Thursday, July 31, 2008

Networking in Bingerville

We had visitors with us today! And we got our first taste of what the future holds.

For the networking phase of the project, Thierry of TPIOT Interactive Media brought in his team of interns, and a specialist -- Henri -- who volunteered a day to lead -- and teach -- the interns about the art of laying wires and setting up a network.

Our goal was to bring the room to readiness for internet installation and, at the very least, a small networked classroom environment.

With internet comes, among many other things, the ability to create an online library, specifically geared to young learners like the ones here at Bingerville.

Without internet, they still will have the opportunity to be introduced to the technology, a lot of standard software programs, and share a localized set of resources especially useful to young students.

Although we didn't have the funding to support our goals for the highest end quality (we're awaiting fulfillment of pledges made), in terms of the UPS stabillizers, routers, etc., our networking trainer took the interns from start to finish, got us to our goal, and a good starting point for things to come.

I learned quite a bit, too!

Although it is summer and school is closed, most students are back in their villages, or relocated to other orphanages across the country, there are still a few kids on grounds -- and several of them stopped by to see what was going on...

.....and to offer a helping hand...

And when all was said and done, young Jean Claude Kouaku got first dibs!

He had his first try ever at a computer with the assistance of Roger, one of our other volunteers.

Roger is a student from the nearby Lycee de Garcons de Bingerville.

When he learned of this project, he wanted to see what it was all about, and help out. He was really excited about it, and inspired to see if we can do the same thing at his school, and others in the area.

As a native to Bingerville, he is exactly what I hope for -- people from the community with an interest in the success of the project -- and in its best use for the sake of the community. He already called me this morning with a crew of interested young people, ready to help!

Although we're not done yet -- there's the installation of the internet, and then ultimately, an online library of resources suitable to the interests, abilities and needs of youngsters aged 6 to 15 -- it was extremely satisfying, watching young Kouaku try a mouse for the first time ever, and watch how quickly he began exploring with it, unafraid and curious, and just as quickly, picking up on how it works.

Sitting close behind was Yves, a few years younger.

Its always like that, isn't it -- the older ones always teach the younger ones...

It only differs in what they will pass on....

Inspiration, hope, skills for creation....

or cynicism, self-centeredness, and skills for destruction...

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