Sunday, March 1, 2015

“If he can dream it, he can do it.” ― Me speaking of my son, John

The Kid Who Taught Himself  by  Karen Wiggins

     When my son John moved to Tanzania to help us as missionaries, there were no electrical shops and he actually knew nothing about the hardware of things.  He knows so much about the programing side of computer science that I think he even dreams in several computer languages.  When he writes a program, he does it faster than I am writing this.  He codes it so he can quickly find parts that he wants to change.  Having this talent he can and has easily taught the young  men and women here to program computers.  For the first few years here he has been the computer doctor for missionaries, helped keep the internet up and running, even helped the electric company to understand what they needed to help keep all on line.
    While I was in the U.S. last May, a friend of mine, Nikki McDonald, gave me a kit to help kids understand about electricity.  It is called Electronic Snap Circuits. I love that it says on the box, “AGE 8 to 108. ” I think they have many different kits now.  John started teaching my older kids’ class with it and was finding terms that were universal in electricity.  He was so mad that no one had taught him about this.  He learned about resistors, capacitors, transistors, integrated circuits.  Then someone sent him a raspberry pi (small computer) . He quickly made a spy camera to watch our workers and guards.  To do this you must know electricity and you must be able to program.  Using this kit, he and an Electrical Engineering student from China loved how the kit taught Electrical Engineering.  Joe even emailed his university in China the information so they could buy some kits to help teach students in China.   
    Then John made an  mp3 player and made a video to show how to do it. He made a watch. He made a laser pointer.  He made a security camera that can be observed on line even in other countries. Ha! Each day he heads to his office saying, "What shall I make today?"
    Then his brother, Keith sent him  an Arduino Uno (small computer) and he made a thermometer and a clock with that. 
    As he teaches himself more and more and unites the knowledge of hardware and programing, the more information he has to teach the Tanzanians.  We are very proud of him and thank you all that send things to John to improve things to help our new country. He is working on something that should improve tech all over Tanzania that I cannot tell you about yet.
    You just don't know what will happen when you donate to people in third world countries.  Sometimes a little turns into a lot. 
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