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Last day in Nigeria! A short summary

Today is my last day in Nigeria. I hop in a car in a couple hours and head off to visit the university in Akure, and then I will be driving to Lagos to catch a plane home.

My students are pictured above. We covered a great deal of material this week. They learned about the PostgreSQL project, basic database administration, how to develop a schema from forms and application requirements, how to write procedural code inside the database, and how to use the pgAdmin and psql interfaces.

I learned about how many of the officials and IT workers I met (both in the class and outside of it), had worked very hard on the court case that led to the change in government in Ondo State three months ago. There had been systematic election fraud, and they were able to prove it in court using some clever IT and forensic analysis work. The members of SITEDEC believe very strongly in the importance of IT in increasing government accountability and transparency, a belief re-affirmed by their recent successes.

I'm looking forward to hearing about how the work progresses on their census and voter registration databases. Of course, I want to come back to Nigeria. It's a beautiful country, and I didn't have nearly enough time here to appreciate it.

19 comments:

thebard's_paramour said...

Thank you, Selena, for reaching out with both arms to pull two pieces of the world together, so that the entire rest of the world benefits.

You, the IT pros in Nigeria, and the story is totally amazing.

Hope you have plans to share it on a national or - better yet - international level by writing some extensive stories or a book.

dapxin said...

It's a beautiful country, and I didn't have nearly enough time here to appreciate it.
--------------
gbam!
reason they say, those who know dont talk/ those who talk dont a know a thing...thx for knowing and saying.
nJoy.

Bruce Momjian said...

PostgreSQL has very few volunteers in central Africa so I am hopeful your visit will improve our coverage in that area. Thanks.

manly_chicken said...

I'm also from the US, and just spent a week in Ethiopia. I felt the same about Ethiopia...a beautiful country (geographically and culturally), and I would love to have spent a lot more time there soaking in the experience.

Anonymous said...

From the pictures it is obvious the Selena got an all expenses paid vacation to Ondo State.
She spent 70% of her time at Parties and Site Seeing. Sure the guys that invited her got mileage from showing of their "White Expert". What did the (TAXPAYERS) People of the State benefit from the $200,000 that was spent in bringing Selena to Ondo State for 7 days ???? .

Africa.... we are doomed.....


Ondo State Insider....

Jon Jensen said...

Yeah, without video footage of every moment Selena was instructing on PostgreSQL, we should assume it never happened. She's such a clever thief!

Adebayo Olurotimi Adesina (Utah) said...

Jon that is my point. Selena as a "EXPERT" should have more pictures of this EXPENSIVE training. Better yet a Video. This will boost her "training profile". She seem more of a TOURIST than a TRAINER.
Considering the "BAD ROADS" and Logistics issues of getting Selena from "Party A" to "Site Seeing Location B", I am sure she never had time to really "TRAIN" anyone.

Lastly what was the Professional Background of her Students....are they the type that can RETAIN such TRAININGS and use it effectively.

Selena I am referring you and your company to the FBI for further investigation on Money laundering and more....

Selena Deckelmann said...

Mr. Adesina,

Thanks for bringing up legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of the trainings. We did not take video, but I am writing a full report on the training which the government of Ondo State will have by next Friday. The students were qualified - half were systems administrators who will be working with the installation and configuration of Postgres, the others were web and application developers who I trained on integrating Postgres with their applications.

As to the cost, this training was funded by the UNDP, and was not anywhere close to costing $200k. If you want to know theexact cost, i can put you in touch with my colleagues at SITEDEC. The taxpayers of Ondo State did not fund trips to parties - colleagues drove me in private vehicles.

As it turns out, I am not a journalist, just a programmer and trainer. I'm sorry that my travellogue came across as frivolous. I worked every day I was there - through the weekend and past midnight every night to find answers to questions and to use my contacts at both Microsoft and in the open source world to get complete information about many diverse tehnology questions that were asked during my stay.

In any case I would be happy to discuss more details about the training via email. Your accusations sadden me.

-Selena

thebard's_paramour said...

Dear Anonymous,

I *am* a journalist, retired from that work due to disability. I am also a retired technical writer, specializing in IT.

Selena wrote a blog about her work. She did a great job communicating about what she did, what she hoped to accomplish, and what her barriers were, and what she did actually accomplish. You want video? donate a camera and crew, because her first obligation was to train, not entertain. With limited funding and other resources - such as a cameraman to record while she worked - she provided the world, and especially her IT colleges interested in providing similar aide, a great snapshot.


My god. IS this woman who is so well spoken a geek? I believe others from many disciplines will be able to find this post, and leverage her experience.

And until Anonymous gets off his|her dead ass, leaves all other works | projects | efforts behind to devote themselves to the betterment of others, he |she can put up or shut up.

Just because Selena is *so* good at what she does that someone was willing to pay her to do it... well... if only the world had *more * of those ppl, and more funds to support them.

You want to change the world for the better Anonymous? Follow Selena's lead. Looks like you could use the life skills.

Adebayo Olurotimi Adesina (Utah) said...

Well, Well Selena. You know our "corrupt people" have used the "White Men" to Rape and Steal our Resources. So next time you go to Nigeria for Training.....Please make sure you show More Pictures of the training ....not all those TOURIST Pictures and PARTY pictures you had on your Sites. I wonder what was taught in 7 days and the value of such trainings.
Fact is did you actually see any applications developed ???. Or was it that you were training a "bunch of Civil Servants".
Well Fact is that u had over 50 pictures of you at PARTIES and HILL SIDES and just one PICTURE of your TRAINING.

