My apologies to everyone!

It has been a real shock when I realized I missed the last email from Linden Labs stating that they are removing the sims from the grid, though not deleting them yet, until the final outstanding funds are paid.  I was not expecting this to happen until the end of January, but for reasons unknown, but understandable taken the time that has passed, the sims were removed.

Firstly about Linden Labs – they have been fantastic since I lost my job and we were left in what I would call dire need as a family.  After attempting to apply for over 131 jobs online and in person, I finally gave up and settled back in South Africa to find a lower paid job and help my new little family survive.  Sadly the country has exchange controls in place which make moving funds offshore (from South Africa to the US for example) almost impossible.  Though I have not had all the funds to pay, I would have been able to pay the bulk of the debts soon.  Lindens have been waiting for this to happen since August, but sadly we were always almost US$1,000 behind in payments and their patience understandably have finally run out.  That said, I wish to thank them all for their kindness since they are a business and not a charity, but still chose to work with VW and I to see what we can do to resolve this mess.

About Dumisani Ah – Dumi has not been inworld as I chose to remain offline until I could pay my debts. This way the sims had hope of being live for as long as possible and the debt outstanding only prevented my avatar from accessing SL in-world.  It was a hard hard hard thing to do since I had missed so much of what was happening, and more importantly missed my very best friends, you all in Bishara.  Dumi has a chance to still prevent the deletion of the sims if I can pay the outstanding within the next month.  For that to happen I need to close two very important deals and use the commissions from that to settle the debt to Linden Labs.  I am still positive this can happen, but I am not wanting to create any false hope, so watch this space and we see what can be done.

Bisharians – I have been honored to have met some of the most amazing friends in-world that I could ever wish to meet even in RL.  You are all simply fantastic and the support I had from you all to help me save the sims, and especially from VW and the clan, will never never be forgotten.  Thank you very very much!

Surfers – What can I say to describe the shame I feel for dropping you all so badly and losing you three fantastic surf spots!  I do not have the courage to face any of you really, but want to share with you all at least this that I tried everything I could to find the funds to pay LL the backlog.  Sadly the sims have never been profitable or at a breakeven point, even when VW and I tried adding all kinds of things to them.  So the backlog simply grew and grew, and as I usually subsidize that outstanding bit every month, the sims cost became impossible to cover.  Again, if I can change this I would, as you all deserve to have these places back again.

Landowners – Some of the most important people to me have been those of you who bought and own land in Bishara Resorts.  How do I apologize for disappointing you all?  I cannot really say anything to give you back what you have lost, and as I am totally unsure what happens to your land, can only say I hope that there is some compensation from LL.  Please know that I landed in this position only because I lost my job in May, and after many promises from my employer, the 3 month backlog in salaries too.  It is the harsh reality of the global economy these days that we are all at the mercy of investors, shareholders and bosses who wish to move their funds to safer havens and do so at a wim at times.  I apologize that this is so with me and that there has been no reprieve for Bishara due to my own financial situation.

VW and team – I cannot express the amazing sense of pride I feel to be called your friend!  You have been the most amazing in this whole sad episode in my life, and I cannot ever repay you for all the pain and frustrations you had to experience on my behalf, or for the warmth and kindness you showed to me.  Thank you, VW, specifically for the friendship we have, and to have honored us with your presence, willingness to help and the unselfish manner in which you managed Bishara in my absence.  Thank you each and everyone of you!

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QUENCH Spotter wins SLSA JJ Lanes Shortboard Epic Surfing Competition at Morant Cays

Congratulations Q, you do us PROUD!!!

SL Profiles surf group for those offline chats :)

Hiya surfer dudes and dudettes!  I created a group for offline chatting at SLProfiles.  Come and join:

http://www.slprofiles.com/groups/surfing

Ripped off surfing products!

Hiya Bisharians!

Hey, take a moment and read ‘http://dumisworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/heather-goodliffe-responds-to-scripters-designers-creators-what-right/

Excellent comment from Heather Goodliffe about the work she and Seb have done for surfing in SL, and her fears about copied work and dishonest operators, in response to my own piece on the matter.  Let’s get behind the efforts to clean up the surfing product offerings in SL by purchasing only from designers who honour their agreements with creators like HG and Seb, and let’s encourage innovative new designers who clearly have not ripped off someone else’s designs.  I always find voting with your wallet works wonders 🙂

New SLSA Directors in our midst :)

Congratulations to our very own VW Sands and of course the very delectable Tauri Tigerpaw for being elected to the SLSA board.  I for one know that you will both be a huge benefit to the whole surfing community and especially the association’s organization and competition. The very overworked Sally LaSalle will have some great help on hand.

RL Sponsors

Having seen the initial success of the Surfline SL collaboration and PADI’s amazing work in SL, we are evaluating a similar partnership with ocean focused Real Life (RL) sponsors, either surfing product, windsurfing product, scuba product, fishing product or general ocean activities product suppliers that would be interested in sponsoring Bishara Resorts, and in return having the dominant product placements within our island group.  Furthermore, the sponsor would be able to place virtual versions of their real life products in Bishara and Second Life in general for showcasing / marketing as well as general purpose testing.  We are casting our lines out wide to find people who could help with high level introductions to companies that may fit this profile, and who would enhance the overall resort environment, look and enjoyment.  If you have anyone who could help sponsor or you believe your own company would be interested, please drop a notecard to VW Sands or Dumisani Ah at your earliest convenience.

Don´t worry, be happy

They grief, we RIDE!

OK, so we had this awesome surf contest on Sunday the 10th of August and despite an attack on the sim by some bonehead, managed to have WAY to much fun again. Nothing like creating new surf junkies of innocent young avatars 🙂

Thanks everyone for coming out to surf and special thanks to “The Crew” for all your hard work.

Next up is the Boneyard this coming weekend for the SLSA 2008 part II opener on Saturday and then a very special day on Wimbi Island on Sunday 🙂

Paddle hard,

/V