Saturday, May 30, 2009

Been A Minute

Yello there.

Been busy writing and filming for the Reporter at school for commencement week, so haven't had much time--or info--pertinent to S.A. to post.

Really tired. Exhausted. Graduated today. 

Here is a pic of what the newest OS (operating system) for the XO looks like on the computer screen, with all the applications surrounding, in a circle, the X that is meant to represent the one laptop per child.

7 days.

More--much more--to come on Monday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

group didnt get together today as anticipated. disappointing. hoping tomorrow brings more organization and luck. should have a lot to post then.

12 days.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

super excited. going to miss my parents immensely. but the world is mine. and it awaits. 

13 days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

kind of obsessed with posting. nothing new today. talking to bryan stuart from olpc now. behind--WAY behind--on laptop planning and incorporating citizen journalism and HIV/AIDS prevention--the very mission that landed us on a plane to jo'burg--into the laptop KYP curriculum.

been focusing on security and accommodations and the practicality of living in soweto up to now. realize that's not enough. after all, we are going there for a reason.
14 days. lol. guess i was one day ahead yesterday. my. bad.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Think they'll be this happy when I arrive? You're right, WAY happier!

Tick, Tock

its a waiting game at this point. everything is ready to go. will meet with group on sunday to talk about plan, back-up plan, and a back-up plan to that back-up plan. we are going to the slum of soweto. many people try to paint the situation with pretty colors, but the reality is not luxurious. however, if we stay on track, go in confident, and do our job--all the while making sure to compensate locals and contribute to the community--we'll be fine. also important to be in a tight knit community where people will stand up for us and their word will go a long way. despite the 1:2 HIV/AIDS infection rate in kliptown and a 60% unemployment rate, one thing kliptown is, is deep-rooted. the oldest settlement in soweto at an inception year of 1903, kliptown has 'soul'. we are staying with a respected woman in her home.

spoke to our ngo director today and his voice and confidence in us shone through the skype wire. he was very reassuring and i know we are in good hands.

still need to go over detailed lesson plans and got the go ahead from director to personally incorporate AIDS prevention into the 2 month stay. "it would be a shame if you didnt," he said. good man.

finished compiling thorough contact list today; is comprised of soweto, s.a., and north american sources. people make this world go 'round. 

a special thanks to everyone who has been so warm and relentless in opening their lives and sometimes homes to a woman and a group they don't even know. couldn't have done this without you all. would post your info but i fugure you'd hate that.

14 days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

flights booked. bos to atl to joburg. then joburg nairobi kigali. kigali nairobi, joburb. then SOWETO. talked to good people today. excited and confident. talking to south african developmental fund tom and some other people. grammar, spelling, and punctuation out the window as of now. leave june 5. 15 days.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here is a pic of the darlings I'll be kissing on the cheek in the coming weeks. To find out more about these preciosos, hit up the Kliptown Youth Program's website.

Might not stay in Soweto anymore. Many 'maybes' currently floating in the crowded stratosphere above my consciousness. Should be booking tickets tomorrow barring we find a good flight from Kigali to Jo'burg. Have good contacts in Jo'burg; people have been kind with words of wisdom and love. 


Booking flights as I type. Leave June 5th, 10 days shy of my 25th birthday and get into Jo'burg on the 6th, departing the next day for Kigali. Rwanda Air has monopoly on outgoing flights, so it's hard to book with them after the conference on the 17th of June, especially because the other OLPC  S.A. teams have booked far in advance. 

Funding has been denied by UMass Boston. We are told to rent a car once in Kliptown. Might scrap our agreement with to allow for an emergency monetary fund. Things getting serious. 

Until the next post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

XO Pics

This is me and my XO, Ntombi. According to the OLPC website, the XO is "a small machine with a big mission. The XO is a potent learning tool designed and built especially for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. It’s about the size of a small textbook. It has built-in wireless and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today I begin my foray into digital media and foreign correspondence. Join me as I document the trip of a lifetime into South Africa's most historic terrain, Soweto, where I will live and work for the next two months distributing XO laptops to children as part of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).