Sunday, July 27, 2008

Electricity, Satellite Dishes and Cell Phones

How electricity, satellite dishes and cell phones are changing Africa.

Eileen can hardly believe I took this photo. Where's the action? The drama? The human beings?

But I wanted to show how quickly some things are changing in Embangweni, Malawi.

Electricity came to Embangweni Mission Hospital in 2001. Satellite dishes were available starting in 2003 and the two big cell towers (you can see only one of them) arrived earlier this year. The improved communications have made a huge difference in the hospital's ability to network with other health care facilities, contact suppliers, donors, locate that ever-elusive diesel fuel.

Junior Nyirongo, Embangweni's whiz computer person, is now figuring out how to connect to the internet through the cell phone network. Expensive but another link to the world at large.

I promise I'll post some more people-oriented photos soon. But couldn't resist this one. Quite a contrast with the photo of a woman being taken home from the hospital in an ox cart.

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