Help Village with Solar Work Project

Here’s a few ideas. First of all, every Sunday I force myself not to work, as God told me once, and as is said in the bible not to (I know many modern Christians think it is okay, but first of all Paul said that not one of the laws of the Old Testament shall be overturned or whatever, and second of all it’s practically THE most important law, when you read the Old Testament – to respect the Sabath), but I just get so darn bored on Sundays! In any case, last night I thought perhaps it would be okay to “work” for charity stuff, such as my African project, in between reading the bible and praying etc.

Second of all, after approaching more than one hundred of my friends concerning this, the response has been expectedly abysmal. After traveling through some of the Muslim world it has opened my eyes to how damn selfish, uncaring and decadent people are in the west. It’s repulsive. Concerning my project, one of my relatives said I’ll probably be a lone soldier in the middle of a field, but why not? I just decided that, if during my year in Bulgaria I can manage to save up enough to get down to Kenya with just one extra solar panel and laptop etc., I’ll park next to some chosen village and hang with them for a year and teach them personally. Weather hovers around 29 all year round so could be the perfect deal. And hopefully become a part of some family rather than rot on this motel bed in a rather unfriendly Bulgarian village.

Anyway, just wanted to respond to your previous email about helping me with registration. I’ll try something in Canada as well, cause I think this project might interest Canadians.

Well, we’ll see how far I get within a year. I hope this new French to English angle will get me some juicy work. Already completed one project, but didn’t make so much cause I had to hire so many people to help me. But it certainly gave me an opportunity to improve my French!

Anyway, off to “charity work” today. k


oh yah, and I forgot to mention in my last letter: a few times I glanced that African translators in the US are charging something ridiculous like 30 cents a word. Hard to find such translators. If I’m in a village and teach them English and how to work on a computer and how to translate etc., I could potentially use my SEO and other skills to find them work, offer a great price and slap on my usual markup. Turn the little village into a revenue generating engine for all of us. Well, no harm in dreaming, no?


Hi Carol,

interesting opinion. First of all, I wasn’t asking for free translations or anything like that.

Second of all, one of my motivations for the solar panel thing is that I believe Africa might suffer more than anyone else from any result of global warming. If their farming will be impacted as a result, either a certain percentage of them will simply have to die, or take handouts from us, or learn to survive by some other means. I am only offering them another means, but they certainly can keep farming or keep their culture. I don’t feel I lost any of my culture just because I started sitting in front of the computer, from which I now derive all my income.

And I also think that those who are starving or on the verge of death think less of their culture and more about feeding their families.

But your opinion is certainly a new one for me! Also, the computer thing and translations MIGHT even help preserve their languages.

Anyway, if I manage to go down there it will certainly be an interesting twist to my travels.

Thank you for your input,


Carol wrote:

I do not own a not-for-profit translation agency. I’m a French-into-English freelance translator who does not do charity translations. However, I will forward your e-mail to a German-born friend of mine who has lived in the U.S. for many years and whose English is also very  good, if you think you might need some help with German. She is not a professional translator, but I will forward your message to her in case she’s interested in offering her help in some way. She may return to Tanzania with the Peace Corps next year. Where in Africa is your project setting up solar panels?

I have mixed feelings about offering one laptop to every village in Africa. First, I believe that much of our good Western intentions–other than the medical help, water wells, food and clothing that we provide, are not always advisable and necessary things. Much of what we’re doing there is helping to destroy their native cultures, traditions and beliefs, and I don’t support everything we do there. It’s one thing to help them help themselves (teaching them to fish, etc.) and quite another to push them involuntarily into the 21st century. So as I said, although I don’t question for a moment your good intentions, I’m not sure I could support the laptop plan. This is only my opinion, and you didn’t ask me for it, so please take it or leave it, and don’t feel offended. I think the solar project sounds like an interesting and worth-while project. I’ll visit your website to learn more about it.


Hi Carol,

yes, one of the first things I did was to approach all my African translators and ask them for their opinion, and so far I received a rather positive response. Only received one negative response that I can remember which basically said that many there will be superstitious and simply not willing to learn anything new. Most suggested I should ask their governments for approval and possible support, so I am now in this stage with Kenya, where I think I’d like to start. So far not getting much support from the west so I may just start with a single village (paying for it myself), and camp out there with them to help them get set up and find work. On such a close basis I believe I’ll have ample opportunity to hear their opinions.

Thank you again for your feedback.


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Carol wrote:

There is certainly no comparison between your pre- and post-computer culture. But there is a vast difference between a native African culture that has been around hundreds of years and 21st century computer work! If you don’t care to share my viewpoint, that’s fine with me–plenty of others do! But why not know familiarize yourself thoroughly with their cultures and understand what they really want and need before going there to offer them solar panels and laptops, so that you can approach them more from their vantage point–that’s only good marketing! There would be no harm in that, and they might get more support for your projects from them if you take the trouble of understanding their values and way of life.

Just a thought! Good luck.


I’m not sure of the feasibility of helping them find work through the internet but certainly the world is in need of translators. Translations first and foremost are derivative work, which means that the original has to have some value to someone before they need it to be translated.  Without knowing what kind of commercial area or type of business environment you are part of it is hard to say whether or not it would be a viable business.  I know from my point of view that there are many Korean companies operating in Africa, so I would assume that there may be a need a need for translating from Korean into the local language.  I would think that would be the place to start.


Hello Pieter,

thank you for the feedback and I will log it. I also just approached all the Rotary clubs I could find in Kenya. Thank you for the tips.


On Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 11:47 AM, PAK Business Services  wrote:

Dear Karl,

When I was living and working in Kenya I was member of the Rotary Club of Westlands in Nairobi. I am no longer a Rotarian, but my Paul Harris fellowship is for life. I don’t know if they still know me as I left Kenya a long time ago, and unfortunately I have not been in touch with them very frequently. The Rotary backs a lot of projects that serve the community and perhaps they would be willing to back your project or point you in the right direction. At the moment this is the best I can come up with. As for the coutry and people itself, I suppose as with every community nowadays, beware of hoaxes and cons and people who are out to make a quick buck. Corruption was quite bad when I was there and I have no reason to believe this has improved a lot. Security also used to be an issue.


Leave a Reply