Africa vs. Tech

After a year in Kenya a person would assume I understand the pitfalls of owning technology in Africa. Today, however, proved I do not.

At the moment I do most of my work from home because the office computer is non-functioning. Why? The power is shut off. This occurred a few months back because we were attached to the power grid for a small grouping of houses next door. Unfortunately, the bill did not get paid so they cut everyone’s power, even though we paid ours. It was a back and forth debate about how to get it back on and we finally owned up to needing our own line because as unreliable as the electricity is here, people paying their electricity bills is almost worse.

How does this contribute to my problem? I have been using the work laptop from home due to a regular power source and the need of using my computer to create the different attributes of the program I am developing. I do everything on the computer I can’t do with my tablet. Everything. Unfortunately while in the middle of working this morning the computer froze. It is an old system, hazarded by the conditions here, so it does this a lot. I used the emergency Ctrl+alt+Del key combination to manually close the program that froze. This apparently upset the sensibilities of the computer and it decided to simply retire. It shut itself down and when I booted it back up…absolutely nothing. Well it turns on and mocks me by pretending to be booting up, but then it stops, and the screen won’t function. It is the only blue light that will not illuminate. Why is there not a Staples or Best Buy around?!

A series of unfortunate events has led to the demise of the program I have worked so hard on, among other things. The worst part? There are no repair shops in my village, only in Kisumu, if they can even repair it. I’ll settle for recovering the memory. The lesson : when you reside in a place you know technology is fickle make sure to always back up everything everyday just in case your electronics decide to quit. And appreciate the nice computer doctors you can simply drive down the street to visit. Next time you are in an electronics store thank them for restoring and repairing all the wonderful technology we Americans thrive on. It’s the 21st century, I won’t deny or apologize. I just want my computer back, please?


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