Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Connecting Eenhana

Hi Ya;ll,

So a while back (last year) I blogged about the connecting Eenhana project. Well we are it again.

We have been in Eenhana since Yesterday (29 March 2016) setting up and doing maintenance on the remaining nodes. I must say by the end of the day, we had accomplished a lot. Firstly, we conducted some Basic Networks Workshop with; Active Youths from the Eenhana Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre, personnel from the Vocational Training Centre, Ohangwena Community Radio Station, Community members, etc.

This was a welcomed sight for me as it gave me the chance to stand in-front of a different audience to give a lecture on Networks; a subject matter that I enjoy!

Unbeknownst to me, we had to give the workshop in Oshiwambo (which is most spoken indigenous language in Namibia) and English. The last time somebody asked me to explain anything Technology related in Oshiwambo was years back in my undergrad when my grandma (I suspect being pushed my DAD) queried what I was studying at University. The answer to that question was something in the lines of "Ohandiilongele ounongononi wokulonga noi topatopifo, oshoyo nyee ee Computer handilongifwa kovanhu no nghee hatudulu oku puupaleka elongifo lado" (which roughly translates to "I am studying the science of computer and how they are used by people and how to best make them easier for people to use efficiently")  NB: Note the roughly translates! To this my grandma replied "kandeshi [girls name] naye osho tiilongele osho, hapo yee okuli kokakoligi keemwedi nee, omolwashike ovo tolilongele eedula adishe odo?" translated roughly "Kandeshi [who is my grandma's neighbours daughter's niece-in-law] is also studying the same thing but a college and she will only be there for 4 months, why do you have to study for so long?"; this is the point I knew dad had something to do with this line of questions from grandma, because according to him (then) I was wasting time and when I am done playing around with computers, I should let him know so I can go study something of real value i.e. Medicine, Engineering, Education or even become a pastor (This is because during dad's time these were the fields considered real fields that result in rewarding careers).

In any case, don't mind the side soap episode, we conducted the workshops in both languages, I was the first to go, giving a class on Basic Networks, starting all the way from Data, Information, Data Communication Systems, Data Representation, Categories of Computer Networks, Standards in Computer Networks (we have a laugh about this as I made the reference to how we are raised in the Northern regions to always greet everyone we pass EVEN strangers!). Another example (activity) that lifted spirits was when we played the whisper and pass the message on game, to illustrate why one of the characteristics of networks is Accuracy BTW: By the time the message reached the final person, it had done a complete 180 degree! :D 

The sessions that followed were led by Sebulon David who is from the Glowdom Foundation a local NGO that aims to use ICTs for involving the local Eenhana community at large and those "towns" and villages around. He gave his presentation on a deeper level to networks (on a basic level), about IP addresses etc.

But I think the best part of the day was when Shetu Sheetekela, a final year Computer Science and Mathematics student at the University of Namibia (UNAM), gave a Basic Networks Configuration practical workshop session. Armed with the theory from the morning session, the participants, setup a peer-to-peer network to share music, folders, and other files. After a successful peer-to-peer practical, Shetu and Manfred Makawa (an Alumni of the School of Computing at UNAM [Well he will graduate later in April so technically he is still a student :D :D :D but don't tell him I said that :D]), setup one of the Nano Stations and then connected about 3 - 4 laptops to show how the same setup as on peer-peer topologies can be used for when there are multiple peers and even wirelessly. This had the participants wanting for more, so some of them took control of the laptops to see how this actually works. This was followed by so many inquisitive questions about networks, how they improve our lives and how exactly that setup was done.

In the background, Manfred, Anastasia Shipepe (Who is my colleague at the School of Computing), Astofel Henok (An Employee of the TATE Institute of Technology), Sebulon and myself did some Administrative work in the background. Also preparing for the next day, I guess technically that would be today. We unmounted some of the existing Nano Stations and Mesh Potatoes to reconfigure those that were not working optimally. By the way, we just finished doing that! yay Team!

Overall, I would say that we went over the expectations I had for YESTERDAY, TODAY, will be more technical work on how to setup nodes and how to troubleshoot them, additionally, DNS server configurations will also be part and parcel of the day, if we have enough time we could start on Basic Web Development with Annastasia.

Tomorrow should see another blissful day of collaboration, innovation and technology!