Aleksi’s Pre-Trip Thoughts

Hi! I’m Aleksi, and tomorrow, I will be landing in Dar es Salaam, which is Tanzania’s and, in fact, the entire Eastern Africa’s most populous city. On the scale of the whole project, my trip is just the short leg of a long journey, but it sure feels huge to me. I have never been to Tanzania or to Africa at all, for that matter. I am approaching the trip with a curious mix of excitement, confusion and uncertainty – a familiar concoction that has accompanied me since day one of this creative adventure called CodeBus. I have a faint clue of what to expect: awesome people, sweltering heat and unforgettable experiences. Apart from that, I am probably in for something wonderfully unforeseeable, which, of course, is part of the charm.

But this project is not just about me, which has become very clear during the last few months. Our Aalto University instructors’ group is a wonderful bunch of interesting personalities, and the amount of people involved in the project altogether is astounding. From the core CodeBus team, mehackit, Finnish embassies and companies to African tech hubs, universities and instructors, the list seems never-ending. Oh, and not to mention all the super cool kids we are going to make music with! The size of the project just blows my mind, and I am grateful to be a part of it.

Speaking of making music, one aspect I have been pretty interested in is Sonic Pi, the Ruby-based coding environment we use to teach the youth to code, make music and think programmatically. I feel like Sonic Pi makes both music-making and programming a breeze, and the Finnish students we have held our first workshops for have said the same. Despite its simple user interface, Sonic Pi really packs a punch. Don’t believe me? Check out Sonic Pi’s creator Sam Aaron (who gave a shout-out to CodeBus on Twitter) giving 2 hour live gigs using only Sonic Pi. I myself gave two 20 minute ones for an audience not too long ago, something I definitely had not imagined doing any time soon.

So, all in all: life is full of surprises and it is very interesting to see what lies ahead. For now, I just have to wrap up all my pre-travel preparations before I get to unlock the next chapter of this exciting journey!

– Aleksi
Aalto University instructor for CodeBus Africa