T-18

May 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm 1 comment

We leave in 18 days! We’ve been pretty busy these past few weeks, between finals, graduation, and OLPCorps, every second is full. We’ve had more OLPC learning seminars (they’re twice weekly), some conference calls with MSP, and a private meeting with our OLPC team mentor, Bryan. We’ve hit a few snags – we’re still having power issues, and we just found out that the Malagasy legislature passed a law keeping the kids in school through mid-July. The latter is not a huge deal; we can use the extra weeks for after-school programs, teacher training, and tech setup (not in that order). The former – hopefully, we’ll find a solution. We’re hoping the school itself will be able to get on the grid to allow for an easy, sustainable charging system, but there’s been some issues on that.

In the mean time, we’re studying Malagasy culture and Malagasy the language (as well as French) and working on specific learning projects. So far, we’ve got a basic outline of a conservation project, but we still need to work on adapting it for the age groups (some of the ideas might be too complex for the 6 year olds we’re working with). We’ll also hopefully have a family project; ancestors and family are very important in Malagasy life, and this project should integrate well.

I’m also following the French Sugar Camp and watching the OLPC Madagascar listserv – it looks like there will be a deployment in Nosy Komba (a small island on the north tip of Mada, about 500 km from us, by Nosy Be) this summer, and potentially one in Réunion and in another village in Mada. We’ve been in contact with a few of these deployments. We’ll also hear from a company about a donation of USB sticks and money designated for internet.

For three of the team members, we’re leaving June 5. We’re doing IAD -> Atlanta -> Joburg -> Nairobi -> KGL for the Kigali workship, then KGL -> NBO -> JNB -> Tana for the deployment. The final team member leaves later in June, and he’s just flying IAD -> ATL -> JNB -> Tana. We get a ton of visas – Kenya requires one for just the airport, and we’re spending two nights (one each way from Kigali) in Joburg. Add that to Tana and Rwanda, and my passport will be a lot fuller than it is now.

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Planning, forever. T-10

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. FOKO Madagascar  |  May 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    What you guys are doing is awesome ! We would love to touch base with you as we are doing work in the same line : citizen media and digital literacy. We are present in five cities in Madagascar already and have been very active in relaying information from the grassroots during this political crisis. One of us is based in Washington DC ! Check us out.

    Reply

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This is the OLPCorps team from GWU and UMD. We'll be deploying 100 laptops to a rural village in Madagascar this summer. Stay updated by subscribing to our feed and checking back regularly. For more information on what we're doing, use the tabs above!
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