It’s now just over three weeks before I set off for Malawi. Fundraising has gone better than I ever expected – the latest total is nearly £1,200, way beyond my initial £500 target with another school event to come. Another huge thank you to everyone who has supported me, this wouldn’t be possible without your generosity. If you would like to add a donation this link will take you to my fundraising page.
The flights are booked – I will be flying from Manchester to Frankfurt to Johannesburg and then finally to Lilongwe – the capital of Malawi. Once in Malawi it’s then the small matter of a five hour taxi journey to our final destination on the shore of Lake Malawi. Total travelling time will be about 24 hours, so hopefully I can get some decent sleep on the long flight to South Africa.
We had our last big project meeting this evening at The University of Manchester and the plans are now firming up. We will be teaching in three schools with varying IT infrastructure ranging from none to limited, but with the equipment that was taken out last year and a stash of new kit we should be set to get up and running quickly in Malawi. We will be teaching a range of unplugged activities and basic computer skills before moving onto coding using Micro:bits, Crumbles and Raspberry Pis. The main challenge onsite is likely to be finding a reliable power source.
Communication will be a challenge in Malawi. This will start at Lilongwe Airport where I will have to buy a data SIM for my phone and manually cut it to size! The network coverage is patchy and tends to drop out entirely between 6-10pm when the load is at its highest. This means there will be little or no access to the internet in the evenings – I’ve yet to decide whether this is awful or blissful; time will tell…
We are meeting again in a couple of weeks time to plan out teaching activities and finalise plans – exciting times.