Monthly Archives: February 2010

Apologies Ahead of Time

I am writing to apologize ahead of time if I don’t get a chance to blog much this week. The end of this week is the launch of the Rural Internet Kiosk, and as a result, myself an all others on the Voices of Africa team are in crunchtime mode, trying to wrap up invitations, programs, food, and for me in particular, entering about 30,000 survey data points into a spreadsheet as well as writing up a little speech. Most likely there will come times when I just need a break though, so hopefully I will still get off a few blog articles. I still think sometimes I am not really in Peace Corps though. Spreadsheets? Internet Kiosks? What the heck is all of this?

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Funny things british people say #1

We all know that to americans british people sound quaint and to british people, americans sound uneducated. Or at least that has always been my impression of the situation. Obviously sitting on one side of this cross-pond friendly cultural stereotype contest, and supplied with a seemingly endless supply of local content (in the form of british volunteers) i now present you with a new short-entry series: funny things british people say. The first is slightly contectual but still very british. From my friend helen:

“When you get a chance you should try roast parsnip.”

Turns out parsnip is like english turnip but not quite. Of course anything of this sort shared while living in kenya is quite comical even without coming from a brit. Gourmet cooking? Right, I will Gdt right on it.

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Where I Was and What I Was Doing

I know, I know, not a lot of updates this week. Sorry, but it’s been busy and so I thought I would provide you with a nice recap of everything that I did this week, because there are a couple good stories in there.

First things first, I was in Nairobi from Sunday to Wednesday for a Peace Corps assignment. It all started a few months ago when I was asked by PC/Kenya office staff (i.e. my bosses) to write up an assessment of one of the tools Volunteers have access to in the field: an implementation of Microsoft Sharepoint knowledge sharing tool used for sharing documents within the Peace Corps Kenya community of volunteers and staff. For many reasons that I will not get into here this implementation just does not suit our volunteer needs and the staff wanted to know why. Turns out we aren’t the only post suffering from this fate and apparently my comments got forwarded onto Washington and Peace Corps Kenya called me and the other ICT volunteers in to talk with Washington about why this program is not fulfilling our needs.

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I Have A Dream

I have a dream that one day I will have a computer running a dedicated web server based on Ubuntu Server 10.04. It will be stable, reliable, trusty, with lots of hard drive space.

I have a dream that one day I will have a rock-solid apache server running such platforms as video streaming, local blogging, file storage and editing, all free and open source.

I have a dream that one day my students will watch downloaded NASA TV videos, streams of BBC Planet Earth and Blue Planet, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, not just soap operas.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day my teachers will use software such as Moodle to digitize curricula: grades will be posted on-line, students will receive updates and messages without needing to find non-existent time in their schedule to ask their teachers outside of class.

I have a dream that one day, my students will be able to access downloaded versions of Wikipedia, read e-book versions of novels in the public domain; teachers will read the latest journal articles to keep current with their trades and continually improve themselves.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day my students and teachers will compete against one another in networked games, improving hand-eye coordination and student-teacher relationships at the same time.

I have a dream that that one day the NYSTC Computer Lab will become a hub of asynchronous learning, self improvement, entertainment and fun.

I have a dream that one day I will have a counterpart at NYS: an individual educated in computers and interested in their application for the enhancement of learning; an individual willing to learn the ways of Open Source, Software Libre and Linux; networking and system administration; an individual willing to take over the reigns of the lab from me, as I am leaving in but a year.

I have a dream today.

…since when did I dream?

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Ugali & Milk #2

Going to be busy Saturday in town, and Sunday I am traveling to Nairobi for an ICT-related conference with the big boys in Washington, so here is the second Ugali & Milk for all your weekend reading pleasure. As before, click the comic for the full size.

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Necessary Skills For Peace Corps ICT Volunteers

At the request of a reader, here is an entry regarding what I think the, “ideal,” (reading: not me) Peace Corps ICT volunteer should bring in terms of skills. Like all Peace Corps volunteer skill-sets, this isn’t very specific so I am going to be annoyingly general and slightly subjective as I have my own opinions regarding ICT and development that I wish to see people implementing. Also, these are based only on my knowledge as an ICT volunteer working specifically in Kenya and each Peace Corps country is run independent of one another so different countries may call for completely different skills.

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Kiswahili-isms: Famous Quotes

For giggles I thought I would go ahead and try my hand at translating some quotes in English into Kiswahili. Enjoy!

“Sema kwa upole na beba fimbo kubwa.”
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” -Teddy Roosevelt
“Kuwa ugeuzi unayotaka kuona duniani.”
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Ghandi
“Nawaza kwahivyo nawa.”
“I think therefore I am.” -Renee Descartes
“Siku ishika.”
“Seize the day.” -Horace
“Hakuna mahali kama nyumbani.”
“There’s no place like home.” -Dorothy

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