I appreciated the opportunity to both teach new skills and learn from my Ugandan colleagues and was impressed by their enthusiasm to learn, dedication to teaching and commitment to the pursuit of ICT in what are often limited contexts living as they do in remote rural areas. Some highlights were: the VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic) practicals which were particularly enjoyable for all concerned - the middle photos show the teachers completing the QWERTY Challenge by first organising letters on A4 sheets into alphabetical order and then creating a keyboard layout (ICT does not alays have to be taught in the classroom after all); lunchtime was always a great way to get to know each other and share our experiences and questions about teaching ICT - the photo on the bottom left shows a local dish with my very own personalised Coke bottle lid (entirely coincidental!); none of us will forget the moment our Access databases successfully returned a query or the sense of accomplishment when we were able to create our own school business logos and insert them into business cards and professional publications; and after-hours games of pool where we first had to beat the local champion to get him off the table (which after failing horribly we offered to buy him a drink to give up his place).
Lira is a small city (town) about a 7 hour drive north from the capital Kampala, situated between the rural districts of Otuke and Oyam it made a good meeting point for all concerned. The population is small, everyone seems to know everyone else and so I found it to be a friendly place to explore with interesting, if limited, markets, restaurants, bars and clubs. Not being a tourist destination it lacks some of the creature comforts and knick-knacks of other cities, but this makes visiting a more relaxing and familiar experience in my opinion without the additional expense and hard-sell hassle of tourist traps.