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315February, food stories, and related issues.

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  • Pamela McLean
    Feb 1, 2007
      Hi Andrius,

      February already – time for poultry food stories and exploring more of
      the communication problems of collaboration between “bandwidth rich” and
      “bandwidth challenged”.

      At first when you suggested February for my team I was very happy,
      because I was planning to be in the UK at the start of February, and
      then in Nigeria for the middle and end of the month. However, life
      seldom goes according to plan, and British Airways could not grant my
      courtesy flight for the dates I hoped, so my trip has been postponed for
      four weeks.

      In preparation for the trip (and relating to other interests linked with
      learning from each other, ICT, and opportunities for education and
      training) I have been working hard developing resources and exploring
      information flows at Cawdnet Campus. This is to serve the needs of
      various people - especially those I will be working with on the Teachers
      Talking programme. These are people who I hope will become increasingly
      involved in an ongoing exchange of information (between "bandwidth rich"
      and "bandwidth challenged") on various themes, through the Internet.

      As I think you know Cawdnet is what I call my network. It is a community
      of interest (or perhaps it is more accurate to say it is a number of
      overlapping communities of interest,which I am nurturing) It includes
      the people that I hope will be the MyFoodStory team. The emphasis of
      Cawdnet repeatedly shifts and Cawdnet Campus is becoming its "virtual

      As I work to develop Cawdnet Campus I am getting to be more aware of
      what is happening in what I do. Sometimes the focus is on particular
      content, sometimes, on the technology aspects of communication,
      sometimes on human networks in Nigeria, sometimes on human networks in
      the “connected community”, sometimes on “culture gaps” issues between
      the different communities, sometimes on simple problems of insufficient
      resources – time, people, skills, money, local equipment,
      infrastructure, power supplies, etc. I think you understand because we
      are working in very similar ways - and trying to see how our work can
      come together. I find that as I work on one bit all the other bits kind
      of shift in their relationship to each other. For people who only see a
      part of what is going on it can seem very slow but, with an overview it
      is possible to see how the different elements are getting clearer,
      closer and stronger.

      Regards MyFoodStory and poultry Lorraine is kindly making a start (here
      on the bandwidth rich side) with some poultry farming research on the
      Internet. I am planning to work with “Cawdnetters” in SW Nigeria and
      North Central. During my trip I will be with people who will be the
      local MyFoodStory team leaders. I will do preparatory work at a
      distance, but it will be easier to move things on faster when I am
      there. Our Internet link with North Central (Fantsuam Foundation) is
      good – they are bandwidth challenged. The people in the SW (Ago-Are
      Information Centre) are “bandwidth poor” now. Communication there is
      very difficult at present – the Internet connections both in Ago-Are and
      at the cyber café in nearby town of Sake, have been out of order for
      many, many weeks (I think it must be running into several months now).
      At least we have phones now between UK and Ago-Are - although not with
      the case of use we take for granted at home. I won't detail those
      problems here, but they are an important part of the picture.

      You may remember my plan to use some of the MyFoodStory money to improve
      communication, perhaps including a camera phone, for Pastor David (who
      will be the Ago-Are team leader). After discussion with other people
      involved it was decided to get an “ordinary” phone (just voice and text)
      and buy a camera separately. Pastor David (who will be the Ago-Are team
      leader) has the phone now. We were texting each other late last night
      about the new dates for my visit, and various related changes in

      One of the first poultry farm stories I want Pastor David to collect is
      the story of Mr Timothy Oyawale who buys day old chicks and rears them
      in his house. Someone told me that Mr Timothy was trained as a poultry
      farmer while he was still in military service, but I am not sure if that
      is correct. He has a large farm “in the bush” and grows many crops
      including maize, tobacco, yams and water melons. He has various trees
      too. Last time I was in Ago-Are Mr Timothy and I went together to visit
      "our" mango trees. He gave me one to plant several years ago when I
      visited the farm, and he planted one nearby. They are big trees now and
      they should bear their first fruits in April of this year.

      On our way to the farm some “wild poultry” ran across the track in front
      of our motor cycle, and Mr Timothy told me that people catch them to
      eat. I think he catches hares too. He also told me that many years ago
      his family used to be troubled by elephants spoiling the crops. He said
      there are no elephants now because people got European guns (instead of
      the local guns) and so they were able to protect their crops better by
      getting rid of the elephants. Even the local game park doesn’t have
      elephants any more.

      I wonder if we have to limit our farming stories to poultry, or if you
      are interested in other local crops. Given the way that the food stories
      are widening out (regarding the variety of food stuffs described) and
      given the interest in food supply chains and locally produced foods I
      wonder if we should be looking not just at poultry but at the many other
      foodstuffs that are also consumed and produced locally around Ago-Are
      and around Fantsuam.

      There is a lot of interesting information around regarding food and I
      want to direct people to what is most relevant to your current
      interests. Can we catch up on how your ideas have developed since we
      last discussed MyFoodStory and how my team might best contribute.



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