Getting off the plane at Roberts International Airport
Welcome to Booker Washington Institute
My first class. Teaching a review on Bryophytes and Tracheophytes. Yikes!
My second class
Ben teaching botany
How does water get from the ground to the leaves?
Ben's students are transfixed
This book was used by Jamie Rackmill (a high school classmate of mine). Holy Cow!
Part of the BWI campus
Mr. Walker demonstrates how to stomp on peanut plants
Ben, Mr. Walker, Adam
A microscope donated from HCHS, waiting for the science labs to be finished with their renovations
Soldering on a scrap of board
How does an oscilloscope work?
At first this scope was plugged into 110 V and we couldn't get it to work. After switching to 220V we could visualize audio waveforms shouted into a speaker.
Teaching a lesson on data collection by investigating the effects of exercise on heart rate.
Jonathan, Adam, Abraham, Ben. Our team.
A model bathroom for the plumbing students
Carpentry students at work
Building trades students making bricks, with help from Principal Mulbah Jackollie
Children of one of the teachers, guarding his pharmacy
Ben's birthday celebration on our first night in Africa. I smuggled in the hats from the US :)
More birthday party
One of the iHelp team presents Ben with a chief's walking stick. For the rest of the trip Ben was known as "Chief Ben"
Sangay Feflen, coordinator of the group, "Women in Science and Technology in Liberia," presents Ben with a carved map of Liberia.
Ben with his presents
Working with business students
Students of secretarial Science
The soon-to-be opened science lab
Chemical supply cabinet
Room of broken computers used for spare parts
Discussing the curriculum with the faculty
Adam, Ben, Principal Mulbah Jackollie
Looking at test tube racks made by the carpentry students
Ms. Daisy, the Librarian
Sign advertising traditional medicines in the Kakata market
Truth in advertising?
Mamia Jabateh, our surrogate mother for the trip. Our breakfast is on her head.
Adam and Mamia
Ben checks out a skeleton at JFK Hospital
Adam and Ben meet with Yonton Kessely, Deputy Minister for Vocational and Technical Education
Sangay Feflen at a meeting with Joseph Korto, Minister of Education
Meeting with Minister Korto
Ben, Minister Korto, Adam
Adam talking to university science teachers at the Ministry of Education. The point was that sophisticated laboratory experiments can be done on a shoestring, literally. I'm demonstrating a pendulum experiment, using one of my shoelaces.
Ben talking to university science teachers. At this meeting we formed the All University Science Teachers Association.
One of the teachers makes a point
Etmonia Davis, science coordinator at United Methodist University
Discussing the needs of science education
Theophilus Ndorbor, Acting Deputy Minister of Science Education at the Ministry of Education
Kindergarteners at the school where Abey's wife works
It's nice to feel like a rock star!
Testing whether we can extract DNA using ingredients we bought at the market
I'm wearing my headlamp because the electricity kept going out.
Our extraction works! Jonathan Hart peers from behind.
Adam tests his lime battery. Yup, it tingles the tongue.
Jonathan tests his battery
Abey wants to test his battery, but can't quite bring himself to touch the electrodes with his tongue
Maurice, the housekeeper, comes in to see some DNA
Students at United Methodist University make a lime battery and test it with an earpiece from a cellphone
Can we make a super battery?
Students at UMU
Lesson on series and parallel limes
We go back to Sam, the man we bought the limes from, to show him a new application for his produce.
Sam is impressed
Passersby stop to see what's going on
Preaching science in the marketplace
View from the Internet Cafe
Kormassa Yanniga Arkoi, and her daughter
Jonathan and Kormassa's daughter
The new family
Ben and Adam meet with Hester Williams-Catakaw, Deputy Minister for Instruction at the MOE
Extracting DNA with the Women In Science group.
More DNA extraction
Ben and Adam sport our new Liberian robes. Now nobody will be able to tell that we're foreigners :)
Ben, Adam, and Jonathan meet with Dean Korheina, dean of Science at University of Liberia
Chemistry students at UL do a lab
Books in the UL library
The science labs were looted bare during the war. They've been cleaned, but not yet restocked.
Students voice their grievances
Talking to Biology students about how to elevate science education
A student shares his opinion
Ben and Adam chat with Sangay Feflen about the status of women scientists in Liberia
We give Sam a packet of nails and copper wires. He starts to teach others how to make lime batteries.
Abey and some of his nieces
Ben with kids
Adam with kids
Adam with more kids
Ben with Abey's youngest niece
Abey's niece and her daughter
Ben and Adam chat with journalist Cholo Brooks
Beyan, our driver, plays with his lime battery
Teaching about DNA extraction at UL
Ben drives home the point
Is the DNA condensing?
