Finally it’s here. I’m poised once again on the cusp of the beginning (continuation?) of the next stage of yet another adventure. Tomorrow at 11:35 our flight leaves for San Juan, then on to the airport on Beef Island in the B.V.I.s. This time around, I’ve got a much better picture of what the immediate to mid-term future will hold, unlike the relatively blind stabbing out into the world actualized by my move to new york, then to seattle.
I don’t necessarily feel any particular compulsion to leave the united states due to recent events, but the change will be welcome all the same. I’ve never been outside the US, so I look forward to yet more enrichment that is the direct result of living in a new environment. It will be a change of pace and of lifestyle, to be sure… from what I gather, it will be somewhat reminiscent of small-town life, except instead of being just a tiny encapsulated town that does one or two things, it will instead represent a scaled down version of everything that’s required to make a country work. Take 30,000 average americans, put them on an island, and tell them to run their own country, and you’d probably end up with something that didn’t work too well… but the people down there are doing it, and doing it well, so I look forward to being around people with a generally higher level of proficiency, at least when it comes to their contributions to the function of their environment.
As far as some of the things I care about – that is, technology, and solid companionship – the Islandless plan takes care of both. It’s pretty clear, however, that the technical proficiency in the bvi is painfully low… but that’s okay, I’ve been there before. I helped bring the Manatee County school district through a period of incredible technical learning and growth. The biggest piece of that involves connecting to people on a personal level, providing the framework in which they can understand and relate to the various technologies we’ll be dealing with, including the Internet at large. That involves helping people overcome their fear and ignorance of technologies – not an easy task, but one at which I am skilled. Judging by the effects I had personally on many of the people in Manatee County, I’m pretty confident that I can do it again in the bvi. There’s a noble feel to all of this… like I’m some kind of technological crusader, devoted to exposing all of the wonderful things about the Information age to people that have never had that exposure. On the surface, we are simply a utility company, providing a connection from point a to point b. I intend to do everything in my power to help provide the philosophical understanding that’s behind it all, and convey the excitement of our Internet culture.
It’s easy to sink my teeth into these kinds of things because really, I’m wanting for nothing right now. From an emotional and intellectual perspective, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I think it only gets better from here on out. By far the most important contributing factor to this happiness is my relationship with amy… it’s simply as great as it could be, geographical barriers notwithstanding :) Even in the last few months, our ability to communicate and share has been refined to the point that we’re practically extensions of each other… it’s absolutely fascinating, wonderful, exciting, fulfilling… perfect :) That fact that we’ve spent far more time physically separate than together over the course of our long relationship makes our time together that much more potent and meaningful. The week we spent together a while back exemplifies that fact… it was the best time of our lives. Thank you so much :)
If the current schedule holds, she’ll be done with school around springtime of ’03, which gives me a good amount of time to get the Islandless thing rolling smoothly. I’m not saying I’m necessarily going to bail out of the bvi at my first possible opportunity… I want to see this through, to help it succeed like I know it can and should. This is important for me, as it’s some vindication that I can do shit like this for real, but just as importantly, if not more so, I want to help Rob bring Islandless to its full potential. This has been his baby for quite some time, and he has been shouldering incredible amounts of load in terms of management, stress, and time… He deserves – we all deserve – to have this thing succeed marvelously.
Once I feel that my contribution to Islandless has been satisfied, I will seek her out, no matter where she is. I can be happy and self-actualized anywhere if it’s with her… the fact of the matter is that everything else is secondary compared to being able to be together.
There was an important meeting yesterday between the islandless core management team and some officials in the bvi gov’t, and things look good… the meeting went well :) We were somewhat apprehensive for a while there, not being sure if some of the applicable laws / contracts that are in place would be read as we read them. Our case is still quite solid, our grounds are equally solid, the demand for our service is there, our technical proficiency is in ample supply, and we all are committed to doing whatever it takes to make this thing work and work well. As with most startups that aren’t massively funded, the belt will be tight… but if it proves that the Islandless machine works as well as we think it will, finances likely won’t be a problem.
In the short term, dan and I will be joining rob and scott, who flew down on monday morning. Our gear (two shipping container’s worth) isn’t going down just yet… one of us will be coming back to the states for perhaps another week or so to finalize the shipment of our stuff to the bvi, to possibly receive equipment that we’ll be ordering… I’m not sure if that person will be me, but I don’t think it will be. And so, I’ll be having a communications blackout for some undetermined length of time. We have plans to jury rig some internet access by tossing up a radio link between our place and the residence of one of our on-island accomplices… not sure when that will happen, exactly, but we’ll surely need access, since the telephones are simply not an option for stateside communication ($1.75 per minute, anybody?). We don’t even have a real postal address yet, but we’ll probably be getting a p.o. box in road town somewhere… Primarily, though, contact with my friends will remain largely unchanged… that is, firstname.lastname@example.org and of course via AIM, yours truly, SplankThatAss.
With that, I think I’ll begin finalizing preparations for our departure… collecting the pieces of equipment that we’ve got room to take down with us… maybe a mini-load of laundry, got a spot of cleaning up to do here at jpc’s place, etc, etc.
My next post will quite possibly be made from the back porch of our house in the bvi, which is way up on top of a big hill, overlooking just about everything… sitting outside with the laptop in the shade, enjoying the constant ocean breeze… tropical paradise? I think it might just be… (oh, and I’ll be buying an iBot firewire cam just as soon as Orange Micro gets off that ass and finishes my OS X drivers…)
Take care all, see you on the flip side :)