Enthusiastic Newbie tryin to find his way

First (most important): I am happy to have found this site. Beautiful idea! Great work!

Second (not that important): I had a little trouble in finding my way, I am not able to subscribe to projects/groups, but mannaged to follow some.

Third (even less important): I am afraid I lost my gravatar password. Anybody an idea on how to retrieve that?

Fourth (only for those who are interested in who is talking here):

My name is Burkhard, i dropped out of university somewhere in the early 90s. One of the reasons for dropping out was that I felt I could do something more relevant than studying (another reason was of course that I was not able to convince myself to learn things I was not interested in). And I got a job offer from EYFA, in Sittard, the Netherlands (it was “only” a volunteers position, but that did not matter to me). EYFA stood for European Youth Forest Action then, today it is European Youth for Action. And a dream for me came true: to work and live in a foreign country, with people from all over Europe. From EYFA my journey brought me to former Yugoslavia, to work for peace and humanitarian organisations (Suncokret, ZamirTransNational and Volunteers Project Pakrac). After a couple years, living in a region heavily affected by war, I needed a rest and found that back in Germany, in an intentional community. I was never good with (my own) finances, which was one of the conditions to live in that community, so eventually I dropped out there (again) and found myself in the centre of town. While I was still living in the community friends of mine founded an association called Belziger Forum to fight right extremism and violence in the town. The main focus of this association is running a cafe serving as a meeting place for refugees and locals. We do seminars, football tournaments, parties and other stuff (see http://www.derwinkel.de/index.php/fotokiste), most of them inter-cultural. In the meantime I managed to create a job for myself at Belziger Forum (with a little help from the unemployment office and the board of Belziger Forum), my work contract will finish end October this year.

1 Like

Hello and welcome Burkhard

It sounds like you’ve have an eventful journey through life so far. How did you find this little corner of the internet?

Regarding your trouble, it may be that the groups you tried are just open, and you dont need to join them. The Gravatar I don’t know, it’s a third party service so maybe you beed to go to their website and request a new password?

Re: finding edgryders

To be honest, I am not sure how I found you guys. Might have been a link on facebook, possibly by Vahagn or Pavlik (I know both of them for a couple years). The idea of working on projects through a website overwhelmed me, my memory of the circumstances is quite vague…:wink:

About gravatar: Matthias proposed me to upload a photo, instead using gravatar. Just have to find a photo of myself…

“Subscribe” and “follow”; and Gravatar

Hey Burkhard, welcome to Edgeryders :slight_smile: You remind me of Eddie, another generous & cool guy who’s also travelling the world while working for good. (Last time I met him, he returned from working as a carpenter journeyman in Haiti, where he had been rebuilding orphanages destroyed by the earthquake.)

Every site has its own terminology, which is admittedly confusing. In Edgeryders vocabulary, “following” means subscribing to get updates (e-mails and / or on-site feed) about the group’s activity. While “joining” means to become a member of the group - it happens automatically with your first post to a group, because you will then be listed as a contributor.

About Gravatar, I know about the mess they have with passwords there. It might be that you never even created one, since a Gravatar account is automatically created for you when you create a wordpress.com account, which also happens when registering to post comments to some WordPress blogs.

They have a password reset form somewhere, but I’d rather suggest to upload an avatar image directly to edgeryders.eu (second alternative in your account). Because Gravatar integration in Drupal and this site is still a bit buggy, not showing the images everywhere they should be …

Of course we care

Welcome from me too. Of course it is important to take notice of who is who and is doing what in the community: after all this is, or aims to be, a sort of switchboard between the people and the things to do. Question: any forestry link? Or better still: what did your work entail in former Yugoslavia? What are you good at, and what do you want to do?

Re: of course we care

I added some links to EYFA, ZamirTransNational and Volunteers Project Pakrac.

I will try to tell you what is behind those names and what I did there

EYFA: we did environmental camps and tours (bus or bike) with international participants through Europe. We called them ecotopia and had them in Germany (1989), Hungary (1990), Estonia (1991) and Bulgaria (1992) during my time there (EYFA continued and had the last ecotopia 2008 in Turkey. Actually some former ecotopians picked up the idea again and organised the last ecotopia for now in Germany in 2010. I did the website, internet cafe and helped in the kitchen). I worked from 1990-92 in the international co-ordination office helping to prepare those and other activities. Here I had the chance to learn both English and Dutch and some basic computer skills.

Suncokret: working with children in refugee camps in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. I worked basically in the office helping people to use computers.

ZamirTransnationalNetwork: computer network in the countries of former Yugoslavia. I did mainly user support (again with computers), running ZaMir Pakrac

Volunteers Project Pakrac: in a town divided by war and a cease fireline, we helped collecting rubble and re-constructing houses, played with children, visited elderly and sick people on both sides of the cease fireline. We also gave English classes in the secondary school, where we used “Email as a tool for re-conciliation” which became ZaMir Pakrac. I was working in the office, teaching email, running ZaMir Pakrac and eventually found myself as member of the project management.

Belziger Forum: founded in 1998 to fight right extremism and violence in Belzig. Basic focus is to run the “Infocafe ‘Der Winkel’” as a save meeting place for migrants, esp. refugees, and locals. We offer coffee, tea, internet-access and wireless LAN to prices affordable for refugees. We also do inter-cultural projects in schools, refugee camps and alike. My main job is to do a website on a former outpost of a concentration camp in Belzig as part of memorial, I also make photos of our projects, maintain the PC’s, do some fund-raising and the website of the cafe.

The links might give you a better picture of the projects.

What I am good at: hard for me to tell, but I heard that I am good at teaching computer skills.

What I would like to do with edgeryders: I believe I am able to help with contacts and eventually I might have an idea for one or the other project.

Writing all this, I realize that I spent too much time behind computer screens…