It has been one month to the day since I have arrived home. The trip in general was a success. My travel companion, Ed, was even located after 36 hours of stress and frustration in Beijing. That is a story for another time and place. If anyone cares to grab a coffee some time it is a pretty interesting tale.
The computer lab in Daw Hut Taw ended up being 6 client computers and one content server, all using Raspberry Pi 3’s. The children, and adults, were all ecstatic to have the new room full of intriguing equipment. Every day during the setup children would crowd around the door and window trying to get a glimpse of what was going on. It was very humbling and gratifying to see such excitement while knowing that these children may have opportunities that very few in their village have had before.
There were many lessons learned during this pilot lab and many great experience shared. The people of the village were tremendous and as gracious as anyone I have ever met. It brings a smile to my face when I think back upon them. As of yet I have had no update on how the computers are operating and being utilised. However, today I found out that Mandalay Technical University has been sending out two teachers to educate the students. It is amazing that this is occurring and now I am now trying to get in contact with the teachers for feedback and suggestions. Having an open dialog with people using the lab is the only way we will be able to constantly improve going forward.
There are many people who helped on this project. Without whom there is no way it could have been completed…or perhaps started. A special thanks to Kyawt Kyawt and Hlyan Nay Win. They are both fantastic young adults and hopefully will be available to aid us in the future. Here are some websites of terrific people and organizations:
If you look closely you may be able to find video evidence of the young villagers at the 50th school opening celebration trying to dance me to death.
The experience I had during this trip was immeasurable. It never would have happened without the support of many people including my wonderful partner-in-crime Sandra. I am one lucky dude for sure. A big thank you to her father Ed as well…after we reconnected in Beijing that is.
Since this project was so successful the next step is to find a way to continue deploying labs. Per the name 100 Schools Project there will be 99 more schools needing computers. As of right now there are just over 50 schools built and waiting. Like many things in life the only thing holding us back is money. Once we find funding more computer labs follow. Since my arrival home I have been contemplating starting an organisation for this project. I would very much appreciate any help on a name for such an endeavour. A little help from all the creative people I know would be terrific. Also if any of the 3 people who read this know of a way to acquire funds for projects like this I would be most interested in hearing about those as well.
As always I am most interested in feedback of any kind. Questions or suggestions about what to write next are certainly appreciated.