Monday was the last day for the Intermediate ladies and they again got the short straw for being first up for the class – the internet and email demo on the PCs was too slow so they ended up writing their test papers inbetween screens refreshing as I tried to move through my inbox to the reply and compose screens! The next days class had the benefit of being able to use the online Wikipedia encyclopedia on the classroom PCs so they could get the sense of searching, moving between hyperlinks etc. Wikipedia should have been on all the PCs but had been deleted so need to get the Linux experts on the team to figure how to prevent this occurring in future. I also got the Evolution eMail package (linux version of outlook) working so they could at least see an inbox, reply to the one auto-generated email in it, compose etc. even though the classroom PCs were not connected to the internet. That afternoon as Nuru the facilitator was copying the assessments off the PCs using Joan’s memory stick it got corrupted and all files on it were inaccesssible. Hopefully the techy experts Rory and Paul will be able to salvage some of the files. In the meantime I contacted Dympna to ask if we had to make the students resit the assessments for Dorset Colleges records so she said not to but to back up what we have. Paul is enjoying the salvage challenge but it is slow and tedious work.

Tuesday was the last class for Intermediate men and they got a lot of fun out of wikipedia and mail. I took a class photo and said I would see them at graduation. Tuesday afternoon the basic class of men had a class on Impress. I had to go to book the flight to Lamu so I was gone 2 hours (the internet connection was so slow and to navigate through the site took a while).

Wednesday was a long day as the basic class of ladies had been cancelled on Saturday (due to a prize giving function at the school) so they were asked to come for the full day instead. It took me the morning to get through the Internet and Email course and then after lunch we had just started the Impress (linux version of powerpoint) when the electricity went so we went through some more theory and I decided we should cover the evaluation forms to get them out of the way. We had the facilitators translate the questions and they spent about an hour going through it line by line. Not your normal 5 minutes before people rush out the door!

Just when we were ready to call it a day about 5 the electricity came back so class resumed and they got to try the software out for themselves. The majority could come back on Sat to finish the course but the morning suited better than the afternoon so Joan could not make it. She offered an additional class the last Wednesday of the month for any who are interested.

Thursday was a half day, we started at 12.30 with the facilitators and at 1 for the main class. We got through the Impress recap and exam and then Internet and email before the facilitators took their turn to present. Most did well and it was interesting to see how some of them used their team of facilitators when they were the trainer! The trainees seemed to enjoy it.

Friday was a day off so in the morning I corrected some of the written assessments and then in the afternoon we organised some photocopies and printing of the class photographs before heading into town to see some of the sites as Joan had missed the last day we went in. Aaron the regular taxi driver we use was happy to take us. However he was not so happy when stopped by the police and fined for driving on a bald tyre. He is a nice guy. He left his job when his boss put up the fare on us and now is hiring a car each day and driving us back and forth. He is always running on empty as he puts in 2 euro of petrol, about 2 litres at a time so he runs the car down before returning it at the end of the day. The fine was 2 euro plus an extra euro backhander to avoid being brought down to the police station to pay! The journey continued and we saw an Indian muslim temple which had lots of the Hindi gods I am familiar with from Nepal and some great murals advocating good behaviour – for example the one about not drinking on earth warned you would be force fed hot oil in hell if you drink here! We also saw the Commonwealth War memorial with Henry! At least I thought he was saying Henry but in fact he was saying INRI (as written on the crucifix!).

The Prime Minister was attending a function at the more upmarket apartments next door that evening and the Minister of Tourism was staying in our apartments so there was a lot of extra activity, security and entertainment that evening. The landlord Mr Ali was there with his wife all dressed up and even Andrew the caretaker who is normally in flipflops and shorts was looking very smart in his shiny polished shoes and good shirt and trousers.

The lads got home after 7 and were starving. Joan and I had eaten already. Tommy was working away at the cooker and we did not realise he had taken out a frozen chicken and was trying to boil it from frozen! Rory said that it wasn’t a good idea as he tucked into some breakfast cereal and we agreed that it would be dangerous so they had to change to plan B and make some sandwiches. It is hard to cook with just a few gas rings but it has been good as you get tired of eating out and there is a community spirit from cooking and eating together.

Some of the boys went out Friday night to check out the local nightlife. Apparently Pirates the club on the beach itself was empty but they found a boat moored there with what looked like the tricolor flag so they went over to take pictures with it. Then they went on to another night club where Paul’s swiss army knife was confiscated when found by the metal detector (and returned later when he was leaving) and the security guards had AK47 machine guns. There is a boxing ring on the dance floor. I saw some pictures. The guys said that Paul was the dad and Rory and Matthew were brothers. Rory set Matthew up by telling the girls that Matthew was shy! The girls were not shy so he found himself fending them off.

Saturday was spent teaching the final basic ladies class. 22 of them turned up. Three of the facilitators had to leave early so I let them do their practical Train the Trainer class first before revising Impress and doing the assessment. We then did the remaining 6 practical 10 minutes training by the remaining facilitators and finally went in next door to the computers connected to the internet so the trainees could see a search engine and the internet live.

I spent about an hour then going from computer to computer copying off the Impress assessments and looking for some missing files from previous days / Joan’s corrupted memory stick. I did find some but it was slow and tedious. I then sent the 2nd installment email but was rushed as it was almost 3pm and I had not eaten since before 8am. I joined Gary and Ali and we went to get some lunch. The restaurant is next to the supermarket and the rest of the house were there stocking up for dinner and for the trip to Lamu so we shared a taxi home.

Gayl.