Our third and last week is over, and wow. The time has just gone so fast.
We started the week by visiting two schools, Eqakwini High School and Giloki high school on the Monday. Eqakwini had one of the most advanced computer setups we have ever seen, embarrassingly we didn’t even know how to start it at first. They seemed to have some kind of server setup where the monitors were connected to nodes which were connected to a server computer through Ethernet cables, we were impressed to say the least. Sadly they had troubles starting the system, it was due to the monitor being broken on the main computer/server so replaced the monitor and got the rest of the 14 connected computers running. Three of the computers had software issues which we managed to resolve as well.
We then continued the day by visiting Giloki high school. They had a CAT (computer application technology) teacher, meaning that they had a dedicated computer teacher so there were not so much for us to do. We managed to fix one of the computers and made some installments to their big tv screen so it could be connected to computers as well.
Tuesday was a short day, we only visited Macabuzela. Macabuzela was one of the few schools without any CESA computers at all but they had received computers from the government instead, we served those computers and managed to fix a few. But when inspecting the computers we noticed that they seemed to be used very seldom. We therefore decided to not donate any computers this year, we instead encouraged them to let students use the computers even if the teachers were unsure on how to instruct them. We strongly believe that the kids will figure out themselves as long as they have access to the computers. Phakamani offered computer lessons to the teachers which they gladly accepted and started scheduling dates right away. We hope to be back next year to see the computers in use and if so, we will gladly donate some computers to them!
On Wednesday we had our last workday together with Star for life. This was also supposed to be our longest workday here, so we had to begin one hour earlier than we usually do. The plan was to visit two schools that were pretty far away from the office. While arriving at the office, we brought the seven computers that we had left and went off to the schools.
This time, the road was not so bad as we experienced last week, but our GPS sent us the wrong way, so after a 45-minute drive when we “arrived”, we stood upon a Schoolwear shop instead. Great start of the day…
Anyhow, after a 30-minute drive again we finally arrived at our first school of the day, Mthulasizwe High School. The school was located on a hill over a beautiful landscape, and it was so peaceful around there. They also had a patch for growing crops for one of their subjects called agriculture.
CESA donated 9 computers to this school last year, and they had a total of 31 laptops. As they had a lot of computers already, our goal was to check if all of the computers were still functioning and see if they had any other problems or questions regarding the laptops.
Said and done, we were really happy to see that all of their computers were working and that they used them pretty frequently.
As we were checking the computers at Mthulasizwe, we got a call from Esqiwini High School, the second school that we were supposed to go to. Unfortunately, they were not computer ready, which means that they could not handle a donation of computers at that time. The reason was that they did not have any computer lab which is necessary for safety reasons and they did not have any plans on how to use any computers, which can result in that they do not use them. This made our long day surprisingly short.
The rest of the day, we sat at the office and wrote this post and did some administrative work. And like that, our last workday was done.
As stated previously, we brought some computers to donate to the second school. But since they were not ready, we decided to entrust Phakamani and Star for life to donate the last computers to Emabandleni and Kwagiba High School, which we visited previous weeks.
And now, we’re all separated. Peter is in Singapore for an exchange year while Axel and Lisa are back home in Sweden. Our time in South Africa has been full of experiences and fun times. We have learned so much about their different culture and their way of living. These past three weeks of work has gone by so fast, it feels like we’ve only been there for a week. If it hadn’t been for work and school we would have loved to stay even longer. But we hope that our visits to the schools will be a positive change towards a better computer education in the rural parts around Hluhluwe.
But fear not! Our time in Hluhluwe is over, but our work as CESA is still going on. So we will be writing another blog post in the near future regarding the aftermath of our trip.
Thank you all for following our work down here and have a good time until next time!