It’s a numerical task really. Over 60 trained volunteers will be split into groups of 12 which will travel out to 5 countries along the east coast of Africa in July for 4 weeks to train up more than 1000 teachers in basic IT literacy skills in computer labs populated with nearly 2500 computers sent over by Camara since the 9th month of 2005.
This weekend saw the beginning of that task. The countries include from north to south, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Lesotho. Of the 12 trained volunteers, two volunteer coordinators head out a week earlier to each country in preparation of the rest of the group. I have joined up with the two Zambia coordinators Justin Keane and Claire McLaughlin, a maths teacher/ graphic designer and a second year Business and German student respectively.
We left Dublin airport en route to Lusaka in Zambia yesterday (Sat 23rd) at 15.45pm. By 13.15pm today (Sun) we arrived in Lusaka after 21½ hours via Heathrow and Johannesburg. The Johannesburg flight was delayed on the runway and we sat on the plane for 13 hours but the food made up for it, i got two cottage pies and two cheese cakes because Ryan (a US military training expert beside me didn’t care for the British Airways food). In exchange for the gift of grub, i had to lend him my ear for the duration of the meal(s). Skip to end of paragraph if you don’t want to know about the complex phenomenon known as Jet Lag. Ryan explained, “Circadian rhythms have a lot to do with it. The human body has a built in clock which is controlled by Circadian rhythms. The body clock responds to visual clues such as the sun rising or setting, as well as social factors, which include meal times and work schedules. Crossing time zones puts the body out of synchronisation. You might feel tired and ready to sleep but visual clues conflict as the sun is high in the sky. The body clock cannot cope. The trick is to stay awake and readjust with plenty of rest when you arrive.” That is about as far as he got before i had inhaled 2 pies, 2 desserts, 1 tea, 1 juice, 1 KitKat, 2 chocolate biscuits and a salad. Thanks Ryan, TV on, jetlag smetmag, headsets in, Ghostrider starting, emails swapped, eyes front, end of.