The week before the opening of our labs by the Spanish Ambassador we had run a full week of training with about 25 teachers from the Health Sciences and Engineering Colleges. Simultaneously with the training we were also trying to get the labs complete – so quite difficult to coordinate with everything done right at the very last minute.
The training went far better than we had hoped, with the teachers being very keen, even to the extent where when we suggested a coffee break, it was hard to get people away from the computers. We also had many requests from other staff who would like to join the training. The next two challenges are to get the labs open and available for students and not to lose the momentum we’ve built up with the recent training. We’re continuing with weekly half day workshop/tutorial sessions and will be opening the labs for a very select group of students so they can test out the labs for us and help to identify any possible problems. This also gives the ICT team the opportunity to learn and deal with issues.
So much has happened over the last 2-3 weeks so it’s impossible for me to note (or remember) everything that’s happened, although there were a couple of notable exceptions.
Firstly, the tables that we ordered from the agricultural college in Wukro finally arrived. I mentioned in a recent posting about the delivery over the weekend, well, the other half of the order arrived on Friday morning, only the varnishing hadn’t been finished, so the college sent a technician to complete the tables as they were being unloaded from the truck. Despite the delays, I’m very pleased with the tables and how they look in the labs, I was slightly worried that I’d miscalculated and the tables would be too big for the lab or too small for the computers, but fortunately this wasn’t the case and everyone tells me how good the labs look.
The other event which stuck in my mind was organising the ribbon for the ambassador to cut. At about 5pm the day before his visit, I was given a copy of the schedule, one section read ‘cutting the ribbon’. I then made the mistake of saying that I was going into town after work, only to be asked if I could by some ribbon as they uni didn’t have any. I mistakenly assumed this would be a relatively easy task given that all tailors and fabric shops are down the same street. This was not the case, after visiting too many shops, the only red ribbon I could find was about 1cm wide. we had to settle for a strip of edged red fabric and hoe that it would be wide enough for the door and wouldn’t look too bad. On the day I also took pair of scissors with me, just in case.
As a surprise for us and the trainers, the University had arranged a meal at the Axum hotel on the last evening of the training, so we finally had chance to wind down a little…