they were under order to stay in their homes over the weekend, so alie could not charge his laptop
i will direct him to reply to your post himself, but i can tell you what he will say
leoneans are people of faith
while westerners question divinity at the best of times, leoneans are thankful even in the worst of times
school is scheduled to start on the 14th of this month, everybody is holding their breath
obviously, close contact among children at school is a primary cause of contagions being transmitted between the entire population (those kids have families)
we will give the school a few days to handle their business before alie speaks with the principal about our project
with any luck we can be "in" those classrooms by the end of the month
it has been a long time since i have played this world, but as you can see from the first pages, this thread solicited a number of positive replies, so i will update it...
by the time we got the equipment to teach the class, school had let out for the summer, it recently started back up
with ebola scare over, schools have many more students than last year
while you only see about 40+ in this first video, i saw 75+ today and when the next video is posted it might show 100+ kids at this 1 school
we are just getting satrted, still working out the wrinkles, and suffering technical difficulties, so this first video is no way anything amazing, except that it even exists
if anybody can link similar video, please do so
this might be the only african high school being taught by foreigners via video chat?
at one point my recording software only captured the audio portion of the chat
the video taken from downtown Freetown was taken specifically to overlay this audio portion
future videos will be much more entertaining and cohesive
i want to thank again everybody who posted a positive comment when this project was first being planned, perhaps some of you are still playing and remember this thread
this was posted for YOU!
i had hoped to see my tribe adopt this project, but my tribe does not exist, thanks mostly to the betrayal of muldeh
in lieu of this, i have sent this email to a pastor at a local church...
This was the title of an email Rufus and I sent back and forth during the year before he came, I thought it fitting to continue it with you. Despite the time I spent in West Africa, I never met Rufus before he came. When he received his visa, he sent me a photo, I plugged the numbers into a government website and sent him a ticket. I told him I could provide a room, food, part time employment, his immigration fee, but I could not cover the cost of his ticket, he had always assured me that he could handle that. When he received his visa, because of the Ebola situation and the fact he had just passed a comprehensive physical examination, there was a demand to get him the ticket as soon as possible, so I paid for it and he agreed to pay me back. He arrived in this country (never have been outside West Africa) to start a new life with literally a backpack and empty pockets. Within 2 months of being here, he had not only paid me back the entirety of his ticket, he had also sent hundreds of dollars back home.
As the kids in the class we teach graduate, he will help them apply for a green card and I will extend the same offer to whoever might win. Those who do not win, we have high (yet realistic) hopes for them as well.
Obviously, the greatest needs the world faces at the moment are overwhelmingly African; I will not bore you with stats, but can provide some key figures upon request, if they are of help to you convincing others to assist as they can. I am not trying to convince you or sell you on anything. If anything, I am presenting an opportunity, which you will shortly see.
The most vital component of any assistance project is a good partner to work with. Without somebody local who is trustworthy and competent, all effort is in vain, it does not matter what the project may be. For me, that guy is Alie, you will see him in video and are more than welcome to talk to him via Skype. Our goal is to assist whoever with whatever they wish to do, as long as it helps. Some folks want to build churches, some want to start orphanages, some want to help kids with polio or operate a medical clinic, issue microloans, work with refugees or amputees, some want to do it all, some want to do anything. For the latter, we have some novel ideas we can provide, but we want to empower people to be able to do whatever makes them happy.
I need for Alie to be replaceable, if God has plans for him other than our own. The best way we can do that and coincidentally achieve our goal of likewise empowering others to perform their works (according to their calling) is to produce the characters we all so vitally need and assist others in developing their own future partners. Perhaps, you are beginning to see why Rufus and I are teaching at a high school.
I will tell you about Alie instead ������
When I met Alie, he was 14 and was very proficient in English. He lived in the docks area (never a good place no matter the city) in Freetown, in a 2 room home with a leaking roof and a large family. It turned out that he was exactly where he needed to be with the 1 thing he needed, English. Are you familiar with an organization called Mercy Ships? Obviously, the "ships" require docks and the international language is English. With a single ship, the Anastasis, Mercy Ships brought literally thousands of missionaries to West Africa. Consider a ship capable of housing 400 people there typically for 1-12 weeks each, constantly rotating that staff. Amazing story in their own right, I could regale you with amazing tales for as long as you cared to listen and I cared to type or talk, but I do carried away with tangents, so let me stick to this story for now.
