If you are one of the many people who have been supportive of Old Skoolie 1863
and the Propel the Power
campaign I thank you. In short, for those who don’t know, I have been in the process of converting a school bus into an RV/Community center. The journey has been incredible beyond measure up to this point. It started as a small spark in my brain and has grown into a bus that I own whose seats have been stripped out, electrical lines laid and plumbing in the works. The lessons I have been learning along the way are numerous. You can check out some of the previous posts in this blog to see what lead me to even consider this path, what challenges I have faced and the sheer joy that has washed over me at points when things materialized seemingly out of nowhere. The process has been a steady one moving along at different paces since I made the determined idea to bring this about. Within the last couple of months I have been heavily thinking about this project and It is time for me to make Knowledge Born about the re-vision that is on the table now.
At this moment I am integrating a new element. I have realized that I need to implement the nomadic work/hacking off the grid aspect before I add on with the skoolie/community center aspect. I have been weighing this over for the last month as I continue to build my resume and increase my streams of income outside of my current job. I have laid out a list of pros and cons are extensive on each side of re-visioning the project and I am satisfied with where I will be moving with it now. What does this look like in real time?
-I have decided that my intern goal will be a converted camper van. In the current racial environment it will allow me more freedom of movement, I know more about its engine/easier to get fixed, more freedom of places to park it and all of my nomadic gigs will still be able to be activated.
-I will not be looking to buy/convert a full skoolie until 3-5 years from this point.
Will the Gofundme campaign still be in effect? Yes. I will be rebranding and remixing it to encompass the new goal of converting a camper van. So be on the look out for that in a week or so. We still moving forward with the same tenacity that we have been moving with. Site will be revamped. News will be updated in terms of my current challenges. You are still going to see me getting it in!
I thank everyone who has been with me on this journey and continues to rock with me. It isn’t over and honestly some things are coming stronger into place than ever. I have just realized certain steps that will be beneficial to me in the long run.
When you fully register your converted bus as a skoolie it is registered as an RV (recreational vehicle). You do not need additional upgrades on your license to drive an RV as it isn’t listed as a different class of vehicle. It is wise to learn how to drive the bus (and even a general RV) as they both have very different dimensions from your average car or van. Yet legally you don’t need a different type of license. Ironically to drive a school bus you need to have a CDL license which is a commercial drivers license. It just isn’t for being registered to drive a vehicle of those dimensions. It is also to take into account that one will e be driving the vehicle commercial transporting people. Now the above is an ideal situation. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t usually translate like that in practice.
Anyone who has traveled on the road realizes that a cop isn’t a lawyer. Though a cop may have a general understanding of the law the reality is that they don’t know every point. If they did they would be a lawyer. Driving while Black I always learned the unwritten rule though….save it for the courts. Even if I knew that the cop was wrong my goal was always to get out of the altercation alive.
I say all of this to say that….I’m going to go ahead and get that CDL. I wasn’t at first. I didn’t need anything else on my schedule of things to do. My infamous 1001 things to do list. Deep reflection on the subject led me to change my initial thought.
One thing is that I could always use more practice driving a vehicle of those dimensions though I have driven many types of vehicles my whole life. Also this will be the first time that I will be using a vehicle that has air brakes. Plus it will be good to tighten up on using mirrors for big vehicles,
The most resonating reason though is to create for myself another level of insulation against driving while Black. Reality is that driving a skoolie without a CDL may work for some. I just want that extra insurance while driving a converted school bus through certain parts of this country. So a CDL will work well with my melanin splashed skin. I have two friends who are already enrolled in this course so it looks like Ill be next up to bat.
So many have been asking so here it is. This is the first crowd fundraising phase for Old Skoolie 1863. Please add on and spread the word on all of your platforms!
“Intentional living requires one to be aware of one’s fundamental beliefs and to be willing to make an effort to have their behavior reflect these beliefs in a form of integrity in relation to his or her conscience and environment. In some cases, such changes are drastic enough that like-minded individuals group together in intentional communities.
Some examples of intentional living include cohousing, ethical living, frugal living, moral community, simple living, sustainable living as well as many religious lifestyles.
