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Skip Navigation Links : Computer Teams : 2017 Little Davey Continues Investment in Panama

2017 Little Davey Continues
Investment in Panama

Rod and Sherry Boyd

Little Davey 2017The 2017 Little Davey Project team was all set to travel to Peru the first week of September. Airline tickets were purchased and plans were in motion to bless five schools. In June, the airline cancelled their flight and refunded their money. They search several days for a flight near the price of the previous one. Due to this and other extenuating circumstances, the decision was made to return to Panama.

The 2017 team of eight was a veteran group. They have been walking with us during the construction of the Latin America Resource & Training Center (LARTC). In fact, many have given sacrificially towards this project. It was only fitting that the team would stay in the new guestrooms that they helped pay for and that we would use LARTC facilities to put together the computers and prepare for each day’s deployments.

Little Davey 2017We enjoyed watching the roof trusses being built while at the Center.  We joined them, staying in one of the rooms for seven nights. It is true what those 31 students and teachers told us in August, “I wish I could take the bed home with me… it’s like a 5-star hotel!” With the exception of hot water issues, everything was perfect!

Sherry prepared breakfast each day and either lunch or dinner, depending upon that day’s travel. Overall, there was a significant cost savings. Even more important, the team felt “at home,” relaxed and comfortable, enjoying playing games in the evening. We used the library as our work area.  We all concluding how nice it was to stay where we were working.

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Little Davey 2017Because of hurricane Harvey, the team arrived a day early. This gave us an extra day to assemble and configure computers, important this year because of a paradigm shift. This is the first year to introduce “mini computers” in the production mix. The team built 50 traditional desktop computers. They brought the motherboards, memory sticks and hard drives in their carry-on luggage. We purchased the case, keyboard, mouse and monitors locally Panama.

Little Davey 2017The team also brought in 30 mini computers, about seven inches square and two inches tall. The latest version of Windows 10 requires a little more time for configuration at first boot. In addition, the mini computers took more time to update the operating system. The mini computers have built-in Wi-Fi, so we needed to make less network cables. It is likely that we will continue the shift to mini computers in the future.

In total, the Little Davey team blessed seven schools with a varying number of computers that totaled 75:

Day School Students Computers
Monday Tocumen
20 Desktop
5 Desktop
Tuesday Veranillo
15 Desktop
10 Desktop
Wednesday Capira 60 10 Mini
Thursday Canaan
10 Mini
5 Mini

There are always memorable moments during these schools visits and computer lab set-ups… impressions or experiences that stand out:

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Little Davey 2017On Monday, the contrast between the very large, well run Tocumen school with 742 students and the brand new Pacora school with 64 students. After setting up the computer lab in each school, we ask for a group of students to come to the lab for a dedication ceremony that included prayer for the children and presentation of a group of soccer balls for the school, compliments of Nike in Panama!

Little Davey 2017Nearly all of the children at the Tocumen school have used computers and have a computer or tablet in their home. We were impressed to see several of the 15 computers from the 2012 deployment still in operation. Later, we visited the different small classrooms in the new Pacora school; the kids got so excited to hear that we were setting up the new lab. Very few had every even used a computer. This new school was at the front end of impacting its community.

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Little Davey 2017On Tuesday, the team returned to the Veranillo school, the first visit since the first Little Davey trip in 2005. At that time, Little Davey helped their new lab with three computers. This year, we installed 15 new computers, doubling the size of their lab. The computer teacher remembers when we came by with those three computers. He was a student in elementary school back then! Today, he is one of three teachers who were former students that are now investing in a new generation.  We then installed 10 computers in the Gonzalillo school.

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Little Davey 2017On Wednesday, the team returned to the small town of Capira, located about an hour out of Panama City along the Pan American Highway. The team set up 10 computers in the Capira school lab in 2011. Because of the limited space, we were excited to see the small, compact design of the mini computers work in this small space. A few of the 2011 computers that are still operational will be returned to more than fill the lab.

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Little Davey 2017On Thursday, the team returned to the Canaan school to set up ten mini computers in the elementary computer lab, doubling its size. It was very special to see the director Ana and Pastor Julio. Then the heavens opened up. It was raining so hard that the streets flooded. We had to travel a short distance to Ana’s Soldaditos school to set up five mini computers, again about doubling the size of the lab.

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Little Davey 2017The team visited classrooms at nearly all of the schools to encourage the children and teachers and to "exchange culture."  These brief English lessons reinforce the importance of learning English.  We also took advantage of these school visits for distribution of the new Action Bible in three of the smaller schools. Melissa, one of the secretaries from our office, shared a lesson at the Pacora and Capira schools and fellow missionary Kirk Jones shared at the Soldaditos schools on the use of the new Action Bible. The new Bible features more than 100 pages of full-color comic-style Bible stories and other helpful extra-biblical material that will help students in their study. So far, these Bibles have been distributed to five different schools.

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Little Davey 2017Thank you, David (Little Davey) and Deborah, leaders of the Little Davey Project, Dave and Debbie, Linda, Karen, Sue and Bob, members of the 2017 team, for returning to Panama to bless so many children! Your investment in their lives and in providing computers is making an amazing difference. Your investment in the LARTC is helping our teachers, director and pastors who are on the front lines of shaping these children and youth. Thank you!