Wednesday, December 9, 2009

October 23, 2009 The final day in Gashora!

We began the day extremely early as we realized that we had numerous tasks to complete as a team to ensure that our projects were a success. There were a million thoughts and emotions going through our minds that morning as we prepared for such an important day. How will the people react to the unveiling of the computer lab? How will they react to the ceremony at their new basketball court? Will the projects be a success after we leave? How will we be able to say goodbye to these people that we have become so attached too? The plan was to divide and conquer. There was a team that was focused on ensuring that the final donations were given to the community leaders with an explanation that we wanted those most in need to receive them. I never knew giving could be such a difficult task to perform. We had many donations given to us by our friends and family, but it was not enough for every person in the Gashora community. It is extremely difficult to say no to these people as they all need so much but we recognized that it was a necessary action.
The second team was focused on the final touches of the computer lab. Late the night before we were able to get the satellite installed at the computer lab and we got the internet up and running. It was a major milestone and one that we had been waiting for since the day we arrived. In just a few hours we had to teach the teachers how to start up the satellite and get the internet up and how to troubleshoot connectivity issues. We also wanted to give a lesson on how to use the internet. They picked everything up very quickly and took incredible notes for the future. Once we had the people up and running and surfing the web it was miraculous! They were amazed by how much information was at their fingertips! The principle Janvier was able to follow his favorite football teams online! Martin was saving pages of lessons that he found for computer training in Kinyarwandan by searching on Google Rwanda and Dancille was reading the news on BBC. I soon realized that we took the internet for granted in North America. What we had given these people is a window to a world of information that they have never had. The opportunity for learning, for communicating and for personal development was endless. We had given these people hope for a bright future! What a great feeling!
This blog post will continue as the power keeps shutting down in our Kigali hotel!

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