Thirty Reneal IEO computers and monitors are now in a cargo ship somewhere in the Atlantic on their way to two secondary schools in Tanzania. This used equipment was purchased from the World Computer Exchange (www.worldcomputerexchange.org), and we requested that one of these machines be shipped to us immediately for pre-trip checkout.
The Reneal IEO trip to Tanzania is coming up in August, with plans to install IT labs at three high schools that were selected following site evaluations in 2012. Each of these IT labs is basically starting from scratch, so significant corporate energy has been expended over the last six months looking for computer hardware and considering how to get it from America to Tanzania.
Like every corporation, Reneal IEO has a board of directors. The corporate by-laws of Reneal IEO require this board to meet at least twice a year. While financial reports and official travel policies and action items don’t have the cachet of a trip abroad, they are an absolutely essential underpinning of our 501(c)(3) corporation. We are fortunate to have very enthusiastic and diligent board
Neal returned to America last Saturday and Reneal IEO has a board meeting next Saturday. Thus it is a good time to pause and reflect on the 2013 Reneal trip to the Philippines. I don’t know if we’ve ever had such a satisfying confluence of events: witnessing the culmination of some long-time projects, implementing significant improvements in others, and laying the foundation for exciting future opportunities. There was great joy in seeing old acquaintances and in forming new connections. Of course nothing truly good comes without some blood, sweat, and tears along the way, but all in all it was a successful trip for Reneal IEO.
Our work at Compostela National High School (CNHS) started back in 2006 when we were assigned as U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers to the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Even after we completed our Peace Corps service in 2008, we have continued our close association with the school and teachers. On this trip, Neal has been working long hours to upgrade the system at CNHS to Xubuntu 12.04. Xubuntu 12.04 will be the basis for future installations, so this work was an important stepping-stone for Reneal IEO.
Since our U.S. Peace Corps service ended in 2008, Neal and I have travelled annually to the Philippines to continue our work there. These visits are usually about a month, and it always takes a few days to get into the flow of life after being in America. We arrive with a plan of things to do but there are always unanticipated twists and turns, successes and failures, delays and miracles, that make each trip memorable.
Reneal IEO is visiting schools in the Philippines to evaluate them for suitability for 2014 IT lab projects. There appear to be many exciting opportunities.
It would be nice for a small non-profit like Reneal IEO to be able to plan donations and income, but more often they come like unexpected bolts of lightning following a series of seemingly unrelated connections. It proved so again on this trip.
We met with the scholarship committee on Easter morning to discuss plans for School Year 2013-2014...
The main mission of Reneal IEO is bringing to developing countries a low-cost computing solution that is tailored for schools. Much of our time in the Philippines this year will be devoted to this mission: checking out current installations and scouting for new ones for 2014.