Ok, ready to see some DNA?
Jonathan gives the mission statement
Ben explains how to use a microscope
Chatting with the students after class
Teaching first-year physics students about lime batteries
How much voltage can you get from a lime?
How does a battery work?
Ben explains how to program a TI graphing calculator
Wiring up limes in parallel
Wiring limes in series
Basics of circuit theory
The model lab at Tubman High School for I-Help Liberia
Why is all the lab equipment covered in dust?
Nobody has ever used this equipment!
Meeting with the high school science teachers
Some students wander into the lab while we're looking at the equipment
Let's see if we can figure out how this works
More students wander in
Spontaneous science lesson!
Waterside Market in Monrovia, where we went shopping before our cooking lesson
Potato greens and kid
They thought our efforts to balance stuff on our heads were hilarious
Sorting and washing potato greens
Stirring the pot
Ok, maybe we need our hands
Just like a native :)
I didn't do so well in the balancing race
Some kids watching the fun
Meeting with "Liberian Women in Science and Technology" at the University of Liberia Medical School
Meeting with Liberian Men in Science and Technology :)
Smythe Academy computer science room
Trying to fix a microscope in their science lab
Teaching a lesson on orders of magnitude to nursing students
Nursing students at Smyth
Science teachers at Tubman High School
Ending a lesson with a cheer
Naming ceremony for Agnes Janice Hart. The backpack is for when she starts school.
Mother and child
Mother, child, and two proud uncles :)
Starting the ceremony with a prayer
A speech from the pastor
A speech from the uncles
More speechifying from the uncles
Ben performs the Hebrew naming ceremony
Guests at the baby naming
Abraham gives a speech
Jonathan's friend from college
Jonathan's sister gives a speech
Jonathan and baby Agnes
Guests at the naming ceremony
Family portrait + uncles
Uncles Ben and Adam
We head out of Monrovia through the town of Red Light, named because it once contained a traffic light.
Town on the road to Ganta
Welcome to Bong County
Stopping to chat with the District Commissioner along the way
We got a posse in Kpain
Looking at natural rubber
This is how they collect it
Ben learns how to tap a rubber tree
He's pretty good!
Adam tries to tap a rubber tree too
We meet some of the Jabateh family on the farm
Some of Abraham's nephews
This child doesn't look too well
Chatting with Vamala Jabateh, the oldest of the Jabateh brothers
A family at lunch
Handing out shoes
Trying GB for lunch. This cassava paste has the texture of play-dough and the density of steak. It is meant to be swallowed without chewing.
Meeting with the Mandingo elders of Ganta
Michael's childhood home
This sign painter had a lot of tarlent!
Ben develops a following
Vamala Jabateh shows us where the family house used to be
View from the former Jabateh family compound
Abraham walks over the foundation of the old house
Two of the Jabateh kids pounding cassava leaves
View of the farm
One of the two surviving wives of the late patriarch of the Jabateh clan
Jonathan on the farm
Land cleared for planting rice
Vamala Jabateh shows us a machine formerly used to grind palm kernels for oil, before the war. The rebels stole all of the movable parts of their equipment
Another processing machine, rusting in the middle of the forest
Now the palm oils are processed entirely by hand
These kids need more protein.
Showing off the one of the drums where the oil is processed
Clearing in the forest for processing palm kernels
Abraham with the other surviving wife of the late Jabateh patriarch
Jonathan talking to rural high school teachers
Ben and Adam give a lesson on nutrition and the germ theory of disease. Most people don't seem to be familiar with these concepts.
Demonstrating the power of exponential growth by repeated folding of squares of toilet paper
Our academic home in Ganta
Going over the curriculum at Faith Academy
Ben chats with one of the Mandingo Elders
Photo with the "Muslim Youth Association for Peace and Development"
A former school that Abraham and Asumana have been hoping to rebuild
Abraham and his destroyed school
This Muslim school was leveled during the war
The second Imam of the Mandingo community shows us the destroyed school
This mosque was also destroyed in the war
Spokesperson for the Mandingo community of Ganta in the destroyed mosque
Little Asumana, on the left, is named after Mr. Randolph
Kids crowd to write their names in Ben's notebook
Typical Liberian taxi. The bags are full of coal
Hot peppers and Kola nuts
Our last science lesson, with the teachers at BWI
Mashing a tomato in a mortar and pestle is the first step in a DNA extraction
Adding the mashed tomato to our "beaker" made from a cut-off water bottle
Working on different kinds of graphs
Watching the DNA condense
Church service on Sunday morning. Ben gave a great sermon on the importance of science
We have a lot to learn from the Preacher's pedagogical style
Our team on the last day
Relaxing next to the airport
Until next year...