I can honestly say that by the time the Rosetta Stone software was loaded on the computers, I was exhausted. I was also unsure of how the language-learning project would be received, and was anxious when it was finally time to teach the program.
One night after returning from a long day of construction, I returned to Tshulu Camp where I was staying and where the computers were. The first computer was up and running with the program and I was anxious for someone to try it. It turned out that many people were also anxious to use it. That night, as on most nights, I had dinner with Thompson Malala, a local man who is the maintenance manager and lives at the camp during the workweek. While we ate together, we discussed the Rosetta Stone software and he eagerly volunteered to try it out. The next day when he started using the program, I remembered why I had worked so hard for the previous two and a half months. It’s hard to explain how fantastic it was to see Mr. Malala using the Rosetta Stone program. He had hardly used a computer before, but after a few moments of getting adjusted to the mouse and keyboard and setting himself up as a user, the rest was a joy. Once he started the first lesson, the program ran smoothly and was so self-explanatory that I didn’t need to clarify anything to him. He was simply enjoying himself.
The next day, a dozen more people from HaMakuya had a chance to try out the program. I was happy to find Mr. Malala and his son Meshack working on it together, supporting each other throughout the lessons and even getting a little competitive over their final scores. I was more pleased to find that I didn’t need to teach anyone anymore because Meshack Malala was teaching Sarah Matshayi Mmbengeni, and Nndwakhulu Mudzanani was teaching Mukondeleli Munyai. I believe this list will continue to grow.