Archive for February, 2008

computer trainers

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

My teacher students at Lycee Technique.

what is my work?

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

I know what I’m working on, usually, but you might not.  So here is a short update of my various projects after being here in Sokode for 6 months.

  • Computer Club with about 15- 20 students.  We are creating a website together.  I will let you know when it launches.
  • Programming Class with about 10 students in the last year of Lycée.  I have some incredibly bright students in this class and it is fun to teach them progrgamming, even as they are still learning pretty basic computer usage (typing)
  • Training 5 teachers in basic computer skills so they can teach students themselves next year.  We covered MS Windows, Word , Excel (including formulas and charts), image manipulation with GIMP and drawing with OpenOffice Draw.   They also use OpenOffice.
  • Teaching English at a computer training center. I try to focus on technical or business terms.
  • A savings and loan womens group (think micro micro finance.  The women save and loan all the money themselves)
  • A new radio show once a week in English ( just starting)
  • Occasionally going to various schools in the area and speaking in English or French about America and the Peace Corps.  I love this, I find it really fun to hear their questions.

I also have some more personal relationships in which I help people one on one with technology or English, or business skills. 

In other words, lots of fun stuff.


Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I have very little trash here.  It comes to less than 1 foot cubed per week, I’d guess.  And half of that is toilet paper, which can’t be flushed (yes, I am lucky enough to have a flush toilet).  There is no trash pick up here. I burn my trash every few weeks. 

I make an effort to buy locally made items.  For example, peanut or palm oil instead of imported vegetable oil.  Or I buy cows milk from the Fulani, a nomadic herding tribe and try to cut down on the powdered milk or imported Laughing Cow cheese.  The result is less packaging.  To get milk or oil I need to take my own bottle to the market.  I also try to re-use plastic bags in the marche, or otherwise I will have to burn them and smell that lovely odor of plastic burning.

I see babies crying

Friday, February 8th, 2008

 I’ve been teaching kids my name.  On any given day I will stop and talk to 10-15 kids who are yelling “whitey” at me and introduce myself in local language.  I use my local name as well, “Aicha” since “Rebecca” is too hard for them.  It helps somewhat.  Sometimes I give out bon-bons to the kids who are particularly sweet.
 The hardest part is that some babies and toddlers cry upon seeing me and my freakish white skin.  I went to my tailor 3 times this week to get a new outfit made.  Each time her toddler cried in fear if I even looked at him.  Sometimes babies just scream outright at the sight of me.  Needless to say, this does not make me feel majestic.

help with anti=virus

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

I keep asking for help with information in my posts and have been really disappointed with the poverty of responses.  However, hope springs eternal and I’m asking for information again.

I need recommendations on anti=virus materials and software and antivirus plans for 2 schools with computers.  They do not have interenet, but people bring their keys and diskettes from they cyber cafe and infect the computers.  How can we protect or clean the computers in this case?  I’m looking for someone to connect me to an expert in this area or to send me a paper or web site with advice.  Or reply with a comment.  Thanks.