Some days Tim’s Waveplace activity brings happy tears to my eyes.
Today started with a trip to Ecole Nouvelle Orange, which was built by ProDev, an organization that visited us during the workshop last week. Two women from Israel picked me up at my hotel and we drove about twenty minutes north of Cite Soleil on Route 9. Their school, which opened last October, looked very new and very nice.
After talking about the school and the logistics of getting a pilot started here, we showed the XO laptop to the 4th grade class, in the Flamboyant room, letting them each have a turn playing the Maze game.
I’m always ambivalent about showing laptops to children unless we know for certain that they’ll receive them. As much as we say, “Maybe”, it never seems enough.
Surrounding the school, there are five new housing developments planned by large NGOs and governments, to help relocate people from the tent camps. Here’s one that was recently finished by the Venezuelan government. No one lives there yet.
Back at AMSAI for the children’s class, we showed them about variables, having them move objects around and discover on their own what X and Y do. Jean-jean then led everyone in a fun group song. I then introduced the Storytelling unit to both the mentors and the children at the same time, talking about Who, What, Where, When, How, encouraging the children to choose their own stories. For the rest of the class, the mentors helped the children start their storybooks. I was pretty amazed by what they were about to do in an hour.
For the mentor class, we covered lesson 9, Animation. The hardest part, of course, is convincing people to stop drawing, both children and adults. We had them each draw three frames of an animation and create a script to make it work. As before, some were able to do it immediately, while others struggled with Etoys mechanics, such as dropping sketches into the holder, not next to it.
After the breakdown, I walked home alone, even though it was getting dark. This was the first time I was actually a little scared in Haiti. Nothing happened, but I was very aware of my $1000 camera and $800 camcorder on my back, with a very different vibe when the sun goes down.
Tim Falconer: photos and text
Posted in Location – Haiti