Thursday, May 26, 2011

Farewell Uruguay

I leave Uruguay tomorrow night. By this time tomorrow, I should be in Brazil. It's hard to find the right words for a despedida, or farewell. Partially because it's emotional, partially because it's still beyond my level of Spanish.

I remember being in the Plan Ceibal lobby on my first day, going upstairs, seeing the beehive of activity. I felt like a house painter from a small island nation walking into a giant art studio. The same week I was learning bus routes, finding a place to stay, and struggling to say words like "menu", "task", and "bag". Fast forward to last Monday - I visited a school, demo'd the new activities and fixes we've been working on, described the concept and fielded questions, all in Spanish. There's more to education technology than proving a program works, but it's an achievement I can be proud of.

This week also marks a point where I go from spending 4 months of the last year abroad, to much of the next 18 months on the west coast. I have less time for OLPC, but this is my chance to do meaningful work with the leading companies in my field. I believe it was the philosopher Katy Perry who once said about California:
you can travel the world
but nothing comes close to the Golden Coast
So that's where I'm going. That's all for now.

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