Today began at around 8 AM when we began to gather all of the gear needed to set up our second lab of the trip. The bus arrived approximately an hour after it was scheduled, but we have learned that in Africa timing is not nearly as important as it is back in the States. We packed the back of the truck with all of the laptops and headed to the school.
On the way to the school we made a stop at the director of the school districts offices in order to learn a little bit about the education system, introduce ourselves, and receive his blessing before heading to the school and installing the lab.
We were greeted at the school by many smiling faces, and it was obvious that the children knew why we were here. While unloading all of the supplies the children could not attempt to hold back their excitement. Once in the lab things went a lot smoother than yesterday. Because of the fact that we were using laptops instead of desktops we were able to skip about half an hour of work, this step includes connecting the monitor to the power source and the actual computer. We also had a much easier time crimping wires which is what took most of the time up on the first day. After we had made a lot of progress we were allowed to explore the school and play various games with the students. We brought out one of the soccer balls that we would later donate to the school and joined in on an already started match. They seemed to love the fact that we attempted to play with them even though most of them were much better players. Kids also love the cameras, seeing their faces on the digital playback screen always excited them.
After our short break we completed the finishing touches and fixed a couple small problems in the lab, and then we actually got a chance to teach some of the students how to operate the computers. We conducted two 20 minute long periods in which we would be assigned one student to show around the computers. They seemed to love the application called “Paint” where the students can draw pictures and create shapes. They were also very intrigued by the sample video that came already programmed into each computer; this was a wildlife video featuring many animals that they probably had never seen before. I think it was at this point where Marcus, one of our interesting chaperones decided it would be entertaining to adopt the accent of Bane, the villain in the most recent Batman movie. For the next couple hours his booming voice sounded dangerously identical.
After helping the students it was time to load back into the bus and head to the house. Once on the bus it was announced that we would be stopping at our local leader Kwabena’s house. We had only seen his family via computer screen because last night he showed us an episode of a TV show that his family appeared on because of all the good work that the Yonso Project had been a part of. Once at his house we were introduced to his two sons and one daughter. We all made ourselves at home in his living room and chatted about the various pictures hanging on the walls, some featured famous people and some just consisted of his family. One of the photos that stood out was of Kwabena and the current president of Ghana. After a short while of interaction with his family we headed back to the house.
Shortly after we arrived at the house our vendor friends which we met the previous night were knocking at the door. They had even more interesting stuff for us to look at tonight. Most of us bought a knife or two and some people settled for a bag or some jewelry. After all of the shopping was complete we brought out the drums and began a lot of dancing with some of the local children and teens. This brings me to now, 10pm sitting at the computer while some people are studying, and others are talking about their music preferences. Tomorrow we will work on our third computer lab and hopefully it will be completed even more smoothly than today’s.
I also hope that everyone’s families are having a wonderful time in Seattle and I can assure you that we are having a lot of fun and staying safe. Until next time, goodbye!