Leaving Sereolipi & The Big Picture

After six amazing days in Sereolipi, it is time to say what becomes a surprisingly difficult goodbye before we start our journey back to Nairobi. Thomas and I are up before sunrise, to work on one final project together before we depart.

The problem: while Sereolipi has more than 30 computers, only two of them are connected to the internet. This is fine for when Thomas is teaching MS Office, but has so far limited his use of the internet in his teaching. It has also made it difficult for him to model tasks for his students. Imagine trying to explain how to use Excel to a group of students with no previous knowledge of computers or (obviously) spreadsheets.

No longer. The answer is simple and looks miraculous once we get it up. The answer is a projector and there is a small moment where both Thomas and I sit back and smile when we see the internet thrown up on the wall. This will revolutionize the way he is able to teach.

What is the first thing we show? Sereolipi Primary School's new website, of course. Then iMentor's website. Then, we throw in a DVD that had been donated to the school. All of a sudden, there are tigers and lions crawling across the wall. There is music playing. People poke their heads into the room, all of them surprised, some of them audibly. It is like a small movie theater landed in the middle of Sereolipi.

I think to myself, this is the thing that lands the "cool" factor. The people who are coming in, amazed, are not students but warriors and parents. My mind races to community movie nights, to internet demonstrations for non-students. For a moment I consider whether this large image can become one of the tipping points for education in Sereolipi. Cache for the school...

But there is little time to ponder that. Thomas and I have to stay goodbye. And Thomas is saying, over and over again, "OK Mike, we keep going over email. We have a lot of work to go. We have got to keep it going."

And we will...

Postscript: On the drive back, we get what Kenyan roads are famous for, a flat tire. As I expected, this one is no match for Jane.

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