Colourful World by Valga Gymnasium

A intruduction to project värviline maailma (colorful world)
Valga Gymnasium offers from last spring to valga city basic school students a career training courses. Course purpose is to help basic school students to choose what comes next, to introduce different jobs, and schools speciality, which is also the UNESCHO school status. The courses are everymonth on friday and last for 5 hours. Over the year there was seven school days. Two days of course we devoted Global Education themes. In the end of the course 64 students got a diplom.

In April we prepared lots of preparations ,because we wanted to do something special for that day and we wished that our students also would take part in organizing, listeners and also took part in them.

Sushi making workshop
The day started in the school kitchen, where students were waited by nori sheets, sushi mats and boiled rice. Luckily some of the students have already tried to made it and therefore they were also helping to organize. Half of the group spinned the sushi rolls and the second half made Japanese Fresh rolls. This fresh rolls were rolled to a thin rice leaves with hot water. In the iniside there was a cucumber, pepper, shrimp sticks, carrots and so on. The fresh rolls was a clear under the colorful of the inside.
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With laughter and more fun hour and a half there was lots of tasty foods for later eating.

Tibetan in school
School had invited a adventurer called Roy Strider with a real tibetian Dolma and they bringed a Tibetian dog Karma.
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All the school and the course students listened them with pleasure of their adventurous stories. Dolmas story was translated to the students by Roy Strider. Dog only slept all the day :). Questions didn’t want to end. Even after the course everybody asked lot of questions. That exotical person we haven’t seen in school before.

Japanese workshop
Japanese workshop aim was to but the students to a new situation. The classroom was made a japanese style with Geishas. In the room was a incense smoke and the fresh air gave cherry blossoms. To the room you could enter from a 66cm door, you needed to bent down to get in.
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When you enter you had to take your shoes off and but them near the door. Visitors were hosted by the house ladies, who bented down and silently leaded visitors to their carpet on the ground. When the visitors had sit on the carpet then they offered some Chinese tea. Popcorn and rice and good smell made the tea tasty. Students shared their cups like the traditional japanese way and prayers.

Japanese tradition showed our geishas who were actually our 11 grade students with silent waving water and music they shared the visitors eating sticks and visitors tried to eat what they had made in the morning
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In the workshop there was 25 students so silent and were so impressed by the food and they enjoyed it. And when the lesson ended the bented opposite with the women and turned around and left the house.

Tibetian workshop
This room had a tibetian flag and some good prayres on the pages Students were sitting on the carpets and pillows and then listened to the tibetian women who talked about high mountains. Also there was Tibetian music. In the middle of the classom there was butten a camping stove, because when Dolma talked she could make some traditional Jaki tea. Students looked impressed because they hadn’t seen it before. They had never seen that a butter and salt was butten in there so much.dog2

In the building the smell was rich and different. When the tea was ready everybody tried it. Who said it was good and some said it was disgusting nobody felt cold about the tea or Dolma and Roy’s story- Visitor also singed us a children song, which was really old song. Tibetian dog Karma still sleeped all the time when we talked. Everytime they changed the workshops with differend groups so that both groups can get their.

Also to make the day more colorful, in the kitchen there was some Asian food. After the workshops there was a poll and this global education workshop winned every heart. The Project was helped by MTU Mondo. The Career days were made by the wonderful team, were belonged Andrus Murumaa, Pille Olesk, Meelis Oja and Triinu Ugur. In the workshops were project helpers from the 11. grade students.

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Zopeliga Primary school preparing beans

On December 2nd 2015 Zopeliga Primary School teachers along with form 5 and 6 students organized a food day at their school. They prepared two foods: ngbegira (beans cakes) and tentaareh (chips from beans flour).

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Zopeliga Primary School students who volunteered for the project, classes 5 and 6

The first dish was Ngebegira. The ingredients needed to prepare this dish were the following: cowbeans (soaked overnight), water, sheabutter, onions, saltbitter and pepper.

The soaked beans were ground and then saltbitter was added to it. The children rolled small cakes out of the dough and put them to cook on clean grass on top of  boiling water. The cooking took place over hot steam for about 20 minutes.

