Monthly Archives: February 2010

Failure of Design

One of the most interesting components of my time here in Kenya has been watching as people simply interact with technology. Kenya is a very different place to grow up than the US, particularly when it comes to regular, daily interaction with electronic devices. Few schools have computers, and even fewer that are functioning; households are not awash with washing machines or microwaves or other appliances though most people do have daily access to mobile phones. The result of all this has been a significantly decreased level of reinforced learning on how to interact with said electronic devices.

When someone sits down in front of a computer, do they even know where to being? Not really. At least not for my students. Is this wrong or incorrect behavior? Of course not. If you have never utilized an electronic device in any capacity at all, why should you be expected to know how to use one all of a sudden. Should I expect everyone I meet to speak French if I speak it to them, effectively placing French in front of them? Is that fair?

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Put Yourself Into Some Peace Corps Shoes

No, I am not being metaphorical, I just felt that today I would randomly blog about shoes, and the role they play in a Peace Corps volunteer’s life. It’s a funny concept, footwear, because being in Kenya I am pulled in many different directions as to what I should don ever morning. The temperature (and kids running around) tell me barefoot if possible! My Peace Corps Medical-honed brain says to at least cover the soles of the feet to avoid stepping on something nasty. My outdoorsy side screams hiking boots. My teachers all where nicer-looking loafers or shoes, and so I strike a balance: closed-toe, “Jesus sandals,” that cover my feet while allowing them to breathe: a necessity in this heat.

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