Long over do journel update #2

2008-11-19 – Wednesday
-Had a laidback day reading physics
-Was going to go to Zingalume basic school to see whether the chongolowa club (a national environmental education club) was meeting but I could see rain just about where the school is

-got some things at the market and tried probably with no success to help someone setup an email account on his phone
-Began reinstalling windows, first tried to repair the OS but to no success so I had to wipe the entire drive and completely reinstall it, it was still in the process of reinstalling when I needed to go to the meeting
-had another computer lab meeting and we agreed to set up one computer at the District Teaches Resource Center (DRC)

-tried to install word but MS installer was not installed, so I spent a long time trying various things

-read physics
-packed a little

-packed a little more
-read a little more physics
-were supposed to be having a meeting to finish the goat milk stand but I guess everyone was at a funeral

-spent the day trying to reinstall word but the power kept going out so I read PDF’s on electronics and neuroscience I had put on my phone until I needed to leave

-today was supposed to be the big day I began my move to the Farmers Training Center so I spent the morning packing and making sure everything that couldn’t go on the first trip there would not get wet by the leak in my roof
-at about 1300-1400 my APCD and the eastern GSO finally came and that is when I got the news that I would not be moving.
-apparently they felt that there were more reasons for me to stay then to move. Why they couldn’t have just had a phone conversation a month ago and I could have gotten this message then I have no idea but I am just going to put this ordeal behind me and move on. The biggest annoyance is that I should have started my rainy season garden a month ago.
-road back with them to Chipata and got there at about 1700
-went to the market and Shopright and got fruit, vegetables (about 40 tomatoes because I was going to make tomato sauce) and some other things although I didn’t get quite everything

-First went to the bank and got a debit card so I can get money when the bank is closed, then went to the Zain (used to be Celltel until they were bought out) and got another SIM card because the one I had wasn’t working. I guess the person who can do that wasn’t around so I will need to go back tomorrow
-went to the internet place but the person working there had to go out so I couldn’t use their power source but needed to sit outside and use the internet there. The speed was going slower then dial-up so I went back to the house and had lunch
-when I went back to the internet place it was back open and I was able to use an Ethernet connection which was the fastest I’ve had since I’ve been here. I spent most of the time looking into ham radio as a means of connecting to the internet. Basically what I found is that ham internet is the same thing as Wi-Fi only instead of being limited to around a watt of power it can transmit at say 100 watts. The only issue is finding out what Zambia’s regulations are regarding radio transmission.

-went to the “down shops” in search of a bunch of things
-went to an electronics store to see whether they could make a generator that would function at the proper rpm. They said I should get a “dynamo” charger and they would modify it although I wasn’t sure about that, I said I would look for one.
-got back and finished cooking some sauce I had made, then watched movies until the big feast began. I ate enough to last a week, the food was good although I missed my aunts cooking back in the states and the one thing a great deal of my extended family can back really well (with the exception of me) is pie. The pie here was pretty good, and someone had made three ice-cream cakes although they used a lot of artificial flavor and color.
-I then sat in on some high stakes poker until it was time for a phone call from my extended family. The VOIP connection wasn’t working however which was really frustrating

-In the morning we had our provincial meeting, then I tried to use the internet, but the power was out so I went to the Zamtel Chipata office (they’re the land line telephone provider) and inquired about dial-up costs as that is the way we will connect up to our computer lab until we can find funding for a broadband connection.
-the power was still out so I went to the market again in search of the generator and a few other things. I got almost everything I needed save for a generator specifically designed for a cycle. I think I will have to get a vehicle generator, then change the rpm by using a big wheel connected to the small axel of the generator if I still want to pursue this project.

-went to the market and got some more bananas and mangos
-sat outside the internet place and used the Wi-Fi access till the power ran out on my battery. I did some research into cell phone call back that would let me dial a pre-assigned number, then that number would call me back and let me enter the number I was trying to call. Since Zain and MTN don’t charge for incoming calls the call would be free. I haven’t found quite what I’m looking for but I hope I can before I need to go back so that I can call anyone for basically free. I also did some research into how to grow pyrethrum from seed for extraction and data to back up a letter I want to right to the appropriate ministry in Chadiza about why the rampant burning of trash and brush going on in the BOMA is bad for peoples health, bad for the environment and why there are better ways to improve soil.
-when my battery got drained, I went back to the house and ate lunch and then worked on PC paperwork for the rest of the night.