Until the cakes were cooking, the students prepared the sauce: melted and heated sheabutter mixed with small slices of onion. The natural taste of sheabutter and onion did not need any other spices added to it.

Once the cakes and the sauce was ready the cake should be dipped into additional pepper (if needed, spices up the taste) and the sauce and it is ready for savoring!

Take a loot at the whole process explained by Zopeliga’s students.

Before the students started the second dish we had a nice talk about food: the students introduced themselves, explained who cooks at home, what they like to eat in general. The discussion was interesting and took place outdoors, hence you can hear the Harmattan winds blowing and how the nature has tried up.

The second dish, tentaareh was unfamiliar for many teachers too, the dish originally comes from Zuarungu area between Kongo village and Bolgatanga town. For this food the students used ready made beans flour that they mixed with salt and water. The paste was smeared on a  then placed again inside a pot with clean grass and boiling water. The cooking process was similar to ngbegira, they used hot steam, but the cooking was a lot faster. The cooked dish was then scraped from the walls of the calabash with a spoon and could be eaten as a side dish for dinner or as lunch.

The Zopeliga cooking event was as success not only because the students could show their skills and teach them to the Estonian volunteer who could then in return try to prepare it at home with Estonian students, but local teachers also learned more about their own culture. Both teacher Alice and Mary were positively surprised and wanted to cook it also for their own children.

 

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Zopeliga Primary School: headteacher Martin (third from left) with teachers Mary, Rafiatu, Alice, Bawa and Alex

National Farmer’s day and Harmattan

Logre Primary School’s headteacher Solomon and Mondo teacher Prosper decided to organize the food project one day before the annual Farmer’s day. This is a public holiday in Ghana and celebrated every first Friday in December, this year on 4th of December.

The tradition of celebrating this day and started in 1986 as a recognition of the important role farmers and fishermen play in the national economy. During that period, agriculture formed about 30%, one third of the country’s GDP. Two consecutive years prior to the first Farmer’s Day celebration, the country had suffered severe drought and wild bush fires, so the agricultural sector needed a boost of moral. So the second purpose the government had was to encourage and motivate the farmers to produce more. (GraphicOnline)

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Local family farming in their garden near Logre Primary School

This day is a vacation day for all workers and the whole public sector, a day off to enjoy literally the fruits of their own input. The best farmers and fishermen are nominated for prizes and they receive high recognition. The first best farmer received two machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio (GraphicOnline), but nowadays the prizes are bigger and bigger. In 2015 the winner was entitled to a house and also took home a huge sum of money, a laptop and a car (Ghanaweb).

Every year the celebrations take place in a different region and city. This year it was special, because the 31st National Farmers’ Day celebration took place in Upper East region (UER) in Bolgatanga which is the closest bigger city to Kongo village. The theme of 2015 was Transform Ghana – Invest in Agriculture and almost 78 people were honored altogether (Ghanaweb). Bolgatanga is the town where Solomon lives and all Kongo was talking about the big event. The prominent people and elders were all invited to attend the celebrations.

The positive side of having the event carried out in Bolga was that the whole country turned their eyes towards their region. Upper East is the poorest of regions where the nature is the most severe and the famine and lack of education is the most prominent. However this was their occasion to show the hospitality of the locals and their warm hearts and positive assets.

The UER exposed the people of coming in to the agricultural potentials of the region and farmers got well informed about the eco-system, soil types as well as the weather and climatic conditions of the region. The winner of 2015 pointed out  the hospitable nature of the people commending them for their religious tolerance. (GraphicOnline) This is one of the aspects one could really feel coming to Bolga, Kongo or Logre site.

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Dried and burned savanna near Kongo

The period that Logre organized their food project was already the Harmattan season. The most flourishing rainy season came to end at the end of October, in November the surrounding sites started to dry up. In December it is when the crops really start to lack and the famine sets in.

