Shirley Fung\’s Blog

Her journey to make change in the world

Oh sh*t, it’s Friday June 29, 2007

Filed under: Before the Trip,Boston — Shirley @ 7:02 pm

Well this week has been jammed packed with things to do! I am so excited and happy :) I have got a great family, and a bunch of wonderful friends who are helping me to get ready for this trip (thanks to those who let me borrow stuff for the trip!). Everyone is sending me off like I am never going to come back! (I will come back, I promise!) I’ll miss being away from Boston, despite the fact that I don’t like Boston much.

On the fellowship front: I have contacted a few vendors and sent more emails out to everyone. I have to get the laptop ready with all the documents this weekend, so that everything is ready when I need it (hopefully my documents from my PC will look right on a mac). I found out that the Apple laptop AC adapters work for 100~240v!!! Can you believe that? I thought I’d need a voltage converter – but Apple designers already took care of that! Way to go, Apple!

Besides getting ready, I am working on a second document (in addition to “How to Make a Web Site at an Internet Cafe”), and this one is to summarize some basic marketing and business tips! I’ll have to post it soon. I revised the ebooklet this week, and took 1/2 the content and made it into a caffeinated version of “How to Make a Web Site at an Internet Cafe.” That will be posted soon as well. So much writing and documenting!

I can’t help but post a short blurb about something I have been working on with my thesis project. I am trying to add the functionality where charts and graphs can be dynamically generated based on user input. I am using CakePHP, and found this really neat tutorial by Chris Hartjes that shows you how to integrate PHP/SWF Charts library to a CakePHP application! It took an afternoon to get it working, ‘cos I was stupid and forgot an important line of code. But it works now!

It’s time to get back to work :)


Oh, it’s Wednesday already? June 27, 2007

Filed under: Before the Trip,Boston — Shirley @ 2:16 pm

Time is flying by when I am getting work done. I spent a ton of time going through the guide I made, to think about what screen shots makes the most sense to put on the guide – and also trying to decide on how to condense this guide to make it as small as possible, without leaving out the important stuff! I hope to finish that up tonight – so that I can spend some time packing, and making a list of things I need to buy :) Luckily, Alison Hynd and Amy Smith had come up with a very detailed list of things to bring, so I should be all set packing for things.

Alright, it’s time to get back to work :)


What an exciting week! June 26, 2007

Filed under: Before the Trip,Boston — Shirley @ 1:55 am

Last week was eventful :) I worked way overtime for all of my projects, and a ton got done, so I feel very happy (yes, work makes me happy).

On June 19-22nd, the Lemelson-MIT Program, where I intern at, held a capstone event–InvenTeams Odyssey–where high school students from all over the U.S. came to MIT to present their team inventions. I was really busy last week, trying to get ready for this Africa trip and all, but I was only able to attend the showcase on Thursday, and met some of the InvenTeams students that presented. I had set up a blog for students to post their first hand experiences, check it out here: InvenTeams Blog

I was so impressed by many of the projects that I saw at the showcase. Because of my work with the summer fellowship for developing countries and also mobility aids, I was very interested in seeing projects that were related to my work.

Now that I have recently graduated from MIT, I realized I was in high school over 4 years ago! I wished that I had done something cool when I was their age, but I guess it is never too late for me to start a project for international development, right?

Besides the InvenTeams Odyssey, I spent the majority of my time either working on my thesis, or working on the e-booklet–“How to Make a Web Site at an Internet Cafe“. It is about 20 pages right now, so this week, I am working on a caffeinated version of it :) I also published the content on a Web site ( I still have to put more screen shots up there, so that those who don’t know English can also use the short version of the guide.

Alright, it’s time to go back to work!


Hello world! June 18, 2007

Filed under: Before the Trip,Boston — Shirley @ 2:02 am

I actually like the title of this post. I suppose “Hello World!” is the classic thing to print out when you are learning to write a program. But in this case, it makes sense to say Hello world to whoever that is reading this blog.

A little background about why I am starting this blog. I have started many blogs before, but I never had anything meaningful to say, so they didn’t last long. But this time around, I am hoping to put up information about my summer fellowship (and any other things I am currently doing)!

My Summer Fellowship

During the Spring semester at MIT of my senior year, I took a seminar called Wheelchair Design for Developing Countries. First day of class, the instructor for the course (Amos Winter) gave a first lecture on the situation for the disabled in Eastern Africa. Amos, who is a grad student, really inspired me that I, also, can do something to make the world better.

As part of the course, I worked on a project for marketing. We developed a marketing kit for the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center Wheelchair Workshop. I really wanted to take the project and implement in Africa, so I applied for a summer fellowship from the MIT Public Service Center. I was lucky enough to receive a grant from them!

What I’ll be doing in Africa

I’ll be leaving Boston on July 2nd to go to Moshi, Tanzania and come back to Boston on July 30th. During that time I am hoping to take take these materials to various wheelchair workshops in Tanzania (and perhaps Kenya) to help these workshops grow. I also hope to participate in social marketing to advocate, for the equality of disabled in East Africa. While I am there, I’ll be teaching people how to make a simple Web site at an Internet cafe! I have created a guide for it, and you can see it at:



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