intensive workshop: ” Working for my Dreams” (1/2) – background & trip

The reason for me to be in a, Tanzania, Africa is to run this workshop. Within my research this is the way to validate my model, but this will be material for other post. Right now let’s focus on “Working for your Dreams”.

Until now I am able to write about this. Before my trip, in Finland, was VERY . I was working hard until Nov 5. In that day we had an intensive and very productive meeting in Helsinki, which we will update later too, but that night I depart to South. Since I reached Iringa, my night sleep had been reduce dramatically (average 4 hrs), as days are HECTIC.

And  today I have time to update this blog and I want to share my African journey in few sentences. This post will focus in the idea, trip and background.

  • Idea

In July 2009, in Joensuu, Finland. I was talking with a Marcus Duveskog about why are we always “lecturing” about the subject of HIV/AIDS instead to make something more active and engaging for the students? more meaningful. Instead we could focus in constructive things as their dreams, and how we can support/help individuals to go forward instead to focus in the problems. We agree on this and together, and we like the idea and we start to conceptualize a workshop with this purpose.

First sketch of our workshop idea

First sketch of our workshop idea

  • Trip

It took me several days to reach Iringa. The route trip was:

Thursday Nov. 5th: Joensuu – Helsinki – München. Friday Nov.6th München –Dubai, Saturday Nov. 7th Dubai – Dar es Salaam, Sunday Nov 8th. Dar es Salam – Iringa.

Outstanding comments:

  1. Emirate Airlines – my favorite airline (confirmed after used it in 2003): good service, environmental aware (recycle plates, silverware, etc.), state of the art entertainment system (for me the game section is just GREAT!!! Individual and multiplayer with other flight members).
  2. Dubai Airport – where west meat east. Dubai airport is the most multicultural place I have met in my life. People gather together in one place being themselves. Hindu, African, Middle East outfits are present as much as western ones. You can see all colors, religions, backgrounds, shapes, is the planet in one airport. —— Tip if you are stock in this airport, as I was, forget about sleeping, they charge 60 US per hour in the hotels there. BUT you can get access to the SPA with a private shower for 17 US, worth it!
  3. Tanzania, my first reaction is EXTREMELY friendly people, I had a GREAT host in Dar es Sala.
  4. The trip to Iringa is long but I was lucky enough to see one elephant, some giraffes, zebras, antelopes,  monkeys, AMAZING!!! (no photos, we were driving fast). In addition to some country side, villages, outfits, colors…. I was tired, but I couldn’t close my eyes a bit.
Tetris game in my sit, with multiplayer options :)

Tetris game in my sit, with multiplayer options 🙂

  • Background

On Sunday I had on my hands for first time an OLPC. If you had tried to download the simulator and succeed, it will be good to hear about it. I didn’t succeed myself then to have this little thing in my hands was IMPORTANT.

A paper about our experiences with this XO (name of the computer of OLPC)  will come out, because in brief: there is much to say about it.

From the workshop perspective,  Marcus had set up everything perfectly. He had done all the in-site pre-arrangements, and even find me a place to live 😉 . He seems as  a fish in the tank.

Once we were together we start to get the information that we needed from Tutors and kids. Having a focus interview with the tutors on Monday and an individual interviews with the 17 children on Tuesday.

Wednesday the workshop started, but we had a no-show. The children were sent home. (something to do with the national examinations). Nevertheless was a good opportunity to talk with the teacher and explain how important the workshop is.

Instead we  join our supervisor and all the team from North-South project (they were running an even in here, which was making Marcu’s life a bit busier I must say). For me, it was a GREAT opportunity to talk with Seugnet Blignaut. She helped me and gave me valuable feedback about my research design and methodology. Quality of time I must say, and I start to see that my intensive period of thinking and writing this year, it seems will pay off.

This is the brief story of the idea, trip and background. Next post is a brief story of our workshop.

First contanct with OLPC

First contanct with OLPC

My first meeting with the tutors of our workshop. Outstanding Tumaini University students

My first meeting with the tutors of our workshop. Outstanding Tumaini University students

First contact with our workshop participatns :)

First contact with our workshop participatns 🙂

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