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