Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tribute to Technology and the people who made mine work!

"The Boss"
This weekend, I unwrapped the box that my solar battery charger came in. I had not needed it yet, so I’ve had the box sitting on my table. One new technology after another has rested on my table waiting for me to figure out how to use it. One by one, I’ve mastered every one. The solar battery charger is my last technological challenge for now. Since I am going to my post (Tchekpo) for an entire week on Saturday, and there is no electricity, I decided I better test this solar charger out….so that I might at least be able to charge my telephone. Without my solar charger, I would not have any communication with the world outside of Tchekpo, a small village in Western Africa.

My fellow PCV’s have been interested and even in awe of some the technology and equipment that I brought with me. Oh, they all have nice computers and ipods, but they don’t have the stuff that I have. I think their estimation of me went up a notch when they saw some of my “stuff.”
I have:
• A Computer
• An Ipod that also plays videos and shows photographs
• Uploaded two seasons of 30 Rock and Community and two seasons of Dexter
• 1800 uploaded songs
• A short wave radio
• A digital camera
• A solar battery charger
• An electrical adaptor
• Small down pillow…(I also consider this high-tech)

The week before I left for Africa, my kids and their spouses, and my grand-daughter (Alex) would gather every day at Emilys, and set me up to be technologically advanced in Africa. It was so cool, how they did it…..and again “it takes a village” came to my mind while I watched them help me prepare. They sat around Emily’s dining room table with four computers, and they were ordering me stuff, and transferring stuff to my ipod, and showing (or trying to show me) how to do things, once I got here. They even packaged everything in zip lock bags and labeled the bags. Eric emphasized many times…that I must listen to what they were telling me. He would take his two fingers, point to his eyes, and then point to my eyes….”FOCUS MOM!!!” I knew it would all come in handy, but I was kind of in a daze those last few days. I did have doubts, and I know they did too, that I would ever be able to operate half the stuff they were trying to hook me up with.

I’ve been able to operate EVERYTHING!! I was able to tune into BBC the night the United States played Ghana in the World Cup, which was pretty cool to listen to here in Africa. Last night the electricity was out all over town, and my host family had company…several children and Kafuirs sister were here. I brought out my computer, which I had previously charged, and we looked at the photos I had taken of them on my big computer screen. The children and the adults gathered around, and loved this. Everything was completely dark except for my computer screen. I then remembered I had pictures of the Obama Innauguration, and we looked at those. They all love Obama here, and they were mesmerized with the pictures of the inauguration and of Washington D.C. Cleemawn told me it was emotional. Thanks to technology I was able to do this……and now I’ve mastered the solar battery charger. I’ve already been able to charge my phone and my ipod on it. It was a breeze! I will now have communication with the outside world at all times.

I dedicate my blog to: E.J., Eric, Emily, Mike, Alex, Andrea and Mirinda. It was heart warming and inspiring, the way you all pitched in to help me prepare for Africa. I’d be absolutely lost without this technology and without the help you gave me with pre-planning. I’m quite proud of the fact that younger volunteers have come to me for help on technological issues. Seriously, even the guy that is here for I.T. came to me the other day for help. How cool is that! Thank you, thank you thank you.

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