Jan 7, 2010 9:52 PM by David Ortiviz

African native travels across world to teach in Pueblo

A science teacher has traveled more than 8,400 miles to Pueblo, as part of a unique teacher exchange program. Omony Alex is from Gulu, Uganda in Africa.

This is his first visit to the United States, and as you can imagine he's still adjusting to the cold winter weather in Pueblo. "In Uganda we get sunshine throughout the year, but here is the contrary--weather is extremely cold," said Alex.

Alex will spend the next three weeks teaching with Mickey Belcher, a science teacher at the McClelland School in Pueblo. Alex has already spent several days in the classroom. "My experience particularly in this school-that things are so different from Uganda," said Alex. "One thing I like most in this environment is everybody is lovely and welcoming," he added.

Alex made the journey as part of the Invisible Children program. Invisible Children strives to bring attention to African nations that have been impacted by war.

The school hopes the experience will enlighten students about a part of the world they've only read about in textbooks. "I think its important for our kids to have first hand experience and not just read about other places and people in books," said Shawn Kelly, Headmaster at the McClelland School.

During his visit, Alex will be staying with Madie Victor, who also teaches at McClelland. In June 2009, Victor made the trek to Uganda under the same program. "The first day after meeting Alex, one of the kids went in their parent's car and said 'Mom Alex is so cool' so it took very little time for that cultural gap to be closed," said Victor.

However there are other cultural barriers for Alex to overcome. When asked if he'd eaten a hamburger in the United States, Alex chuckled. "Hamburger?" he asked puzzled. "Maybe I've eaten, but not knowing that is the one, I've not tried it," Alex said.

Alex will be speaking at the Rawlings Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome.


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