Blogging (DIY Solar); Thinking about Sharing
- Peter Ongele, Graham Knight,
Thank you for working together on Graham's DIY Solar kit for recharging
mobile phone batteries.
I've posted about that at my Includer blog:
I don't think many people read the blog. But it does show up at Google
News http://news.google.com for example, if you search for your names.
Graham, congratulations on the 200,000+ hits for your YouTube video
I invite us all to send more photos in the Public Domain that I might use
for Includer episodes. And to keep writing about our activity. Samwel
Kongere, I'm very interested in what you learned during your week long
investigation, that's a fantastic illustration of the investigatory
culture we cherish. Kennedy, what happened with your apartment?
I have reviewed my finances. Currently, I have about $72,000 of credit
card debt at an average rate of 7.5% I also owe more than $40,000 (at
10%) on a personal loan which I have not made payments on for many years.
Here in Bosnia as a math teacher every month I am earning $1,000 in local
currency (which is enough for me to live on) and $3,200 extra in US
dollars. I am fortunate to have a job in this economy. In eight months I
hope to save about $24,000. This would allow me to refinance one of my
credit card loans, which currently is at 16.9% for $12,000 and 5% for
$9,000 (which gets paid off first). It doesn't make sense for me to pay
that off directly, but rather to wait until I can pay off the entire
So my plan is to find ways to apply my earnings in a way that would
encourage an economy for the kingdom of heaven - a thoughtful sharing as
if we were family. For example, I could contribute money to projects to
refinance our loans or to provide microcredit. But generally I should
support group projects so I will work to contribute money to a system
where we would make group decisions who to support. I don't have to earn
interest - I just need places to park money - but I do need in most cases
to retrieve the money rather soon, perhaps this spring. So I don't want
to invest in longer term projects such as Edward Cherlin wrote of (thank
you!) I would be happy to receive less than I put in, so long as it
builds our lab's assets and especially if it prepares me for future
business opportunities such as our help room http://www.helproom.org I
appreciate our thoughts and I encourage us to write and work together.
Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@...
$100 Solar Project
Do you ever have an extra day? or a day's wage? A denarius, as in Roman
days? A Sunday or twelve hours of sun spread out over a year?
The Includer is a human-sized device, the product of a human-sized
economy, the sum of working one day at a time.
Jackton Arija was the spark for the day in question. We met him through
Samwel Kongere (of Episode 0) and their work to prevent malaria.
Suddenly, with the post-election turmoil in Kenya, we came together to
save Jackton and his family:
January 3, 2008: As Sam has said there is no food, no transport and no
money and medication. Right now as speak we dont have food and i am
just in the house with my kids boiling hot water and putting some
remaining sugar on it for the kids.
January 6, 2008: I thank you all making all efforts for me to have
food in my house, Ken Owino sent airtime of Ksh 1500 and Dennis also
sent me airtime of ksh750. I managed to sell and use to buy food in
my house and my neighbour who was also lacking food.
On January 8th, Graham Knight donated $100 to our Pyramid of Peace to
avert genocide in Kenya. I hoped that Graham might add his life's
Hi Ricardo, As you may have seen, I'm into low cost solar pv including
the recharging of batteries. It can be done very cheaply. Have a look
at biodesign.webeden.co.uk and come back with queries.
Meanwhile, Jackton was delivering food.
January 11, 2008: we went to Kendu-bay to give out some food for those
who were stuck at the police station... Tomorrow we will be going to
Oyugis to give out some food for others who are stuck at Police
Then one day we got a letter from Peter Ongele.
February 13, 2008: I came to know this man called Arija. he introduced
to me and what he is doing in the moment ... so many who realised
that I came from the sides of Sindo and Gwasi highland flocked to have
possible assistance of which i could not offer at that time. This man
Jactone really helped a lot by advising and organised convenient
transport and things became easy for me.
When Peter turned to us for help...
June 4, 2008: After my high school I've worked for several NGOs in
both risky and good conditions but this has been on very low pay due
to lack of a certificate course. Occationally I've tried to raise
money to have a course in Diploma but all has been not on my side.
Last year I got one for 3 years on inservice study on Community Health
and HIV/AIDS management. I've to register for assesment and college
fee. I've to pay some money this year between this month of June and
I remembered Graham and the relevance of battery recharging for the
July 3, 2008: Peter and I spoke by phone and then I sent him $200 so
that he could have the money he needs for his certification course. He
agreed to do a project for our laboratory, which is to try out the "do
it yourself" solar mobile phone battery recharging kit which Graham
has created. $100 is for this work and $100 is for a loan which Peter
will repay after he gets his certificate, and our lab will relend that
money to somebody who could apply it well.
Right away, Peter opened our eyes to rural Kenya:
July 3, 2008: Peter noted that many people are weak from HIV/AIDS and
they need alternative work to laboring in the fields. He also notes
the great need for electricity because, for example, people in his
part of rural Kenya typically turn off their mobile phones after 6:00
pm because they are saving the battery power because they have to walk
a long ways to recharge their batteries. So that means that they are
not able to make calls to each other in the evening because
everybody's phone is turned off.
At the time, I was in Burlington, Vermont at Stephen Wolfram's summer
school for A New Kind of Science. I proposed that our Minciu Sodas
laboratory work for him for $200,000 to organize independent thinkers to
apply NKS and a culture of investigation to a variety of challenges. I
told him of our $100 project with Peter, an example of thousands we might
organize with thinkers we may never meet. We simply know each other's
values and our willingness to work for free on what we care about.
I'm encouraged by the ups and downs of Graham's and Peter's participation
and our efforts together.
July 20, 2008 Graham: It has long puzzled me why projects using DIY
Solar can 'take off' in some places but not others... Just how do you
persuade people to 'have a go'?
November 2008 Graham: I had great hopes that we would get somewhere
with this as Peter, unlike most of my African contacts, is prepared to
explain his ideas but we don't seem to be getting anywhere.
November 13, 2008 Andrius: You mention that it can take all day to
charge a phone (and then I think the phone can't be used). So it seems
that one would need an extra supply of batteries to make it useful or
people would each need to have their own solar panel. What are the
applications for individuals and what are the business possibilities?
November 16, 2008 Peter: I've only sold 3 modules.... I take this as a
great step, a start for people to know that there are small Solar
modules of low costs which can serve their specific interests before
they can raise big moneys to the multi purpose Solar Panels. ... Since
Grahams technology is working well, I see business possibilities and
that might be our next project if it would be possible to get micro
finance support for it.
By this point, I am thinking hard how to invest my earnings as a math
teacher in Bosnia into an economy for the kingdom of heaven. Peter
Burgess and others are encouraging Peter Ongele's wish to document the
actual use of malaria bed nets. Graham is happy, too.
September 25, 2008 Graham: I am delighted to learn of Albert
Horowitz's interest in using the DIY Solar technique in Nepal
September 30, 2008: Sabrina Jung of Mina Academy in rural Kenya: I am
interested too in that solar energy source!
A lot of light and warmth for $100!