Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten to the One Hundreth-A Call For Innovation

So I saw this quick little video, I think its made by google and it asks you to see how many lives in this world you can change for the better. I didn't have too much time to check out the details. But if you're interested (and you should be, it is your planet after all) watch the video and see what it really entails.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shiny and New

A fresh batch of photos is finally online. I've contributed to the organization of a photo contest among Peace Corps volunteers so we'll see how I do. I've taken more than six thousand shots with my camera now, a few of them ought to be alright. Maybe not? The Compound of Jah Gallery

From The Compound of Jah

On Starlit Affairs

Of the happenings that transpire under the light of the stars, they have always been there for one to stumble upon. From overlapping toes to clasped hands, to curtained rooms, the whole of the village is busy and nobody wants anyone to know about it. As the wind blows and the leaves rustle, so too do the soft exclaimations of pleasure and pain characterize the night. Along with the hope that nobody hears, nobody discovers, the rampant disregard for supposed cultural norms. Though do norms only count in the daytime when lovers refuse to acknowlegde each other? Or are the starlit affairs not an abuse of the norms, but instead simply the complete manifestation of them? Some are mere youth trying new things while others are trying new partners. What is infideliy in a culture that permits polygamy anyhow? Does infidelity even exist, is it based on intention or does it only kick in when the roster is full? Regardless, people are usually late to sleep and some rooms fill with a natural heat, even in the absence of the blazing son.

Culture is a complex an dynamic beast, it must be to shun unmarried couples, yet under the stars encourage locked lips and poorly recited lines of true love. Here desire is drunkeness and the darkness its vice, obscuring visions and decisions all through the night.

The Books

If you can have only three books, keep your holy book, your dictionary and your notebook.

But if you can have only two books, keep your dictionary and your notebook and write a personal holy book based on your own convictions.

The Compound of Jah

No, I'm not dead, but the internet scene in my region is. Upcountry Gambia, however, remains a hot spot, despite its isolation from the world. We've been mighty busy out there hoeing up the fields and getting real dirty. I've been tending a new variety of dryland rice called ATM-3 that I'm a bit anxious to get back to, as it should be bearing fruit soon. The village crew and I have also been whiping up some local organic recipes to try and stay fit. Not fancy/trendy foods, but remedies for improving health and agricultural yields. We've got some cream made from the neem leaf that will protect you from mosquitos, a few compost piles with a smorgasbord of decaying materials sure to enrich the soil, an organic pesticide cocktail that is gaurenteed keep your garden protected and flourishing, and a delicious beverage known as rehydration solution consisting of sugar, salt and water that will replace and hold fluids in your body if you seem to be making a few more trips to the latrine than usual. I've got some adult literacy classes on the horizan and I may be able to contribute to the launch of a local credit union. So I'll be staying busy, not to mention the rice harvest.

When it comes doen to it I got a good situation going on. I have a few tales to tell here, but they wont reveal the whole story. You have to live it to really soak up the details. All the more reason to visit. I've been writing plenty, but most of my scrawl would be jibberish on a computer screen. Sometimes it's a bit too personal, sometimes its a bit too critical of the political environment and sometimes as I reread my writing I realize just how much my world view is evolving. So, no cause for alarm. But there is a cause to always think freely and creatively. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this place up and running now.