While not necessarily representing distinct or actual lifestyles, many themes and areas of human interest, activity, and study exist that contribute to intentional living. Examples include appropriate technology, conservation, ecology, environmentalism, humanism, humanitarianism, and socially responsible investing.”-Ole Wikipedia.
Found out that a lot of what I am working towards falls in the framework of intentional living. If you have been following me you know that I am also working to address the fundamental issues of being Black in the States. My parents come from eras where there had to be special guides made to tell them where it was safe to stay at night
. In the charged racial tone in many parts of the states recently it would be smart to plan ahead. The challenges though has been able to find those People of Color who are involved in some level of intentional living whether it is the tiny house movement, skoolies, etc. And while I assert that these issues about race and travel should involve everyone it isn’t usually a topic that is approached in a lot of the forums that I am in even if there are people of color in there. The simple reality is that if one isn’t a person of color many of these issues just don’t exist.
I have been fortunate to find communities of People of Color advocating for interacting with the outdoors
. In fact I applied to this great leadership training by Outdoor Afro
. Also this month I’m registered for the 2016 Black Sustainability Summit.
Both events are in line with the work that I have been doing with HoodHealth
and the full vision that I have for Old Skoolie 1863. I see that a re-envisioning of Black communities has to happen on several different levels. I keep referring to it as the Emergent World
. Part of it involves capturing the essence of what our fore-bearers did that served them well. Getting in tune with those essential elements will invigorate our communities. It involves relying on the land more, getting into urban gardening, simple preventive health practices that our great grand parents utilized, seeing nature as healing, breaking the tyrannical hold of a 9-5 where one is investing in someone else’s dream.
Some of these communities that are preparing for the transformation of society (due to economic shake ups, environment, politics, etc) are referred to as Transition communities. A good friend of mine’s put me up on two. One is the Transition Network
and the other is Transition United States
. On one hand one can look at them as “doomsday” in mentality. I don’t see it that way at all. I actually see it as living the way that most of our parents about 50 years ago. They always were prepared. They had food for weeks. They had candles and kerosene. They knew how to survive without power for a grip of time. I think that how we live nowadays is kind of doomday-ish. We expect there to always be food at the grocery store. We expect to always have access to clean drinking water. Events such as what is happening right now in Flint, Michigan with their water being toxic levels (due to government wickedness) is just one example that the grid is not as solid as we would like to think. Though one may be familiar with white preppers out there (there are quite a few sites and shows out there) one may not be aware that there are also Black Preppers
out there also.
I continue to connect with Black people who are looking into intentional living. I connected with an older Black woman who has been part of the green movement for a while who is looking into making a tiny home. I have just recently connected with a Black woman from Brooklyn who is investing in intentional living deciding between a tiny home or skoolie. It seems the more I open my mouth the more people pop up. Willfully we’ll continue to connect generating places online and off where we can discuss issues of note for People of Color dealing with Intentional Living. Oh, and I found a spot on facebook that is Intentional Living for People of Color
. Check it out.
I am constantly suprised by the support being shown towards the determined idea of Old Skoolie 1863. Some people are just intrigued by the notion of living in a bus. Other people are attracted to particular aspects of Old Skoolie 1863 such as the Hood Health aspect or the Legacy Project aspect. I keep the determined idea in my head, in my heart, on the tip of my tongue and moving by daily progress. Just about a week ago I made the aquaintence of a Sociology professor in CA who mentioned that they may be able to get a portion of an Old Skoolie 1863 tour through the central valley of California funded. I also just made the aquaintence of a former military medic who is donating anatomy books, supplies and case studies to the project. At times it is overwhelming in that I has very mimimally started converting and at times wonder whta the Hell do I know about a damn bus! Yet when the the whole world is with you how can you fail?
One thing that I have initiated is a page for endorsers of the project. These are just people/businesses that rock with me. They are not sponsors in the sense that they are’t providing any financial support. They are just adding on with publically acknowledging that they have confidence in the project and myself. They also add on in what ever way that they can. You can check out the current line up of endorsers here.
If you are a small business or know of one that would be interested in endorsing Old Skoolie 1863 (the endorsements will assist when seeking sponsorships and/or grants later down the line) send me an email at the email address on the endorsement page.