Today brought me to the UNICEF/Lilongwe server farm/cage. I'll post a picture later.
Here I inspected the source of all that is good and holy in the Lilongwe RapidSMS project - the RapidSMS server.
This is the hardware system: One computer, 2 serial modems with serial to usb adaptors. There are 4 usb ports total so we can add 2 additional modems out of the box, without adding a usb hub.
There are some questions that we are asking about RapidSMS implementation. RapidSMS is going to support 2 different projects in Malawi, a Malnutrition project and a mother child HIV/AIDS project. I dont think these should run under the same rapidsms instance, but has anyone tried running 2 rapidsms projects at the same time,on the same port.... I've done this with Django - but media temple did all the heavy lifting.
I still need to do some more work planning the barcamp. My goal is to work on a RapidSMS based twitter app. Similar to the Naijapulse - Nigerian Twitter. I'm planning two barcamps here. My UNICEF collegue Sean suggested that I communicate with MobileActive and do some sort of NY-Mzuzu remote barcamp. I dont know if Malawi has the bandwidth for it.
Today I was also thinking of marriage. Is marriage a raw deal for women in developing countries?
I am a liberated western woman married to a liberated eastern man - and I think our marriage has advantages - FOR ME. My husband and I share work, pool income, share expenses, provide support - and my husband cooks delicious food for me and begrudgingly picks up my socks which I hide around the apartment. I'm trying to figure out what he gets out of the relationship, but I digress.
Professionally, as a working woman, I think some men find it easier to work with married women. Pehaps marriage seems to confirm a certain level of maturity or perhaps acceptability. I dont know, I have not conducted a scientific study, but I have experienced different treatment pre marriage vs post marriage.
Marriage is such a hot topic in the United States. People want the ability to get married (gay rights), there are tons of dating sites dedicated to finding the right match, and there is certain social pressure to be married if everyone in your social circle is married. When we go into the third world we assume these same circumstances exist.
DO NOT BE FOOLED, I think marriage is a raw deal for women in developing countries. Today I got a lift to the main UNICEF headquarters from a woman named Lindsay. I dont know her age, but she has 5 children, works a full time job, and her husband lives in a different city (Blantyre) 5 hours away. She is a no nonsense woman - we did share some laughs though. Lindsay has no time for nonsense, raising 5 children by herself. What has marriage given her - 5 kids, a full time job, and an absent husband.
Did she choose to get married? How old was she? Was it an arranged marriage? The woman that runs the front desk at my hotel signs her email with Mrs. Is this empowering or enslaving?
Marriage rights in the US, but lets also have Singles rights around the world.
The NYTimes - amazingly enough since I am really down on the nytimes - ran a great magazine issue on woman's rights in the third world. I recommend it.