I read Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. On my Sony PRS-505 Reader, thanks to Ricardo. On my three-hour rides through the mountains between Sarajevo and Tuzla, thanks to the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also in bed, when I unwind, before I’d fall asleep, in my room in Grbavica,
without Internet, thanks to God, who lets me wake up offline in every
way, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, so that I might devote my
best intensity to my life’s quest. I’m discovering, and embracing, that God is alone.
I write you The Includer. As I write, perhaps you, my reader, will become real, just as The Includer might. I am writing my hopes as a serial novel. I am writing my nonfiction as fiction so that you might be free to read and yet not realize what you have read. I will discover my readers and my plot’s trajectory. We’ll learn or not the fate of the Includer.
Professor Steven Jenkins gave me some hope. (Or was it Professor Tom Lombardi?) He told me that Barack Obama wrote Dreams from My Father
and, at the time, only a few thousand copies were printed, and nothing
much came of it. Maybe my words will matter somehow, some day.
For now, I’m engaging one reader at a time. Steven left Lehman Brothers days before it failed, just as David Ellison-Bey [of Episode 3] was struggling with foreclosure by Aurora Loan Services [of Episode 5].
I ask Steven for the inside story, who allows and directs such
corporate wickedness? He doesn’t understand me, but agrees to read David’s hardship letter.
Steven stops just as he starts – David’s “discombobulation” simply
turns him off. Later, with utmost endurance, he slogs through,
concludes that David lived beyond his means and refuses to believe that
a cat urinated on David’s mortgage bill. I have found a photograph I
made in the spring which supports David’s version:
Steven is enjoying Les Miserables. He’s found several passages which fill him with awe. Victor Hugo
writes so convincingly of the dysfunctions which I make unreadable.
Steven says, we should have started David’s hardship letter with the
bullets that were firing as we wrote it. I say, that’s not the point,
but rather that David is indeed discombobulated, an elderly man with no
family to help him make sense of his bills and the predatory practices
of even the most legitimate businesses.
What might I learn from Dickens? He draws memorable characters and
then brings them together in the oddest combinations. And what is
David Copperfield about? <Spoiler alert> The coming to manly
wisdom of the most innocent of boys. </Spoiler alert>
You are the hero of the Includer. God and I can bring you together
with an odd mix of characters. You will grow wise, yes? and the
Includer will grow real.
Ricardo knows our characters because he helps them:
Just to catch-up, here’s a few other things I’m involved with:
Tom Ochuka from Deaf Impact in Ahero, Kenya, has just received a laptop that I sent him. We’ll get it working for internet-access over the next week or two, in conjunction with his GPRS phone and a bluetooth adapter. One of the things he wants to do with it is video-editing, for some video-dramas that the group record, relating to deaf or hiv education, etc. Tom relies on neighbours with mains electricity to charge all these things. He would like to investigate solar charging,
but that’s too expensive, so we’ll have to put that one on the back
burner. All this gear should make communication easier, with MS members and with other deaf groups within Kenya and overseas.
When all the kit is working, I’ll try to just help with
information, linking Tom and Deaf Impact up with other deaf groups. One
interesting experiment could be using sign-language via some webcams
that I sent him a few months ago. GPRS connections are a bit slow for
this, so he may have to try it from a cyber-cafe. Anyway, if it works,
it provides a lot of useful knowledge that other deaf groups may be
Samwel Kongere [the inspiration for the Includer, see Episode 0] has now got the equipment to set up the first of 5 Information Access Points on Rusinga Island. The first one will be at Nyamuga Primary School, with 2 refurbished PCs from Baobab Communications in Nairobi, plus a printer, scanner and unlimited-time internet access from the Zain mobile phone company (formerly Celtel). They don’t advertise that unlimited time/data service, but it is available.
A friend of Fred Kayiwa [we chatted with Fred in Episode 9] said he can share some office space, so I’ve been helping Fred a little, to start some income activities, using his laptop, doing typing, photocopying, etc. This is only just starting at the moment.
David Mutua is starting an ICT centre in Kangundo, east of Nairobi.
I’ve been assisting a little with a few items of equipment for that,
just to get it started, but most help will have to come from
I’ll be having a chat with Josephat Ndibalema from Uyoga
some time in the next week, to see how things are going at Uyoga. He
was away visiting relatives for a month or so, but back in Dar es Salaam now. Maria
and I are co-ordinating what we do with Uyoga, to avoid duplication and
to keep things focused on education and community work, rather than
I’m still loosely involved with Fantsuam Nigeria. Following Pam McLean’s recent visit there, they are doing a lot more photo and video projects [which Ricardo enjoyed, see Episode 2].
I think they will build up their photo/video skills naturally over the
next year, just by finding uses for cameras on various projects, such
as Ecodomes and Community WiFi.
They have been practicing with photos and videos of football skills. I
meet up with the camera group online once a month, to see how things
are going, and see whether some more formal instruction would be
useful. I sent a camera training DVD over with Pam. They liked the
video very much, but Pam had to explain that the actor doing the
instruction wasn’t me!
Mix with our characters!
Pamela McLean invites us to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Teachers Talking at our chat room
on Saturday, November 29th, for about an hour, starting 10:00 GMT,
11:00 Nigerian time, 13:00 Kenyan time. Here are detailed instructions.
Serina Kalande leads a chat to investigate: What are the factors to weigh when ‘Blogging Positively’, especially working with HIV/AIDS? Come to our chat room
on Wednesday, December 3rd, at New York 7:00, London 12:00,
Johannesburg, Helsinki 14:00, Nairobi, Moscow 15:00, New Delhi 17:30,
Hong Kong 20:00 and meet with representatives of REPACTED (Kenya), AIDS Rights (Democratic Republic of Congo), FrontAIDS and Drop-in center (Russia), and Kwa Mashu Community Advancement Project (South Africa). Then continue at ActALIVE’s discussion group lead by Janet Feldman of Episode 1, Sisterhood!