Letter to GTE from *PlanetPuna*

A significant point in the development of *PlanetPuna* was the following letter to Daniel Smith of GTE (now Verizon) which resulted in a $2000 gift to *PlanetPuna*

the Aloha Planet

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November 30, 2004

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embassy in Puna Hawai'i

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To: daniel.smith@telops.gte.com
Cc: hyson@bix.com Message-ID: <9710270940.
Subject: The Aloha Planet
X-Orig-Return-path: <hyson@BIX.com
> X-Orig-Received: by bix.com
(CoSy3.46) id <9710270940.
memo.94063@BIX.com>; Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:40:42 -0500 (EST)
Dan Smith
Region Director-Public Affairs GTE, Hawai'i

Aloha Dan,

I had a great weekend partly because I was meditating on your email and getting ready to respond. I hope you did too. Mahalo for the opportunity to further our discussion. I so appreciate the enthusiasm and openness you showed me when we spoke. Your informed and informing email to me later in the day was inspirational to me to put this reply together to further inform you as to more of what these two current projects of the Sirius Institute are about, *PlanetPuna* and Camp Paradise.

*PlanetPuna* is for fun. This is vitally important as there is a greater ease in encountering novelty if it is enjoyable. The importance of our state of mind in learning is recognized and applied by us as we wish to facilitate children's natural learning capacity. And as we introduce adults to these new 'toys/tools' their state of mind is especially important. *PP* brings children and adults together in learning situations and creative ones. *PP* connects us at a local or what I call 'coconut' community level - person to person. We have common places around where people can come meet together, find each other, link up with others to complete a project. The motto being, "Together WE CAN DO It".

As this happens we also conduct local market transactions. We are creating a list or data base of people who want to participate and what their interests are. This way we know who we are to each other on a local basis. Amazing what I am finding out about people and their interests and passions - what they want to surf for.

From our domain we are also part of the cyber or virtual or global (what I call 'out there') community. People from around the world can go 'click, click 'into Hawai'i, then find *PlanetPuna*, the Aloha Planet and directly connect with folks here. Maybe set up for a visit with a local family or stay with people whose work they saw on our *PP* website. Or bring their children and do some dolphin projects with a real dolphin scientist. Or come meet you and find out how to create a world class telecommunications system. All the while the children are direct beneficiaries of this enriched environment they find themselves in now as these *PP* are set up for keikis of all ages as a multimedia centre as well as Camp Paradise pod home. Wherever keikis and computers and GTE are can be a *PlanetPuna*.

As part of Camp Paradise's home/community/globally based education programme, *PP* is meant to be mobile as well as physically located in many diverse places. This summer we started to bring it to JoMama's because they were open to it and because the owner Pete is very community minded and cares about the keikis. Prior to that for the last year we have had an ongoing one at Mike Hyson's (also location of the Sirius Institute's home base) so that people we met throughout our journeys could come by and see what the new technology is about. Many would say they had their mom or dad's email address and could they come by and get in touch. Or they would want to see websites of bands or Mars landings or play with fractals.

Various children would come and spend time playing games, often with my son Tiger coaching the younger ones and adults too. Then there might be some surfing for websites of toy manufacturers or NASA stuff or writing or art.  Tiger and Mike would often stay up quite late playing chess with the computer or bookmarking websites of interest and then Tiger would show them later. Much more open education and a deeply enriched one is possible and available when our children can be home educated and brought to so much more through the world wide web. We have seen how much it does. We have learned a lot about how to use it to bring depth to learning about the world. It can also be used by children proactively to get involved in community or global issues;to update on matters of importance,like Congressional votes.

We would love to have the gear to be able to create our own quick time videos about Camp Paradise programmes and generate our own interactive cd roms like Reader Rabbit as a core curriculum that we could put out through our website. As a gift of course, so people can simply have what works. I would love for the Children to be able to create multimedia projects and be able to complete them. We have such a mass of brilliance here just waiting for the opportunity to go for it. We are happy to be able to be this link between folks.

People have a lot of interest and seem to want to know more. In those terms I have done a vast amount of person to person marketing research. whilst speaking personally with thousands of folks all around. These recent two *PP* nights we've done I am finding out other applications, other reasons people want to connect with the web or learn more about this new technology. We are creating a map of what is important to real people. School children are coming in with their parents and showing them how to surf the web or even what it is.

There are also many who have been awaiting the digital switching and new lines GTE has put down before they get into it. You will have much new business when people here realize what they can do. The dolphins too have been awaiting this time till our local telecommunications could handle their higher bandwidths. One of our other projects has to do with putting the whales and dolphins live on the internet. Maybe GTE would like to be able to say/show that they are the phone company dolphins prefer to use. And why. The dolphins could actually help educate people through ads, like talking dolphins showing what the different kinds of switching mean, how we get/send more data through the lines, which are teeny. And more. Child level understanding, yet mature.

We have friends who develop software and various other high technologies who would dearly love to relocate to Hawai'i. If you were willing to approach this on a grassroots level by word of mouth (via email :)) I know we could pull together first class teams to create all kinds of new things. For example, at our first public *PlanetPuna* with JoMama's we attracted a visitor from Ireland, here on holidays to visit his aina and reconnect with the area. He developed some kind of light based computer technology. WE shared many exciting discussions about his work and he with ours. New product development could be of great interest to GTE through these creative outlets.

These are some of the ways the vast dollars spent by GTE can be used by 'individuals choosing to learn how to use this technology wisely'. If it is presented in a good way the people will see how it can help their lives. It can bring Hawai'i into the new millennium as a leader in community unity. A microcosm of the macrocosm.

This gives you a bit of a feel for what we are up to.  I love Puna and would love to see it shine. There are many others who feel the same. This is some of what can happen when we remember 'Together WE CAN DO It".

Mahalo nui loa from paradise.
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