Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An introduction is probably appropriate...

As there will be 80 strangers living in close quarters for 2 weeks in Africa, I thought it might be nice to provide a small introduction. I go by Alex, but you can call me Alexander if you see you me as a father figure :P. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated with a BA in Economics from Utah State University, the best university in the United States (indisputably). Shortly after graduation, I started working full time for the non-profit I helped found and now thats what I do. Its called the Ungana Foundation and its hosting the USU-Rwanda team.

I first heard about OLPC when the Foundation was researching potential projects and thought it revolutionary. We investigated it more thoroughly, purchased an XO on Ebay, and began to understand what all the fuss was about. I immediately saw the advantage in the applications on Sugar, they were easy to use, but not too easy. You had to dig a little and get your hands dirty in tech grease. It was like a skeleton of a simple computer, and you could see the anatomy and learn how it all worked. But not only is it tailored to scientifc discovery, but its also fun and engaging! Obviously I am a big fan of the XO. I think its perfect for our Ungana's education program and am very eager to start!

My personal background is a bit a of hodgepodge of many things. I have worked in the United States Senate, did freelance graphic design, and been involved in social welfare advocacy for some time. I have many volunteer experiences, but to be honest, I like the admin work just as much as being on the ground. I think a good balance keeps you sane :). Rwanda, our deployment country, is like my second home. Currently I live, as my third tour of this beautiful country. Hopefully, after a little more practice, Kinyarwanda will be my second language, a valuable tool in working with ruralities.

OLPCorps...hmmm...well to be honest I have little experience with education, I can only say I am great with kids! I would say the exact same thing about technology, and about computers. However I aim to use that to my advantage - learning with someone is a valuable teaching tool. Also my contribution to the curriculum is educating the students on basic business and the economic advantages of the EAC (East African Community).

That being said, I'd be happy to show anyone what Rwanda has to offer, but I might need a little advice on education in return.

Mwirire Inshoote.

No comments:

Post a Comment