Monday, 21 March 2011

LTSP deployment visit to Baglung and Myagdi

With the help of HeNN(Help Nepal Network), we've been on our visit to two schools of Baglung and Myagdi. We were the group of three, Arnab Sarkar, Bikash Kharel and me(we all are from Kathmandu University). Our deployment visit has come to an end and we are on our way back to Dhulikhel. The visit was full of fun and gave me new experience of working in team(though the team was extremely small :p). We had lots of fun in both places and received pretty good response from the local people.

Our journey started on March 4 and we took our bus to Bhimgithe-8, Khaala, Baglung. The journey was full of adventures. Thank god, the bus was third class due to which I got a chance to taste the tea without sugar (It was great, btw :D). We didn't sleep for the whole night and our dinner was at around 11 pm at night. The real adventure began when we reached Ridi, one of the more known places from Gulmi. The road was, well, so narrow that only the tires of the bus were on the road and outer parts of the bus were out of the track. A small mistake and our bus would fall down to the river and we were excited and scared at the same time. Moreover, the driver of our bus had not been sleeping for more than 24 hours so we were even more scared. On the next day of our journey, we had to face some problem with traffic police regarding the horn used in the bus.

At around 10:30 we arrived at Khaala, our first destination. We were excited to see such a big mass from such a small village for welcoming us. All the computer materials and accessories were stored in the school's storeroom and we were glad to find all the materials in the good condition after such a "ghandryaang-ghundrung" journey. The furnitures and computer room were not ready yet so we took full rest on our first day. Next day, we started to setup the LTSP clients and the task was completed in around 2 hours. We were helped by the local villagers, teachers and even the principal of the school in setting up the system. After finishing the setup, we started to train the teachers and students. Everyone seemed to be so interested with this new "computer" object and we felt so glad to see such involvement of everybody. On the next day, we again gave training to the teachers as well as students so that they would be familiar with the system. In the late hours, we provided teachers information about how to troubleshoot the general problems they might face with the system. We now had to go to Histan-6, Rima, Myagdi for our next deployment task.

Next day, we headed to Myagdi district for our next deployment at Adarsha Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, Rima, Myagdi. We spent our first night in Myagdi in Tatopani. Next day, we took a short warm shower in Tatopani and then quickly headed to Beni to catch the bus for Baisari. In next two hours, we were already in Baisari. Now one of the toughest time of our visit had come and we had to walk uphill for around 3 hours(local villagers require 1.5 hours :P). We were tired and hence decided to pass that night at Aula, 30 min below Rima. Next day, we went to Rima school and soon thought of starting our work. But unfortunately, the electricity transmission line was down and we had to wait for the next day. We faced multiple problems due to electricity and lack of materials in Rima school. Edubuntu didn't seem to like the hard disk and never wanted to install. Btw, it was not actually LTSP deployment but it was a RDP deployment. Not being successful with Edubuntu, we decided to install Windoze XP and again with more hurdles(loadshedding being the major one), we finished all the tasks. We had to stay for 4 days at Rima to finish all the tasks. Finally the system was up and we were very glad to see it working.

We are right now on our way back to Dhulikhel and we've managed a small meeting with Mahabir Pun, the MAN from Myagdi. Both deployments were successful and personally I gained lots of experience and practical knowledge(Running LTSP under virtualbox and deploying a full LTSP terminals are two entirely different things).

*Note: It was written a while ago when I was in Myagdi. I am too lazy to edit :D