Things are getting comically chaotic here at Reneal Headquarters, between the Tanzania trip preparation, packing the Free Geek equipment to send to the Philippines, and Neal’s new R&D work with the virtual reality goggles. Without a resident non-geek to keep things under control, Neal and I have been able to go wild with our “mission control” interior design look! The good news is that tomorrow, three big boxes of computer equipment will be picked up for delivery to a school in the Philippines (one of our 2018 projects).
We’ve both been busy recently with a variety of tasks. And as the Tanzania trip nears, the pace will continue to accelerate! Neal’s big recent accomplishment was completing an update of the workstation version of the Reneal system. I finished testing the Free Geek equipment, so it is ready to ship to the Philippines for the 2018 projects. I’ve also started pulling together the equipment that we’ll be taking to Tanzania. And in his spare time, Neal has been exploring an exciting new capability that we’re hoping to pilot in the Philippines in 2018.
Readers of this blog are always hearing about “servers”, the powerful computers that are at the heart of the Reneal system. The Reneal server computer stores all of the programs and educational materials used by the students and teachers and acts as the repository for all of the files that are generated. Neal has now finished building the four server computers that we will carry to Tanzania in August to set up Reneal systems at four new schools. This week I am inspired to write about human “servers” who are making a positive difference in the world through their compassion and generosity.
First of all, we wish a HAPPY NEW YEAR to the teachers and students in the Philippines as they begin School Year 2017-2018! It is always an exciting, chaotic time of the year there as classes begin. And of course, our thoughts continue to turn toward Tanzania as we prepare for our late-August work there. As such, it ended up being a week of very diverse tasks! A sum-up of the past few days…
We’re down to less than three months to go before the return to Arusha. I have a long list of action items but overall I think we’re on a good path. We have all of the server parts here now, and Neal is getting ready to assemble them. I got the equipment pre-ordered that we’ll be purchasing in Arusha. We have a tentative schedule for installing the new sites and visiting the existing ones. Overall, I think we’re where we need to be.
The Reneal blog has been silent while Neal and I were on holiday, but we’re back home now and itching to get back to work. In our absence, the third video projector was installed at Mlangarini Secondary School in Arusha Tanzania. Thanks again to the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club for making this happen, and to Reneal School Liaision David Nyangaka for coordinating the installation! Now our sights are set on the late August departure to Tanzania. There is a lot to do yet: servers to build, software to test, many boxes to pack. However there is plenty of time yet, and we know the drill.
We reported a few weeks ago that the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary Club provided a generous grant to Reneal to purchase video projectors for three of our high-performing secondary schools in Tanzania. We are excited to send out an update that two of the three projectors have already been installed, with the third installation scheduled for this week! THANK SO MUCH, DSV ROTARY! This is a long-standing dream, finally fulfilled!
It’s probably not the first time I’ve used this title for a blog post. As engineers, Neal and I have never really stoked the consumer flames much by buying nice clothes or shoes or fancy cars. However we do seem to do our share in purchases of computer equipment! Although the Tanzania trip is still almost five months away, we are now in the throes of pre-trip shopping: I am making lists and Neal is checking sales at NewEgg. We have some personal travel coming up but once we’re back from that, the boxes will start flowing toward Reneal headquarters.
It’s the afternoon of March 28th here, which means March 29th is dawning in the Philippines. It’s graduation day for the boys! Rhog and Lloyd, Reneal OJTs these last 10 months, will be receiving their BSIT-Computer Technology degrees today. Sadly Neal and I are already back in the US so won’t be able to attend, but we’ll be eagerly scanning Facebook later today to see the photos. We are excited that Rhog and Lloyd will continue working part-time as computer technicians for Reneal following graduation!
And suddenly here we are, just three days from departure… It’s the usual frantic mix of finishing the planned tasks, dealing with surprises, trying to get equipment where it needs to go, and saying good-byes to our loved ones here. Neal and I also took a few days off last week to make a long-anticipated trip to the island of Palawan. It was nice to have a few days of down time before the final blast of work.