HimynameisTheresa. I’m an RPCV working for a web development and technology consulting non-profit in Cotonou, Benin. And when I say “working for a non-profit,” what I really mean is “running and managing a tech start-up in in the developing world with my best friend and future husband.” It’s an adventure, a dream, and a nightmare all at once.
I earned my B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, where I’d tooled around with several majors, including Computer Science (useful) and French (very useful). I promptly joined the Peace Corps and was whisked away to a two-year adventure in Cotonou.
Two years wasn’t nearly as much time as it sounds like. Just barely enough to get my feet wet, fall in love, work for a failed project, teach some university classes, and discover that there’s a whole lot of interesting stuff that two year’s isn’t nearly enough time to finish.
So I stuck around, and now Bertrand and I are having the time of our lives getting this project off the ground.
Our goal is to make technology more accessible to small and medium sized businesses. We set out to change the way the IT services sector, and specifically web development, works here. People Online’s motto is “Getting Benin Online” (La mise en ligne du Bénin), and so far, it’s working.
I make websites. I also do a lot of book keeping, managing freelancers, and keeping the business side of the non-profit running smoothly. Mostly, I work with WordPress. I’m a fan girl, which is embarrassing (for a web application? who falls in love with a web application?!?!). And I like to play.