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#MerryMerkle - Christmas Week

#MerryMerkle - Christmas Week

It's been an amazing two weeks in Africa since our last update. We had 9 people from all around the world - the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, and South Africa - travel down to the rural Eastern Cape and renovate an entire classroom for next year's first high school class at African Angels. This is what the above looked like before we got to work...

We've also raised over 20 ETH (R66000) so far, thanks mostly to the MetaMask and ChainSafe teams, who have been deeply generous. We cannot thank them enough. That's enough to put more than 2 children through a whole school year!

We cleared all the rubbish in the old class out, recycled everything we could, sanded down all the walls and floors, rewired the class and got new lights working, replaced the ceiling, fixed all the holes in the walls and rebuilt all the joins between the walls and ceiling, painted everything in sight, rebuilt the windows, hung two new boards (one black, one white in what we felt was a nicely symbolic balance) and prepared the old floor for tiling. We even got to use some power tools - scary for others, awesome for us who are only used to working with keyboards!

We did it all with the help of some of the kids who will be learning in that class next year. We wonder, can you imagine having to build the class you study in each year? Do you have a sense of the obstacles these kids really face? And yet, there is such hope in each one of them, combined with a work ethic we have rarely seen. Just take a moment to read Dom's essay from late last year about what he wants to be:

If that doesn't move you to donate a little crypto, we're not sure what will. It's a dream all of us could subscribe to, isn't it? We're trying to engineer a technical solution to some very human problems that go to the root of what "value" really is and that therefore require a deeply artistic approach in order to be effective in the long term.

We need future masters like Dom, who have grown up in circumstances that make the real value of "money" painfully obvious, if the systems we are currently building are going to have the impact we want them to over the next century. Nothing could be more important.

If your project is about making this world of ours slightly more equitable, then traditions like #MerryMerkle are your opportunity to actually put some money where your mouth is. It need not even be ETH - the campaign is accepting DAI and SNT too.

Happily, the MakerDAO team has risen to the challenge:

Unhappily, the same is not true for SNT holders. This has been the only real disappointment of the campaign so far.

Huge thanks, though, must also go to Simona Pop and, who went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that the awesome "Trust Fruits" book made it through the South African postal system. Unfortunately, it was delayed, so we couldn't read it with the kids, but it has now arrived, and will be a big part of their library next year (pictures to come soon).

Please head over to and send a message of hope to somewhere that could really use it right now, knowing that sending such a message engenders as much goodwill as receiving one does. We are together in this, fundamentally.

We are one - may we never forget it.

There are no words for this.

No way to convince you,
no way to help you see,
no way to argue the evidence,
no way to tell you that we sat
one night and listened
to how the crickets sang as one,
how the night itself hummed one name,
one sound, one endless echo
between lover and beloved.

By permission after performing
the roles we were assigned,
being beaten down like wet wool
next to a river, and teased apart
with a fine-toothed comb
made for tangled falsehoods
and what must be pulled apart
for a tapestry to take shape,
form itself into something greater
and far simpler than any story,
any sense, any fancy song...

No way, no guide, no god
but God.

One simple sound,
heard just as well in the
slowed down chorus of crickets,
or the sliding of waves,
or the trees which whisper
one word, one rhythm,
one full response
for the righteous few,
still finding their feet
on the wayless way:

way out, way in, no way
but this.

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