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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I title this post "O.M.G.!", in response to yesterday's "O.M.G.", because it is nearly the polar opposite of yesterday.

In fact, nearly the polar opposite of....noon today.

Ned saw me over lunch. I was a nervous wreck. The iPhone wasn't working, class was not as I had hoped, things were tearing me apart. I could hardly take another minute.

And then, the sky opened up.

Spoke with both UNICEF and Voice of America about funding our program this morning. Both organizations are definitely interested in lending a hand. It will take a lot of pushing, but things are looking up for us. Even the US Embassy might be able to help if I can think of a way to rework the proposal.

So I leave things with a smile on my face.

I get to class plenty late, having been at Voice of America in the afternoon. But the teachers know I'll be arriving later and they know to start class without me. When I get there, I see some kids playing in the schoolyard, but the school itself looks empty. I saw Professora Adelina's car outside of the yard so I know the teachers are at least still here, but where are the students?

Slowly, I make my way into the first classroom.

And there I see Professor Miguel, and a whole group of students, quietly focused on their computer screens. One student looks up. He sees me. "Professora," he says, talking to me. "Come see my painting!"

This is the beauty of Etoys Lesson 3.

I go into the second classroom and it is exactly the same. Except this time the tables are rearranged so they're all facing each other. The students are equally silent, drawing. The class is nearly the opposite of yesterday. It is perfectly peaceful. The students are drawing houses, trees, sky. It is so beautiful and I am just beaming.

Everything we went through yesterday is worth these moments.

When we finish class, I try not to bother the teachers. Ok, so they haven't taught the students to draw their pictures using individual items (pressing "keep" over and over). I mentioned that to the teachers and we're going to do it tomorrow.

We also had one student try to make with his computer when it was time to go home. The kids are still pretty bummed that they can't take the computers home.

But things are peaceful. We're getting more chargers from the STeP UP office, Faia is fixing the power strips, the teachers are teaching class and the students are happy.

Drove home on my motorcycle. Really killed it...felt great. Then I fixed my iPhone. All of the stress from the last two weeks has miraculously melted away.

1 comment:


Please click the button below to donate to STEP UP OLPC to support the São João school's computer program in São Tomé:

Donate $200 and you will be paying for a computer for at least FIVE very special children at São João (as estimated computer life is five years). Thanks so much!

Want your donation to be tax-deductible? Send a check to STeP UP with OLPC in the memo. Then mail it to:

Eric McClafferty
Kelley and Drye
3050 S St. NW, #400
Washington, DC 20007