When Alie was 18, I invested maybe $500 in starting a shop for him (which also served as a tiny personal home), a telecenter (ask Alfred if you are not aware of the term). I had anticipated teaching him accounting, but had not anticipated the level of his existing math skills which were nowhere near comparable to his English. According to the official stats, to this day, over 70% of Sierra Leone is illiterate, fyi, that is a stat worth mentioning. Alie was well on his way to being the most trustworthy partner imaginable, but he was not yet fully competent. When he was capable of keeping accurate books, I registered a tiny organization for him.
Today, he is 26 and hosts the class Rufus and I teach at a total initial investment of less than $750 with recurring monthly costs of $150. The arrangement I have with the school offers me 2 hours twice a week at the moment. It also affords me to the right to "employ" "teachers" at my discretion.
By "employ" I expect a volunteer staff to take over this project, but I am willing to pay the right person, in the right circumstance, minimum wage. As I said, I am not asking for money, I am in a position to contribute myself, obviously. By "teachers" I mean literally anybody willing, we might be able to "employ" even the disabled, I do not know, to be honest. We can absolutely "employ" high school students. We do not need teaching credentials, but if you happen to have a retired teacher in your congregation who would be eager to direct the program and a congregation eager to cover at least 4 hours a week, you can have the entire school.
Hopefully, you are beginning to see the opportunity. While I might need some of your students one day for some of my own projects, I can give your church 100+ high school students in Freetown, the school is already built and staffed, the staff paid by the government. I can provide Alie and myself, Rufus can provide himself. Together, we can teach your church and these students the basics to continue this endeavor without any involvement from any of us. When this is accomplished (very swiftly) I can send Alie to another school.
I am not a pastor, you can quote better than me, the part about training up a child?
I would love to discuss with you what to do with those kids who do not win the Diversified Visa Lottery program, but the school is yours, if your church adopts it. I am sure you will do something positive and in so doing will be entitled to as much as my perspective as you desire, no more. If you wish to adopt it, you will require a computer, projector, decent speakers, cordless mic, internet and a power source. I have told you what I have invested, but in those recurring monthly costs is a $65 salary to Alie, which you will not need to pay the student who hosts the class for you. If you wished to donate a couple of computers so the kids could have 1 to learn on themselves, and a generator with gas, you might be looking at a $1,000 initial investment and $125 recurring monthly costs maximum. Alfred could confirm this for you.
At the moment there are no high schools (to the best of my knowledge) in Sierra Leone with internet and computer courses, this may very well be the first. I could arrange a Skype video chat between yourself and the Minister of Education, if you like, it would impress/encourage/inspire your congregation, I think. Alie, of course, would host the video chat allowing you the chance to speak with him as well. If you so desired, we could even arrange for it to be during your Sunday service, live. We could also, obviously, record the chat and play it for the congregation later.
In Sierra Leone there is 1 saying that is hallmark, "Feel Free!"
This is, basically, my idea, but the question remains, who am I? I believe, I offer a deal too good to be true, unless I am a saint. I am most certainly NOT a saint, let us be perfectly clear on that. I am honest, I have met saints, I am not one and have no desire to be one. Jesus was perfect, he got crucified. I have no problem being a martyr; I am, in fact, a hero and the one often leads to the other. However, a hero and a..
[9/8/2015 11:31:27 PM] al haji rasul al masiha: are very different. Robin Hood was a hero, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, they were far from saints. Heroes have bad habits (you have seen me smoke already, I think; Rufus has been to your church 3 times, I did not even accompany him the first 2) and questionable associates. Think of me as a hero, NEVER as a saint, and you will never be misled or disappointed. While I have worked with many organizations, I have only ever represented 1 and they had grave concerns yet a lot of faith and trust.
