Mr. Badjie at his school
Mr. Badjie with Sukuta students and administration

A summer internship many years ago in The Gambia began my work in international development.  The internship was for three months.  I stayed for thirteen years.  I learned how to greet people with enthusiasm,  have Plans A, B and C because things rarely happen the way you expect and learned that tomorrow and soon have more than one definition.

I got involved with technology and learning because anyone who could use a mouse was an expert.  It started with a primary school teacher, Momodou Badjie.  He called me his “backbone,” and he was my teacher.  I set up on computer programs with Mr. Badjie at other primary schools across the country, was on the ICT committee at the Ministry of Education, learned to be a teacher and traveled throughout Africa  facilitate workshops on using ICT. I reinstalled Windows 98 more times than I can remember, crawled on dirt floors trying to check if wires were connected and plugged in, blew up a few machines because I did not switch that little tab on the back from 110 to 220 and discovered my vocation is to work with educators.

With Thomas in Lubuto Library, Zambia

That’s what I do.  How can I help educators use technology to transform and enhance learning and teaching in Africa? Mr.  Badjie died in 2010.   I have never stopped asking “what would Mr. Badjie do?” in my work. When I can answer that question, I know what to do.



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