Sunday, September 6, 2009

My life is computers, debates and moto rides with strangers.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been online, too long. I haven’t
been to Kigali for several weeks now, and the Internet at the District
Office is consistently down whenever I’m around. I’ve felt pretty
disconnected. I’ve almost forgotten how to use the tubes!

I have had some successes with the computer lab! My first attempts
were frustrated by the fact that the wiring in the lab didn’t work and
by administration blowing it off by saying we didn’t have the money to
fix it. All it took though was one call from the District Education
Office telling us that if we weren’t going to use the computers,
they’d take them away, and miraculously we “found” the money to fix
it! (Turned out it wasn’t really broken, the wiring just didn’t
connect to anything). I immediately set up four of the new computers
and began testing all the old equipment to see what works. I’ve now
tested almost everything and we’ve got 9 working out of the 18 or so
that we had, and we’re a little short on mice. And power cords.
Everything here has a different set of plugs, so it’s hard to find
cords that fit in the right places. Anyway, students are now using
the computer lab in small groups, so I consider it a success! Sonya
(VSO) has also been a huge help and is making great visual aids on
rice sacks for the walls of the lab. My next big hurdle concerns
(surprise surprise) the administration again. I think they want to
only let students use the old computers, to which I asked “what about
the 18 brand new computers? What are we going to do with those?” The
reply was, of course, that the teachers can use them! I felt like
crying. What’s the point of having all those computers if they barely
get used? I’m going to have to put my foot down on this one.

I’ve also been busy with debate. We’ve got a lot of good students who
are interested in debate, and we set up two debates this term with
other schools. The first one is this Friday with Kayonza Modern,
another school in our program, and later in September we have a repeat
of our debate with our sister school in Tanzania. This time we are
going there, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go as well! The only
problem is the expensive visa, but since I’m going in November anyway,
I might as well buy it now! Or, if possible, just get in for free…

Here’s one for you: have you ever gotten on the back of someone’s
moto, thinking that you knew who there were, and talked to them for
the entire 10 minute ride, only to discover that you don’t actually
know who they are? That’s my life! (Note: he seemed to know who I was,
so it was probably my fault that I didn’t recognize him. Nice guy,

Happy Birthday Aunt Carol!

Oh, and I’ve got less than two months of teaching left, plus less than
a month of traveling until I come home!

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

Good work Andy. You can be very proud of all you have accomplished. I love the thought of you taking your debate team on the road. I hope you kick the hiney of the the Kayonza Modernistas and the Tanzanians.

take care,