Last year, Kjerstin posted something on Facebook about her new startup - Simbi, a website for people to trade skills and services, without any money changing hands. Members offer or requests services - anything from edits to illustrations to yoga lessons to babysitting to IT support to gardening to language lessons - and instead of paying in money, everything is paid for in a virual currency. This currency can then be exchanged for more services! The currency has no cash value, so all the effort you put in only goes towards helping other individuals. Also, everyone starts out equal, which is how the world ought to be.
It's a very simple idea, and pretty intuitive, too, so it's been really successful. Just a year after it was founded, Simbi is now a brilliant and thriving online community, populated by a huge number of people, all of whom share a common set of values. I really recommend it to everyone and anyone.
The point of this story is firstly to encourage you to join Simbi! But also to introduce my first fieldwork video :)
A few days ago, I sent a few of my unedited video clips - taken this year in Burkina Faso - to another Simbi member. In no time at all, he put a lovely short film together for me. It's only a minute and a half long, and it shows caterpillars in Burkina Faso being prepared by my Burkinabe neighbours, Argita and Momoni, and you can watch it here on YouTube. I hope you like it!
Here are a few screenshots from the film, and also one of the Simbi manifesto: