On June 4th, 2015, a group of 10 delegates from Mediateca Angola (site in Portuguese) and three interpreters visited The Manufactory. The U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program describes the group as “…a new, nationwide publicly financed nationwide network of ultra-modern high-tech resource centers. There are currently eight active Mediateca centers nationwide with a target of 25 planned by the end of the decade. Each Mediateca center is a hub providing internet capabilities and library services to its area.”
There was a lot of conversation that demonstrated our common interest in improving the lives of the people we serve. Seth and Lee fielded a wide range of questions regarding how are space works and who uses it. One eyebrow raising moment, demonstrating the vast differences in life experience between our countries, occurred while we were proudly showing off our CNC router in our wood shop. One of the visitors asked “Where do you get the wood?”, a commodity that is apparently in short supply for them. The group members were primarily educators so most of the post tour questions were directed at Seth regarding our education methods.
The opportunity to meet people from a world that is so different from ours was a very exciting, fun and educational experience. We look forward to more visits in the future. A big thank you to Michelle Harpenau of the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council for inviting us to participate.