SInce my Pod is down today, I will reply here. First, Python 2.X has terrible native unicode support. That is likely at least part of your problem - the part involving diaspy. Execute it instead with python3, and see if that resolves the diaspy error. Otherwise, you have to do crazy string/unicode gymnastics (I do this in NavierStokes and I hate it - when I have free time again... someday... I will port NS to Python3).