It’s been a long and eventful two weeks here in Daanbantayan for Reneal Team Philippines. We are all tired and ready to go home, with just one more day of work between us and the bus ride home. We have finished installing the Reneal system at Calape National High School and Tominjao National High School. We had orientation training for teachers at both schools, and it was really a delight to work with such dedicated and interested folks! We hope it translates into heavy computer use for students and teachers in the coming months at those schools.
Monday Reneal Team Philippines heads north to Daanbantayan for two weeks to install the system at Calape National High School and Tominjao National High School. We will also put in a second server at Daanbantayan National High School, where they already have two computer rooms and need a little more power. However this week, for the second week in a row, we returned to a happily familiar place.
Time is flying – it’s already been almost two weeks since we left California! Communication has been on the back burner, due both to our busy schedule and to the incredibly slow internet at our apartment. We’re both taking a breather today though to get caught up. We have already visited six schools, finished our first lab installation, expanded another lab, replaced many old CRT monitors with flat panel monitors, purchased a big pile of computer equipment, and prepared the five new servers for installation. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Reneal Team Philippines!
We’re on our way tonight! Things are pretty well packed and ready to go. I think all of our baggage is within the weight limit – our little scale has been getting a workout. I am so thankful our shipments of computer equipment to Cebu don’t have a weight constraint! Speaking of which, Katherine and I got three more boxes packed on Friday, with a total of 21 monitors. Those boxes will go out right away when Neal and I get back in early November. That only leaves 28 of the Free Geek monitors to pack yet, out of the 80 we received just a few short days ago!
Once again Free Geek in Portland has made a generous grant of used computer equipment to Reneal! We are so thrilled to have an additional 80 monitors, 10 desktops, 30 keyboards, and 100 mice to deploy in 2017 in the Philippines! Combined with the laptop grant from Polycom in June, we have a very exciting year ahead in the works.
Neal and I spent the last week enjoying the waning days of summer in the Sierra Nevadas on a backpacking trip. Now it’s full speed ahead for Cebu! Since my last post, Jade, Rhog, and Lloyd have been to Carmen National High School and Tominjao National High School to complete the Ethernet cabling and lab set-up. The final boxes of equipment for 2016 have arrived at Compostela National High School and are ready for deployment to the various schools. Jade has compiled a list of gear that we still need to buy, including LOTS of power strips from one of our favorite Cebu suppliers, Ace Hardware!
Exciting news! Forty of the laptops donated by Polycom in July are on their way to the Philippines! Katherine and I packed four boxes last Monday. We tried to do it in a modular fashion, with two boxes required per school. Each pair of boxes contains 20 laptops, 20 laptop adapters, a network switch, and a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for the server. We just need to add the server itself, 20 mice (one for each laptop), a UPS, and some Ethernet cables and – voila! – a computer lab! It’s nice to have hardware for two 2017 schools already in the pipeline!
Reneal IEO Intern Jade Reyes has been up in Daanbantayan in northern Cebu for the last couple of days, along with Rhog and Lloyd, our two college students doing their on-the-job-training under Jade’s direction at Arcelo Memorial National High School. The guys worked with Sir Chester at Daanbantayan National High School and Sir Denver at Calape National High School to set up the client computers sent by Reneal and to do the network cabling. As Jade said, now it’s just “plug-and-play” for Neal with the main server! Next weekend the guys will go to Carmen National High School and then back up north the following weekend to do the prep work at Tominjao National High School.
We are excited to report a major highlight this last week, a Reneal IEO workshop in Arusha coordinated by Reneal School Liaison David Nyangaka. David has been very active these last six months, working with the computer teachers at our eight Arusha schools to troubleshoot problems and identify teaching materials. Very few public high schools in Tanzania have computers, so these teachers are very much pioneers in introducing their students to technology. This workshop was a chance to bring everyone together to discuss issues, challenges, and ideas for teaching IT.
That fantastic batch of donated laptops from Polycom has been an exciting distraction from the 2016 preparations. We still have work to do to complete the operating system upgrade to 16.04 for the September 2016 Cebu projects, but Neal is already in shopping mode for 2017 server parts for Tanzania and the Philippines.