It seems that my agonizingly slow wireless access was the cause of the hours long wait for the update. I upgraded another XO at school this morning using a usb ethernet adapter, and it the whole process took less than an hour.
Less than 10 minutes of the time requires active involvement of the person doing the install, so I will be able to update all 11 of our XOs myself by the early part of next week. With 30 machines to do in El Salvador, Douglas will probably want to train some folks in Chalate to do the process themselves.
As soon as I finished updating the new machine in school, I tried switching the language to Spanish. Douglas and I talked about the project on skype yesterday, and he asked about how difficult it would be to switch languages. While I haven't done any serious testing yet, at first glance it appears to be as simple as switching the language setting in the control panel. It requires a reboot, and then everything seems to work in the new language. I'll setup the next few machines for Paco and I to use in Spanish.
Switching to the language brings up another issue. There is a Wikipedia activity that loads 96 megabytes onto the laptop, and it appears to be in English only (the name of the package implied that, anyway). I asked Matt about removing packages, since we would want this removed from the laptops in El Salvador. If there is a Wikipedia Spanish package, we could install that instead.