Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kizingo and Kipungani

Almost 4 years ago, my new wife and I spent our honeymoon in East Africa. As a part of that excellent trip, we stayed a few nights at a resort on the southern shore of Lamu island, off the northern coast of Kenya. The resort has changed names (now Kizingo) and hands, now being owned by the folks that were managing it when we stayed: Mary Jo and Louis Van Aardt. It's a gorgeous and primitive setting! The resort is walking distance from the village of Kipungani, and Mary Jo and Louis support the schools there.

I mention all this because I've gotten the idea that someone could use a wiki (which will go nameless for at least one post) to provide information about all sorts of worthy and ready villages that would like some support in different kinds of projects. Some villages (like Ngelenge) are somehow able to establish their own websites, but I expect that's unusual.

So, I got this idea, but didn't really know how to try it out. I scrounged around the web trying to find Mary Jo and Louis (whose names I had forgotten). Got a bit tricky, since the place had changed hands and names, but there aren't that many primitive resorts on Lamu :-). I dropped an email and Mary Jo "promptly" wrote back. (Promptly means within a couple of days when she had a chance to load her small desktop computer into her small motorboat and put-put-put around the island to Lamu Town where they actually have steady power and a phone connection that will allow her to send and receive email. I'm tellin' ya, the place is primitive. But I don't want to make it too attractive. What's something negative? Hmm. Oh! Okay, here goes: There are no shops! No restaurants! No taxis! Heck, no cars! Generator runs just 2 hours a day! Want a newspaper? Sorry! Anyway, you get the idea...)

The long and short of it is, I have now asked Mary Jo if she might be able to help me connect with Kipungani village and use them as the "guinea pig" for this "host village page" notion that I have.

What will she say? Don't know. We'll have to wait for her next boat trip. Stay tuned!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Chris Watkins (a.k.a. Singkong2005) said...

Very cool. What is the best wiki to do this on? Of course Appropedia is a good option, but it's worth thinking whether there's another wiki specialising in this.
(I can't see anything else suitable on WikiIndex, e.g. at the International development category, so Appropedia's probably the best option.)

7:31 PM  
Blogger Joobie said...

Ooh, very interesting. Definitely keep us posted as to what happens!

9:20 PM  

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