After ten months of traveling, I have returned home to New York City and Baltimore to visit with family and friends, visit with schools with whom I’ve skyped during my travels, and get a slew of medical check-ups before heading back to Cambodia in October. I’m not going back to my Digital Thinking teaching and Technology Curriculum Coordinator position at Garrison Forest School. Instead, I’m going to continue on the road as a Global Educational Correspondent for Garrison Forest School while continuing to teach underserved students and communities in SE Asia and Africa how to harness digital media as a way to join the Global Discussion. I’ve left a steady paycheck, my house, a community of friends I love, and the comfort of the known. Yeah, there are moments I awake in the night and think, what AM I DOING?!… Continue reading
I stood in front of Tsentuya’s English class at School 23 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as she explained that I was a teacher visiting from the United States. After the quick introduction, I asked the students if they had any questions. A boy seated at the back of the room raised his hand, tilted his head, and inquired: “Before you came to Mongolia, what did you know about Mongolia?”
I laughed. He knew my story… Continue reading
Mongolia is divided into Aimags (Provinces). Early one morning, I went out to the Dragon Bus Depot to catch a bus to Bulgan Aimag, west of the capital Ulaan Baator.
After a six hour bus ride, I arrived at the ger home of Mr. Byambatogtoh. The Byambatogtoh Family is a nomadic herding family that moves four times per year with the weather. The family owns 40 horses, 10 cows, 3 camels and 400 sheep and goats. When I arrived, I was welcomed traditionally with milk tea, sweets, and biscuits. Lunch was a delicious fresh noodle (I watched it being made!) and more tea. After lunch, I accompanied Mr. BYambatogtoh’s son to herd the camels on motorbike! We then rode the camels 14 kilometers to a Buddhist sacred space.
The next day, I traveled to the home of Mr. Otgonbayar. The family was wonderfully welcoming, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone: I spent the most time with the grandparents and children. While attempting to communicate with the sixty-two year old grandmother with a phrasebook, I shared photos on my iPad. I then showed her Photobooth. She LOVED seeing herself and playing with photobooth.
Sadly, after two days in the countryside, I became sick due to a lack of a sanitation system. It was a strong reminder of the importance of continued development work necessary around the globe. Watch the video for the ‘Reinvent the Toilet’ initiative that my good friend Sara is working on with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, universities around the globe are working to develop toilets that can be functional without a water system. That’s Smart People doing Good Work!