Teaching Bukokholo Kids GPS and Maps

It has taken me lengthy and sleepless nights pondering over this day and how I am going to do it. I am going to teach kids the things i have learn at University level! Sounds crazy haaaa! Anyway I have volunteer and am happy as step on the pikipiki and take off from my small village to a place I have no idea of.But fisrt I have to meet my friend in town and grab one for the road,just to make sure I will have the courage of the most feared animal in the jungle.

As I check in on the matatu to Bungoma, I am feeling on the top of the world and am all set. I arrive an find Sandra and Fred awaiting me in probox.. As we take off,I can only think of the lenghty and exciting days ahead.We drive on the smooth tarmac for a few kilometers as we exchange a few pleasantry with my Odiero friend. We soon turn into a dirt road that takes us a bout 3hours to get to Bukokholo. as i check on my phone, I am reminded that I am now using Musevenis network,MTN. My geography tells me am barely a few kilometers to Uganda.

We enter our “Hotel” ( our Hosts home ,Juma) and we are greeted and met by a whole village.  i am dog tired and i quickly grab a few bites of Ugali an head to bed.I get to meet the OLPC kids the following ddaya and they are just amazing in using XO laptops.They were talented in Rapping and they clearly blew me with their music.

As I stepped into the makeshift class to introduce the abstract concepts of GPS and Coordinates, UTM and WGS, I am a bit scared if the concepts will sink home. Casually and comically, I start gently by introducing the kids to the Cartesian plane( woe unto me for thinking it was a simple concept ), the (x,y).

Taking kiods through the basics of GPS and the Globe

Am surprised at how long it takes me but am happy at the end when I drive home the (lat,long) and the GPS concepts.I am more than thrilled as I take the kids out and they start to collect the GPS coordinate date from the Garmin etrex Unit and using the Write activity in XO, they record the same together with attribute data. I sigh with relief and let them carry on as I sit down under tree to catch some fresh air.

I am however shortly bombarded by a crowd of students who demand ” something ” from me too.Looking into their shiny and expectant eyes, I cannot afford to let them down.  I take out my Ideos phone and recollect my Scout days. the activites we did to keep jovial come in handy. I start my teaching them some a few corrupted songs, take them through the Kitendawili sessions ,Mchongoano and before I put on Merimela an let them dance .

A Mchongoano session in progress

They are realy excited and so am I. so far so good an I can only sigh with relief as the end of break bell (a thick mettalic plate placed on a tree) rings …..I drift off and cant wait for lunch.

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