iSTEP Tanzania

It’s been an adventure.

Posted on: June 19, 2009

So as Emily mentioned, Pittsburgh got hit with a bit of a storm Wednesday night. I received the pleasure of finding a tree torn down and laying in the road on my way home from dinner and Thursday morning learning that the key fob for my building was malfunctioning so I had no means of entering the building should I wish to leave. Further Thursday morning we were informed as Emily mentioned that Newell-Simon was flooding, we happen to be working in the lab on A level so there was a bit of fear about the equipment we’ve left in the lab but were later informed that only the power was out.

While last week I learned how to adapt when giving a presentation, Thursday I learned how to adapt when your office is being torn apart and you have deadlines. We don’t have the luxury of being able to delay progress on the projects as we only have 10 weeks to accomplish our goals and the team in Tanzania is not restricted by such stipulations. It did limit the amount of work I was able to do however as a lot of my equipment was still in the office. I also tried to access CMU’s library so that I could attempt to research ICTD projects to get some sort of perspective on other projects that have been tried in these areas but the VPN was also down. Needless to say, Thursday was a little bit frustrating as the papers accessible by Google are much smaller than the papers accessible by CMU.

Friday we were let back into Newell-Simon and while walking down the hall I found that the sink in the kitchen had begun flooding black water all over the floor.

It’s been an adventure.

Luckily this doesn’t stop our progress today. I was able to retrieve my Braille Tutor and save it from whatever further mayhem this weekend may bring and have been isolating the areas to change when we translate it to Swahili. The biggest part has been preparing for the project to streamline the input of forms for social workers in Tanzania. I’ve been working with Dan to collect a set of tools to consider for the project. We’ve looked at Kannel, EpiHandy, EpiSurveyor, FrontlineSMS, amongst countless others. Luckily I think we’re getting close to demo-ready for the project which will go a long ways to see just what is workable in the long term. The next few weeks are going to be a wealth of getting feedback and reacting. It’s scary but also exciting as I’m not sure how my days could get more dynamic at this point.

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1 Response to "It’s been an adventure."

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming (Finding Nemo) 😛

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