Sunday, May 10, 2009


All members going to Sao Tome have been planning since mid February. There are several groups and initiatives going including my OLPC group, a GIS group, and a community networking group.

The GIS group is led by a professor at the University of Illinois and their objective, as I understand it, is to start the framework of a map database for the government to use as they see fit. This could include mapping school routes, mapping distances to hospitals, mapping pot holes, etc. One member will be with the OLPC deployment and two others will arrive in late July and stay until mid August.

The final group, the community networking group, is led by a second professor at the University, Martin Wolske. This group is comprised of 1 student and the professor and this is a class offered at the University. The class will do projects in East St. Louis and all class members are offered the trip to Sao Tome, however funding is on their own. Their objectives on island will be to setup computer labs, train teachers how to use computers at the teachers college on island, and repair existing labs.

All groups meet every Wednesday to discuss issues that pertain to all: culture, geography, emergency procedures, etc. The scariest conversation was the one where we went over what do we do if STP (Sao Tome e Principe) is attacked by another country or if there is a military coup. To clarify, we DO NOT expect to ever use these procedures but better safe than sorry. Below is a picture of us listening to Paul tell us about the various locations of different things.

Left to Right: Corey (OLPC), Sarah (GIS), Danielle (OLPC, GIS), Daemon (CN), Paul (CN/Advisor)

On Mondays the OLPC group meets with Paul and Martin to plan different parts of the deployment: equipment, lesson plans, etc. I have been researching the various infrastructure needs and concerns over the past few weeks. We are trying to bring printers and flash drives with us to deploy and we will need routers to distribute wireless internet access.

We are putting a lot of thought into everything we do and it has been very stressful for me as I am detail oriented and I like to know every last bit of information. I'm working hard not to worry.

-XO Mike

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