiu: It doesn't conflict, it supplements. One day there will be no territory borders, and there will be a Sime Center providing channel's transfer within easy access of every potential Sime. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough channels changing over yet. At present, the Tecton has only been able to staff Sime Centers in some of the larger out-T cities. The Church of Unity and the out-T Sime Centers have been working well together where possible, and we have every confidence that this excellent cooperation will continue.
Gazette: Thank you, Sectuib. May your Householding flourish as your nursery is helping south Nivet flourish, and may your efforts to promote Unity both in- and out-T flourish as well.