Monday, July 31, 2006

Waiting to take a group picture

Elena, Oleg, and Jarwhar

After the last session of the faculty workshop, we posed to take pictures. Elena and Oleg from Russia teach Physics, and Jawhar from India teaches Information Science. I, from America via South Korea, taught these wonderful professors on "Teaching and Learning with Technology".

Brand new Computer Science building at NUR


There are several professors form India at NUR. They teach computer science or information technology. I met several husband and wife team from India teaching at NUR. I was impressed with the new computer labs in this new building. Computer science students will use the labs, and I hope the rest of the campus community will have access to these labs.

Story Circle


For the Digital Story Telling session, each person wrote a story, and brought their story to the group. Listening Immanuel's story.

Brainstorming session

Group 2
What is Oleg talking about? Faustin and Nadine are listening intently about Oleg's 21st century education in Russia and Rwanda. I am not sure what I am thinking... We suppose to come up with a plan for the NUR Faculty Development Center activities.

Children watching a slideshow on my laptop computer

Children at the morning devotion

Can you belive that little children get up at 5 a.m and come to the CASA house for morning devotion? There are 30 to 40 children come for the service every morning.

Completion of Dr. Craig's seminar


Photo Story


Putting together their group project.

Photo Story


Seventeen professors spent 2 weeks learning how to integrate technology into classrooms. Elena, Rose, Nadine and Immanuel are preparing their photo story.

Music lessons


Children from neighborhood visit CASA house and practice music.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dinner at Paul's house


We had a dinner at the Pastor Paul's house. Rwandees eat rice, beans, cooked bananas, and some meat to go with the meals. Every meal is the same; chips, rice, bananas, beans.

at Lake Tanganyika


We visited Pastor Jeremy in Burundi. Immaculate was our guide and interpreter.

Drum lesson


Robina showing kids how to play drum

Keyboard class

Keyboard class

On Saturday, students from NUR come to the CASA House and take a music lesson, and computer lessons

Batwa people visit the CASA House


There are ten Batwa families live near Butare. We have become friends since 2002, and we we have visited them once a year. This year, they have visited us at the CASA House with pots they made.

Professors at NUR

Professors at NUR

These are the Faculty members who attended th workshop from July 11 through July 27th. We had a great time together for three weeks. Two professors from each college were represented in the workshop. We covered learning theories and teaching methods during the first week, produced a digital story using Photo Story and Movie Maker during the second week. During the third week, we brainstormed what and how the NUR Faculty Development Center should support professors.

NUR's new rector and vice rector

NUR's new rector and vice rector

I met with the new rector of NUR after the 3-week-long faculty workshop. He is a visionary, and he insists that every faculty member will have to use computer if he/she wants to teach at NUR. He was transferred from KIST in Kigali to NUR. I expect great things from his leadership. The director of Faculty Development Center and also Vice Rector Silias visited the Rector with me.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend in Butare

I tried so many times to upload pictures, but it took forever to load, so I gave up.

I got up at 2:30 in the morning, I can't go back to sleep. I have not heard from Chris since he left Butare. I hope they arrived in US safely. Ted is with Gordon in Uganda, and I hope he is doing Okay too. I have not heard from Gordon. I am doing great here in Butare. It is raining, and people are telling me it is unusual to have rain like this in July.

Sunday, 23--Paul came to pick me up at 8 am to go to his church. I attended the English service and spoke at the KinyaRwandan service. I shared about my experience here in Africa using Mark 10:27. Robina and I went to Oleg's house, Oleg and Elena are professors from Russia and they teach Physics at NUR. George, Emmanual, and Gerald were there too. Robina became a friend with Oleg's daughter, and the daughter was crying for Robina to stay when we left. We had a great time eating Russian food. Chris would loved to eat Elena's cabbage rolls. When I returend home and entered the CASA House gate around 5 p.m, I heard beautiful sining from our house. There were about 25 Batwa women and children were sining at the porch and waiting for us. I recognized most of them. I showed pictures of them from the last year. They were giggling and having a great time looking at themselves. I took more pictures, and this time I made a slideshow on my Mac, and showed it to them. Probably they saw a computer for the first time, as anyone can imagine, they were amazed what they see on the screen. I enjoyed watching them enjoying themselves. They came to pay a visit and express their thanks for goats we gave them. I thank them for coming, and they thank them for goats the CASA team gave them last Wednesday.

Batwas make living by selling clay pots, and they brought four huge pots. All handmade, and very well made. Can you believe that they are selling all for 90 cents? I wish I could take the pots. They are big and very well crafted.

Saturday 22
In the morning, I taught students how to use a digital camera, and showed how to put together a digital story. It took all morning because my microphone didn't work. Went for fiting at a taylor shop in the afternoon. I ordered some pants and skirts, and I am not sure I will wear them in US, but I know I will wear them when I am in Africa.

Talked with Frank about his work with CASA. We came to understand each other. I set up an excel file for Robina and Frank.

