Taking Things for Granted

By: Jack Saint

I just returned from a week in Cameroon, Africa visiting my daughter Michelle, who serves in the US Peace Corps.  She has been helping educate people in French in the jungle in East Cameroon on HIV – how it is transmitted, testing, and for those who contract it, how to fill out all of the paperwork required for medications.  Somewhere around 15% of the population in that country has HIV.

I was struck by the whole culture and how radically different from the US and western world it is.  So many things we take for granted here are rare or not even possible in Cameroon.  Clean water, trash removal, flushing toilets, ice, milk, electricity, Internet access, are but a few.

It all sharply contrasts with what we take for granted in the US.  For example, at Visibility, we offer cloud deployment using Rackspace – a tier 1 hosting partner.  They offer guarantees on uptime and 24x7 availability, have secured data centers with power redundancy and server failovers and remote storage of backups.  Vendors and customers using these cloud providers demand high service commitment levels and we fully expect them to be met.

I wondered how we could even operate in Cameroon.  For example, the power across the country goes down once a day, often for many hours.  And there are no backup systems in place.  Air conditioning is rare/luxury. 

The world is indeed becoming a smaller place.  But parts of the world are still not part of this new world.  It makes you appreciate what we have that much more.

Topics: Community

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