DAY ONE: July 28, 2013
(It’s 2am and Sora and James are newly arrived in Haiti, meeting my friend Junior! – Salut mon ami!)
Junior trying out the Keyboard Activity
James, Sora, and Junior are very tired from a long day of traveling (or in Junior’s case waiting for hours at the airport for delayed flights), so those of you who want photos and narratives will just have to wait until tomorrow and be content with this photo of Junior, our man on the ground here in Haiti. He’d been experimenting with playing songs like Happy Birthday using the laptop’s music editing programs, which got us talking about activities like Keyboard (a piano simulator) that can help kids dive deeper into music. This is just one example of all the learning that is going on when three teachers get together.
Later thoughts: In America people make fun of you if you’re a “geek,” but specialized knowledge can come in handy. Sometimes I look back at my five years in band as sort of a waste of time, since it turns out I’m more passionate about writing, teaching, and running than I ever could be about playing the trumpet. I’m such a geek. But all those years of practice actually ended up coming in handy. Junior, our host here and a local teacher, showed off his XO keyboard virtuoso skills, which prompted me to show him an XO activity called Keyboard that simulates a piano, which made us all start playing around with different songs we knew, which led to an introduction into sheet music and more…
Hi everyone! Today I brought 10 XO laptops, 3 solar panels and charging equipment to Haiti (quite a load, but it’s here now). This means we have a new project in Ferrier. On Friday I’ll be going to the village to help the teachers initiate this new program—introducing laptops in the classroom in a community with no electricity and previously no computers.
Stay tuned for follow-ups!