Even through all we've done in the past months, I would say this is the first step. It's the time I must look wistfully at my enormous boxes of computers and say a hopeful goodbye. It's the time to teach my teammates everything they need to know inside of that special little solar box. It's also the time to reflect on actions so far, before we are encompassed by the actions that are. But before I do that, I would like to take you on a trip.
On August 4th, 2020, two tightly locked crates sat on the floor in the back of the Carmel Valley UPS store.
They were a bit heavy, but the staff and owner were very kind about the process. Previously, they had sat in my living room, being measured, packed, unpacked, repacked, counted, taped, labeled, and used as tables. This was the day I would have to let go of every nagging doubt. Had I solved every technical issue floating within the digital library? No. Was I going to let it restrict the shipping date more than five days past my promised deadline? Absolutely not. Was I willing to keep up with my teammates overseas for long-distance tech support? Of course. With any luck, I wouldn't be seeing those crates in person anytime soon, but I really hoped I would see them on the back of a motorcycle in a few weeks. I drove home, and hopped on the UPS tracker.
As I type this, it informs me that my beloved boxes are somewhere within the UPS Hub in Lathrop, CA. Perhaps they're still sitting politely among a stack of brown. Maybe they've already been loaded onto a freight truck, whose driver is just grabbing some snacks for the road.
I can't say I know every stop along the way, but I hope that the drivers enjoy the journey, because I'll enjoy watching it. Though the US is less than 600 miles from Haiti over water, I happen to be 3000 miles away from that point over land. I'd like to think that my package will take a break at Venice, Florida's own little UPS store before they cross that gap.
The home stretch will be covered by Agape Flights. These folks do so much good for Haiti and other Caribbean nations, and I'm grateful for their support of this project. I will be least worried when the parcels are under their care.
Let the warm tropical breeze drift them down to Port-Au-Prince on time.
There, it will be delivered to the missionary who so graciously agreed to receive it. James will be there to meet him, and begin travelling the longest and dustiest road.
We have arranged for public transportation from Port-Au-Prince all the way to the school where we will test our first program, Lamarre.
After that, I can't say. I don't think it matters where the boxes are going, because we'll always be going forward.
I would also like to announce that we are a Cisco Networking Academy! James has been working overtime to register us, and now it's official.
Cisco founded this program more than 20 years ago to bring technology fluency to a wider population. Their goals are to interest, enrich, and develop skills, which are quite similar to ours. Our partnership means access to teaching resources, curriculum planning, and program funding.
It's a bright new beginning!