Thursday, September 10, 2009

Travel to Africa

Here at the office, putting some final touches to the malnutrition application. This weekend I will integrating data from the existing rapidSMS system, and some more data munging with the historical data so all data will conform to my new data model.

I built a kind of insane layout/flow manager that I think should be autogenerated at runtime to import the apps in the rapidsms.ini. It needs a bit reengineering, but I think the foundation is solid.

There is trade off between realtime calculations and storing the calulations in a database table, (data storages vs. speed and ease of programming). As a result I am storing patient status and boolean values for various levels of malnutrition (MAM, SAM, SAM+). This makes my job easier when generating reports because I dont have to calculate these values I just have to pull them from a db.

The excel download functionality is partially wonky,and should probably be converted to a jQuery/Javascript function. That way, you load the data in your page once - and via js - you both display the data and download it as excel. I think the javascript classes for rapidsms probably need to be built out a bit.

Next week I train the ministry of health in the system and supposedly go to Mzuzu where I will be holding workshops. I hope to have a workshop also next friday at Baobab before I go to the airport! Yes I am leaving in one week. I love it here, but I miss home - and i am sort of sick of trying to tune out the myriad coackroaches and malaria carrying mosquitoes that cohabitate with me. Also, I am running over budget - basically my budget did not take into account wifi and food.
I could probably have spent less money on accomidations if I was able to find a houes to share, but I think there were less people in Lilongwe this year due to NGO cutbacks. Also I think I was sort of limited in my living arrangement, because I dont have a car.

Anyway, when you go to africa here are somethings you should bring:

CASH! - you have to pay 16% sur charge if you use credit (including for hotel rooms)
soldering iron
wirestrippers/allegator clips
extra power adapters
extra soap (dr bonners)
gnu bars/seitan strips/little bitsize pieces of chocolate (i lov choklat)
extra clothing/shoes/old electronics - you can barter with these at the market
malarone - pay extra
ditch the adapters and use usb power when possible
usb harddrive - I use this A LOT
dont worry about wearing long sleeve shirts/long pants - no matter what the mosquitoes will get you

i have not used my candle, my water uv disinfectant, my rope
i did bring a sleeping bag - which I use - if my hotel room seems nasty.

i have my kindle - and i've had no problems

Free Jazz

i've been listening to lots of Don Cherry thanks to Chris Barker - it turns even the most delapidated hotelroom into a hep nite spot

1 comment:

  1. "i lov choklat"

    this is the best sentence I have read in months.