Adam suggested I contact Roger, so I did:
“Dear Roger, If you are interested in getting just a few XO computers, the best way is either to buy them on-line (like eBay.com) or submit a small scale deployment proposal to OLPC and you may be able to receive several computers for free.
I will be in Ho Chi Minh for three months starting January 15, 2010. If you are interested in meeting in person either in Vietnam or Cambodia while I’m there, I’d be glad to do it. Sincerely, Polyachka.”
Roger wrote back:
“Thank you very much for your response. We think our students will teach themselves computer skills and improve their English if we provide simple computers and software. We do not really know if this is true, which is why we want to get just a few computers to do a pilot study before attempting to fund a larger project.
I will be in Siem Reap for two weeks in late February, along with our board president, Sarith Ou. Please consider meeting us there and visiting one or two of our schools. Angkor Wat is nearby, so you could also visit one of the wonders of the ancient world, and we could learn from you about how to use computers to teach Southeast Asian children. Sincerely, Roger”
I checked my schedule in Vietnam and replied that I’ll be able to visit Cambodia last weekend of February.
“Thank you very much for being willing to meet with us. We should be able to adjust our schedule to be in Siem Reap at the end of February. Before putting you out to travel, there is one technical problem to solve – how to power laptops where there is no electricity. We will experiment with the laptop we get from eBay, perhaps try charging it with a car battery. Do you run into this in Vietnam and do you have any ideas on how we might solve it? Thanks again, Roger”
I emailed to Roger the link to the battery and power page on OLPC wiki.
“Hello again. It looks like charging will not be a problem – I looked up the manual posted for your laptops and this says it can be charged by a car battery. That solved, I will talk with Sarith when I get back to Wisconsin so we can schedule a time to meet with you. Again, thank you very much for your interest and support. Roger”