Friday, July 28, 2006

back in amsterdam

After enjoying the beautiful city of salzburg, we spent a day also in innsbruck where i had my flight back to amsterdam.
I have a wireless camp coming up at the beginning of august and to be held in leiden, Posted by Picasa

conquering Schober mountain in austria

On the 21st of july, we set about climbing the a 1388m high mountain - schober mountain. It was no easy task for the four of us: Maria, barbara Harry and me. We got into the best mountain climbing gear we could find and then started the climb at about 10 am in the morning.

It was a treacherous terrain and often along the way, we slid or held on the big tree trunks. I lost count on how many times we drank water or stop to take in a more calm breathe. But since we were determined, we went on and on slowly until we finally reached the top.
The view here from top of schober mountain is breath-taking.

At the top of the mountain is a big black cross and here we relaxed and showed our winning smiles :o) There is me, Maria (red pants) and barbara.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

meeting the folks...

the afternoon of 20th july, Barbara drove harry and me to her parents who live away from salzburg town, in pondorf, schweigern. Her father, Franz Herzog, is a solar & biomass installer. His company promotes use of solar & biomass energy,

Maria, her mum was happy to see me again just after a few months of meeting in tanzania. We sat down to a nice meal and later a tour of the house.

Below, franz is doing his best to answer my questions regarding solar energy.
The sun being extremely hot for any more tourist activities, we set out to enjoy the atmosphere on the beach. Spotting shorts and bikinis, we set out for lake Fuschlsee to cool it off.
Am teasing harry to get into the swimming mood, as barbara was eager to get our picture on film.

Temperatures on this day were at 35 deg Celcius.

You could clearly see that it was not only us who found the sun really hot, but so many other people too, were enjoying the cold water.

There was a heavily tanned guy at the beach, who was acting as a litmus paper for everybody else on how tanned they had got to equal him. I could see his envious look at me having beaten him to a crown of being the most tanned guy at the beach :)
A panoramic view of salzburg from the gaisberg peak which is about 1288m above sea level. It is also home to a huge communications tower and a thunder-strength measuring station.

Paragliding is a major sport on this hill too. Posted by Picasa
My host, barbara togather with me inside the maria plain cathedral. Posted by Picasa
After having a nice meal at barbara's place and meeting her boyfriend, harry, we took a work and went around to enjoy the nice houses around salzburg.

A nice view of salzburg town togather with its surrounding hills from the maria plain hill. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

City Night line train to Salzburg

On the evening of tuesday, 18th july, i got on the city nightline train at Amsterdam Central station on my way to Salzburg, Austria.

Having struggled to find the right couch and seat, putting my bags away in an overhead compartment was no problem at all.
After settling in for quite a while, a light skinned teen settled in the next to me. She was nice looking and smelling good too, I should say, i was tempted to know the secret of what makes her this good :) She must have noticed my prying eyes and felt kind of shy about it but i was quick to introduce myself and she introduced herself as babiana, "quite a rare name, i should
say" i remember telling her.

We had a smooth conversation afterwards and i learnt that she was from Dominican republic, South America. She had come to netherlands while a very little girl of 7 years and had stayed here for over 10 years already. she is studying law at one of the colleges in amsterdam and now was traveling to the US for a vacation with her family since they now lived there. I was fascinated too with the way she spoke on the phone, as her parents constantly phoned her to find out on how she was progressing with the journey. She spoke spanish, as she later confirmed to me. With the phone taking much of her concentration, i drew my eyes to the nice cities of we were going through.

From Amsterdam central station, we enjoyed the enviroms of utretch before stopping briefly for more passengers. We then went through other nice places across the border in germany, of which i recall: Bonn, Manheim, Koln, Stuggart, munchen (munich)

We got to Munich early wednesday morning 19th july, 7.16 am where i had to get a connecting train to salzburg. I had an hour and half before my train could start the Salzburg journey. After bidding goodbye to my train companion, babiana, i set around looking for the platform for my train.

Am suddenly approached by two non-uniformed guys. One holds up his ID and the only letters i can make out are ''POLIZEI"
"Bring your passport", the one who held up his ID commands. I stop for a while scanning the two medium built men for a couple of seconds, with a background fear of being robbed of my passport fasting building at the back of my mind.
"Hey, bring your passport", the second one commands and stands with legs apart just ready to grab me if am to start running. I timidly get it out and hand it over to the guy, who showed me his ID and wait for more questions.
"Do you speak german?" "Do you stay here in germany?" "What have you come to do here?" "Where are you going?" are a number of questions i was put to for a while while my passport was scanned and photographed with a digital camera.
After talking on the phone for a few minutes "this is a routine passport control" was what i finally got and my passport handed back to me. And this was not the last police check, another was soon to follow.

