And I mean that when I say it, too. Last night, we all sat up in the yoga pavilion (ie, gazebo high on a hill overlooking maybe one of the most beautiful views on Earth), watched some movies Bill made in his various trips to Haiti and then talked about something that has been simmering throughout the whole Realness Summit.

This “thing” is the creation of an organization, a co-op, or some sort of group that would help seed, support and follow up with small deployments that are directly or tangentially related to the OLPC community. We all are beginning to realize that small deployments can be very powerful, and they can even grow into large deployments if they are just cared for. Yet there is no organization that takes care of them to the level that they need.

The way I see it is a bit different from other people. Though then again, everyone’s opinion of what the group should be is a little bit different. Some just want it to be a website with resources that can be sought out by people in small deployments or people interested in starting one. The way I see it, it’s an organization that acts as a parent organization to these small deployments, so that they feel supported, they feel that someone is keeping an eye on them, and they feel that someone cares if they find success in their project or not. It’s providing the tools for a small deployment, no matter how small, to be long-lasting, and, ultimately self-sustainable. It’s creating educational content, making the coordinators of these small deployments well-versed in fundraising/grant-seeking/publicity initiatives, following up with them and checking in on them from time to time, perhaps even gaining a 501(c)(3) status so it can handle the finances of these small orgs too.

It’s basically not giving up on these small deployments, because they are the ones that usually have the people with the fight in them. They are the ones that can move with the slightest change of wind, and even though this can be a negative thing, it can also be very much a positive thing. They are the ones that are the most flexible, the most able to move, the most able to grow with the tide.

Much has been learned from this Realness Summit. We all understand that we’re in it together. We may be a pretty spread-out family, but we have very similar experiences. We’re all here to support one another, to offer advice, to give suggestions, to, if all else fails, both gripe and celebrate together. And I think that has been the most beneficial part of Realness over all- to get to know faces and personalities. To become one with our common visions and our common goals. And that is what will strengthen us all.

People are dropping one by one, heading home or, if they’re really lucky, continuing on various other travels for OLPC and other initiatives. It seems to be a constant flow of goodbyes here at Maho. I’m going to miss it – the sun, the mosquitoes…okay, maybe not the mosquitoes, but I’ll still miss it!

A safe trip home to everyone as they continue on their way. Last day of our workshop at the schools is tomorrow and I know we are all a little bit sad to be leaving!

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