We the Ondo State People of UTAH USA are watching your every move and we have already petitioned the Governor of the State to explain why they could not get a local PostGres expert to do the training.

And those colleagues that drove you to PARTIES and HILLS should have made sure you spent 90% of your Time in Class doing what you actually came to do .....which is TRAINING. They were supposed to MILK you for every ounce of Training Energy you had.

I expect to see more training pictures....if you have them....put them up....am tired of seeing white folks smiling and Dining in my country while my people are dying of Hunger and poverty.

Am done !!!!

Adebayo Olurotimi Adesina (Utah) said...

Mr thebard's_paramour , please please you need to SHUT UP. That is the problem with these Foreigners....they think because they have a "cosy and protected" life they can just get up and TALK.

The State Government has over 30 Crews of Camera men. Selena's Colleagues (the guys that drove her to Fancy place in private cars) have video cameras and they could have done recordings for her or taken pictures during training.

Selena could have even put the training POWER POINT Slides on this Blogs....so we can enjoy the concept and content of the training.

We too in UTAH are IT EXPERTS....and we are Pissed !!!!.

Are you telling me there are no PostGres Experts in Nigeria....in West Africa.... in Africa as a continent ???.

Come on dude....please be QUIET... I have had enough of you "blood Suckers".....

Selena went to PARTY in Ondo State and you call it TRAINING.

thebard's_paramour said...

Dear Mr. Adesina or Anonymous, or whoever(s) you are,

I looked closely at the pics of Selena, and I am not sure of her race. How can you be? BTW, the leader of the USA (including Utah)... he's of African descent.

It is often the case that people who travel the first time, for a short time, to help with their specialized areas feel moved to commit to lengthier stays later. You seem to be aware of that trend, as you do refer to the possibility of her return.

You have *no idea* what pics or materials are in the possession of the author. That is part of living in a free society; living in Utah, I must assume you know this.

Perhaps it would be more reasonable to ask, "Selena, is there more material you could share? Is there any way I could help you or others with more extensive documentation, should there be more efforts around such training?"

Problem solved. But then, you wouldn't have any platform from which to spew your war mongering. Or draw attention to yourself through unsupported accusations.

Your inconsistency with accusations - flipping from accusing the author of doing nothing to having been worked to the bone to keep the aggression alive - leaves me wondering what's your issue- Ugly American, or Oppressed Worker? I think it's neither.

Your bitter race hatred, attempt to intimate by false accusations and veiled threats, and assumptions of the project and the author's motives and activities are an embarrassment to yourself, your friends, and your nation.

PLS post a link to your self-proclaimed group, Ondo State People of UTAH USA.

And BTW - your statement of "watching your every move" is often considered a threat by the USA feds, not the other way round, such as well-documented funding.

While I am sure the author might experience throwing up a little in her mouth in disgust over your divisive and logically unsound rant, I do hope that is the worst of it. That she can laugh your posturing behavior off as an unbalanced mind, and go forward with all confidence and satisfaction of a job well done.

And that some kindly government official will send you a nice letter suggesting where citizenship classes are held. Or, if you are a visitor or alien worker, where you can find a brochure attesting to the rights of others, while you are in the United States of America, Sir.

Get up and go train folks yourself, if you don't like what you see. You can apply for funds just as well as the author.

Stop trying to screw with the minds of effective people. That is a sure road to FAIL. It doesn't fly here or anywhere else.

Adebayo Olurotimi Adesina (Utah) said...

Ranting of an Ant.....

It is people like you that got America into this Recession.

Damn !!!!

Mark Johnson said...

I'm pretty sure we're also responsible for swine flu, the spread of fascism in Eastern Europe, and the extinction impact at the KT boundary. Wait until you see what we come up with next!

Selena Deckelmann said...

Ok, everyone. Please direct your comments to me, and the content of the blog entry.

Further attacks on each other or me will be documented, and then deleted.

We're getting pretty far from talking about experiences, or making factual claims. Let's get back on track.

KS Chin said...

Hi Selena, this is Chin. We met at Akure. I hope you had a good trip back. I am quite amused at the firestorm over a rather interesting post. I am sure my blog about our stay there is going to get the same roasting except I am not a "White Man". I think people miss the point. Those serious stuff such as the training, results, discussions are not meant for public consumption. Its between the customer and the trainer. Anyway for the short period I was there, I must say I noted very strong resentment against "the west" there under the surface. No need to go into that now. Cheers.

dapxin said...

resentment to the west, is mostly from the uninformed class here.

mind you, its -to a degree- justified due to the duplicity of d west.

what I find appalling though,is the idea that because Selena posts a couple post training shots, someone -who should be more thoughtful- reads off corruption.

Some people needs to clean up their habit...

Log Buffer said...

"Selena Deckelmann has posted a short summary with some nice pics, of her last day in Nigeria, where she has been giving some PostgreSQL training. [...]"

Log Buffer #154

OLUSEGUN OSUNLA said...

Your Critics are liar misleading people, I was one if the students, we had enough training while she was around even we were over tasked because of her short-schedule.

The group you are seeing on the pix posted trained by Mrs Selena. We are stake holders when it comes to development in the state.

To be more direct we take pictures at the end of classes (I am the one who held a camera in the picture)

Mr. from UTAH let us know you what are your Landmarks in computing. May be you ranting of not been patronized on the subject you knew nothing about