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    The IncluderEpisode 9Africans Want to Chat With You

    by Andrius Kulikauskas
    November 5, 2008

    Imagine living on $1 a day and spending $1 an hour to chat with you!

    Fred Kayiwa: Hi Andrius

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    I’m multitasking as I’m blogging this.  Listening to John McCain’s gracious concession and reading Kennedy Owino’s and Francis Opiyo Opiyo’s rejoicing from Kenya in Barack Obama’s victory, and preparing sample test problems for my algebra students here in Bosnia.

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    The Includer is a device for single tasking.  Samwel Kongere is taking a week for soul searching in rural KenyaPeter Ongele is surveying the use (or not) of malaria bed netsKennedy Owino is asking for support for a Minciu Sodas base in Nairobi.  Likewise, I think deeply offline.  Today I developed my idea that God is alone which I need to upload.

    Fred Kayiwa: Andrius did you saw my email about Coming Meeting in Geniva?

    We chat about the January 23, 2009 meeting of COMMUNIA, the European Union’s network for the Public Domain.  We have the COMMUNIA money for Minciu Sodas members to participate, but we struggle to get visas.  In a few minutes, we think through scenarios for his trip.  He has friends in Switzerland.

    Is this a chance encounter in our help room? Yes, but he can see from any of our websites that I am here.   I know Fred from his 363 letters to Minciu Sodas
    and his work for us on small $100 projects.  We share values as
    independent thinkers, self-directed workers.  We grow ready to help
    each other in small ways.  He knows I think our help room is key to
    unlocking the economic value of our inclusive culture.

    Our scheduled chats are how we bridge single tasking and
    multitasking.  Instant messaging is very popular in Africa because you
    can catch up with several people at once even with a slow connection. 
    A scheduled event, such as Asif Daya’s TrainersPod webinars in 2006-2007, lets us come together thoughtfully.  Pamela McLean
    championed scheduled chats as a way to encourage African online
    participants.  I wanted to keep the technology simple to include people
    with slow Internet connections, and also yield archives in the Public Domain, and foster an online meeting place for our lab.  I was always impressed by the lively chat rooms of the Open Idea Project and the Espians.  In April 2007, I set up ARSC on our server (we may migrate to AjaxChat).  Our scheduled chats are the building blocks for our 24 hour help room.

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    Chat with us Thursday, November 6

    12:00 London, 13:00 Nigeria, 15:00 East Africa.

    Pamela McLean invites us to chat on the first Thursday of every month.

    I took the World Without Poverty books [by Muhammad Yunus thanks to Chris Macrae] to Fantsuam Foundation. John Dada
    was very impressed by the Danone yoghurt story. […] Fantsuam
    Foundation [in Nigeria] is constructing some fish ponds at the
    eco-village. It has already done some learning about fish farming, at
    its first Fish Farm at Bayan Loco. […] Our chat will be led by Nikki – from Dadamac UK – as I will be attending an OpenEverything […] Building our skills at communcating online is an important part of LearningFromEachOther

    Chat with us Friday, November 7

    10:00 Chicago, 16:00 London, 18:00 Harare

    Children’s author Masimba Biriwasha returned to Zimbabwe when the power sharing agreement was signed.  He’s an eloquent blogger and thoughtful organizer.  I hope we might organize around him with regular chats to respond to the heartbreaking Zimbabwean reality along with many brave hearts there, such as Bev Clark of Freedom Fone and Alex Weir of 3DWCD.

    Masimba is organizing the sending of books to Zimbabwe.  I’d like to
    support distribution of “print-on-demand” books by our participants
    (like blogs by Marcin Jakubowski or Flemming Funch) and thereby build relationships.  I’d like to experiment with community currency in Zimbabwe (which has a huge inflation rate).  We might also send women’s sanitary wear.  As Janet Feldman says, Pads for Peace.

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    Chat with us Saturday, November 8

    10:00 Chicago, 16:00 London, 19:00 East Africa

    Fred Kayiwa of Uganda staffs our chat room on Saturdays thanks to a $100 gift from St.Benedict the African’s choir.  We’re taking our first steps to link Chicago and Africa with our chat room.  Last Saturday I called David Ellison-Bey with Skype and walked him step-by-step through the links into our chat room.

    David: andrius, can you read me

    Andrius Kulikauskas: Yes, wonderful!

    David’s words give me hope that he might engage us as an elder in our online community.  Charles Williams visited us at David’s home
    and I want to give him $100 for his further help to set up Skype on the
    laptop I bought for David last year which he’s not yet managed to use
    as we hoped.  Maybe even dual boot Ubuntu alongside the Windows Vista which is so slow.  My goal is that we all video bridge with David using video Skype as we did for the Global Utopias project.  We need friends to be friends.

    You are a true friend, a warm human being. You sense and you respond. You are our Includer!

    Tagged: africa chat chicago digital divide helping poverty social business zimbabwe

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