Children of Colombia, Speaking to the World


I am Greg Yohn and today I read on the BBC's web site (in Spanish) that the OLPC XO will be provided to children in the Caldas Province of Colombia, so I read more and got to see the video provided by the Colombian Governor's website:

My personal opinion about the XO is good, but it needs to get proper support. I have a personal interest for the XO in Colombia, since my baby was born there in Cali, Colombia, March 6, 2008.

Doctors, nurses, architects, and engineers all wanted one after seeing my XO, but none were available in Colombia at that time. There was no G1G1 for Colombians, like for me in the USA. By the way, my baby Andres Felipe is a citizen now, since his Social Security Card came in the mail today!

I had children look at it in Cali and they were happy for 4 hours, but I was not trying to teach them school work. We used the Memory Activity for addition skills. They liked it when I showed them the Speak/(Habla) program, so they could hear Spanish or English words.

These children had no hopes of having a computer at their own home, but I was a bit handicapped with the XO, since my Spanish was less than fair. Some of the children wanted to see online the Dora the Explorer Spanish website, but the XO would not function there.

I found the Maya & Miguel PBS website that was able to be seen by the XO for good Spanish content. We used the XO for listening to MP3's with the Sonata Activity. They seemed a bit shy using the Record Activity initially.

The Governor of Caldas Province spoke in his press conference about 15,000 XO's coming to his Province. He was excited especially, since he expected them to be used for communicating nationally or internationally with Skype on the XO.

I now use a better option to talk to Colombia already for free by using Twinkle from the Terminal Activity. I call to Cali, Colombia for FREE 5 hours a week, but Skype would charge me to make the same telephone calls. I have used my VOIP provider to call for Free USA, Canada, Panama, Colombia, Hong Kong, China, S. Korea, Australia, & the UK, but they have many more FREE countries than I have friends to call.

Now, the children of Colombia will be able to speak to the world, so the Governor had a good reason to be excited having the OLPC XO.

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To operate Twinkle I used Terminal and typed su and root then pressed enter. I installed it with by typing yum install twinkle and pressed enter.

My VOIP provider is and after setting up an account, they give you 1 hour of free use. If you want more free calling, you give them a 5.00 Euro balance and call for free 2 months. After that period your calls to Columbia are .03 Euros a minute. You could use to call for 3 months free, but calls to Colombia are just .02 Euros a minute after the free time has expired.

Totally OT, but inspired on your note since I do need to call Bolivian OLPCers way too much. Been trying both companies you indicate on Ubuntu, no success. Can you tell us the tricks?
yamaplos at

Hi Guys,

You mis-spelled Colombia in the tag!

Says OLPC Columbia and it should be OLPC Colombia

Two "o"s and no "u".

Thought I would mention it as its a pet peeve of mine. You would be amazed how many otherwise accurate publishers make that mistake.

Aside from thatI enjoyed the article, thanks. I look forward to talking to my in-laws in Bogota more often if we can get twinkle running.


Greg S

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