Feeling a little shaken by this incident and hungry, i moved to a nearby hamburger kiosk and bought myself something to eat. This incident completely cancelled out my earlier ideas of perhaps spending some time enjoy the city of Munich. Fearing further polizei checks, i headed for my train platform and instead read my wireless networking book.

An hour later, a black guy approaches me and introduces himself as doozey - from South Africa. He too was headed towards a town near salzburg in germany. He informs me he has stayed in munich for several years and now was fluent in german - i noted the way he talked on the phone and with other passengers too. I should say, he was quite a talkative guy. He was really the perfect company for the journey towards salzburg, as we chatted on different issues from staying in germany to east africa and the world cup as well. He lifted my spirits and put me in the mood of excitment again.

Just before we crossed into Salzburg, another two non-uniformed police guys came to our couch and "controlled" where i was seated togather with doozey. We were all asked for our passports. I was asked where i was coming from and proudly pronounced, amsterdam. They didnt ask anymore questions but kindly told me to pick up all my luggage and took me to an open platform on the train. "Do you smoke?" "Please get everything out of your pockets" "open all your bags" After checking and making sure that i had nothing of their interest, my passport was returned to me and they walked away. The explanation of the check was later give to me by doozey that i mentioned "amsterdam" since its the hub of all drugs (hemp, marijuana, heroine) and that recently the german police is having a lot of problems with everybody from there.
Doozey got off a few kilometres before we crossed the border to austria and bid me farewell.

Well, i was warmly welcomed to salzburg by my host, barbara herzog. I felt a sigh of relief getting off the train into the welcome hug of my host.

thats another post..


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Zaans molenmuseum.!!

At the Zaan museum, near amsterdam, the wooden shoe shop/factory is worth paying a visit. Here you enjoy the history of the wooden shoes (clogs) and you get a free demonstration on how they are made! Here are a few pics taken inside the wooden shoe shop; enjoy!!

My colleague, Bas enjoying the nice display of the clogs.

Am trying out giant clogs (could have been worn by goliath just before being killed - in my opinion!), just outside the clog shop! They are so huge and heavy, you would need somebody to dig them out of their position.

Am at one of the oldest mills on the zaan river. Its name is De Kat (The cat)It was constructed way back in 1781. The mill is used to make dyes. It has very heavy grinding stones each weighing between 5,000 kg to 7,000 kg.

The Windmills in Netherlands were used to process barley, rice, paper, wookd cooking oil, mustard, tobacco, hemp, mineral dyes, chalk and abrasives. This mill resumed production and sale of antique paints and dyes ten years ago. Its probably the last wind-powered dye mill in the world.



enjoying Amsterdam

<=== I amsterdam with the War memorial in the background.

Nice picture of the War memorial (below). Plenty of tourists taking pictures too.

A nice view of St. Nicholas Cathedral in amsterdam. The traffic where am standing is amazing too. With trams, people, bikes and cars all moving side to side all the time.

Welcome to the Movies. We spent the evening in tuschinski theatre watching United 93, a movie about 9/11. It was a nice way to shed a few of our tears for our lost brothers & sisters in America.



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sights & sounds of Køge, copenhagen

Today i rode a bike around the historical town of køge. Its a beautiful old town with all the old markings of the old european way of building in place.

The town square in køge. Market days are always on the weekends. Farmers bring all sorts of vegetables to sell during the weekends. It is also a lovely open place to enjoy the summer sun. A half-timber house in køge (below). The most old building is a small timber house built way back in 1523. Its still standing strong!

The tower of the catholic church in køge.



More anaconda pics...

What a day that was!!! Me and Sanders lifting a huge snake...

Enjoy and remember to leave a comment in the guest book column, check on the right ==>>>


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ever held a live Anaconda??!!

Sunday 9th july, found me north in the region of djursland. I was staying with a friend, Egon, an antenna expert working with the djursland institute. His house is also home to many african crafts: stools, drums and quite a number of swahili speakers too. They have a cultural camp coming up to be held in Grenaa - djursland, Denmark, read more here:

For the swahili link:

One interesting thing is that the cultural group which performs during the cultural festivals uses a big 60kg python during its dance shows.

I should say i was privileged to not only see the snake but have it around my neck - believe me this is something i never imagined i could do before! More still this is a snake which is over 5 metres long, over 14 years old and its kept in a small corner inside the house. It is fed a live chicken every month. Its so disciplined, it never eats anything infront of people or during a dance, it is trained to eat inside its own small glass house.

Everybody living inside the house is quite aware and used to it including the small kids.

In the picture, i was holding the snake together with its care-taker, Sanders

See for yourself and leave me a comment if you got the guts to do this... :-)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Want to listen to our experiences online, tune in!!!

