After the sickness ... though now we're out the gates and near runnin' at 100% -- nonetheless all pistons are firing !!!
|Culture Clap||Jun 13|
In this update we’ll be covering entrepreneurial, personal, geopolitical and artistic updates, in that order. I hope this to become the regular structure that these updates follow.
Quick finance update, sorry no picture this post; things are good, I spent a bit more, but I also made a bit more, and came out net positive at the end of the month. I’m starting to transition all payments to go through Stripe, and will soon look to open a business account in the US for DreamFreely.
Last up, thank you so much for opening up this email and takin’ a read!! YES, I’ll get to this regularly by the end of this year, I promise. That said, I’m going to be watching this ol’ open list like a hawk (not really, quarterly audits perhaps), and removing those who don’t open emails after x-amount of months.
I know it’s not you, so no need to fear; the aspiration is to really engage those who are keepin’ up, and so enable ourselves to start holding conversations! Anywho, here are the updates:
Oh, hello … I realize it’s been awhile … things are well … I’m feeling like, 90%-ish of the way back … thankful … also got a few growth points achieved, so let’s get into it, shall we?
I’ve finally attained a cruising altitude financially. Within the past few weeks I’ve found two new students, independent of the agency with whom I’ve been working. This has encouraged me to start focusing on a new small project called idioke Daily.
idioke Daily is a 20 day program with 20 tongue-twisters and 20 language lessons delivered via WhatsApp messages. I recently found a few text books to help think of how to pattern such a program, and I have outlined 60 days of lessons. Additionally, I figured out numbers for scaling the effort, and purchased business cards.
The idioke website has been updated, while coding branches also created to guide app development. Currently the website is serving a basic tongue-twister, while directing viewers to the monthly program via a WhatsApp QR code.
Regarding phone applications, the web application is 70% built for contributors. This app will be the precursor to the public app, with video/song search (and submission capabilities?) A prototype has already been created, the dependencies updated, along with some of the code.
The current target is to find our first 100 students, I’m starting with a small group of 20+ students I’m teaching for free. There has been a positive response thus far, while the dependent variable remains my consistency. Others have mentioned their willingness to pay for the service, the price meant to be economical.
To this end I’ve designed a work flow that ends is a growing library of exercises with prescribed topics for each day on the Discord server. While concurrently we are working to replicate the course for those who wish to learn Spanish as well.
Rebel Coding has been redesigned into an 8-week program, training technology trainers for community organizations. The website is also in the process of being reconfigured.
The Rebel Coding program itself has also gone through it’s own evolution, or at least the delivery of it; while returning to an older idea, edges having been smoothed, and the path further developed. Peripheral entrance points remain, such as Gumroad and the book, which will continue to be developed.
By the end of the program, these trainers will be prepared to host community coding and computer literacy classes, with the support of the Rebel Coding community. And we will continue working with them and the organizations to support their learning, growth, and success, as well as that of their community.
The goal is to expand access to technology, the method is to build a community where the most recent entrants are supported socially, emotionally and financially through the on-boarding process. The cost to train and retain each trainer will be $1,000 per month, and I will be reaching out to tech companies to sponsor organizations in their pursuit of expanding tech access to their communities.
If anyone has any leads, feel free to let me know :)
A few months ago I caught the ‘vid — I think I’m finally free of it. In the interim, I had a birthday, up-ed my English teaching skills and materials, and am moving towards the place I’ve sought to be.
Covid-19 gave me the chance to retreat into my own space. Regardless of location, there is always pressure to interact with others, to be social. There is the human inclination to interact, as well as the social mystery surrounding those who keep to themselves. Not wanting to succumb to either, I believe I prolonged my unhealth for longer than was necessary.
Though on the other side, I’m finally residing someplace where I feel socially comfortable in ways I’ve only ever dreamed of. When I step out the door I do not fear being other-ed, as I did for so many years. There is not the dread of knowing that this other-ing will come as a punishment for stepping out of societal norms; as societal norms are not built around race in the same way they are in the US. Not to say acclimating to this new way hasn’t been it’s own obstacle to overcome.
When I first moved here, I ate out most everyday; lunch was relatively cheap ($1.50USD per meal.) Though my goal was to remedy this expense, while allowing me to eat more :) I’m a hungry, growing, boy!
It took sometime, I’ve had to acquire all of my kitchen utensils one-by-one; though one-by-one, I’ve finally come to a place where I’ve everything I need to maintain a comfortable kitchen.
