30 October 2008


Arriving back in Macha, it is all hot. The temperatures are high - over 40 degrees these days -, my family is hot - their love by far the hottest thing existing, Ubuntu Campus is hot - with a great new large jungle gym, and the thoughts are hot - how to deal with it all: it is all boiling.

It was good to be in the USA for two weeks, for the first time after 5 years. The West is an important world player and seemingly dictates a lot of priorities in the world. I noticed a lot less 'explicit grandness' in the US compared to previous visits. The cars are of lesser size, and advertisements feature less 'I am #1'. Still lots of vogues and the latest 'cool thing'. Reviewing the content of this site on 'stuff', which link was sent to me today, put that in a rather bleak perspective.

It is good to be back in at home, in Macha. Heartwarmingly, a number of persons visited our house to welcome us back home today. When looking around it is obvious: some of the answers of the problems of the world are here to learn, right at our rural African doorstep. The value of relationships, the value of sustainable progress that benefits all, the value of lessens learned through history, the value of not giving up and persisting in face of whatever adversity, and the value of sheer enjoyment of life.

It is wonderful that many people I met in Washington, New York, Boston, Norfolk, Santa Barbara and LA, resonate and confirm this insight. Hopefully that offsets the CO2 added to the admosphere due to my resent journey. Now it is important to continue forward, and expand our community, so there will be true, continuous and inclusive collaboration all over the world, that will be cool! (eh.. it is a hot item)


The screen in the seat in front of me shows a curved line from IAD (Washington) to JHB (Johannesburg). The line touches West Africa, somewhere below Mauritania, but then quickly goes back over blue, the Atlantic Ocean. Now the screen switches to numbers. Height: 10,073 meters, Outside temperature: -47 Degrees, Ground speed: 905 km. Distance traveled: 4064 kilometers, Distance to destination: 9160 km, Time to destination: 10.26. Time at destination: 04.37 hours AM, Time of arrival: 02.57 hours PM. This is an epic journey.

About 15 hours of flying time, from start to landing, in one go from Washington DC to Johannesburg, from winter to summer, from North America to South Africa, from here to there, from far to far. A marvel of engineering, an Airbus 340-300e, South African Airlines: chapeaux! Now trying to have body, mind and spirit traveling at the same pace while I am moved.

- written Tuesday 28 Oct over the Atlantic Ocean -

26 October 2008


Appropriate dreaming, that is what I have been doing the last two days. Dreaming along with geeks and dorks, and people from top, middle and low class, at various occasions in the melting pot of Los Angeles.

BarcampLA (number 6), was an enjoyable experience. It is an open, participatory workshop-event, whose content is provided by participants. This one hosted in the workspace of a LA company, with hundreds of participants. Just sticking a notice on the board, and off one goes. Yesterday I had the chance to present the Macha case to this lively geeky public, amidst hundreds of PCs and other equipment clutter.

Later on the day Geoffrey Emery, whom was my appointed host for the day, drove me in his red, convirtable Mustang around downtown LA towards Codecamp, where he gave a speetch on the use of Virtual Earth in java-programming, and other nerdy things. Code Camp is a place for developers to come and learn from their peers. Quite a different atmosphere then Barcamp, but both completely open in nature - attendance is absolutely free - and speakers just 'sign in on the fly' and it all supports the free flow of information in an impressive way. I am just dreaming of the time we can have these kind of venues in countries like Zambia, where peers present, challenge and be challenged in an open, creative environment among peers and all.

In the evening Lynn Langit, Esther Schorr, and Anton Delsink joined and I was taken to a nice Japanese restaurant with stunning views at the 21th floor in downtown LA. They all visited Macha, are volunteering for the worthwhile SmartCare developments in Zambia. It was like a dream, meeting in one place, while we all live in different parts of the world (LA, Seattle, Dubai and Macha respectively).

This morning I went to Angelus Temple, around the block from where I am staying right now. It is operating the DreamCenter in LA and beyond, and it was certainy a top musical and experiential event. Nicely out of the box for a person from the Zambia rural area, stirring and exhilerating, a real big-town USA experience.

25 October 2008

California USA

It is amazing that anyone even lives here! Even during the landing the place looks like a desert, but still, more then 30 million people around Los Angeles, presumably not worried about 'The Big One' (The earthquake). Well, I must say, the weather is nice! Thus it is understood that everybody appears to be ready for the beach.. The campus of the University of California, SB, is right at it. The percentage of flip-flop wearers in CA must be higher then in our rural village of Macha! 

The University of California, Santa Barbara campus is blessed. Next to the beach are about 20,000 students busy with gaining knowledge. On their trendy bicycles with large handle bars and thick tires they ride around a beautiful campus. Prestigious speakers, wide range 
of subjects, and liberal thinking blend. I attended a class again, now on network security, and was asked to present on LinkNet developments at Macha. Thanks to David Johnson and his family whom hosted me during this time. He is committed to bring the mesh developments 'two steps further', and does so in view of developments towards PhD. Certainly an other partner in the work with UNZA towards MSc in ICT4P.

Today I traveled back by AirBus (a bus from Goleta/Santa Barbara) to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), where the driver pointed out all remarkabilities of the area. 'Famous' places like Malibu, and the house of this person and that person, and crazy amounts of 'this house costs $ 42 mln - from Cher - and this house is on the market for over $ 50 mln. I would not want to live in those houses, having route 101 in my back yard! Dolphins in the water, that was the most remarkable and amazing sight you me.

In Los Angeles I had a nice meeting with FourSquare Foundation @ Sunset Boulevard. After the meeting, testing and tasting that I had no clue where to stay, they they offered me a stay in a very nice apartment. Tomorrow BarCamp and maybe even CodeCamp, and dinner with friends whom visited us in Macha. It is all a confusing mix in my head now about the a-synchronic situation of rural Africa and urban USA.

22 October 2008

Old Dominion University (ODU)

It was a long time ago that I had the chance to sit in a university class. Today it was the chance, and it was recognizable. Computer Networking, at ODU, one of the 7 universities in Norfolk (VA) area. The opportunity was with Jonathan Backens, Team Leader LITA at LinkNet, to join him to one of his classes, as part of his PhD training and activities. This was after meetings with a host of professors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Albin is a kind an driven program director, and keen to see the world developed. He carries the vision, and got Dr. Akan (associate dean) and Dr. Dhali (chairman) involved. Chances for the UNZA cooperation with LinkNet to have more educators involved! An American university day, a good experience.

21 October 2008

Family over three continents

Greetings from Virginia Beach, VA. Currently I am visiting with Jonathan Backens and his family, after having stopped in Washington, NY and Boston. After this, on Wednesday, onwards to LA. This trip was initiated by the invitation of IEEE to present during their Humanitarian Workshop in Boston, USA. My presentation is published at http://link.net.zm/?q=node/239.

Janneke is currently in France, just finished attending the 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France, from 16 to 20 October 2008. She will go onwards to visit her sisters in the UK and NL.

And Merel and Elmo are in Macha! They stay with the Krauses, and reports are that they enjoy their extended 'sleep over' at the Zisamu (Wooden) House.