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Back in Accra, shopping and more training

On Sunday morning we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel in Ho and then had a great team meeting where we recounted some of our worst and best moments of the trip. Certainly the most disappointing part of this trip was that we haven’t accomplished what we’ve set out to do: deploy 100 computers to the community centers and schools. Having the computers getting stuck at the port due to problems with the shipper really destroyed Plan A for this trip. On the bright side, we’ve managed to make and have constructive meetings some indispensable contacts here and we’ve learned a considerable amount about deployments by visiting the previous deployments from earlier in the year, which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. It’s also given us time to develop and test some basic training material on teachers and administrators who are actually in the field. And it was great to work with Daniel through all of this, he’s been an exceptional host, we’d literally be lost without him.

We got to the tro-tro station around 11AM and took the 3 hour ride back. We were back at the first hotel of our stay by 3PM, which gave us time to settle in and clean up after our journey and then head out to dinner. Unfortunately I had a headache so I took some medicine and went straight to bed after dinner, I was asleep by 8PM. Nancy wrote about the day over in her blog: Ho ho home again.

Today Daniel and Dave spent the morning trying to work through our continued shipping woes while Beth Lynn, Nancy and I headed out to swing by the Street Academy to drop off some hardware and to do some shopping at the nearby cultural arts center. Both were successful endeavors. I’m quite sure I paid too much for everything I bought, even with bargaining, but it’s all relative given the price of goods here. Bargaining is exhausting work though, you’re already in the oppressive heat and humidity, walking around shops packed with crafts, and then you spend all the time settling on a price! The shop-keepers are also quite aggressive about getting business, we went to a trio of shops owned by family members, pulled over by the “now visit my brother’s shop!” and cries of “but mine is the last shop back here you have to visit mine!” I’m happy with the trinkets, jewelry and gifts that I bought. After we did much of our shopping we stopped for a cold drink before having a look at some clothes and then heading back to the hotel to meet up with everyone.

Recharging after shopping

Back at the hotel we were met by Eric and Kwaku who were brought along for the day by Daniel to be trained on some of the applications in Edubuntu and on basic desktop administration. Nancy was able to walk them through the applications with the materials she had put together the night before. I winged it a bit but was able to sit down tonight and put things into a more formal document which I’ll polish up a bit more and add to before Internet-consumption.

Nancy also gave them some tips for handling students in a classroom who are working on shared computers, including that there should only be one “driver” per computer, a timeout corner and more.

Nancy writes about the shopping and training here: Ladies Day Out. The photos may look familiar – she did a better job of capturing the day than I, so I snagged her photos! ;)

We wrapped up training and were able to get cleaned up and then head out to grab an early dinner at a place near by the hotel where I had a nice continental meal – a tuna sandwich and a small piece of chocolate cake. We then had a quick meeting with another contact here who we hope can help us some with our shipping trouble. We then spent some time in the hotel pool, relaxing under the beautiful moon with a Ghanaian beer and good company.