The Harmattan is a dry, dusty strong wind that blows from the Sahara from December to February. It appears like fog but it is dust and the dust is so dense that it covers the sun. Some people could even describe it as pleasant because the small particles of sand dims down the heat coming from the sun. But for the locals it causes problems from drying the land completely to drying themselves: skins starts cracking and people suffer from occasional and sudden nose bleeds. Shea butter is the best moisturizer for dried skin and lips. (Easytrackgahan) Remind yourself how Sekoti Primary School prepared shea butter last year.

In 2015 the Harmattan started to unusually early.This is one of the consequences of the climate change. The result? The farmers are fearing that  the Harmattan could dry up cocoa seedlings but Ghana is one of the two biggest cocoa producers in the world.

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Lore PS Students reciting the songs

So due to Harmattan, it was rather difficult for the school to organize a preparing of the food or show the harvesting. They idea was to show the readers of the foodblog the local culture through some farming songs. The first step is that the group headed to the garden of the PTA chairman Mister Naab Dok. His family was planting pito (vegetable used not only to produce local alcoholic drink but the leaves are also used as vegetable in soups and stews) and tomatoes, even his smallest children were at the site with parents.

The garden was small but lovely, the had used millet sticks to fence it and protect from wild animals. On the way there we could really feel the Harmattan blowing. The headteacher was even about to cancel the event in fear of having bad audio quality and visibility. We still carried the project out in order to honor the preparation work the pupils had done but sorry for any inconvenience the sound may cause. Still, the picture depicts well the seasonal aspects.

The pupils were grouped by their duties, some of them were planting, some carrying water and watering, some accompanied with singing to keep up the good moral and the rhythm. Afterwards the group came together and started dancing to celebrate the end of work.

The headteacher translated the songs sung by the children. They were manly about honoring the works the parents do (the parts of all the participating pupils are farmers). Children need to respect the family and help out with farming activities. Sadly, it often implies skipping school for days do to the planting or the harvesting. Still, having food on the table is the second most important thing to survive after having clean water to drink.

As in the Northern part of Ghana the farming can only been done when the water is present, during the rainy season, parents are looking out for alternative ways of providing for their families. So the often crack stones or go mining gold to earn their living. The translations of the songs and the seasonal aspect of farming is also explained by the headteacher.

Sources used:

Cultural Identity – A Project Day in Paldiski schools

The town of Paldiski is located on the shore of the Paldiski Bay, some 50 km from Tallinn. Convenient geographical location, an excellent place for landing, short ice period – all of this attracted people to settle near the local harbour. There have been educational institutions in our town from the year 1770 to the present day. Today, there are two schools at our schoolhouse – Paldiski Basic School and Paldiski Gymnasium. Paldiski is a bilingual town.

The school’s objectives are updated annually – this year, we wanted to introduce different nations and their culture to our students. Because of this, on 6 November 2015, we arranged the project day ’Cultural Identity’ for classes 5 through 12. The purpose of this day was creation and shaping of positive attitudes towards different cultures and people, development of tolerance, and prevention of biased attitudes. The importance of cultural diversity as means for mutual enrichment of cultures was also emphasized. The pupils had a chance of reflecting about their own cultural identity.

On the project date, the pupils were arranged an out-of-the-ordinary, less structured study day at school. We invited guest lecturers from MTÜ Mondo, Estonian Refugee Council, and the Estonian Association of Gestalt Therapy. The pupils met foreign students from Albania and Turkey, who currently study in Tallinn. We played board games providing information on different countries of the world. There was a comic workshop with interesting group assignments and discussions on difference and similarity.

For the elementary school pupils, a lecture on the national cuisine of Ghana by Liina Saaremäe, a former volunteer in Africa, was especially memorable.

The pupils also had the chance of preparing a Ghanaian beverage. The project day ended with some movie watching.

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Students trying/tasting natural shea butter made by Ghanaian students in Sekoti School

The exhibition ComiX4 = Comics for Equality was displayed on the third floor of the school building to celebrate the project day.

Valentine’s Day Cafe

It has been a long tradition to organize a cafe in Rakvere Basic School on Valentine’s Day.  The preparations for this event start much earlier and it is always carried out by our 8-graders.

With the help of our technology teacher the appropriate recipes in English are chosen and in English lessons they are translated as well as the units of volume are transformed. This is followed  by practical testing which results in picking out the most suitable recipes to be offered in the cafe.

