Prompted by remembrances of the Sept 11 2001 attacks on the New York and Washington DC served up by radio and other media (I don't have a TV, thank goodness), I'm led to recall _where_ _I_ _was_ on that fateful day: In Jinja Town in Uganda, about 100 KM east of Kampala, delivering a workshop to school principals on sustainability strategies for their school-based telecenters. My colleagues there at that time were the redoubtable Meddie Mayanja (!) and the formidable Tony Bloome (!). With the Ugandan school heads, we clustered around the one TV set to watch replayed footage of the Twin Towers crashing down. At that distance, frankly, it was difficult to grasp what was really happening. Instead of a dream within a dream, we experienced a dream within reality. I walked around Jinja, which _still_ featured burnt-out houses and wastelands from the purging of Indians and others that had happened 20 years before. At some point, I think, Tony and I went rafting on the Nile. Eventually I caught my flight home, passing through Heathrow and discovering a world that had been upended in my absence.
The school heads at our training workshop were remarkable. The program--VSAT-enabled school-based telecenters--launched and it was successful in the short term. Then the VSAT provider went bankrupt ("who are you callin' 'sustainable'?") and connectivity was shut down. Eventually, however, because the school heads, the students and their parents all saw value in the Internet connection, things began to re-emerge in sustainable forms with a new, local ISP. Today, the original 20-something broadband-supplied schools have increased 4x, at least. And all (or almost all) are running sustainably. (!)
Tony Bloome and a school head confer