On May 12, 2009 a newspaper article about Sue Center was published in the San Jose Mercury News. See it here.
On the left are Roy and Ana Cook of Saratoga. Ana immigrated from Croatia several years ago and married Roy in 2002. They saw the article about Sue Center in the paper and were intrigued. Ana has a friend in Šibenik, Croatia (Hrvatska) named Stanka who she thought could benefit from the software. Stanka was paralyzed in an auto accident over 10 years ago. Roy offered to pay my travel expenses to Croatia so that I could set up, configure, and translate Sue Center for Stanka. Here is a screenshot that gives an idea of the result:
It took a good bit of doing to get it right. I would estimate 30-40 hours of development time over a period of 9 days - June 14th to June 23rd. The main difficulty was in un-English-izing the program and dealing with the 5 non-Latin characters in the Croatian alphabet. The next language will be much much easier!
This is Stanka Karađole:
Stanka has made a large collection of video tapes with film about Šibenik and the surrounding areas. She will use Stanka Centar to catalog and organize it all.
On the left you see Vlatko Markovic, Stanka’s partner/dear friend/doctor and main caretaker. Vlatko was of tremendous help with the translations of words like Clear, Delete, Browse, Show, Jump, Bookmark, Select, Index, etc etc etc.
On the right is Vjarica, Stanka’s niece. Her name is pronounced "vee yah ree tsa". Vjarica is a personal assistant for Stanka as well as her grandmother (with increasing dementia/Alzheimer’s) who lives upstairs. She is 26 years old and stays in touch daily with friends all over the world using the Facebook app on her iPhone.
Vlatko also cooked inventive, tasty, gourmet vegetarian meals for me! Bob (horse-bean), green bean, potatoes, garlic, chard, arugula, cheese from Pag, pasta with mushrooms, tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, and olives - always accompanied by red or white wine! Yummy. Finding adequate vegetarian food is not easy in Croatia - except at Vlatko’s. He is an omnivore but also a talented cook and I think he appreciated the challenge of creating good food for me.
Vlatko is a medical doctor and also manages the guest house that Stanka’s mother owns - and where I stayed while in Šibenik. He is quite a capable fellow. The picture above is from a tour he gave me of the charming old city. He described the history and culture of Croatia including life in the Yugoslav army and the recent war in 1991.
Stanka and Vlatko gave me several souvenirs as I was leaving including the above coin/medal made of heavy brass. I also bought the stone candleholder. When I light the candle I will remember Stanka.
A few more images from a tour of the old city:
The graffiti artists seemed to concentrate their efforts in one particular tunnel and spare the rest of the ancient stonework - so polite!
I also pieced together several video clips of the old city and the other sites below in a 6 minute YouTube video.
Roy and Ana took me on a tour of Krka National Park.
Vlatko arranged for another tour – the beautiful Kornati Islands. Here’s an over-the-top quote from George Bernard Shaw I saw in a travel guidebook:
I made the above lame sketch of the beach where we swam. A curious little girl came close to see. I offered her a blank card and we sketched and painted together! Her grandparents (German?) took a photo of us. Another opportunity for international goodwill!
After finishing my software task I traveled south by bus to Dubrovnik to be hosted by Roy and Ana in their new condominium with a fantastic view.
I toured the Old City in Dubrovnik and “walked the wall”. I took several photos - some just for the texture of the design.
The above group of 4 Spaniards were having such a good time that I asked to take their picture. They couldn’t stop laughing at each other’s antics.
If you are curious, also see this 6 minute YouTube video of the sites I visited in Croatia.