Despite having Iraq war veterans, you have never seen video like this? Am I wrong? My first trip outside the U.S. was a pilgrimage, Jerusalem to be clear (though that is clearly not Jerusalem). That is Jenin, for the record, under curfew, obviously. It is noteworthy that Palestinians or Israelis, either one, could have ended that video at will and without risk. When literally nobody could walk the streets of the Holy Land, I could. I am a unique individual. I do not and cannot represent your congregation, and I do not fit in any mold of any person you have ever met. I can assist you in whatever you wish to do, without disappointment, as long as you do not go thinking I am some kind of saint; Rufus can assure you otherwise, even while he vouches I am a hero. Rufus is closer to sainthood than I, Alie as well, probably yourself also, I have no doubt.
In case you are curious, the one organization I represented was the UPMRC (Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Communities). I am not concerned with your politics, you should not be concerned with mine, but I will offer you the insight of the 1 person who could walk the streets of Jenin that day, even record it. You cannot be pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli, or vice versa, neither is possible. Their fates are intertwined, the only solution is 1 that works for both. If you are pro-Israeli, by necessity, you are also pro-Palestinian. It is not chance that neither side of the conflict shot me, both had a great deal of respect for me, obviously.
The point, however, is that I have done medical work on 3 continents, built schools, medical centers, orphanages, staffed them, trained the staff, worked in them myself. What I propose to you is routine, not a dream, we can discuss my dreams another day, if you like, I will bury you in text ������
For now, just remember I am no saint, just a hero.
Regarding my schedule, as I mentioned, mornings are the best time for me. I clean floors, nobody can be on them, so my work is busiest on the weekends. I might frequent your Wednesday evening mediation much more often than your Sunday service, though I will arrange times to attend that service in order to benefit your endeavors. I rest on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday, I teach class for 1 hour between 8:00 and 9:00 am, though this will change with Daylight savings and your church can adapt the days to suit them, if they wish to adopt the school. Typically, I sleep sometime between noon and 9 pm. Also I am always home from work by 8:30 am. Therefore 9 (or shortly after) till noon, Tuesday - Thursday (even Friday), is the best time for me to meet anybody. Obviously, I can write well and at length, but before trusting me, you might like to see more video than what I currently have uploaded, and some degree of dialogue is necessary, not only between us, but your congregation as well.
On Friday, I expect to spend the class (this particular week cass is Friday instead of Thursday) having 1 on 1 conversations with about 50 students at the moment. This will demonstrate where they are each at, already, in terms of expressing themselves and understanding spoken English. I will edit the video to 30 seconds of chat with each student, so ~30 minutes uploaded to youtube. We can play this video for anybody in your congregation who wishes to see it, especially those who might be interested in teaching. They really cannot know what the reality is till they see it. Whether I can edit and upload by Sunday is questionable. I certainly cannot attend your next Sunday service, I will be swamped that day, whether Rufus can attend is questionable. You have my schedule, though, and it is very malleable weekday mornings.
We were surprised and thankful for the parcel your church left at our door and your choir was simply divine. The American flag, that is a Yankee thing btw ������ Are you a Yankee, Mark? I would like to hear your story. I am a Yankee, that is how I know ������ My own belief is that you cannot serve 2 masters and displaying a flag that is not His in His house, that is borderline sacrilege in my opinion; even the Church of England does not do so, no other country does. However, I am not your congregation and do not represent them. I do not care what flag you display, I am only concerned with the Golden Rule (the sum of the word, the law and the prophets), being a good neighbor, not a teacher (ironically). They are judged by a different standard (the saint standard basically), I prefer being judged by the neighbor standard. Certainly, do not alienate any of your congregation because I said something about the flag. It is impressive enough that it is not Confederate.
I look forward to speaking more with you and your congregation, as does Rufus and Alie. From all of us to all of you...
Sincerely and Respectfully,
P.s. Alfred has Rufus' phone number, we do not have his. I would like us to chop (Alfred will understand what that means), I will pay, he just needs to call and schedule it for a week night. Also, I am forwarding this email to Rufus and Alie, fyi.[/spoil]