We arrived at the school in Nuevo Ideal at 2:30PM yesterday. Raul, our wonderful guide and driver, dropped off the computers at COBA12, and introduced us to two teachers from COBA 12, Guadalupe and Antonio. Antonio had previously visited Chicago this past April when for the exchange program.
We met with the director of the school, Miguel, for about an hour, going over details of where we expected the 18 computers that we had brought over from Santiago to go. I had an awesome team of students with me, Bernardo Fuentes from Morton East High School, who was my translator (my Spanish is still very broken), Krystal Middlebrooks from Collins High School, who shot video during the trip, and Dorothy Osbey from Austin High School, who took photographs of the trip and the people that we interviewed.
The school staff took us for a wonderful picnic last night next to a small lake in a beautiful old colonial town next to Nuevo Ideal called Tejamen. There, we met Alonzo, who was the COBA12Â´s English teacher. We interviewed Alonzo as well. He talked about the history of Tejamen. Then we went on an amazing hike toward the small lake and the valley surrounded by the Sierra Madres. It was a breath-taking view, one that I will always remember. It was a very surreal and beautiful experience – to be surrounded by mountains, and a small lake with a small island in the middle of it.
The next day, we obtained 6 students from COBA12, whom we interviewed, signed up for the Collaboratory, and signed up for a Yahoo! email account. We promised to contact them once we returned from Chicago. We took a lot of pictures from our time at the COBA12.
After our internet session was over, we were taken to the office of the President of the Municipality. The president was on a business meeting elsewhere, but we met with his secretarial staff, and they showed us around the entire building facility and introduced us to the entire staff. We stated YTCÂ´S mission to make the world a smaller place by connecting youth and the use of technology, and the entire staff was very receptive to our mission.
Then, we went to the Menonite Colony in Nuevo Ideal with our wonderful Menonite student, Carlos. He took us on a tour to the Menonite cheese factory, an elementary school, and a Menonite household. It was pretty amazing. Charles also took us to a restaurtant owned by his family in the Menonite Colony of Nuevo Ideal.
We received a full report from Senor Miguel, the director of the COBA12 School, regarding where all 18 computers were being donated. Mission Accomplished!