Preparing for the Big Thing

Right before Matthias and I depart to Kathmandu to settle down there for a few months and do our project, we’ve been going through an intense period of packing, planning, contacting people and trying to settle as many things as possible before the arrival. So far, so good - some of our discoveries and achievements are overwhelmingly good and promising. Just to give you a short overview:

  1. We got in touch with Kharkhana and N-Hackers Nepal, which soon led us to intense exchange and project planning. The story is that I wrote to Raspberry Pi’s offices and asked if they would like to join the project somehow by giving us some of their goodies - they responded enthusiastically and immediately sent us three berries with some extras. We had to decide how we could use them, and here Karkhana turned out being super helpful, connecting us with RAN, Robotics Association of Nepal. Sunoj, the president of RAN, met me on Skype and soon all moved very fast. I had my room sorted for the first nights above their office. We decided to organise a call and develop three interesting projects with any geeky person who’d like to play with Berries. Moreover, there is a milk-measuring-related hackathon in plans and some other interesting events, in which Egderyders might turn out to be at hand. So exciting.

  2. First ideas and proposals from people who we know and who are around the place at the moment (meaning, somewhere in Asia) are already there - it needs still some logistics and planning, but if all goes well, the support group will look even better than we ever dreamt of. This is also where I should remind everyone - there will be space, and we welcome everyone to come by, stay with us and ideally, come with a great small (or big) project idea.

  3. We prepared a plan for our stay and project, which can be viewed here. Any comments, ideas, recommendations or variations are welcome.

  4. I am doing a little bit of a chaotic research about the country and its history, culture, politics. What I have found varies from stories of Sky Caves in Mustang region (somewhat a similar phenomena to this of Matera, with extremely old civilization inhabiting a system of caves, extremely sophisticated inner-mountain highrises), to various hippie memorials of how Europeans and Americans ended up settling down in Nepal decades ago, to Nepali radio stations (trying to find one I’d like to listen to when I am there, for now I am impressed by the mix of English and Nepali used on the “popular” stations) and finally to recordings of Gunla festival which we will probably be lucky to participate in in July, with the traditional Gunla Bajan music presented. My favorite thing so far is this DIY feminist anarchist punk goodie - Tank Girl, side project of another iconic band Rai Ko Ris from Kathmandu, unfortunately at this moment in hiatus. But the real exploration starts on Friday.


Almost like traveling myself

Thanks Natalia, I’ve been peaking here and there into your preps, and it looks really exciting.

As for your recipe for early engagement, why do you think people were so at ease with helping out and getting involved - eg Raspbery Pi? Is it more about interest in project and collaboratio or about basic human interaction? Anything you could document for our collective practices will help a lot, so every time we travel someplace new or do a version of Spot the Future, we know what worked where, and why.

What I’m looking forward is our learning as a group, and it already feels like the rest of us are traveling with you guys. Soo exciting…!!

I think it is pure kindness and generosity from Raspberry’s side - they did not require special company-like promises and deals, it was enough to send an email and explain what we want to do, and they agreed very fast. What seems to be working so far, besides, is the human interaction - let’s see how that works on the ground, but so far people were extremely responsive, warm and welcoming. In the first emails I received they simply asked how to make our stay kickass - let’s see if that really happens, but I am very optimistic about the outcomes.

More information about your project in Nepal

Is it similar to spotting the future? I am interested to learn more about your project and what kind of help do you need. How do you expect the people who are interested to join you for some time to help? etc.