Thursday, May 29, 2008
my first computer
Two weeks ago, I gave a computer to a girl in Ratmale. The monitor and hard drive were donated by Motorola office in Colombo through a friend who works there, and I supplied the rest, the keyboard, mouse and multiplug extension cord. Though it is a Pentium III she primarily needs Microsoft Office, which is loaded and once she loads a Sinhala font she will have all that she has at school except for the internet connection.
I got to know she needed one when I went to her house once to pluck oranges, and limes and her mother said that she was bothering her to get one in order to do her work, as she is not allowed time to practice at the school computer lab due to its popularity, and they could not afford one at present. Now the mother says when I went on Sunday to pluck oranges, the whole neighborhood descends here to have a go, much like in the village when only a house or two had a TV, while now every house in the village has a TV except mine of course as I am one of the few with no electricity!
I have numerous requests for computers by these kids in economically deprived households, so if anyone out there wants to help, you know whom to contact!
This girl, earned the right to go to Ananda Balika Maha Vidyalaya in Hingurakgoda when she got high marks in her O levels from the CP Pura Giritale School. Her current school has two computer labs, one with 24 stations and better equipped is for the students of the school while the other is for students at other schools in the area. There is one bus to Hingurakgoda in the morning and another that returns for the school kids after school, and if the bus breaks down due to the appalling state of the roads, they have to walk the 4 KM to the main Minneriya to Polonnaruwa Rd to get alternative buses, or walk back home also from the Minneriya station.
I never formally learned MS office, but just taught myself what I need to know for whatever I do. So now I have someone now I can learn from more easily and look forward to the day when this village is linked into the Internet as there are very few internet cafes in the whole of Polonnaruwa District now and the Internet is all that separates these kids from all the world has to offer without them ever leaving their beautiful village. It is a true village in the jungle with 80% of the residents being related.(see www.ratmale.blogspot.com for my place in this village.)