The title of this post seems like it should be something that I would be proclaiming in the early to mid 90′s but here I am in 2012 saying hello to the internet and maybe appreciating this renewed introduction more than ever.
I have mentioned before how I live in the country and how it sometimes feels that we are living in Africa in comparison to the rest of the world, well the past month has felt this way more than ever.
There are about 25 of us who live here on this property together and often we find some peace away from the craziness through facebook, hulu, netflix, pinterest, and other various things we do online however all of that changed for us a little over a month ago.
We had several computer specialist out and many people throwing out their ideas of what it could be, but what in the beginning was really frustrating ended up kind of being enjoyable and changing some things around here. Early on in the adventure we would be talking and we would start to say well just look it up and then suddenly realize we couldn’t and get really aggravated at the lack of internet and at ourselves for forgetting. But as time marched we began to not notice in our day to day moments it simply just became what it was.
I used my computer only for work stuff like word, excel, and other things that we don’t deem as not the most fun thing in the world to do on a computer. Everyone else here began spending more time talking to each other and talking about real life and what was happening in their hearts. We began having less drama all around this place in so many ways. I realized it for the first time around week 2 when my boss called and said, “we are sending someone out but they can’t be there until tomorrow is that okay?” I thought about it and realized… yeah it is… we are actually doing better around here without it in many ways. He was as shocked as I was.
Now, this is not a rant about how we shouldn’t use the internet because of the evils it does to us, but being the Director of a program and a counselor who is working with 25 people every day and my job is to see the big picture each day it was an interesting time of observation.
I could see such a difference in the emotional and relational aspects of our little family here. It was powerful to me when I realized it. People began to become less me focused and more others and even community focused. Everyone began to learn new things about everyone around them both good and challenging things.
There was also so much more creativity happening everywhere we turned. We are creating some cottage industries here for students to work on and in this time everyone really got more excited about it than ever… including me. My desk suddenly became much more than an office desk used for sending emails and making phone calls.
These pictures are some ideas of what my office desk became without the internet being accessible on it.
It also became a place where ideas became real plans and plans became real things. I began finding great ideas for things from books, magazines, and brain storming opposed to just going to pinterest or even google. It was really fun to see how everyone began expanding how they thought about things and how creative my team really was.
We even came up with a new idea on things we could sell and give to our families and guests. It has actually been a really fun time of getting to explore what life is like without many distractions that we each have each day and a lot of it come from this great place called the world wide web. While I have loved having the internet back and all of the benefits that come with it such as writing for this blog. I do at moments miss all that had did come out of the lack of access. My goal has become how can we still have the access we have and also keep the same spirit of living in community the same as it was without it. I don’t have perfect answers but we are working on trying to keep our little family connected even with all the things that would pull at us to keep us isolated from one another even in the same house hold.
This balance will be the next part of our adventure.
I’m sure some of you have seen my lovely new button on my side bar and have wondered to your self, “what is this mother letter stuff about anyways?” or perhaps you have even clicked on the button itself. The mother letter project was made by someone I go to church with and since I’ll butcher it, here is his story in his own words.
Christmas day of 2007 came and went. It was the typical American Christmas—gizmos, gadgets, whatnots, and an oversized helping of turkey. Two days and a transatlantic flight later I was standing in a small other-continental village, regretfully pondering my extra helping of Christmas turkey and materialism. I decided that things would be different in 2008.
During the Christmas season of 2008, my wife Amber and our extended families decided to give a Christmas present to that little village. We decided to spread the wealth, meager though it may be. Instead of purchasing presents, we created presents for each other and donated the difference to our the Yao. That is where you stepped in.
As my gift to Amber, I created the Mother Letter Project with your help. Simply stated, I collected about 600 “open letters” from you, and others. You submitted your stories—the raw and difficult ones. You shared you concerns. You shared your wisdom. Simply, you shared your mother stories.
The project was more successful that I could have hoped or imagined. You delivered, and we have been blown away by your generosity.
But what if? What if we could pick an initiative and raise awareness and support. What if we could pick an initiative and make a difference with these letters? We can.
Submit your letter before Mother’s Day. We will be compiling a second book–the Mother’s Day Edition. If you submit before Mother’s Day, you will get a complimentary copy of the Edition. The only rules? Start your letter “Dear Mother” and sign it. Then, share a letter here or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As for those who would like to purchase this new Mother’s Day Edition? Just pledge to donate $0.10 per letter to Compassion International’s malaria intervention fund. Upon making the donation, we’ll send you a copy of the Mother’s Day Edition.
Our goal is simple: 1oo new letters and 100 donors. If we achieve this goal, we’ll raise $1,000 for the malaria intervention fund!
Are you ready to get involved? Write your letter; make your pledge. Let’s make a difference.
I’ve contributed a letter and a donation, I encourage you to do the same! Spread the word!