Friday, July 08, 2005

Hurricane Dennis; from Dave

Wow - thanks for this news Kingsley. I am sharing this message with our
past trip participants. I'm glad you are still able to communicate with
Novella and Nelson. One wonders how much damage our friends on higher
ground in Hayfield and Bowden Pen must have seen.

Please keep us posted - a blessing that none of our groups were there to
experience this storm.

-----Original Message-----
From: kingsley keith []
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 6:21 PM
Subject: Hurricane Dennis; from Dave

Yallahs house is still intact and they have experienced very little
damage; however the roads from Kingston to Yallahs are impassable and we
won't be able to get there before next week.
I'll keep you posted

Thursday, July 07, 2005

hurricane dennis approaches jamaica

National Works Administration has just posted a news update that Yallahs Ford, known so well to participants on Edu-Tourism trips, is closed due to flooding. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management reports that the Airport Road is inundated, and communities in the Blue Mountains such as Hagley Gap, Epping Farm and Penlyn Castle are currently inaccessible by road. Of course, these communities can be difficult to reach under the best of weather conditions! Mike

wikipedia: 2005 london transport explosions

There is a new wikipedia entry for the '2005 london transport explosions.' Wikipedia entries are group edited - as the events unfold the entry will be modified in real time to reflect the unfolding coverage. As the story develops, pay attention to the haunting similarities with the 11 march 2004 madrid attacks.

a day for the history books, and the blogs

As with most mornings I turn to the television to help me wake up. As usual, when I turn on the TV, the first station to come up is CN-8. I noted that the Yoga Zone show was wrapping up with meditation. Pressing on the remote, the television flips to the station I viewed last night (still stored in its memory). The BBC World News - no coverage the G8 summit, just large white letters against a red backdrop across the bottom of the screen - the headline 'London Blasts.' I only got the briefest of discussions of the events before WXPN cut away from the BBC broadcast. Since then I have been following the news on NBC's Today Show before heading into the blog world to see if I could find any useful information that I could dig my teeth into. Remember that this coordinated terrorist attack is only one of so many important events taking place today: the opening of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in Scotland is the second; and at the track of Hurricane Dennis as it sets its sights on the Eastern tip of Jamaica.

The situation is still confused, and eerily reminiscent of the election-oriented transportation attacks in Madrid last year. For those of you who wish to read eyewitness accounts of the events in London and Scotland, I recommend the GuardianUnlimited's NewsBlog which provides continually updates news on the myriad impacts. Apparently "the complete air of unreality" that has set in at the Gleneagles meeting. Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill reports that "the summit, at least at this point, has been completely overshadowed." The world leaders continue to go through the motions of discussing climate change and debt relief, acting under the assumption that by breaking off the summit early will be seen as giving in to the terrorists. Prime Minister Blair is heading down to London to oversee relief there, but plans to come back to Scotland this evening. For obvious reason, the protests outside the resort have been somewhat muted today. Given the seriousness of topics on the G8 agenda this year, this coordinated attack in London is a real setback for all of us. A new cultural divide has emerged, and only time will tell whether the ripple effects of the London Transport Attack of July 7, 2005 will outstrip the coordinated Live 8 Concerts of July 2, 2005.

Update, 8:02 pm EDT
One London commuter's account of being trapped underground.
The camera phone shots of a young man who works in London's Financial District.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

busy hurricane season

Keep our Jamaican friends in your thoughts as they watch another hurricane approach. Nelson and Novella are still in Yallahs and can share their impressions. It has been a wet summer so far, the busiest start ever to the hurricane season, with four named storms by July 5!

Coverage of so-to-be-Hurricane Dennis, from the Houston Chronicle

Jamaica now under Hurricane Watch, according to the Jamaica Gleaner

See also, cover story for the Jamaica Observer


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

novella's jamaican update

I received the following message from Novella on June 29, 2005. She describes the kind of impact that our group is making. I hope it inspires readers of this blog to consider joining us for future trips. Mike
June was wonderful, in terms of our work here. Mike will tell you about the first group. As for the second (we had a group of high school students, the CommuniTech Club from Gratz High School, 7 students and 3 adults), they worked with people in the local (Yallahs) high school -- students, teachers and community folks -- to teach them how to take computers apart and put them together again (in better shape, one hopes), diagnose problems with hardware/software, etc. People are beginning to talk about us "in the street" -- this kind of work just isn't done by others here. Typically, they donate computers which then languish the moment they develop one small problem, and that's that. To give you an example: we went to a Basic School and replaced their computer because they said the old one "wasn't working." When we tested it, we found that the switch in the back of the computer was turned off. Nothing else was wrong with it! You'll be pleased to know that I myself now know how to replace CD Roms, add RAM memory, etc., etc. It does give one a sense of greater competency. We've identified three high school students who'll be going around to the schools with us and checking all computers. And we finally have enough money from all the fundraising to transport the 80 odd computers we've accumulated, to include more schools in the program. Now that we have a bit more time, we'll be doing some of the planning, reaching out/PR, etc., work-- including the universities and Allan Lewis, who I think has been feeling left out; I think he'll be eager to get folks involved as well. And our villa/Center for Global Understanding is taking nice shape, as Mike will tell you. So maybe one of these days we can get a group of folks from the college (including you, of course) to come down and check things out!

Friday, July 01, 2005

In the cooperative spirit

As the Live 8 concert arrives in Philadelphia tomorrow, it may be worthwhile to update everyone on the activities of Edu-Tourism that endeavor to construct first-third world linkages and address difficult social problem. Edu-Tourism board member Nicola Shirley has been working with the fledgeling Women's Center in Morant Bay to explore micro-enterprise initiatives. One of the ideas that is moving forward is the creation of a sewing cooperative. Markets exist for fine fashions along the North Coast. These women are excited to learn and apply new skills in fashion design and sewing, but they don't currently have the necessary equipment. That is where next month's fundraiser comes in.

Morant Bay Sewing Cooperative's
Fashion Show Benefit for Teen Mothers
featuring Philadelphia designers

Date: Saturday, July 16th, 2005
Time: 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Where: Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St., Philadelphia
For more information, call Nicola Shirley (215) 545-0765 - office

Contact Nicola or Mike if you would like to purchase tickets in advance of the event.

- $15 advance
- $20 at the door

The funds we raise will go towards purchasing supplies and equipment which will be transported down to Jamaica later in the month of July.