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The past 30 days in technology for development

Project Infrastructure and Environment

OLPC recently posed some questions about the infrastructure and environment of our project and asked us to post our responses to our blog. Here is the information, mostly describing the schools that we are working in:

Mike and I at Ned's about to jump/ climb in the ocean.

Mike and I at Ned's about to jump/ climb in the ocean.

Mike and I with members of the University of Indiana team

Mike and I with members of the University of Indiana team

The group at the beach with the One Laptop Per Child logo drawn

The group at the beach with the One Laptop Per Child logo drawn on the sand

Back on Track...Kindof

6/29/2009Chill day.... We all woke up and went to the beach. I didn't really feel like swimming again so I just went in to Omali Lodge and hung out and got up to date on news. After that, we went out to lunch and then went home. Later on, Ashley, Danielle and Corey gave a XO lesson to two kids as a trial run. It went pretty well. A pretty non eventful day.6/30/2009

A Day in the Life #2

June 31, 20096:50am- Wake up, get ready for the day.7:15am- Pack the car with fully charged laptops, plug in laptops that have a low battery so that they can charge while we are at our morning camp session- we did not have time to charge enough laptops to last us the whole day last night, so we will have to make a stop back at Thusanang after our first session to pick up the laptops that we plug in now. (The laptop batteries last for about 3 hours, and we hold 6 hours of camp, so we can’t use the same laptops all day.)

Morning Coffee - 1 July 2009

Starting 5
Top Story: 


The UN General Assembly voted unanimously yesterday to condemn last weekend's military coup in Honduras. The resolution called upon Honduras to restore democratically-elected president Mel Zelaya to power. The military's pretext for removing Mr. Zelaya was that he planned to hold a non-binding referendum on exploring the end of term limits. Like the U.S. and Mexico, Honduras uses term limits to check executive power.

Honduran President at the UN: "the blood of Jesus Christ will protect me."

A clip of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya at the United Nations yesterday afternoon.  He is due in Washington, D.C. today. 

Seeking a Ray of Sunshine

"No ray of sunshine is ever lost but the green that it awakens to life needs time to sprout,and it is not always givento the sower to live to see the harvest.All work worth anything is done by faith."-Albert SchweitzerAfter reading an article describing the urgent need for physicians in the French Congo, Albert Scheitzer, at age 30,  told his family that he wanted to study medicine in order to become a physician for those suffering in Africa.

Not out of hot water yet, Bashir

As if being indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity was just a lukewarm bath...But prosecutors are going to go for the full boil -- a charge of genocide -- again, as the ICC will re-hear evidence for the crime that it declined back in its original March ruling.

Twitter Chat on Mobile Tech for Social Change

The next installment of the monthly Twitter-based #SocEntChat (short for Social Entrepreneurship Chat) conversations is happening on Wednesday, July 1, from 4-6pm US EDT (GMT-4), and is focusing on mobile innovation. Taking place a week after a “Cell Phone Technology for Social Good” event in Nairobi co-hosted by Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation the discussion will explore the opportunities and possibilities of mobile technologies to bring about change.

Development in Africa

Some interesting observations that I've made (obviously from a western perspective) about Senegal:The entire place shuts down from 1pm to 3pm. Without exception, people take a 2 hour long lunch break. It's really hard to do anything when there's no air conditioning and the humidity is like 70-80%.

Snip-its of life in Kampala

A few quick anecdotes of some daily occurances:
-today, despite it being the dry season, it decided to pour and pour, which was also when we originally decided to go to the internet. Which meant that my white skirt was a) now a nice brown tinge from the dust and b) completely and totally see through, down to my lime green poka dotted underwear. classy.

U.S. troops may be leaving Iraqi cities...

...but the UN is staying. Almost 500 international personnel (and again that many Iraqis) work for the UN in Iraq, maintaining a key presence in cities like Baghdad, Mosul, and Kirkuk. And as pretty much everyone acknowledges, what's most important for the country in the coming months is national dialogue, political reconciliation, and regional cooperation -- the very areas where the neutral brokers wearing the blue berets are taking the lead.

Tim Wirth: Where's the Natural Gas?

UN Foundation President Senator Tim Wirth laments that there is little in the recently-passed Waxman-Markey climate change legislation to encourage the natural gas industry.   In the video below, Wirth explains how natural gas can be a bridge between carbon intense energy, like coal, and renewables.  

Photos: Of Students By Students

Although we haven't "formally" met any of the students, we are around and so are they. We also have fun green toys in our hands that most students are curious about. Yesterday we busted out a few extra computers and they were off. At the same time one student found my camera and a few others found James' juggling sticks. It was one big XO / Photography / Juggling party at the school. Here are some of the photos they took:

Might the U.S. contribute more personnel to UN peacekeeping missions?

U.S. Permanent Representative Susan Rice suggested as much, in a statement during a Security Council debate on peacekeeping yesterday:

Highlight: Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Joseph Adelegan

Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Joseph Adelegan (Nigeria) is developing a commercially viable product that converts cow excrement into cooking gas.  The biodigester product, named "Cows to Kilowatts," offers farmers access to cheap energy while reducing river and groundwater contamination.  Take a look at his interview on CNN:

Embedded video from <a href="" mce_href="">CNN Video</a>

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