Five of us came to the shelter that morning: Andy (VPV), Loan (The Saigon Times journalist), Sam, a volunteer from USA, local volunteer Dung and I. As we had 5XOs for 6 girls, Hanh took my Dell computer for the exam. Dung was translating. I gave out a list of questions to every girl and that is what it looked like:
25 March 2010
XO/Sugar Exam questions:
- Find Boston on the map
- Go to vi.Wikipedia.org and find info on Phu Quoc
- Translate first paragraph on translate.google.com
- Send it by email to me
- Download a book from my email & open it
- Take a picture
I drew on the board a grid for 6 girls and 6 questions and would put a check mark every time they say they finish a task. For the first question, they immediately opened database of maps on their XOs and found Boston on the map of North America. Every one successfully found info on Phu Quoc on vi.wikipedia.org, translated it to English & emailed it to me.
That is what I got: ” Phu Quoc Island also known as Ngoc, is the largest island of Vietnam, is the largest island in the populations of 22 islands here, in the Gulf of Thailand. Phu Quoc island with other islands forming member Phu Quoc island district, Kien Giang province. Entire island district has a total area of 593.05 km ², approximately the area of Singapore. Duong Dong Town, located in the northwest, is the capital of the island district. Phu Quoc, Rach Gia city located 120 km to the town of Ha Tien and 45 km.”
Earlier that morning I emailed the girls a digital book. The last task was to take a picture. Truc didn’t want to take a picture of herself so I told her to take a picture of Andy and Loan. She did and sent it to me by email. They finished all of the questions in about 30 min, some even quicker… Last task was a bonus, but they all did it.
The judges were sitting at the other end of the table and conversing quietly, which was good.
When the exam was over, they told me they have something for me. I didn’t expect anything. I got a framed heart of the girls in the orphanage which says “We love you!” I said I will put it in my room in Boston and look at it every day! The teacher made a speech which expressed that she was very thankful for what I did and computers and that they will always remember me.
So finally the moment of awarding the Teacher Certificates came and I started the ceremony by calling Hanh first, she is the oldest. I shook every girls hand and gave her a certificate! They were impressed. Then I said that now they qualify to teach other girls in a shelter, so they all know how to use the Internet, play games and do other things on the XOs.
I also announced that I’m leaving my teacher XO at he shelter for them as well. They asked who am I leaving it for and I said for all of them to share between 18 girls! And finally I’ll be coming to pick them up at 5:45PM to go to celebrate tonight!
Loan was very interested in the XOs, and I asked Hanh to show Loan several activities. As we were leaving, Houng was playing piano on the XO and her music was really good. Mathieu wold break into happy tears if he saw her…
Andy gave me a ride to the CT plaza where I bought 12 tickets for the movie tonight, which cost about $75.