How to take a sabbatical year and hit the open road

“It was awesome !””

How I did it: At the beginning of December 2007, I sent word to a list I belong to and asked how many people would be willing host me in Australia. Some friends and people responded so I bought myself a ticket and flew to Sydney the day after X-mas day, where I was warmly and royally welcomed.

Lessons & tips: I stayed with  families and was provided with a much better insight into the culture and way of living than if I had stayed as a tourist at a hotel. I also used microblogging (Twitter) to arrange meetings with edubloggers at different locations.

Resources: As I was on the road for 40 days, hopping from place to place, a mobile phone, SMS and Twitter were very helpful.

It took me 1 year.

It made me unstress


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Originally uploaded by madame.impossible

I just love the colours shown on this picture and the composition of different lines

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The History of the Internet

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One Web Day

One Web Day was organized by Susan Crawford to celebrate the Internet and promote free and open global communication. The first took place last year and the next will be celebrated this coming Saturday, September 22nd.

Check how the Web has impacted the lives of people this century and make a film, post your testimonial:

+ how the web has changed your life

+ how you’d like the web to change the world in the future

+ highlights of what you’ve seen online the day you make the video

+ your favorite online event ever

+ something you’ve done online with other people in other countries

What threatens it and how can YOU help protect it?

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Filed under dekita, dekita_internet, flnw, flnw2, onewebday2007, social networking, writingmatrix

The power of images

Talented documentary maker Jehane Noujaim , who was awarded the 2006 TED prize, speaks of her wish to use the power of images to make people better understand our common humanity, help them “see themselves in others” and accept diversity.

She is taking the steps to make it happen together with a team of other creative visionaires. On May 10th 2008, they are organizing Pangea Day, a 4-hour event to be video-conferenced live to the whole world from New York, London, Rio, Dharamsala, Cairo, Jerusalem and Kigali.

You are invited to participate and contribute with a 5-minute snippet. This short trailer is just an example of what can be done and you can find more information on how to join on the Pangea Day website.

Do you think that people have the power to enact change in our world through images and films?


Filed under dekita, dekita_video, social networking, writingmatrix

The adventure starts

After two hours in the traffic to get to the airport on Friday afternoon (left home in Moema at 4pm and arrived at 6pm), I still had to stand in an endless queue for about one hour and a half to check in, and another good hour to go through the security service. The plane took off about fifteen minutes later than scheduled, which after all was not that bad. All is relative.

The flight was smooth and I got an unexpected birthday present as I was the only passenger who managed to have three free seats to myself. Therefore, I was able to stretch my legs and sleep a while before landing at Dallas airport at 6 am on Saturday. In Dallas, the adventure began. A group of 30 or more people (me included) waited anxiously for our luggage to appear on the carroussel belt. After no more suitcases were spit out through the hole, we consulted the man in charge who told us there was nothing else there. Two minutes later, we were told to retrieve them at our final destination and complain at the American Airlines counter there if nothing arrived. Some people, who were pressed for time to take their connections, left immediately. I lingered for some time more and ten minutes later we were told the missing lot had been retrieved and was on its way. Mine was the first to appear so I rushed through customs and checked it in again to Nola. I had to wait for another hour in the queue for security check and finally boarded the plane at 9 am.

One hour and a quarter later, I landed in New Orleans. It was sunny and very warm (32 C). Paul, a driver hired by Merlot, was holding up a card with my name: B. Dieu so I identified myself and went to get my luggage. To my surprise, the suitcase, which I had locked with the security lock and key, had been forced open. I found a card inside saying it had been screened by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). When I complained to the AA attendant, she said she could do nothing about it. Apparently, there are more people having the same problems. In short – I shouldn’t have locked it and that nobody was liable for damage to my locks. I bought my small silver Samsonite two months ago and only used it once, so you can imagine how happy I was to see a wobbly handle and the locks broken into. So if travelling anywhere, check out these tips.

The airport is about 17 miles from downtown so after a 20-minute drive, Paul carried my bags to the Sheraton front desk, where I was met with preferential service all the way, from the moment I checked in to the fruit platter in the room and kind note from the manager on my desk. I am on the 47th floor, with access to the club service and an incredible view on the Mississipi river.

After unpacking, sending a quick mail to the family saying I arrived safely and a long shower, I ventured out into the heat of the afternoon to explore the surrounding area. I managed to find a cable to download my photos at Radio Shack and did some window-shopping at a shopping mall nearby to escape from the quick but heavy rain. At about 6 pm, I walked all the way down Decatur street, crossed the rails next to Toulouse station and headed straight to the riverside , where I took a two-hour steamboat tour down the Mississipi – a wise decision I thought, as I sat on the top deck and learnt about the sights along the way, the cool breeze , the superb sunset and the New Orleans skyline and waterfront all lit up on our way back (must learn how to take night pics – this is the only one that came out).

I will make another post on the Sunday excursion tonight but the photos are already on Flickr so if you have any questions or comments, leave them here or there. If there is anything you recommend I do during this stay, write it on your own blogs and link it here.

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Getting ready

Click for New Orleans, Louisiana Forecast Flying to New Orleans tomorrow evening… following the weather to decide what kind of clothes to throw into the suitcase. Apparently we are going to have temperatures similar to Santos or Rio de Janeiro in summer. So sleevless dresses, T-shirts, light trousers and skirts and sandals. I must also remember to bring comfortable clothes and shoes (sneakers) and work gloves. I have volunteered for a Community Service Day, to help one of the schools devastated by the Katrina get ready to welcome its students in September.

Keep tuned – I will be updating this blog, posting photos to my Flickr account and Twittering.


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Comic Vine

Comic Vine is a place for superheroes, where you can not only read about them but also discuss them and create your own. Every superhero has his or her own page, with basic bio information as well as a list of “powers,” such as intellect, super strength, and stamina. Read the whole review on TechCrunch.

Who are your favourite superheroes and what super powers do they have? Tell us who your Super Lover hero or heroine is 🙂

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No flights

No flights

Originally uploaded by beewebhead.

After a 9:30 hour flight to JFK, we managed to land at 6 am in spite of the frost. However, my connection to Seattle just like most of the outgoing flights at J.F.K airport in NY had been cancelled.

I was told the next flight to Seattle would leave only at 17 pm and as it was already overbooked, I was put on the stand by list with the warning I might have to wait for the next one (Sunday at 17:00). The prospect of having to spend 24 hours there awakened my survival skills and after a coffee at Starbucks and taking this pic, I decided to look for a nicer place to spend the day. I went to the Crown business room and for $ 25 got a pass to use all the facilites (drinks, coffee, water, fruit and snacks + wireless connection + comfortable seating and also the possibility to have a nice warm shower).

I worked on my presentations, corrected my stds tests and checked my mail. Also met Valerie Jakar from Israel, who is at the same convention so the afternoon was much lighter . I managed to get my flight to Seattle at 5 and landed here at 9:40. Got into the hotel at 11 and after a wonderful sleep, going out to see Seattle in a second.


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Stuck in the tunnel

Stuck in the tunnel

Originally uploaded by beewebhead.
This is what Sao Paulo looked like on Friday 16th March at 7 pm after 73 milimiters of heavy rain flooded 79 places and provoked 183 km of the worst traffic jam recored this year!

This was taken from the bus which was taking me to the airport , inside the Anhangabau Tunnel, where we spent at least one hour. I thought I would never meke it for my flight at 10 pm. Fortunately I managed to get there at 8:40 just to face another endless queue to go through police inspection.


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