The Grind

No really – I’ve been working, I promise. Sure, all I’ve been writing about is gallivanting around with pilots and students and wandering the backstreets of Accra in search of adventure, but we also had a solid week of sweat to justify our existence here.  It’s just not as much fun to read about huddling in an un-air conditioned concrete classroom on yet another sweltering day of experimental wrap up. Cross-checking the spreadsheet again (“Where’s the unit for asset tag 233-185? Was that one of the ones reported stolen?), shuffling, stacking and boxing. The students – a mix of Ashesi and UGhana undergrads – were amazing, as always, but this kind of thing just doesn’t lend itself to narrative.
We split up for part of the time to deliver some training talks to one of our corporate technology partners. Software development practices at Google, HTML5 and CSS. I had a stack of three-plus hours on machine learning and recommendation systems to teach. Then, when we were burnt out each day, we’d retreat back to the Google Ghana office on Independence Ave for air conditioning and fast internet.
It wasn’t as crazy a time as the last visit, and I’m glad of that. There was enough time to get to know the students: Pedel, Janet, Louis-Mark, Benjamin, Diana, Gottfried – who am I missing? Oh yes, Daisy Daisy Daisy – the irrepressible unforgettable Daisy. I’m sad that, with the wrap up of the experiment, the student team is breaking up, but I have a feeling we’re going to keep crossing paths whenever we’re in town.
Next?  Well, that’s an interesting one.  As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I’m leaving the team for a new adventure of my own. Won’t be as much call to go back to Ghana on official business, which makes me sad too. It’s a wonderful, crazy, easy to love place, and I’ve come to feel comfortable here. But there will be other roadtrips in my new job, that’s one thing I’m sure of. So stay tuned. As one of my favorite movie lines from all time goes, “I, for one, am very interested to see what happens next.”

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