Tuesday, July 05, 2005

novella's jamaican update

I received the following message from Novella on June 29, 2005. She describes the kind of impact that our group is making. I hope it inspires readers of this blog to consider joining us for future trips. Mike
June was wonderful, in terms of our work here. Mike will tell you about the first group. As for the second (we had a group of high school students, the CommuniTech Club from Gratz High School, 7 students and 3 adults), they worked with people in the local (Yallahs) high school -- students, teachers and community folks -- to teach them how to take computers apart and put them together again (in better shape, one hopes), diagnose problems with hardware/software, etc. People are beginning to talk about us "in the street" -- this kind of work just isn't done by others here. Typically, they donate computers which then languish the moment they develop one small problem, and that's that. To give you an example: we went to a Basic School and replaced their computer because they said the old one "wasn't working." When we tested it, we found that the switch in the back of the computer was turned off. Nothing else was wrong with it! You'll be pleased to know that I myself now know how to replace CD Roms, add RAM memory, etc., etc. It does give one a sense of greater competency. We've identified three high school students who'll be going around to the schools with us and checking all computers. And we finally have enough money from all the fundraising to transport the 80 odd computers we've accumulated, to include more schools in the program. Now that we have a bit more time, we'll be doing some of the planning, reaching out/PR, etc., work-- including the universities and Allan Lewis, who I think has been feeling left out; I think he'll be eager to get folks involved as well. And our villa/Center for Global Understanding is taking nice shape, as Mike will tell you. So maybe one of these days we can get a group of folks from the college (including you, of course) to come down and check things out!

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