Maverick Philanthropists - How to be one.

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Postby Jacque » Fri Mar 24, 2000 1:52 pm

Just so we know what we're talking about here, what would the airfare and {duties?} run to from, say NY? --<A HREF=http://www.eskimo.com/~jacquem/>Jacque</A>
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Postby BarbaraSher » Fri Mar 24, 2000 10:00 pm

Airfare in the Village Voice bucket shops this month is under $400 to Istanbul. Usually it's closer to $700. (It's another $280 round trip to the airport nearest to my town.) NOTICE: I just was reminded by my son that a bus (one of those luxurious Mercedes I mentioned) will get you from Istanbul to my village overnight for about $15 or $20. And drop you off right in front of Crazy Ali's, about 150 yards from my place. There's no duty on a used laptop that's yours. You're just carrying it for your personal use, right? You might want to leave it there so you could use it on your next visit. I doubt it would be noticed if you returned home without it.
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Postby MaggieMe » Sat Mar 25, 2000 4:36 pm

The Kilims site is lovely indeed ! I was wondering what goodit might do to contact some of the sites/companies, like the One World Projects, and see if they would be interested in adding the Kilims to their inventory. I realise that your goal right now is to help them get set up with computer equiptment and what not but are you also going to be looking for "outside" vendors for them ?

Also, I was wondering how safe it is to be an American female traveling alone to such a foreign country as Turkey? I have traveled alone many times to European countries to meet friends. I would love to go explore Madagascar, India, Egypt and some African countries. I wonder about the safety factor of it all....especially in countries where there is either (extreme) Muslim/Islamic fundamentalism or the looking down upon and/or hatred of Americans and women period. Does this type of issue have any ground in a country such as Turkey ?

I have a full summer free w/o my child; it sounds like something I just might be interested in doing myself. (I didn't mention that my company currently has 17 IBM Thinkpad laptops gathering dust on the shelves)
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Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Mar 26, 2000 10:22 am

Hi Maggie I have so few kilims available right now that I haven't considered pulling in other vendors. I don't want to resell kilims bought (usually too cheaply) from somewhere unknown, so I can only offer those made by women I personally know. When I get to Turkey in April, I'll see how many of those are available, and set up looms to immediately begin weaving more. Then, if we ever get ahead, we'll find vendors. That would be wonderful.

Re travel in Turkey, you'll never feel safer in your life. Turkey gets such bad press (from one movie, which later was disputed incidentally). It's a clean, civilized country. It is not a 3rd world country, incidentally, and has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. It is not technically a religious country either. Turkey is very proud of being a secular country, never controlled by fundamentalist religions. Even the more traditional people (mostly found in villages) insist they are not Arabs.

This is the work of every Turk's hero, Kemal Ataturk, who led Turkey into the 20th Century in the late 1920's. (In fact, because of Ataturk, all the writing uses the same alphabet I'm using here.)

Also, their culture history goes back about 10,000 years -- and written history at least 5000 years before Islam existed, so they have the right to claim their difference from an "Arab" country. Nobody is mad at foreigners -- especially at Americans. I think we're their favorites. We still have Air Force bases in Turkey, as a matter of fact. I've seen tour buses full of American military men and women, and chatted with them in the larger carpet shops in Goreme and Urgup (two nearby towns on the tourist routes).

Regarding the status of women, in any town bigger than mine you'll see many more modern-dressed, professional women than traditional ones. The laws absolutely do not discriminate against women. All the local schools are coeducational and the boys and girls play together comfortable. (Ask me about the schools sometime. The attitudes of the kids is so amazing. Very respectful of teachers, but not a bit afraid of them; the kids are playful and bold and seem to laugh a lot in every school I visited.)

There are modern hotels (that I wouldn't bother with if some local person will put you up, because the private homes are so wonderful). Luxurious Mercedes buses will get you anywhere in the country, and you can rent a car (but it costs about $100 a day). Local buses are good enough and you meet wonderful, friendly people.

Turkey is safe and beautiful. Most Americans only see the coast -- which is lovely, like Greece but often very touristy -- but they miss something fantastic when they don't come to Cappadocia. I should write for the tourist board, I know, but I mean every word and it all comes from personal experience.
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Postby Nubby » Mon Mar 27, 2000 7:14 am

I have been lurking on these boards for about a week. I feel like I am coming out of a fog and you all have been a lamp for me. I am still doing some homework before I jump in. Right now I am doing some much needed deck clearing.

In the meantime, I have been reminded through the boards of the power of opening oneself to the universe. Then I read a story in this morning's paper and I knew I had to let you all know about it. Briefly, about a year ago, a woman here in Maine saw a photo in the paper of an abandoned child in Russia who had been arrested for begging food. This woman talked with a neighbor who call someone she thought could help.

He turned to a priest who had a brother who is doing business in Russia. They tracked down the child and learned that she was not available to be adopted and that there is a lot of corruption in the system and it is dangerous to help one child because they can become a victim. The woman, and everyone who had gotten involved along the way, wanted to help and decided the best way was to help the whole orphanage.

