Got this email from Margarita at www.svgdigs.com – a new volunteer company focusing on archaeology. Loved her candor about all of the IFs involved in this whole process.
A mistake I made and what I learned? Hmmmm… I’d like to think that I haven’t made any mistakes, but that would certainly be incorrect. I think I am constantly learning along the way, starting a public archaeology program from scratch. I have a lot of “ifs” and “buts” – luckily there haven’t been any major disasters… yet!
IF I had more time, I would get a University fully on-board, but there is a LOT of red tape involved in this and we certainly didn’t have time to go through it in order to get the marketing started. For next year (if we continue), we will be creating a society so that we will be more credible as a non-profit. We are considering becoming a registered charity as well.
IF I had more money, I would offer our volunteers a much better experience. Not to say that they didn’t have fun, but I always like to ask myself, “What would my mom think?” Well, she would like to stay in at least a 4-star resort, and she would not like to have sandwiches for lunch. So, we are currently trying to find someone local who will prepare our meals for us.
IF I had more courage, I would ask a TON of companies for money via corporate sponsorship. BUT I don’t like asking people for money; it’s something that I certainly struggle with. And with all this talk about philanthropy in the newspapers lately, you’d think I would build more courage. BUT, I have written and deleted a number of emails to this effect. Obviously, this is something I should JUST DO.
IF we had funding, we would be sheltering our archaeology site and protecting it from the torrential rains and winds that St. Vincent is subject to, we would get tool sponsors (so we aren’t making excavation tools out of bamboo on site), and we would get more archaeologists on staff (so we can get more work done).
There are probably a lot more IFs, but I can’t dwell on them because then there would be no WHENs. I am one person and I made this happen (with a little help from some friends). I’d like to think that people can learn from this; anyone can make a difference. A bit cheesy, but true.
Margarita J. de Guzman, M.A., Principal Archaeologist
403.891.5617 | http://www.linkedin.com/in/margaritadeguzman