Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wonderful Conversations

This week’s sessions have flown by. At times it seems like we have barely scratched the surface, and I begin to wonder whether any of these teachers will have an opportunity to use what little they have had a chance to learn. At other times, I have a brighter perspective on what we have managed to accomplish.

John has got the computers at the SUBA centre working at their optimal levels. Software has been installed, viruses eliminated, and RAM added from defunct machines as well as various other adjustments. A wireless network has been set up, as well as an eGranary Internet in a box. It is now truly a resource centre that can help teachers, as well as the rest of the community.

Teachers who had very limited experience with computers at the beginning of the week have learned basic skills, experienced PowerPoint, used cameras (digital still and video), and learned to use a browser to search for information on the eGranary. They have also done some hard thinking in various pedagogy workshops that are appropriate to ICT integration, but may be equally useful in their classrooms right away.

The most important thing that has come out of this week may be the connections that we have made with the teachers here. This is the first year of a four-year program. There are so many talented, and thoughtful teachers that I hope will return next year to continue building on what we have begun.

I have had so many wonderful conversations with inspiring teachers this week. It is hard to believe that tomorrow will be our last day in Mbita. My heart is already heavy at the thought of leaving. As we left South Africa last month, we could extract promises to keep in contact via email. With the lack of connectivity here, this is not realistic.

It has been a special pleasure to chat with Catherine, Dorothy and Fautuma. Catherine and Dorothy especially have taught me about what everyday life is like as a mother and a teacher in Kenya. I will treasure the insights they have given me into their lives, and the moments we have shared. They are gifted, talented teachers and strong women, I am sure that they are wonderful role models for the girls in their lives. I will miss speaking with each of them. Each one is a beautiful, strong woman and amazing, thoughtful teacher. I hope that we will find a way to keep in touch and I look forward to a day when we will meet again.

I am sure that I will cry when the workshop ends tomorrow.

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