I2CAP in Ashanti Region

I just got back from a week in the Ashanti Region. I was there with my colleagues Eben and Dorothy to train teachers in preparation for the I2CAP program. It felt like the training went well. There were several participants who showed a lot of enthusiasm and that always makes it more fun to teach.

In about a weeks time we will head off again, this time to Northern Region. After that, all we have left is Upper East and Upper West and we will have covered all the regions in Ghana. I expect that will happen early next year.

Published in: on 2006.12.12 at 11:41  Leave a Comment  

There and back again

I just got back from a roadshow that took us to northern Ghana. We were a group from AITI who went all the way up to Paga just at the border to Burkina Faso.

We departed from AITI at 5 o’clock on Friday morning. I hadn’t slept at all the night before, so I was quite tired. Our first stop was at Kumasi where we ran a number of workshops. I was supposed to go to Kumasi Polytechnic to do a talk about open source but the person we were to meet was nowhere to be found. The others had better luck over at KNUST. We spent the first night at Engineering Guest House on KNUST campus.

Saturday morning we all had to get up at 4 o’clock which pissed me off. But we had a long journey. First we went to Tamale where we had lunch. Then we moved on to Bolga where we stayed the second night. A small group went to Navrongo to give another presentation. There wasn’t space in the car, so I didn’t take part in that presentation either. That night a few of us had quite a few drinks. I got very little sleep.

Sunday morning we got up at 4 o’clock again, and I was pissed off again. The trip really sucked from that point of view. After breakfast we departed for Paga, where we went to the Burkina Faso border as well as one of the crocodile ponds. I had been to one of those before but that was many years ago. Crocodiles are fascinating animals. Turning them into tourist attractions isn’t.

When we were done in Paga we spent the rest of the day on the road. We had a long distance to travel, because we had to be back in Kumasi that evening to spend another night at the Engineering Guest House. I reached Kumasi hungry and tired. After dinner a few of us went out to one of the local night clubs. It was quite okay, but after a couple of drinks I needed to get back to the guest house to catch a few hours of sleep.

Monday morning we didn’t have to get up as early. We had breakfast and started the journey back to Accra. It seemed to take forever, but finally we were back. It was so great to be back home.

All in all the trip was quite okay. There were a number of things I wasn’t happy with however. Like the strict military-like disciple. I’m not a disciplined person, period. Early mornings suck. Discipline sucks. Bad food sucks. Not having time to do the things *I* want to do sucks.

Published in: on 2006.11.21 at 12:44  Comments (1)  

Visit to KNUST

Of late I’ve been on the road quite a bit, and as a result I’ve been really tired. So tired, in fact, that I forgot to blog about my visit to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

Smith and I were invited by the Computer Science Society at KNUST to do a seminar on open source on Wednesday last week. We did this pretty much to a full house. It was great to speak to such a large crowd. There were quite a few questions and comments from the audience.

After the seminar itself, we fired up our laptops and showed off some open source alternatives to various Windows applications that people tend to use. Among the applications we showed were OpenOffice.org, Amarok, VLC, Gimp, Inkscape and Firefox.

All in all, I felt our visit was a success. I had a really great time over in Kumasi. I met some old friends and made a few new ones as well. I really look forward to going there again. Hopefully, the next time I go, the KNUST LUG will be active again..

Published in: on 2006.10.16 at 09:27  Leave a Comment  

Back in Accra

I just got back from one week in Western Region. I was there as part of the i2CAP team. We spent a few days in Takoradi and a few days in Tarkwa.

The idea behind i2CAP is that we give school teachers an introduction to programming. They will in turn teach their students how to program. At the end of it there will be a regional programming competition in which each school selects four participants.

At first, the language used for i2CAP was QBASIC, something I know very little of (I did program a little bit of BASIC, on a Commodore VIC-20 some 11,000 years ago). Now, thankfully, we are using Ruby.

It was really interesting to take part. It gave me more insight into teaching Ruby as a first programming language. I think Ruby has proved itself to be a very good choice.

One thing though: anybody going to Tarkwa and looking for a hotel: do not go to Lynka Hotel. The service, the room and the “breakfast” are all crap. Don’t waste your money one those clowns..
In about a months time I’ll be heading off again as i2CAP goes to Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West.

Published in: on 2006.10.07 at 16:44  Comments (1)  

I2CAP goes to the Western Region

I’m on my way to Western Region for about a week. I will be taking part in the I2CAP program. We will be giving teachers in the region an introduction to programming using Ruby.

I expect it’s going to be fun. This is only the second region that we teach Ruby in. But for me personally it will be my first I2CAP experience.

One thing it does mean is that I probably won’t be spending too much time on-line for about a week. So I’ll just blog about the trip when I get back instead.

Published in: on 2006.09.29 at 19:27  Leave a Comment