We have flights! And almost a plan!

Kenya Airways Boeing 737, photo by Melanie Kotsopoulos

It’s D-9 for Project TOTO. My international itinerary has been set and, thanks to some clueful bookings, we’ve squeezed in an extra day for preparation. I leave Sydney next Friday afternoon 26 June.

It seems today I’ll also finally finish the stressful non-TOTO tasks that have interfered with pretty much everything in my life. Provided no-one tosses any more hand grenades in my direction, I’ll therefore have more writing and a clearer plan later today — both for the preparation and for my time in Tanzania.

OK, the timetable and the plan as it stands…

There’s three main ways to fly from Sydney to Dar es Salaam. One goes through Perth and Johannesburg. Another goes via Dubai and Nairobi. But the plan which best suits our needs goes via Bangkok in three flights.

  1. Depart Sydney on Friday 26 June at 1530 via Thai Airways, arriving in Bangkok at 2155 local time. My last trip to Bangkok was the same flight, TG996, but the old Boeing 747 has been replaced by a Boeing 777. If we get phonecasting working I’ll try posting a podcast while flying across outback Australia using the aircraft’s satellite link.
  2. Depart Bangkok at 0035 via Kenya Airways, arriving in Nairobi on Saturday 27 June at 0605. I’ll sleep across the Indian Ocean, and wake up to the sight of dawn over Kenya from 10km up.
  3. Depart Nairobi at 0805 via Kenya Airways to touch down in Dar es Salaam at 0920 local time. What a great time to arrive!

From there, the schedule is still as in the project briefing: Saturday to orient myself; Sunday to Zanzibar; Monday and Tuesday in Dar es Salaam working with the ActionAid Tanzania guys; and then Wednesday through Saturday looking at the field projects. I’ve got Sunday 5 July to myself in Dar es Salaam before flying home the way I came.

But I’ve still got lots to do before that…

In the remaining 9 days I’ve got to:

  • Set up WordPress MU for multiple blogs on the ActionAid Australia website, including implementing a design to match that done by Suede for the main site.
  • Change my own website so it highlights Project TOTO material a bit better.
  • Make sure all the equipment which is being sourced makes its way to my place, then figure out how it’ll all fit together into two coherent production systems — hardware, software and online services — one for me to use while travelling, and one for the Tanzanians to use after I’m gone.
  • Document all of that.
  • Transfer my day-to-day workflows from my MacBook Pro to the IdeaPad S10e that Lenovo has provided.
  • Coordinate with various people who’ve offered to create some extras, such as a map plotting my journey and the phonecasting thing.
  • Survive my Farewell Party this Saturday 20 June.
  • Seek out some quiet solitude for the Winter Solstice this Sunday 21 June.
  • Design a training program for the Tanzanian staff, or at the very least sketch it out.
  • Make sure my other clients’ needs are covered while I’m gone.
  • Generate some content every single day.

Whew! All that in 9 days. Wonder why I’m stressed?

[Photo: Kenya Airways Boeing 737-300 by Melanie Kotsopoulos.]

5 Replies to “We have flights! And almost a plan!”

  1. For your training, will you be using desktop recording software? I would like to hear your thoughts on it. Will you be offering training support after the trip?

  2. @Sean the Blogonaut: I think screen recording software is great if you’re preparing a presentation that’ll be used by people on their own. But if it’s face to face training, as this is, then I reckon it’s better to demo the actual system, hands on, and get the trainees to start using it directly.

    Besides, I don’t precisely know what the training has to cover — whether we’ve got two guys who are quite computer- and Internet-literate and who just need to be shown the specific tools we’re using, or whether we’re looking at introducing more fundamental concepts. Plus some of the training is really about writing for the web and for a Western audience, rather than anything technical.

    There has yet to be a conversation with anyone about what happens after I return — and yes, that’s a bad sign, for all the usual reasons.

  3. Agreed. I didn’t know the scale of your project — if it is a couple of people then it would be more beneficial to demo and answer on the spot. Might be worth setting the ground work for later tutorials that could be express posted on a disk etc.

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