I’m headed back to the US for a few short days in the next couple of weeks, which means it’s time for another “beg list”. I hate asking for stuff, but I’ve been assured by a few trusted friends it’s not nearly as cheeky as it feels. The truth is, if we moved to the US right now, we would be living just over the 2011 US HHS poverty line. We’re not starving, thanks to private donations and the obliterated Ugandan economy, but the stuff on this list is simply beyond our means.
So I ask. I’m simply not too proud to beg.
First, the personal items:
1) A Nintendo DSI charger – It was a Christmas gift for my youngest, and he was really enjoying it until I plugged the 110 adapter into 220. I’m one of the smart ones.
2) Paralax “Basic Stamp” accessories, add-on kits or similar instructional hardware design and programming kits – I have the Basic Stamp starter kits (from Radio Shack) and I’m going to be using it to teach the kids programming along with hardware design. The only problem is that the basic kits come with only a few pathetic accessories, so the projects are quite boring. I’d love to have some more accessories and perhaps some guides to help make this more fun. Eventually I could see a course for this in the training center, if I can follow it, teach it and figure out how to keep the stuff from getting stolen.
3) Rock Band instruments and Rock Band / Guitar Hero XBOX 360 games – Guitar Hero has become a favorite in the house. A friend of ours donated his guitar and game, and one of our volunteers donated another guitar so we can do multiplayer Guitar Hero. I love playing it and so does my daughter. My oldest son would be interested if we had the keyboard, and one of his friends would be more than happy to sing, but we just can’t afford the instruments and games. So we’re looking for Rock Band games (Beatles, anyone, please, please help me now!?!) and the keyboard and mic instruments. We’re even thinking of setting up Rock Band to the Keep’s sound system before Karaoke Saturday nights so people can come and take Karaoke to the next level! Rock Band / Karaoke might not seem like a big deal but it really is. Not only are we supporting 20+ Ugandans with the (SERIOUSLY struggling) business at The Keep, but we’re serving those working here, and energizing them to get back into the fight. Karaoke night is one of our busiest and funnest nights for those serving in Uganda and those that come have a chance to unwind and blow off some steam in a safe, family-friendly environment. In a town whose nightlife consists of clubs and bars, alcohol, drugs and prostitutes, that’s really saying something. Ah, it doesn’t matter what I write. I just know someone will give me a hard time about begging for “toys”. I get a lot of those emails, so I’m used to it.
4) Arnold Palmer powdered (quart-size) drink mix packs – This one is totally for me, but I will share.. I promise.. I’d like to thank Bill Gardner for my addiction to this stuff. There’s no justification for this item. But it’s mean to keep an addict away from his stuff. Y’know? And there are no suitable rehabs here. Just send me the stuff. SEND IT. NOW. *ahem* .. where was I? Oh yes,
Moving on, we also need a couple of things for the Keep and our training center..
1) A 3.5mm stereo audio cable, 5 meters (15ft) or longer – This is for connecting my laptop audio to my video camera mic jack when we record performances from the mixer.
2) A shotgun microphone for our donated Canon HF-10 video camera – This camera uses a “Mini Advanced Shoe” which is pretty non-standard. Our camera uses a 3.5mm stereo mic jack if the hot shoe is not used. This one is recommended by the manufacturer, but it’s expensive : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/539265-REG/Canon_2591B002_DM_100_Directional_Stereo_Microphone.html. Ouch! But beggars can’t be choosers. Any shotgun mic with a 3.5mm jack will be fine. That’s what duct tape is for.
This is for recording music performances at the Keep and student interviews at the center. We’d also like to let others in the community borrow the camera for their work. It’s often pretty hard to record any decent audio here without a shotgun mic + wind guard. These videos will go a long way to promoting struggling artists and those served by the Training Center and other non-profits in the area.
3) Mac laptop magsafe chargers (All wattages). We blow through these things like crazy here because of the bad power. I know not many people have spares, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I’m already looking for two 60W adapters, one for a training pastor friend and another for a young lady running a small non-profit, both here in Jinja. A massive power surge rolled through town this week, destroying hundreds of computer systems, refrigerators and more. I swear it was like a mini-EMP and for Mac users, that’s a drop-dead. There’s simply nowhere to get parts.
4) An LED projector. We’re starting to do computer training classes in schools around the area. Standard projectors do not last here because of the bad power and the dust. Bulbs blow like crazy. The only thing that lasts is LED-based projectors. They’re also small, so they’re easier to ship. I know they aren’t cheap, but if you happen to have one around that you don’t need or use, send it our way, we’ll use it to train young Ugandan
hackers students. =)
5) A couple of tripods: one for our camera and one for the LED projector. (How’s that for faith that someone will donate a projector?)
6) Point and shoot digital cameras and SD cards. Really, I don’t care how old the camera is or how small the cards. If it takes photos, please send it. I want to give them to our center staff to use to take photos for the web site. I’m putting the staff in charge of updates so they come more frequently. I’m not at the center nearly enough so I’m missing a lot of good stuff that should be on the web site. Cameras that use AA batteries are best (remember our power situation?) but send any you can.
7) A decent Intel Core laptop for our training center manager, Teo. She’s worked very hard for us and she wants to review classes and take training at night while she’s at home. (!!) The laptop must have a DVD reader so she can read the course material.The laptop must have a good battery (new preferred) as she will likely be working off the battery at night and charging it at the center during the day. She likely won’t have power at home.
8) Hacker stickers. Odd request, but my kids and our staff love them. =)
9) Ipod / iPad / iPhone charging cables. Another odd request, but they can’t be replaced. They are going bad left and right and we can’t replace them.
10) An OSX Lion install USB and other OSX install DVD’s. Not much to say here, but thiese are critical to our Apple repair efforts for the folks here.
That’s about it for now. If you have anything you’re willing to donate, or suggestions that aren’t on this list, please drop me a line (johnny -the at sign- hackersforcharity – period – org) and I’ll send you the hotel address.
Thanks in advance. I really appreciate anything you can send!