Hi from Wa’ays in Nijmegen!

15 Mar



I am Wa’ays, a twelve year old boy. My hobbies are soccer and playing outside. I would like to get to know you.  I am from Somalia. At school I am working on many things. Geopgraphie, Dutch, Grammar, History,, Biology, Maths, Drawing, Tinkering etc. I also have friends: Jordi, Jacob, Eludin, Ufuk and Betien.

What I like most is playing soccer with my friend. And I am brown-coloured just as you are. I like to play sports. I like the color red. My favourite food is pizza, and pasta.




Hi from Falastin

15 Mar



My name is Falastin. I am from Somalia. My hobbies are drawing, swimming and singing. I live in Nijmegen. I am eleven years old and my birthday is on the elevent of april. My favourite food is spinach and pizza. I am doing this project to get to know you better.


Xxx Falastin

Meet Ahmed from Nijmegen!

29 Feb


Hello from Ahmed

My name is Ahmed. I am eleven years old. I am at primary school. My hobbies are soccer and playing tennis. I am participating on this project because its fun. I have some questions for you:

  1. Is it beautiful in America?
  2. What sort of courses do you follow?
  3. Is the classroom big?
  4. Which city do you live?
  5. How old are you?
  6. What would you like to be when you grow up?

Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

In the Netherlands where I live it is fun. I have four brothers and one sister. Do you also get high-school advice?

My biggest idol in America is President Obama, second Jozy Altidore, and third Landon Donovan.

Thanks Ahmed!

Meet Adnan, our pen-pal friend in Nijmegen!

18 Feb


My name is Adnan. I am ten years old. My hobbies are soccer and playing on my computer. I have a very sweet family who I love the most in the whole world. They are the most important people in my life. I am from Somalia.

Adnan Says Hi! from Nijmegen

What is your name?  And what are your hobbies? How are you? Do you have enough food and drinks? If you haven’t we could send you some nice things. And do you have nice and strong clothing? Otherwise we could send you some. Could you send me a nice picture of you and your family? Are you being friendly to your parents? I am. Chicken is what I like most to eat. When I grow up I would like to be secret agent.


Our friends in the Netherlands!

17 Feb

Today we will introduce you to the other side of the exchange project. You have started to get to know our Pittsburgh side, but here is more about our Nijmegen side! This post will focus on the project facilitators and instructors in Nijmegen… so,



Daryo says Hello from Nijmegen!

My name is Daryo. Together with Anne and Tamara I am teaching eight Somalian children in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). We are helping them with their Dutch reading in understanding problems. Four of eight kids wrote letters so far [featured in the following posts].  Some of them asked  questions, others are just very curious about who you are, where you live and how you are doing. These kids are aged from ten till eleven.

Kind regards from the Netherlands,


[Daryo is our English-Dutch translator extraordinaire for the project in addition to helping facilitate the project with his lovely students!]

Thank you Daryo, Anne, and Tamara! We appreciate your collaboration with us here in Pittsburgh and we cannot wait to respond to your letters!,

Anne says Hello from Nijmegen!

Tamara says Hello from Nijmegen!

Love from the Pittsburgh crew.

Featured on Carnegie Mellon’s Study Abroad Newsletter

13 Jan

I thought I would share the project’s publicity in this newsletter. Check it out! http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie/sab/tartans/stayingintouch/TartanTravelsPdfs/fall_2011_newsletter.pdf

The final version of the ethnographic paper will be made available online, stay tuned.

Happy New Year

GigaPan inside the Classroom!

5 Dec

After trying the GigaPan last week outdoors in the park, we decided for this week we would use it inside of the classroom! We started the day off working on storyboards (which will be featured in a separate post). The storyboards illustrated a typical day at school. What we enjoy as well as what we dislike. How do you reconcile the things you wish to do, with the things you don’t like to? The PGH crew talked about why they enjoyed certain topics in school, and certain activities more than others.

Towards the end of the class, we had time to work on some large scale paintings and ideas. The students spread out with large paper and cardboard and got to work. Meanwhile, the gigapan happily shot away capturing each bit of it.

The button pusher that had been disconnected for the previous week was again connected. At least, at first…  Somehow the mystery of the faulty button pusher continued and stopped working mid-photo taking. Luckily, I have perfectly capable fingers to help the robot out! Working together with this genius robot, we bring you these two GigaPans.



Isn’t it silly sometimes the way we are collaged within the GigaPan. When posing for the robot, you can choose to stand still, or purposefully move about so as to appear in multiple frames of the same photo. Sometimes I direct the students where to stand, and other times its a free for all of how many times they can get into the same photo. I try to let them know when they appear or not in the frame. We help each other set up the shot and its boundaries.

Here are some close up shots used for the overall stitch: