Photos: Life in the Geekcorps
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After seven years as a paratrooper for the Canadian military, Ian Howard (right) became Geekcorps project manager in Mali. The organization built several radio stations/Internet stations in the country.
In the middle of nowhere in Mali, Wi-Fi. The laptop connects to an antenna, which then connects to the outside world through a cantenna.
Fine-tuning the radio tower.
A cantenna. While many are assembled out of plastic water bottles, old coffee cans work too. Other parts consist of inner tube values and wire mesh.
A typical radio station setup in a remote village in Mali. These stations, however, are creating businesses out of charging people to send messages and broadcasting weddings. Likewise, villagers save bone-jarring bus trips to communicate.
Because the electrical grid is almost nonexistent in many rural areas in Africa, solar power is a necessity.
Building a station starts out with computer training. Here, Geekcorps volunteers teach some underlying fundamentals. Many of the initial students will run the stations and form businesses later.