The 30oC heat of Mombasa has been replaced by the near zero temperature of Dublin. Where did those two weeks go? I am at the end of a very productive and extremely enjoyable return to Africa. Camara Africa Services Centre, two hubs, a sub-hub and numerous schools visited; I can now say I have seen Camara Education.
The highlight has no doubt been in a classroom watching students being educated using ICT. Watching students having so much fun playing Tux Maths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tux,_of_Math_Command) made me realise how much more effective this was rather than blackboard and chalk. This was followed closely by meeting the Kenyan MP who has secured funding for implementing Camara computer labs into 33 schools in his constituency. This is definitely the future for Camara; working with local organisations to achieve the impact desired.
On a personal level, this was akin to a trip home of sorts after time away. I was reminded of all the things I love about Africa: the time people have to chat, the ease with which to have a laugh and the unwaivering positive attitudes in the face of comparative hardship. It was also an opportunity to reawaken my conversational kiswahili. Much to the frustration of my fellow travelers, no taxi driver, street vendor or colleague was spared in my quest for conversation. The pleasure of watching the shock when a mzungu starts to speak their language has not diminished!
As for Africa, there has definitiely been significant development. Living in Dublin for the last ten years, traffic levels have been as good barometer of economic growth as any. If that holds through, then Kampala must be one of the most productive cities in the world and Mombasa not far behind! However the number of people sitting around would indicate there is still plenty of progress to be made. With the demand clearly there for technology and education and the proof that Camara works, the challenge is now to scale so we can have the impact we want. Of course, the challenges to achieve this are great however we have the team to address these. Mpaka wakati mwingine…