Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Computers for Upendo

On June 3, we officially opened our brand new computer lab!

Generous sponsors donated money for Upendo School to get its own computer lab, and now we have 15 computers for the students to learn to use.
So who, you may ask, is teaching these children?

Why me of course! I was so excited when our country director, Reuben Musiime, asked me to teach classes. Sure I’m one of the only ones around who both knows how to use a computer and is able to actually teach it to children, but I still felt honored to get the chance. So I am now teaching around 100 students from grades 4-7.

It hasn’t been easy. These kids have seen my laptop and maybe other computers before, but most have never touched a computer let alone used one. And as you might recall, our power out here at Upendo isn’t always very reliable. It’s here today and gone tomorrow. Or more accurately here one minute, gone the next. In fact, my first day of teaching computer lessons, I taught without power. I had 3 classes that day, each 40 minutes long, and I filled each one of them. They learned the different parts of the computer. They got to touch the keyboard, click the mouse, and press the power button, all keeping away my fears that they might completely destroy them!

So far we are mostly using paint. They first have to master how to use the mouse before we can do much else. They’re coming along, especially considering of the 4 weeks we’ve met, we’ve only had power for 2 of them!

I meet with 7th grade students in the evenings on Thursdays. Those students all stay in our boarding section, and that was the best time for us to meet together because we usually have power by 7pm. The fun thing about this is that I get them for double the time I have with the other classes (we meet for about an hour and a half). So they’re much farther along. They’re using paint like pros now and are soon moving on to keyboarding practice.

I have some exciting projects in store for the third term which starts in September. I just pray we have the power to do them!

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