Friday, July 16, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

The thirty students of Kilimahewa, cramped on their narrow wooden benches, rose to their feet without hesitation, welcoming their two Mazungu (white) teachers. They soon resumed their positions and we assumed ours, fumbling with the familiar technology that, in our new environment, took countless hours to acquire and set up.

As the lights of the projector cast their glow on the marred surface of the classroom wall, an anticipatory silence fell over the classroom. That was when we lost power. This occurrence, the likes of which has warranted the closing of our American school, did not elicit the slightest response from the students.

Determined to provide the students, accustomed to monotone lectures, with the memorable multimedia lesson she toiled over, Moira precariously perched herself on the same narrow benches the students shared, raised her Macbook, and awkwardly trudged through her geography lesson.

Refusing to miss this opportunity to capture my travel companion’s inevitable humiliation, I set up camera and began to capture. However, the viewfinder of the camera provided a perspective far removed from the one I anticipated. Though every student sat unblinking, not one noticed the technological blunders. The visuals the tiny screen of the Mac provided were captivating to our audience.

For their eagerness and appreciation of their educational opportunities, the students were eventually rewarded with restored power and the opportunity to view the lesson in its full glory.

Author: Stephanie Brodeur

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