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    The IncluderEpisode 12Wisdom In Characters

    by Andrius Kulikauskas
    November 28, 2008

    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.

    langas.JPGI 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.

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    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:

    davidellisonbeycats.JPG

    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.

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    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
    interested in.

    deafimpact.JPG

    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.

    Ken Chelimo has been running a computer/internet business in Eldoret, like a mini telecentre, and he is starting to expand that now.

    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
    NGOs/Partners.

    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
    business-related things.

    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!

    Tagged: aids books cats chat deaf foreclosure internet access kenya literature
    • http://learnbydoinguk.blogspot.com/2008/10/visiting-fantsuam.html

      Pamela McLean blogs from Nigeria

      Comparative costs

      Ricardo and other members of the Minciu Sodas Includer development group would have loved to be included up at the main house this evening. A couple of people were discussing the minutiae of comparative costs of different mobile phone networks, cyber cafes, and phone access to the Internet. This is exactly the kind of information the Includer group are looking for.

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3640

      I will repsent the deaf impact in thios chat hopefully .
      Thanks.
      TOM OCHUKA

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3641

      Janet Feldman:
      Dear Tom and All,

      It’s great to hear from you, and your interest brings up a very important concern: to ensure that the Deaf community worldwide, as well as any/all people living with disabilities (or who are “differently abled”), are fully included in the citizen-journalist movement.

      It would be great if that can be added to the topics for discussion on Dec 3rd, and we surely hope you can join us!

      With immense thanks and blessings always, Janet

    • Dear All,

      I am looking forward to joining you at the chat room.

      Best Wishes

      Jafar Danesi

      Programme Director

      Policy Research Nigeria
      Lagos, Nigeria

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3644

      Dear Jafar, Rahilla, and All,

      Hello and great to hear from you! Did you get to the chat yesterday, and how did it go? Or did you mean the chat this coming Wed…I hope you can attend!

      Jafar, please also meet Rahilla Zafar, who posted the request below at the other forum I moderate, Holistic Helping. You may have already “met” her in the Teachers Talking chat on Saturday. If not, hope you and other members in Nigeria will consider contacting Rahilla as per her request, if you have experiences or insights you can share. She is at rahilla@….

      She writes: “I’m working on a report evaluating international aid in Nigeria. If any of you have experience working there and any insights to offer, please let me know. I appreciate your help.”

      Please let us know how you are and what you’re doing these days, and in the meantime and always, artistic affections and very best wishes, Janet

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3645

      Janet Feldman:

      Dear Masimba and All,

      I have been thinking a lot about you, including hoping to pick up the threads of discussion soon on “Pads for Peace” (the name tentatively given to a sanitary-wear project some of us hope to implement in Zimbabwe). Thanks to Cathy Stubington, Ken Owino, and a few others who have posted on that subject (as it applies to Kenya) recently at Holistic Helping.

      It occurred to me that you are a blogger extraordinaire, Masimba, and your presence at our Rising Voices chat on December 3rd would be invaluable. Have you seen postings about it?

      For everyone, I have pasted below a couple articles written by Masimba recently. One is about the potential of citizen journalism to address HIV/AIDS. The other points to some possible ways in which citizen journalism might be applied in ZW to get health and other information to more people who need it.

      Masimba is now working on a book and art project in ZW too, which can hopefully be linked to “Pads for Peace” and the citizen-journalist activism he promotes.

      We hope you will join us, and let us know if you need the info on that again. With all best wishes and blessings for your “better-world” bloggings, Janet

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3648

      Tobias Eigen:

      Hello Janet,

      This sounds terrific! Could you please post this to the kabissa blog,
      so the 1300 african orgs in our network can find out about this global
      chat? We could also do a special mailing – see
      http;//www.kabissa.org/learn/about/special-mailings

      Thanks,

      Tobias

    • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3648

      Janet Feldman:

      Dear Tobias and All,

      Immense thanks for the posting, and I’m sure many of us will be interested to post about events and to tell stories. Kabissa is a wonderful example of citizen journalism at its best!

      Thanks too for the corrected link to the special mailings (I give that a two-thumbs up :))! I will send you something now (separately), focusing on Africa, and if you can send the text today, fantastic!!

      So glad you like the idea of collaboration, and hope we can discuss this soon, perhaps even at the chat tomorrow. It would be especially good if you and David can talk.

      Will close on that upbeat note and get to that text. All best wishes and hope to “see” you and many Kabissa members at the chat! Janet

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