Poster are made to advertise the event.

The day before Valentine’s the cookery class is busy and schoolhouse smells good. Students also calculate the prices, and make recipe booklets to enable the others to try out their favourites at home, too.

During breaks the cafe is open for everybody and both teachers and students buy and enjoy the pastry.In the cafe it is also possible to have photos with friends taken  and listen to good music.

The students learn a lot about the basic principles of how to run a cafe and all the rest enjoy a cheerful event.

Read all the posts by Rakvere Basic School.
Read all the post by students from Estonia.

Tomatoes vs robots???

Do you know how robots can make ketchup? All the students who came from all over Estonia and participated in the Day of Technology which was held in Tallinn Real School and Tartu Kivilinna School know that! The students in teams had to construct a robot (using computer program,Lego blocks etc) that smashes tomatoes.

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My tomato seller at the market in Kongo village, Ghana, Africa

Yes, we all know that food is not for playing, that is why I, Liina, Mondo’s volunteer, gave a lecture about tomatoes: where they grow in the world, which countries are the largest tomato producers, how healthy tomatoes are, what is the nutritional value of tomatoes etc.

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Liina talking about tomatoes

By he way, did you know the fact that every third tomatoes are thrown away in the world? So if we could waste 25% less food, it would be enough to feed more than 870 million famine people.

So, how the tomatoes are used?

1) For food: salads, pizzas, ketchup, drinks etc.

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Tomato drink

2) In cosmetics, for tomato face mask

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Tomato mask

3) For entertainment: popular tomato fights in Spain – La Tomatina Festival

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La Tomatina Festival

4) For ELECTRICITY! Yes, three Kenyan girls discovered how to produce electricity from tomatoes. Watch the video below:

 

Also watch this useful video about tomato power:

After some hours of working in teams, constructing robots (“Ketchup makers”)…..

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Constructing robots
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Constructing robots

And building a protection for tomatoes…

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A protection for a tomatoe to keep it from being smashed

The competition could start!

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Robot is ready!
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Oh no!
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No more protection 🙂

After the competition we used all the tomatoes to make delicious tomato drink.

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Bon appetit!

Watch the video about tomatoes vs robots!

Ghanaian traditional drink – “zoomkoom”

This is the 22. post from Ghana! And the last one! All the schools which registered in the Mondo’s food project have done their food project now (from September to November).

This post is special not only because it’s the last one from Ghana but this is the first and only which introduces you about the  Ghanaian traditional drink.

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Teacher Janet and camera-student

 

Kongo Junior High School decided to change their food project plan and prepare the drink called “zoomkoom” instead of making “tubani” (some schools have already prepared it!).

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Preparing traditional “zoomkoom” using guinea corn and shea butter

 

“Zoomkoom” is a flour water. “Zoom” means flour in nabt and “koom” means water. This drink is offered to (unexpected) guests, it is easy to make and delicious to taste! So “zoomkoom” is a welcome-to-my-house drink.

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Traditional “zoomkoom” is ready

There are two different variants of “zoomkoom”: the traditional one and more modernized. Kongo JHS prepared them both.

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Preparing modernized “zoomkoom” using millet flour and sugar

Recipe for traditional “zoomkoom”

Ingredients:

– Guinea corn flour mixed with pepper;

– shea butter;

– water.

How to prepare:

1. Mix the flour with shea butter and stir. Use kalabash.

2. Add some water and stir.

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Estonian volunteer, food project co-ordinator and the author of Ghana schools posts Liina tasting “zoomkoom” from kalabash.

 

In modernized “zoomkoom” instead of Guinea corn millet flour is used and sugar is also sugar is added, not shea butter – the rest is the same.

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“Zoomkoom” two different varieties: traditional (brown) and modernized (white)

 

“Zoomkoom” has an interesting taste, it is hot (spicy) and sweet at the same time! It is really nutritious and advised for sportsmen.

Watch our video and try to prepare “zoomkoom” yourself!

Read all the posts by Kongo Junior High School
Read all the post by students from Ghana.