Saturday, October 19, 2013

Check out my website:

Dear Family and Friends!

  I just wanted to let you know that I haven't stopped blogging. In fact, I am blogging more then ever. I recently finished my website and I am currently using its blogging tools to share my adventures. My new website has several new sections. Check it out today!

See you on that side,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Day I Met an Orphan

I didn't know she was an orphan the day I met her. We were both playing with puppies in my friend's yard. Her clothes were dirty, but after living here for several months, I only suspected it was because it was from playing. I was only able to get her name due to my weak Setswana skills at that time. I knew where she lived and that it was a shanty, but there were several family members that lived with her.

It only occurred to me that she was an orphan once I saw her at the school for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). It also didn't hit me until she didn't have food for snack time. The teacher asked the student beside her to share her snack. It hit even harder, when I noticed how she made sure to eat all of her lunch, and even ate some of the left overs of other students.

Apparently there are over 75 orphans and vulnerable children in my village. The preschool that I volunteer at can only take 32 due to laws and regulations. It's not like these children wander the streets at night. They have extended family who take care of them, but often not in the best ways that a parent can take care of their own child. I knew there are orphans in my village, but it really hit home when I saw her.

The only thing I thought about as I walked home was how can I help her and others who are similar situations. I currently help out at the OVC Pre-School, and it encourages me that my community has this resource. Often OVC's start behind in their classes, and have to deal with additional emotional issues that you would hope no child doesn't have to face. 

I am currently working on a Wordpress website for the school. I will post about it once it is finished, and when I do, won't you have a look :D. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things to Consider when Developing an Application for a Developing or Middle Income Country

On December 1, Random Hacks of Kindness in collaboration with the Peace Corps held an event called "Peace Corps Innovation Challenge." Volunteers from around the world submitted ideas and concepts that they felt could improve the lives of people in their community or other volunteers. Ideas and concepts were submitted prior to the event and reviewed by Peace Corps Staff, NGO's, current volunteers, returned volunteers, and technical experts. The best ideas and concepts were submitted to members of Random Hacks of Kindness in order for them to develop the ideas during a hackathon on December 1. 

My alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology, participated in the event. The event was well received and was attended by Sean Herron, a member of NASA’s Open Government team, and Rob Bishop, a developer with the Raspberry Pi Foundation . During December 1, which is also World AIDS Day, I live tweeted some tips to consider when developing an application for third world or middle income countries. I hope those who saw the tips found them helpful. I have listed them below for future programmers:

Things to Consider when Developing an Application for a Developing or Middle Income Country

  1. If your creating an app that stores a lot of data. Make sure it saves often. Electricity may be an issue
  2. Internet Speeds vary within countries. Make sure your app can run with little to no Internet
  3. Remember your users and make sure your app is user friendly
  4. Please consider that getting access to a phone may be easier then a computer.
  5. If your creating an app for a global audience please consider people with disabilities  Note: Section 508 is a good reference concerning Tip 5
  6. Good Documentation can be just as important then the app itself
  7. Make sure English is a national language in that country. If not consider translating some of the texts or providing that option
Learn more about the Peace Corps Innovation Challenge at:

Happy Hacking :D