Elecktra, an co-author with book wireless networking in the developing world (wndw), here with us in djursland made something that really excited everyone here at the camp. She welded a few resistors and capacitors together on a circuit board and we were able to transmit live over the internet. A fellow Berliner had some studio equipment with him. So we set up broadcasting ourselves and testing the signal strength the whole evening. It was a great experience.

We could do it again tonight, tune in anytime after 1900 to listen in on radio wifi-djursland.

Peter Kremer, thank you very much for listening to our internet broadcast.

stay tuned,


Monday, July 03, 2006

What we eat in djursland??

I hope you understand this stuff, its part of my dinner these days :-)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Interested in rural community networks - djursland experience??

Read about the djursland network. How they started, and the support they are offering to other areas around the baltic sea.

program at djursland...

This will surely give you a clue to the great training we having here. Its so great there is no time at all for hunky-punky kind of activities. I hope lack of play does not end up making us dull at all :-)

P.S. ideas on making our program interesting is really welcome. Just leave me a comment please.



more great people

The djurslands summer camp family getting down to a meal together.
There is John, bjarke, Lasse, stephen The lady is Charlotte. She really takes the trouble to make everybody feel welcome. She is always smiling & welcoming. Very nice to have her around.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

places am gonna be...

this is just a rough kind of layout to where am going to be ...
29th traveled through Hamburg to denmark by bus
1st - 8th july djursland, denmark
13th july leave denmark & get back to Amsterdam
18th july go to Salzburg, austria
25th july get back to amsterdam
28th utretch
1st - 7th aug, leiden wireless community camp (wcc2006)
8th aug, friesland northern netherlands for training in wireless systems
30th aug, amsterdam & wrapping everything up

my number is +31 6 49725379

it would nice to meet up brother..


Bus ride from Amsterdam 29th night

I left Amsterdam on the night on 29th june 2315hrs headed for djursland. I got on a Eurolines bus and the journey from the start was great.

We passed through the football crazy city of Hamburg and you could clearly see the FIFA worldcup 2006 effect there. Vehicles with small flags glued to the sides of their windows. Most of the vehicles had 2 flags one on either side of the vehicle, flags of; germany, brazil, ukraine, italy but most prominently germany & brazil. Others were hang from windows of apartments, jerseys too were being worn in plenty.

I got to Arhus, a major town in djursland, and was picked up by a friend to the DIIRWB institute.
the journey was nice, i caught a few doses of sleep now and then except feeling uncomfortable having to sleep while seated upright. the driver normally stopped every after 3 hours at a restaurant and we would get out to drain our bladders and also grab a bite.

I noticed right from Amsterdam, that all european drivers leave their headlights shinning bright either during night or day, shinning or not.
In East Africa, headlights especially during day is a sort of signal to the on coming driver. It could be of recognition; a warning about a police patrol around the corner; on coming driver to put out his/her headlights; an alert to the person crossing the road to hurry about it :)

so are we going to lose our nice ways of communicating while driving in East Africa? Are we going to stop warning each other of police patrols on the road because of having to keep our headlights on???

your comment is welcome...

Great people at djursland

The bearded guy is Bjarke Nielsen the leader and founder of the Djursland network. He has shared with us great experience he has gained over the years. One of the great quotes from his speeches to us;

"Do not give the people fish not even the fishing rod, go a step further & give them the concept of the fish & they will make the fishing rod themselves"

"Be very practical. Dream all you want but dont be dependent on it"

Contact him on;

Bjarke Nielsen
Educational Leader
Phone +45 60 25 00 01

boat ride 'round Amsterdam

Its amazing having to look at the different buildings and listening to the history of Amsterdam. What you surely gonna see & here is like this ...
I AMsterdam
I amsterdam
I amsterdarned!

The amazing roof tops steps-like, bell-shaped, the church like architecture. The canals, ooh the canals, there is a point you see 7 of them in a row! Amsterdamers pack their cars at the banks of the Amstel river, you get to see different vehicles of all models, right from the latest to the old, sizes from the world's best car makers; Benz, peugort, BMW etc. There is a rail which goes up just about a 1/4-way the size of a car tyre meant to stop the drivers from running their vehicles into the river but the amazing fact is that there is at least a car in the water every week!!

I got to say the boat-ride in Amsterdam is really a great thing for everybody to do if you ever visit. Do not worry if you don't know how to swim, i did not either, but we didn't have any problems at all. Except i got some crazy bunch of guys who ran into the back of our boat. Do not know whether they were drank or just crazy. Its like everybody can ride his or her boat on the river, just as you remember to keep right when sailing.

am posting a few pictures soon...

john :D