The official part of PBL East Africa Uganda ended on the Friday of the second week with all groups giving their project presentations to PBL professors and mentors and some of the experts we had met during the trip so far. After a relaxing weekend with our PBL friends, we were ready to work even harder on the third and last week of the field trip!
In the beginning of the week, we focused on making a schedule and developing our group dynamics to make the most out of the week. On the second week we had done a lot of research on the culture of coworking in Uganda and the physical aspects that are needed for a coworking space. We had interviewed students, professors, community leaders and founders of coworking spaces and visited coworking initiatives on campus and in Kampala. On the third week we wanted to only focus on working on campus and at MakEIC. We wanted to make some plans about what kind of an input we can give to the center with the director (Dr. Cathy Ikiror-Mbidde) and meet with some of the active members of student organizations that would be interested in using the center for their events.
The director was very open and enthusiastic about students getting involved in designing the space and using it for any kind of projects. We decided that it would be nice to start doing something practical so through our PBL friends and mentors we found a team of art students who wanted to design and paint the walls of the building. They were given a total freedom and they came up with really cool innovation inspired designs.
The painting went on late in the night and we got to experience some real-life problem-based learning for example when there was a cut in the water supply, but water was needed for painting. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic the students were about the painting and how they wanted to extend their painting plans to different rooms in the center.
We ended up doing many amazing things and meeting more inspiring people that we had planned in the schedule on Monday. By the end of the third week, we were tired but happy, and could not believe that it was our last weekend in Uganda. It was sad to say goodbye to our new friends but luckily we knew that we will stay in touch and share our progress with the projects and what’s happening in our lives back home.