The "Trasnoche de Traducción Aymará" started at 6 pm, Bolivia time (+/- EST), of Friday, September 12. Much fun was had as the evening went on by about a dozen volunteers, mostly from the Linux community who were quite interested in the Sugar interface and the XOs but, alas, mostly were not Aymara savvy. However, our 3 "Aymaristas" got agreement on 58 strings, so we have just about 2.500 to go. The first string translated was "Name:", as when a kid names the XO. That will be "Suti:" for us...
The "Impeesa" Scout Group acted as the support team, feeding and watering the volunteers.
No live internet connectivity was available for the event, par for the course as internet infrastructure goes here - 1 Mbs ADSL costs $365 per month. I had to walk half an hour to find an open internet cafe to send this.
Poedit is giving us issues, and the wished-for LAN Pootle server that had worked just fine during test time the day before didn't operate either when needed, so we're on manual mode. Let's call it a start for the time being, a bit away from a resounding success yet.
On somewhat unrelated news, the city of La Paz, where we are, is actually quite calm while the rest of the country is facing much unrest. The current political situation in Bolivia brings vividly to mind the need to support quality education, so future generations will be able to find ways to get their act together better than ours seems to.
An enthusiastic team kept working well past the 6 pm official end time on Saturday 13th to do as much as possible for the translation of Sugar to Aymara, in La Paz, Bolivia, proving that if we had started slow on Friday, that was no reason to do less than all that was possible.
Some of the basic Sugar PO files were localized to 100%, though none have yet been uploaded to the official Pootle server as of Monday the 15th. Connectivity is a major issue, and such infrastructure limitations will likely be a challenge to future deployments in this South American country.
The usual fun of finding suitable terms was had by all for this ancient language learning new tricks. The "Memorize" Activity will be understood now as the "Safekeep In My Head" Activity among Aymara kids, as rousing matches of wits happened between the etymologists and the semanticists to figure out the best term that would convey the right meaning, and we are glad we have been so far spared the major religious wars existing between Aymara pentavocalists and trivocalists and others such issues. I make a mention of this, because the next steps such as fine tuning quality and reaching acceptance are not in the bag yet, as no consensus exists among specialist in this language for spelling, grammar, and obviously neologisms.
Yet the news this week for Bolivia was not this advance in computer-based education. As other events unfolded, concern for the future of our country was high among those working in the Scouting District Center of La Paz. While our personal safety was not in jeopardy, we were aware that the best we could do under the circumstances was to keep working, and so we did. We all hope that helping the Aymara find their voice and role through OLPC tools will help do a little towards our country achieving mutual respect among those of different races and cultures, within our borders, and with those working to build a whole world community, where quality education for all is a reality.