Talked to the landload about the bathroom repair. It is going to be a major construction job. We don't know how long it is going to take, in here a construction job can last several years. I hope he will act on it quick. We told him that if he finish the job,then we will give him six month rents. He wants to see the money first, but Robina told him "no". He fix first, then he will have the money. He gave Robina some flowers to put in the garden.

Took Robina, Pascuzia, Charmant, and Skovia out for Chinese dinner. Here in this town, they consider the chinese restaurant as a fancy place. The food was very expensive and wasn't good at all. We waited for two hours, and when the food arrived, it was too salty to eat. We agreed we will not come this place again.

Friday, July 21, 2006

July 21st--DST workshop

We continued to use different tools to develop stories. There is only one scanner at the ICT center, so everyone had to take their turn to use it. I found ImageReady software to use the scanner. Most of them never used a scanner before, so it took some time to learn to use it. These professors are so eager to learn, everything that I show, they want to learn. There is no formal class meeting today. Everyone is doing their own thing. Some people went out to take pictures using my camera, some went to the computer lab to use Photostory, and some scanned their pictures. We suppose to meet between 9 am to noon. But it is 6 p.m now, and there are four professors are still working on their project. Faustin, Emmanual, and Charles are still in the room working on their project.

I met with the Vice Rector Silias this afternoon. The director of the CIT arranged the meeting. We talked about our future plan and he wants me to comeback and help them with curriculum development and evaluation.

I need to write a grant, so I can bring people from US and also I would love to have a faculty development conference. When professors meet together and exchange information, it will be great. I love my work here in NUR. This is the exactly what I like to do during my summer vacation. I need to write about my experience here in Rwanda and publish it.

July 19th

I got up with singing downstairs. Robina is gone to Kigalie with the team. Joseph and Skovia were leading the devotion this morning. Almost the same number of people came. I had breakfast with Skovia, then went to school. One lady made a prayer request that she will go to see her sick father near Burundi. I gave her 5000 franks for her transport. I asked Frank to bring my backpack, I walked to school. It takes only 10 minutes from home to school. When I got there, there were several professors were waiting. We met at the ICT room, they called it a smart room. We used Photo Story 3 to put together a story. There were four groups, and I sent them out to take p for the door to be opened. Today, we will start DST workshop. Some of them already has a digital camera. Chalres’ team worked on NUR research projects, Joanne worked alone on an introduction to NUR, and Elena’s group worked on beautiful scenery of NUR campus.

DST workshop

I showed Jawhar my ilearn site, and told about MOODLE. I can’t believe how bright these people are. He downloaded it, and he useed it already. Now he is going to set up a LMS system, he calls it e-Learn@NUR for the whole university. This semester, he is going to work with selected professors to use the system, then evaluate it before the university adopt it.

I showed my digital story that I made for the first time. Everyone was so excited to produce a digital story.

Faculty Development Workshop

I can’t belive it is time to finish up the seminar. This is the second week of the workshop. The team (Chris, Craig, Ted, Jeanne) left yesterday to ruturn to US. Let me write things happened yesterday. I got up at 5 a.m, the usual time for a morning devotion. There are about 80 people in the CASA living room in this morning, about half of the attendees are children. Robina cheered people to sing, and she is so good at what she does. How anyone can sing and dance at 5 in the morning! Rwandees can do this without any problem. The devotion was done around 7 a.m, then a breakfast at 8. I walked to the university. Jeanne, Craig, Ted went to give goats to Batwa famies and Chris finished packing. I am sad that I would not see Batwa families this year. Every year since 2001, I went to see them. It was so wonderful to see how happy they are with such little gifts that my friends from home provide them. Each year, my friends give me money to buy goats. I understand that Batwa people are discreminated here in Rwanda. Here are some pictures of our team working.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

NUR workshop

Workshop is going very well. There are 20 participants, and they are chosen by their dean. Each College selected two professors, and they are from Teacher prep program, Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science, Arts, etc. I am using the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) lab. Every college has their own lab, and some are much better equipped than others. I teach in the mornings, and in the afternoon I meet different people on campus. I have 10 sessions, and I give different topic in each session. Today topic was on learning styles. Tomorrow I will talk about LMS and show itec 800 ilearn site. Most of the materials are new to them, and they are fascinated about everything I give them. I am so energized by their attitudes. There are two Russians who are teaching Physics, and one Indian prof who teaches Information Technology. There are quiet a few professors from South Africa. There are several guest lecturers from America. American Embassy give a party for us the other day. One prof from Boston University is teaching video editing class in the Journalism department, and a retired report from New York Times is here to give talk.

Everyone is little distracted here because of Gacaca (Genocide court). When I arrived for my seminar, I found out that some of Rwandese professors had to attend a meeting to discuss how they will carry out judgment. They have done the first phase which they have collected information on the accused, and now the second phase begins. Many people will go to jail. I feel there is tension in the air. The judgment will be carried out for one year, they want it to be quick.

