Thursday, 7 June 2012

Thursday June 7, 2012

Today was…well…interesting.  Kind of got a real work day in on getting ready for digitizing.  More on that later.  But first, here's a photo of most of our students and Apeege, the Ghanaian keeper of the video collection, in the tiny room that holds all of the tapes.

But first, here's a photo of most of our students and Apeege, the Ghanaian keeper of the video collection, in the tiny room that holds all of the tapes.

We worked on a "Training the Trainers" program today.  As my time here is growing short, I suggested to Kwasi that we rethink out strategy and that I now spend as much time as possible with just a few students to teach them how to "be me" after I am gone.  That means getting them comfortable with updating the Filemaker database and being able to troubleshoot in general.  We set out to digitize long chunks of tapes but ran into some issues.  Despite the fact that I had tested each laptop setup for digitizing a 2 hour tape before I packed them up for the trip, they were stopping only a few minutes in, and with no indication of a problem.  So we went to Plan B (which I had, of course, packed with everything else) and that seems to be working fine.

I put together a "Work Flow" sheet with my 4 Trainer students and we all feel pretty confident that things will be fine.  We'll see tomorrow when we drop all the other students into the mix and see if it all makes sense to them.

So toward the end of the morning we went to this courtyard inside the palace grounds where there was a crowd of about 4-500 people.

Many chiefs, some very important ones, and those all came by to say hello to us.  I had met many of them last summer and they remembered me and said they were glad to see me again.  It has been my experience that pretty much everyone I met last summer remembers me.  Whether that is simply their nature or whether Kwasi has prepared the way does not matter:  I am grateful and flattered that they say they remember me.  I, of course, remember them, although not all by name: it was a pretty unique experience meeting them all last year but the African names are sometimes too unfamiliar for me to be able to recall them right away.

The King eventually came out and was to preside over a planned funeral ceremony for a Queen Mother, or one of her relatives.  Sorry I'm not clear not hat, but the layers are many, precise, and beyond my clear understanding at this stage.  I hope to get some better information soon.  But to everyone's surprise, after they went through the traditional greeting of the King by the Chiefs, the King suddenly got up and left (with entourage, of course).  Turns out that he had just been informed that one of the male heads of his family had died 3 days earlier, and he went off to deal with that.  not sure why it took three days, or why they chose that moment to tell him, but that's what we were told.

After that we had lunch outside in a pavilion of the palace, delivered from the same Jollof Caterers where we ate the other day.   

There was this amazing speaker cluster sitting in the pavilion.  It had apparently been built to look like a rocket ship.  It did not look like it would work very well at this point, but it was pretty cool.  

I then continued to work with my 4 students while the rest went off to more of the planned funeral service.  I have not seen anyone from that group since they got back yet so I have nothing to report. Maybe tomorrow.

And then there was this thing.  These three wheel motorbikes are all over, and actually make a great deal of sense.

Not sure about this particular use though:  I call it "Kid Tested, OSHA Approved".


Have to work on my presentation so I don't lose my head in the heat of the moment...or after that.

Friday June 8

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