They have found a system for doing this and have raised $30,000 and are working to create a trust. I'll provide a link to the story (which I hope will work). It is really worth reading as an illustration of following your heart. Nubby http://www.portland.com/news/000327metorphans.shtml If that does not work, search for Portland Press Herald. The article is "A Will and a Way." [This message has been edited by Nubby (edited March 27, 2000).]
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Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Mar 27, 2000 8:38 am

Maggie, I was there! They didn't put through your call to me for some reason. But I'll be doing a workshop for Simmons Graduate School of Management on May 13, Sat from 9-12. Call 617-521-3855 and ask for details. The producers at WBGH were so psyched by the whole show that they're going to be there too! I'd be thrilled to have you at the workshop as my guest. "Ask Barbara" link is unclickable?!! Argh!!! I've been lost in a weird kind of email hell too, but I didn't know about this! [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited March 29, 2000).]
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Postby cd1225 » Tue Mar 28, 2000 9:21 am

What a wonderful discussion. I love the idea of a "co-op ebay". Even before the internet, I wished there was a way to make use of some of the resources that go to waste. For example, I know in the trucking industry that sometimes truckers have to "deadhead" if they don't have a load going back where they came from (drive an empty truck from point B back to point A or to point C to pick up another load to go back to point A). I'm sure that's true in the worldwide shipping business, too.

And, as you already know, many times all you have to do to get something is ask! So, the current obstacle seems to be getting the computers to Turkey duty free; that means one at a time. That makes the question: Who goes there frequently? Well, business people, of course, but what about pilots and flight attendants?

Why not contact: 1) the airlines that fly to Turkey 2) the pilots' and flight attendants' unions -- and see if some of them would be willing to carry a laptop per trip? Could you arrange for someone to meet them at the airport or somewhere in Itstanbul? And if there is some rule that prevents them from doing it, could they give you leads on how to contact frequent travelers who might be willing?

Going back to the shipping industry, what about truck drivers? Could the computers be shipped somewhere else in Europe and then truck drivers take them in the cab with them as personal property? What about UPS and FedEx? They ship all over the world. I'm sure they have customer relations departments that might be able to point you towards people who can help.

What about the military? Turkey has been our friend for many years. I know we have a military presence there. Are there service people going back and forth on a regular basis? I'd be willing to bet you could get some of them to drop off a lap top once in a while for you. Anyway, hope some of these ideas are helpful. It's a wonderful project. GOOD LUCK! Carol
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 11:08 am

"Ask Barbara" works again! email me there! Did I remember to tell KKG that Bruce is *my* personal hero too, and I'm going to go see him, hopefully tomorrow. Want me to tell him anything from the bulletin board? Give him some kid of a "hero" award for making life better without waiting for permission? Take some photos and figure out how to put them up here for everyone to see? Or should I just start a Maverick Philanthropist webpage dedicated to trashing all the bad guys and praising and adoring all the good guys like Bruce? A rogues gallery with photos and tell-all stories where everyone can expose the nasties and their bad behaviour (It's time we *told* on them, right?!) and a heroes gallery for people like Bruce to inspire us all? To say nothing of how good guys like all of you, with your encouragement and offers of help are already inspiring everyone who reads this topic. I am more moved than you know.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 11:18 am

Nubby, thanks so much for that incredible story about the Maine woman who tried to save the child in Russia. I love the links: a neighbor to a priest to his brother who actually tracked the child down. This is the kind of stuff that makes you take heart. And welcome to the bulletin board. We're very glad to have you here.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 12:01 pm

Carol, your ideas are very good and have me thinking. While I'm still planning to keep this project very small and won't need trucks, your brainstorming about "who goes there?" is first-rate.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 12:16 pm

Got 2 emails today directing me to an article in the NY Times about how a telecommunications company from Nashville set up a small village with all the equipment they needed to sell hammocks, and as soon as they got successful, they were shut down *hard* by the government! Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/03/biztech/articles/28weavers.html

I don't expect any such thing in Turkey for two reasons: we're going to stay very small, selling only a few pieces at a time, and our prices will be very low so we we should be too unimportant to threaten anyone. (I don't want to change the character of the village by bringing in huge infusions of cash -- even if I knew how.)

Also, we're really a kilim school (sort of fronting for a computer/e-commerce school for women.) And Turkey is very different from Guyana (please Allah!) But if you have a chance, read it and see what you think. It could be good publicity for this project. Maybe I should be putting some people on the www.kilimwomen.com mailing list right about now, people who read the NY Times and will be horrified and frustrated by this news.

(Oh yes, while I'm thinking of it, please give me suggestions for who to put on the kilimwomen list, so I can send an announcement -- and let them unsubscribe easily if they don't like it.)
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 4:15 pm

Carol (aka cd 1225) notified me that although the links to kilimwomen.com work here, you can't type it in and get anywhere! She's right too! I've contacted my webguy. Wait until I give the all clear before handing out the name, or direct people to a link here. (Jeez, I've been giving it out left and right. Sometimes computers & the internet are like bad genies.) Carol, I managed to delete that message while doing all this, but I have emailed you my answer. Also, this being a very public forum, I think we have to be a bit oblique, euphemistic, metaphorical, vague and all like that about this discussion if you get my drift.
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Postby Jacque » Tue Mar 28, 2000 4:20 pm

Um, I selected off the message above, pasted it into my netscape window, said "go," and it came up just fine.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Mar 28, 2000 4:28 pm

Yes, Jacque. Jeff just mentioned it's connected with the www. So I went in and typed 'er in, and by golly, it came up just fine. So maybe people aren't putting in the www. Put in the www.
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Postby webshaper » Tue Mar 28, 2000 5:07 pm

Hi, webguy here. Wow. Spent so much time on the site, I never did get around to seeing all the comments on it here! Wow, thanx for all the good and happy thoughts... We have been, a few minutes ago, submitted to several major search engines. It takes 24 hours-2 weeks to actually get in the index, but this is a start (the fine art of site submission is a very esoteric one; any suggestions are welcome). As far as being able to type in kilimwomen.com, well, part of it depends on the browser,and part depends on things like bidding for keywords with MSN...in other words, things we may want to do, or we may want to simply focus the money on the project and trust the community to spread the word. That's my vote, anyway. ------------------ "...profound changes are impending in the Ancient Craft of the Beautiful..."--Paul Va
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