Jean's writing

Here is Jean's writing about what we are doing during the first few days in Rwanda.

Greetings from Africa 7/10/2006
7/09/06 Chris & I attended Pastor Paul’s Assembly of God church for the Sunday morning service. They asked me to speak before Chris gave the message. Chris preached two services, one on trusting Christ & the other on implementing God’s word. They speak Kinyarwandra. I am starting to be able to sing some of their praise songs, most are like our tunes. A college choir sang several songs and did skits. Then a group of young people & college age youth sang, beat the African drum and several young women did a traditional dance to praise the Lord. An interpreter sat next to me and interpreted Pastor Paul’s message. He encouraged the people to put God’s word into actions. In the afternoon we went to the stadium to the “100 Days of Hope” gathering. In Rwanda, in the spring, they started having speakers from America every week Joyce Meyers was here in April. Pictures of her in Rwanda are on her website. This week-end, “Living Faith” a ministry from Portland, with 25 people, was here when we were there. Georgene Rice sang. There were hundreds of people there. Many people, mostly young people, went forward to receive the Lord after the message. Afterwards, we went to Pastor Paul’s home for dinner. We met his 81 year old mother and his 3 sons. His wife is in Belgium for her master’s degree in medicine. She wants to research AIDs. I sat outside in the courtyard with Paul’s mother to watch her and her helpers make a traditional African meal, cooked on three round small charcoal burners on the ground. The food was bought fresh from the market that day, even the live chickens.We had chips (fried potatoes), curried rice, carrots, peas, tomatoes, onions cooked together in one pot, chicken cooked in tomato sauce, green bananas cooked in a fruit sauce, and fresh sliced papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, and bananas for dessert. Before we left they gave us a small, very sweet fresh banana. All the food was bought fresh that day. 7/10/2006 At 3:45 am, country people, women and children, started to gather at the CASA house. At 5:30 am we started a prayer and praise for these people. They have to be in the fields working at daylight and so have to come very early. Robina, a young woman of 27, the director of the house, ministers to them every morning. They are dressed in traditional, brightly colored printed African country dress with a matching headdress. Most have babies tied to their backs. These are women who come to pray before they go to work in the fields and their children go to school. There were around 20 women and 20 children crowded in with us in the sitting room. Robina asked each of us from America to speak a word. I spoke a greeting from America, with an interpreter and encouraged them to trust God for their lives. From 9:30 until 12, I spoke to 15 Mamas (older women). I gave my testimony to God’s faithfulness to me and my children during the time of my husband’s unfaithfulness and my divorce. I am presenting Joyce Meyer’s book, “Beauty from Ashes”. Many women identified to my situation of my husband leaving me for a younger woman, emotionally and spiritually. I asked for prayer requests, most were for situations like mine, health, places to live, money to live and relationships. All people have the same requests regardless of their station in life or where they live. I will be with this group the next four mornings. Brother Chris is teaching different groups, different messages four times each day to university students. Craig Singleton, Dean of Music at the Dominican University in California, is teaching music, guitar to the university students. Sister-in-law Kim met with the deans at University of Rwanda to discuss training of professors on use of computer technology. She has a Fullbright grant this year and will be at the university representing Christ.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Arrived in Butare

Brian and Innocent from US Ambassy met me at the airport. I had an easiest time to go through the immigration desk in my history of visiting here. Joan, Paul, and Frank were there to meet me, I felt like I was so spoiled by getting all these attention. Now I found out that my seminar is a big deal and advertised widely, oops, I hope I am prepared for this. There is a change in administration post at the University, so I didn't know if I could even have a seminar. On Monday there will be an opening ceremony.

Chris, Craig, and Jean were met by Paul and Frank at the border and escorted them to the CASA house. It was 12 hour long bus drive for them from Uganda to Rwanda. They are safe and sound. PTL!

Chris and Jean will go to Paul's church and Craig and I will go to Robina's church today.

Friday, July 07, 2006

London airport

When I arrived in London, Chrs met me, and helped me to move bags from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4. Craig and Jean went to town and did tour of London, and I saw them off to Uganda at 5:30 p.m yesterday, then off to my hotel. I am visiting Andrew and his parents now, and using his computer to check my e-mail. Nick is teaching today, so I don't see him this time.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Family visit

Jeanne came to SF on Saturday. Criag, Jeanne, Chris and I met as a team for the last time before we leave for Africa. Craig left on Sunday to visit his father in Alabama, he will meet Chris in NY. Chris and Jeanne will leave today to NY, then to London. I will meet them in London on 6th, and then we split again. They will go to Butare via Entebe; I will go to Butare via Nairobi. We will be together on 9th in Butare. Everything is in order. Frank e-mailed that the Vice Rector and Fulbright director will come to open the faculty workshop on 11th. I decide to take my Mac computer, and I am not sure how it is going to work with electricity problems in Rwanda.

Frank and Lilia are here to enjoy SF.