Sunday, December 8, 2013

Making "Video Pals" Across the Globe!

There are wonderful people here in Ghana that are willing to make friends with students here in the US. For this section you will see Ghanaian students introducing themselves and asking questions of our students here in the US. One of the main questions the students in Ghana had for our students was; Do you have to pay for school fees? All students pretty much pay for the school fees, books and food in Ghana. At times students are not able to pay for their school fees and the owner of the school may have to make a hard decision to not allow the back to the school until all fees are paid. Aside from school fees, kids are kids and they all have some of the same questions for each other. Like, what games do you play? What types of foods do you eat? What sports do you like?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Business & Land Development

This year, handling business as usual saw some delays. Traffic causes some serious delays of goods and materials here in Ghana. The section in Malam junction still under construction, passes slowly under the direction of the Ghana traffic police. Many times I travel to my property from Accra and knew to expect an hour and half more of a trip. Finally meeting up with my worker in Apam, he greets me to show me what he has done well. I visited the place once this year to see the progress of the clearing of the land. I helped initially in the clearing and found myself stuck with my own cactus! What i though was a small needle embedded in my skin, it was really about a half inch or so. Nana Apaa assisting me in extracting the needle and disinfecting it with his home made Gin. I was feeling much better afterward and celebrated with some drink and laughs with the chief.

Kabu showed me the process in how he would clear the land. I like his idea and so he proceeded. Before we get to the property we have to cross with a small canoe when the tide is high. The beach site is in the Gulf of Guinea in the Central Region of Accra. It sits right across from the famous slave castle, "Fort Patience" where many slaves were transported to the Americas. Once developed, the site will educate the people on the slave trade and African Americans. Being born in one of the original slave states in America drives me to tell the story from a different perspective. In addition to the history lesson, there will be a sports and science complex to encourage the youth to pursue careers in athletics and in the STEM fields.

First we have to tame the land. Get everything cleared then begin the planning for the building's first locations. I have to think about water, and power to sustain and maintain the property. Where will it come from? Should i dig for a natural well? Well it seems that toward the back of the property there is a natural well there that was dug by the locals in the area. What a blessing! As for power, i wish to implement natural use of power through wind and bio energy. Using natural solutions to power the site will save the site in these costs. Im working on securing a windmill to put on the site. Before that though, i just wanted to secure my pillar that marks the post of the first corner in the front on the property. As heavy as it was, Kabu helped me secure it in the dirt. Then finally, i painted it. This was a major accomplishment for me because i was now making a presence in Ghana as a local property owner in the town. All in all, hanging out at the site even though there is no building, is blissful. Especially drinking coconut milk from my own trees...This summer in 2010 made a real difference for me here in Ghana and for my organization, Follow the Leader Foundation!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Physics Activity in America with Mr. Portee

You never know when you just may end up outside to learn about a topic. Using math can be found in just almost every activity. From making numerical predictions to measuring distance can all be used to understand and learn about numbers. The topic for the day is, can you catch a football when thrown to you from a distance? How do you make adjustments to make the catch? Is there math involved? Just like NASA's trips in to outer space, scientist have to make math calculations using trigonometry and calculus to get an object to a certain point on a coordinate plane. Can't forget about the physics involved as well that account for the pull of gravity and motion. How do athletes make these similar adjustments while in the field of play? In physics, you must always keep in mind, distance, speed, acceleration, time and the mass of the object being projected or thrown. The fact is, we can all do math even when we are in action! Who does this? Drivers, runners, electricians, cooks, and many many more people who do an array of activities. After the activity the students review their notes taken during the experiment. How much force was necessary to throw the ball? How far did the catchers run? How long did it take to get the ball to the catcher? These were the questions to answer... Lets have fun learning!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FTL Makes Friends through Education On the African Continent

A day at My Redeemer School is business as usual. Students report to school either by walking or getting dropped of by parents. Administrators (Owners) overseeing fee payments and classroom behavior issues are settled before class begins. We started promptly around 7:30am with a small classroom of approx. 2nd and 3rd graders. We spent much of the morning introducing ourselves and asking questions. I was greeted by open arms from the site administrator "Anastasia", and she brought me to the classroom i was to see. The students here all gave a big greeting to all people in the U.S.!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Engaging Students to Solve Environmental Problems in Their Town

Ecology is a topic we all should be concerned about as citizens of our planet. I visited a junior high school in Ghana called Apam Royal Preparatory. We talked about how the rubber water bags are scattered among the landscape. We all took some time to find one rubber bag a piece and set it in front of ourselves. It's important to recycle and maintain our living environments. These students along with their master teachers, came up with solutions to keep the environment clean for all of us. We took our discussion to the beach for some real application in environmental science. We all had a great time and i look forward to returning next summer to continue our discussion.