Posts Tagged ‘Butare’

A Teachers Blog-Week 2

After two weeks together, the third year Journalism and Communications students, and I wrapped up our course at the National University of Rwanda.
I couldn’t be happier with the results.

The students came back with some surprisingly solid images given the fact this was the first experience shooting a photo essay, and using a camera for most of them.

On top of that using point and shoot cameras with 10 people to a camera provides it share of challenges, to say the least.

Here’s a look at some of the images they brought back from a great two weeks together. In three weeks I will start a new course in Kigali at the Great Lakes Media Center.


Students Pictures-National University of Rwanda – Images by 3rd Year Students


A teacher’s blog- Week 1


The first day wreaked of havoc from the beginning. I arrived into a tightly packed classroom of 71 students only to discover my fly was down. As I turned around to subtly pull it back up, I realized the zipper was broken. Great. Not only that, but the speakers, laptop, and everything I had prepared weren’t exactly going to work all to well in a brightly sun-lit classroom, with one plug.

Things turned around quickly though. We moved the class into a much larger room, found an extension cord, and started to project images and multimedia onto a white sheet. The rest of the week has been golden… sort of.

To give you a little background, I’m here in land of 1000 hills, otherwise known as Rwanda, teaching multimedia and online journalism. I’m currently at the National University of Rwanda in Butare, and following that, I’ll be at the Great Lakes Media Center in Kigali for three weeks.

I was brought here by Rwanda Initiative, a Canadian NGO that recruits teachers from all over, and brings them to Rwanda to teach.

So far, the biggest challenge has been supplies. I came with several cameras in tow, donated by the Toronto Star, but even combined with those, we have 7 working point and shoots for 71 journalism students… not exactly ideal.

At the University sits a box of old Nikon D1s that have been donated from media organizations all over the world …none of them are working.

So, we’re doing what we can. Groups of 10 are going out with one camera, and learning to build sequences, shooting wide, medium and tight, how to white balance, shoot environmental portraits, features, and photo essays. They’re
excited, and so am I. Each day, the pictures improve ten fold.

All in all, things have been great so far. The students are very attentive, and have learnt quickly to come to class on time after realizing I was serious about blocking the door with a desk at 8:35 each morning. Deadlines are deadlines:)


Teaching in Rwanda

Kigali Street Scene, 2009


I’m really excited to be off to teach journalism for in Rwanda in February with Canadian NGO Rwanda Initiative. I had the opportunity to stay with them earlier this year when working on a story on the anniversary of the genocide, and have been looking for an excuse to return ever since…

From their website: “Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, Canada’s premier journalism school, is spearheading this initiative to collaborate with its counterpart at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), in Butare.
The central aim is to address the shortage of journalism educators in Rwanda, to build capacity, to improve journalism standards in the country and to forge a partnership between the two universities.
In addition to providing the School of Journalism and Communication in Butare with consistent access to visiting teachers, the project has a major curriculum development and exchange component and also includes media-training workshops in Rwanda for working journalists, jointly organized by Carleton and NUR.”


TIME and Digital Journalist

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I have a new piece up today on TIME.com telling a story from Rwanda marking the 15th anniversary of the genocide. Check it out if you have a chance.

Also, please check out this months issue of the Digital Journalist. There’s an email exchange between guest editor Jerry Lazar from KobreGuide and myself talking about why I decided to leave the LA Times, and how freelancing in India has been so far. The whole issue is filled with amazing contibutors and stories.