Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday: Our first georeference

Friday was another good day, with the Primate Handshake crew taking video of literacy, nutrition, and perhaps other programs. Their enormous yellow van was elsewhere.

I arrived early, but before my interview I went with a few other people into Fort Portal. The first time I was in town, it was early on and I didn't know what to get. This time around, I made a list: cellphone charger and minutes, nails for electromagnets, tape, bank for rent money, and cookies to take with my malaria pill. Picked up green headphones too. Most of the items were on one street, but the phone is a rare ZTN Chinese phone and I was told to walk a kilometer or so to see "The Indians". The walk was downhill and I could see the whole city stretched out ahead of me. A hundred stores are loading and unloading mattresses, cookies, televisions, and other goodies. The Indians (I was told to look for a store saying simply 'Electronics') had a kiosk like any US mall, with a hundred shiny chrome BlackBerries, DVD players, and cell phones proudly displayed behind Plexiglass casing. They produced a few chargers, but no luck. They send me to another store, where one employee nodded, and I was told to follow her. She unlocked a one-person kiosk just a half-kilometer away and looked for a charger. This was my 3rd try, so I was thinking about giving up and getting an Obama phone. But fortunately she had the right connector. I thanked everyone as I went back up the road.

Returned to Kasiisi School by taxi.

Primate Handshake interviewed me (interviews are so awkward, but I think I kept my composure alright... felt like the scientist in Lost who makes all the videos). They wanted another laptop class. The teachers were meeting with a visiting US teacher to discuss the library, so they suggested I postpone the class, but I was eager to have P6 try Maps again, so they gave me a small class to work with by myself. The students had already seen the Kasiisi map, so after we were all there, I asked them to find another place they knew. Then one student asked if they could look at Jinja, and we have a different-looking roadmap there. They then tried other cities.

One group of students looked up Moyo (it's quite far from here and very low-res on our map) and they were doing well with the program, so I had them try the next phase: taking a photo and adding it to the Kasiisi map. They couldn't agree on which building we were in, so I had them run outside and look for themselves. After some frantic pointing and discussion, they came to a decision and added their photo. Primate Handshake talked to us on camera about what had happened. Then as I walked to the next table, I saw the group showing other students how they could click the map and make their photo appear.

I asked the class a couple of questions, such as "what do you think when
you see the map of Kasiisi School?" They had a couple of points about the
school being small compared to Uganda, "surrounded by vegetation", "near
the roads"

When more teachers arrived from their meeting, I asked them to summarize
and students said all of the cities where they had looked on the maps: "We have seen Fort Portal" Others chime in: "Kampala!" "Jinja!" "Moyo!" This really happened.

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