It has taken a while to get everything organized, so the students could use the computers immediately. Most of the setting-up, modifying, adapting, etc. [for example we loaded a free virus software and Open Office] was done by Dr. Tony. I knew he was in charge because he was always yelling at me about something, e.g., "Now you have really screwed it up." He did praise me, though, as being an excellent "dummy" to discover the problems...
On Tuesday morning, we borrowed the morgue trolley to transport the computers to the classroom. Earlier we had distributed and explained the contract. Basically, the hospital owns the laptops until the student graduates in 3 plus years with an RN and then the computer belongs to them. There was no student who owned their own computer, though several had home access through a parental one.
|Tony showing muted amazement that we were ready to distribute the netbooks|
|John handing out the computer boxes|
It was Christmas in September when we arrived at 11 am. As we distributed the boxes, there was so much expectation in the room it was electric. We tackled the most important task first ..... Choosing a color! If you wanted a different colour you had to swap with someone who wanted yours ..... and the next miracle of the day was everyone got the colour that they had wanted!
Tony and I had spent the previous afternoon setting up and locking the router and extension cords in the classroom. Now they could take it out of the box and record the serial number on the contract. Then, Tony led them in a step by step process in a way that only a true obsessive can achieve... Small problems, but no major difficulties; all the students were soon online with their own accounts.
|Red, Yellow, Black, Pink, White|
|"Yours looks exactly like mine."|
|"Do you think Dr. Tony and Rev. John will know we are on Facebook?"|
Speaking of "Thank You"s, we cannot forget a couple more: Guyana Christian Charities Canada through whom the overseas purchase was completed, and who along with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas issued tax receipts to all who wanted them; and, finally, Mr. Taju Olaleye who shared his shipping company as well as his living space to store all the computers till we arrived.
Also, we have furnished the Internet Cafe at the School/Hospital with three large laptops for student and staff use. The computers that we [I use the "royal we", as it was Tony mostly] had rebuilt, did not fare well in the humidity and heat even though the cafe is air-conditioned in the daytime. The three new ones will be enough along with a few that had been donated from other sources.
|Peace Corps Grant Computer|
The future work/study that these students will do will be the judge of the benefit of your sacrifice to make these donations possible. I know that as their teachers, Tony and I are very grateful.
Speaking of Tony: there is now a bran shortage in Guyana; major supermarkets have reported barren shelves where there were various packages of bran cereal. The papers have indicated that it may be speculators in bran futures, drug cartels hiding the merchandise in boxes no one actually uses, or someone has been building a two story home made entirely of bran. The answer is - it's Tony!
|Morning Mound [for perspective: that is a serving spoon and platter].|
|One of our bran shelves in the kitchen.|
Finally, and probably most importantly...our colleagues, Dr, Malika Mootoo, a Mercy Pediatrician; a nurse, Dianne Daly, just starting to teach a critical care certificate course, and Dr. Erv Janssen, the senior statesmen of volunteers to Guyana, were involved in a car accident on Tuesday night. They are all recovering; Dr, Erv took the worst of the collision and has been a patient at Mercy Hospital since then. He has had some bruising and a broken nose that refused to stop bleeding, so required surgery early Wednesday morning to pack his nose.
|Who is this Masked Man?|
|Always a teacher...even when on the "other side".|
|Yippee! The CEO's new office|