Archive for November, 2008

work projects

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I do actually do a bit more here than bike around, sweat, and cook with my solar oven.  This school year I have some fun projects. 

I am doing the “Training of Trainers” again at Lycee Technique.  Like last year, I will give 5 teachers who are computer novices a year long course on basic computer skills.  The idea is that next year they will be teaching students.  4 teachers passed my class last year, but I decided it was good to continue.

I’m also giving a programming, database, and web site class to 5 other teachers of math and accounting.  We have had one class so far so I am curious to start getting feedback.

Another school is run by an American nun.  They have a computer lab and all students have one hour a week in front of the computers. I am working with the existing teachers, alternately sitting in on classes or leading them.  In this way we are all learning something new.

Not lastly, I am working with a teacher on a “mini-enterprise” club.  Once a week after school, the students gather to plan their business and implement it. I think this year they will make and sell soap. Sometimes we go into the computer lab so they can do the budgets in Excel or logos in a drawing program or whatever else is relevant.

So those are my big projects.  They keep me busy!

Polio

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

The other day I went to a meeting of the local Red Cross branch.  They had hired a local programmer to create a database to keep track of their members and volunteers.  I went in and met with them just to see if I could offer any advice (like an independant consultant).

THe programmer was a nice guy and he sat with his legs curled up beneath him.  I didnùt really notice the extent of his disability until we got up to walk into the meeting.  He didn’t get up, he got down and crawled on all fours, his feet twisted in balls sticking in the air. 

I was embarrased to be walking while this nice smart man crawled along beside me.  By now I’m used to the prevalence of people with walking sticks, trailing legs, and the frequent custom welded wheelchaires.  But I was completely thrown by everyone’s complete acceptance of a man crawling into a conference room.

I assume he had polio; I didn’t ask.  I don’t know anything about polio.  I’m glad at least that he was able to get involved in computers and find a profession in this physical labor intensive country.