North West University and our first presentation

Tuesday (June 17, 2014) was a big day for the work part of this adventure.  Our work location for this month is at the North West University Mafikeng’s campus, home to about 11,000 students.  An NWU worker, Daniel, is charged with picking us up in the NWU bus each morning to bring us to work and take us home at the end of each day.  After only one day, he’s starting to learn that getting 14 people anywhere is like herding cats, but he is patient and has a great laugh.  North West University has 3 campuses and a broad set of programs, with our particular campus focused on Rural Development as this, along with Platinum mining, are the main drivers of the region.

North West University Campus

North West University Campus. Photo Credit: W. Denayer

We were greeted by the Rector and other University leadership and each smaller team presented our proposed work to the broader crowd.  After months of prep work, we finally got to put that prep to practice and really start working.

The Rector of NWU, M. Davhana –Maselesele

The Rector of NWU, M. Davhana –Maselesele
Photo Credit: W. Denayer

The IBM team and leadership of the University, iNeSI and DOT

The IBM team and leadership of the University, iNeSI and DOT
Photo Credit: S. Hadebe

In non-work related notes, we convinced Daniel to swing by the grocery store on the way home so we are not solely dependent on the lone restaurant at the hotel (which has good food, but 30 days of the same food will get old!). We also celebrated Valentina’s birthday at dinner at the hotel, complete with a cake we got at the grocery store and a sparkly paper crown for the lovely birthday girl!


Stocking up on critical items from the grocery … bananas, water, peanut butter and yes, vodka. After the discovery of ginger beer being so common, we’ll get the whole team hooked on Moscow Mules.

Valentina, the birthday girl!

Valentina, the birthday girl!


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