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Cellphones Leapfrog Poor Infrastructure in Mali 102

Hugh Pickens writes "CBC News has up an article by Peace Corps volunteer Heidi Vogt, a woman who served in the small village of Gono in Mali five years ago and remembers letters dictated and hand-carried by donkey cart or bicycle to the next town. Vogt recently returned to see the changes that cellphone communications have made in a village that still doesn't have electricity or decent drinking water. 'Gono's elders say the phones can keep them in touch with their village diaspora,' writes Vogt. 'Villagers depend on far-off relatives to send money in time of crisis — if someone is sick, if a house has caught fire, if there's been too little or too much rain and the harvest is poor. There's a new sense of connection to a larger world. In a village where most people can't read or write, they can now communicate directly with far-off relatives.'"

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