Eventually I purchased a table and chair, along with a small shelf on-which to dry my kitchenware after use. It took time, though now I am able to comfortably sustain without needing to go-out, save to purchase produce. For this I am thankful.
Also a quick update on the GoFundMe, almost $2,000 has been raised, while I’ve managed to save and accrue almost double that as well!
I’ll continue to raise funds for the purchase, while promoting my other projects and products. I’ve recently finished some content aimed as raising for the idioke project!
Both the chapbook, White Like Me, as well as the Culture Vault have been removed from Gumroad, and are now exclusively housed through Stripe.
It’s go time !!!
The motorcycle is fixed and ready for inspection. Long story short I had a chance last weekend to wrap it all up, but I decided to catch a bus to Medellin for a work meet-up that was also good for me to attend. It has been awhile since I’d shown my face.
Luckily there’s a truck that travels around to do motorcycle inspections (in Colombia you need to have a certified mechanic give your motorcycle the ok to be on the road.) That truck is in this pueblo and I’ll be sending my motorcycle over for inspection today or tomorrow.
What’s happening in Colombia ?!?
In many respects the country is waking up … for years the country had been sold stories by the media about who the enemy was … many people were killed, and disappeared because of this. Such was the price of the war against drugs.
Though the media companies who sold these stories for decades, are now trying to sell other stories about laws being passed, and taxes being increased, in a country that knows it is rife with corruption. And the media companies are not as able to sell the same stories they have been selling.
Colombia is entering it’s forty-some day of protest … an international human right group has arrived to speak with folks … but it’s debatable as to how close they are getting to really knowing what’s going on here. Here’s their report.
Social media has been a blessing and bane, Colombia, along with the hashtag for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman was effectively shadow-banned by Instagram and perhaps other media platforms.
Regardless footage had gotten out, depicting some heinous activity, often times perpetuated, or supported explicitly, by police officers and resources !
Elections are next year, the trick is for the opposition candidate, Gustavo Petro, to stay alive until then … which, in this country … too much echoes the past … to a man named Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Though distinctions remain … moreover, the juice is with a guy named Uribe.
Alvaro the narco-terrorist-president Uribe … yes folks, he’s done it all. Photo-ops with Pablo Escobar, directing paramilitaries of his own; driving Colombia from the seat of the Colombian Presidency. And now the puppet-master behind the current president of Colombia, Ivan Duque. (Imagine if Trump were marginally more competent, with an army and didn’t have the celebrity experience, but considerable generational wealth. That’s Alvaro Uribe.)
Colombia has a more parliamentary system than the US, with multiple parties often creating coalitions. Uribe’s party, the Center Democrats, are at a loss for who they will run, sitting president Ivan Duque is swimming in burning water with no good options except to resign. Though they continue to attempt to wade through the storm.
Protests don’t seem to have an end in sight, much of the country supports them, the violence is being perpetuated by the government’s anti-riot force ESMAD. The country knows other options are available, we just need to move away from allowing extractivist companies and allies profit off our country’s resources.
Bolivia, and now Peru, have swung hard Left politically; while Brazil may lean in that direction after the release of a formerly incarcerated Leftist President. Though the US also has interests in stopping what some are calling the beginning of a Socialist Bloc in Latin America …
Nicaragua just became a Bitcoin colony as well, so there’s the capitalist / libertarian stronghold … for the time being …
And that’s all I got for ya for now … (Ecuador had a tough go of it, got a neo-liberal for president … we’ll see how long it lasts I guess.)
OMG Art !!!
It’s happening too, one song is nearly complete, and another song needs a few rounded edges for completion. The idea being to start releasing two tracks per month, as I’ve found a producer able to produce them. While lastly, I know perhaps not the most politically / socially responsible thing to do … I’ve been invited to play a show in Medellin in the middle of July, which I’ve agreed to.
Here’s a link to some of the latest published on Twitter.
A few songs need to be completed for the album, still don’t have a bead on how the acoustic versions will be recorded … I have a thought to return to the US, get vaccinated and wrap up a few business items, before returning to Colombia. Maybe record the acoustic guitars up in the US ?
So plans are … raise money, find a building … grow a garden, teach English, make music, pare down my student list, teach coding, and transition to running businesses and teaching coding, while doing5-8 hours of idioke Daily and English students per week. And then buy that farm!
Thems the updates, yes I do hope to get to these more frequently. Work is plowing along, and there are things to share. Ergo … hope remains.
Thanks for reading up, I hope you’re doin’ alright.