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Bridging Gaps: Part 2 January 10, 2010

Filed under: Vietnam — polyachka @ 4:44 pm
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How I got introduced to the secret society:”OLPC Masons”

On Thursday, Dec 17 I met with Ryan Letada from Philippines deployment, and it was my first close encounter with XO. I was amazed how small and cute it was! Ryan demonstrated some activities for me and told me about his project. They have a big team and starting eKindling project in Mindoro, waiting for XO1.5 to be released later this year. There is a possibility for me to visit their deployment while I’m in Saigon. We were sitting at Starbucks in Brookline, and I had my suitcase with me because I just arrived from Cleveland, OH, where I worked for four days… I didn’t go home first as I rushed from the Airport to meet with Ryan before his departure for NYC an hour later.  Ryan’s suggestions for me: to meet with Caroline Meeks, visit deployments, and follow OLPC on tweeter among other useful steps.

Next day on Friday, Dec 18, I received the following email from Adam about an upcoming on-line chat meeting:

NOW: Contributors Program Mtg! (Fri 2PM Boston time, #olpc-meeting)

Please join us NOW reviewing the latest OLPC/Sugar community projects over IRC Live Chat:  (4:15PM EST Boston Time Today/Friday)
http://forum.laptop.org/chat

AGENDA:

* New projects & libraries — teaching them Community Outreach:
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_Laptop_Lending_Libraries

* Which projects might you enjoy Mentoring below?!
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Projects
  http://rt.laptop.org/Search/Results.html?Query=Queue=%27contributors%27

* Fast Review of the 5 latest (greatest!) HW/Project Proposals — please
  join us advocating for, and/or reviewing shortcomings of these proposals:

1. Decipherable Matrix – Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

2. Got Game? Web version – Ghana & Coppell, Texas, USA

3. Budalangi Child Computer Connection Program – Kenya

4. XO-1.5 B2 for Scratch Developer – United Kingdom

5. Phu My Orphanage, Vietnam / Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Was I scared? Yeah! Did I “dial in” meaning type in? Yes…

I had no sponsors or advocates, or detailed plan of what I’ll be doing, but I believed in my idea and was ready to defend it, even if I had to swim with sharks… Deep inside I was hoping that “judges” will get tired by the time we review my project and will not ask too many questions, as my project was the last one in line. 

After patiently following IRC chat script about four projects before me, I had to answer questions from four “OLPC Masons”.

I didn’t see their faces, I didn’t hear their voices, but I knew they were there as they typed in their questions and verdicts…

As non-techie I was afraid of being judged by techies… I was afraid of being judged for having no team and doing this project by myself… I was afraid of being the only woman in the chat room … I was afraid that if “OLPC Masons” didn’t believe me they would not approve of my request and would expel me as incompetent or disqualified, and announce I didn’t belong there…

It was the most intense and speechless meeting of my life!  I haven’t made a sound, and in the room of silence there I was trying to explain myself… I gathered all my courage and managed to survive (like Sonya Golden Hand) and get their approval…

Here is the log from IRC chat room
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program/December_18%2C_2009

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