Long over do journel update #1

2008-11-03 – Monday
-Biked to BOMA and met with DFO
-met with member of ALINET were going to go to Chadiza boarding but he had to meet with some people who are building a new house for him
-went to Chadiza boarding and met with the computer teacher regarding internet. The plan we came away with is that for just the school to get satellite would be too expensive so to get dialup until a meeting can be organized of interested people in the district about setting up a community computer lab and then every member paying a portion of the fee.
-went to the market
-went to the FTC and talked to the person in charge to make sure that she new that PC admin are coming tomorrow, then charged my various devices.

Well, today was supposed to be the big day I moved to the FTC, however it appeared I was naive in thinking it could be this simple. At a little after 10:00, the PCVL and the GSO (General Service Officer) came and we discussed the steps necessary to move. It seems I was thinking in an American mindset and was not taking into account the impact it would have on the village and the chief. There needs to be a meeting with the chief and a Dovu village meeting first. Now the date I will be moving won’t be until early December. We met with the person who oversees the FTC and showed the PC people the house I would be moving into. It’s not really the picturesque hut I live in now, but it’s bigger and hopefully won’t have the termite problem that my current one does.
-met with the head teacher at Zingalume basic school and talked about trying to set up a demo plot in their garden as well as continuing my work with the JETS and Chongolowa clubs

-Got these really good indigenous fruits that are really sweet and good as well as some mangoes
-clouds loomed over the horizon as I biked to the FTC to charge my various devices, then shortly after I got there the downpour began
-the power was intermittent so I wasn’t able to completely charge things
-the rain hadn’t completely let up by the time I needed to leave, so it was fortunate that I had brought my pack cover to cover the basket with my computer and food items, although I didn’t have my other rain gear. Fortunately the centimeter a minute rain that had been coming down had abated.

-Made the mistake of not doing my activities under the open sky first because it began to rain again before I was really able to get much of anything completed

-Bought a bunch of bananas from a guy carrying them on the back of his bike, then realized I couldn’t bring all of them back in one go what with my backpack and other produce so I had them dropped off at my forestry counterparts house
-Got some stuff at the market then used my computer at the place I had dropped off my bananas because the FTC was occupied. I tried to print fliers advertising a meeting about getting a community computer lab with satellite internet access in Chadiza, but the power kept going out.

-I was surprised that my roof had not been a sieve but there had been a few leaks so I spent part of the morning putting a tarp on the roof with the assistance of a village teenager who scaled the wall easily. I wish we had tied down the tarp in more places because when it got windy, the tarp billowed and the noise was really loud.
-My solar panel had not been charging my battery that well so Friday I bought some longer wire and went about doing a little bit of rewiring. Then I got the assistance of another village teenager to put the panel up at the crest of the roof. The only problem was that that night the power for the battery still wasn’t charged so I think it most have had some sort of bad connection.

-I climbed up the somewhat tipsy tripod stepladder that the villager had used to reposition my solar panel and went about tying another washer of the tarp down to the roof. I then found that one of the new wires I had gotten had come disconnected. I reconnected it and was beginning to try to climb back on the later when it fell. Basically all I had to keep me up there was friction and some twine which I held onto with dear life. I tried to remember the Chichewa word for help but to no avail so I used the English version. The one kid who was nearby obviously did not know the word and I decided to definitely memorize it.
-At 1400 African time (close to 1500) we had our dairy goat meeting which basically the main outcome of it was to schedule a date to actually begin construction of the milk stand.

-spent a while trying to find a printer that worked to print some fliers advertising the internet meeting and finally printed from a random office in a building that has a bunch of different government offices in it. Met with the DFO about the internet meeting and whether they had any honey left (they have some combs that need processing). Put up some fliers and went to the market, then charged my devices and went home.

-well I was going to go to the BOMA today until the construction of the milk stand had been scheduled. However, only few people showed up and we canceled it which basically meant the day was a waist.

-went to the BOMA and met with the person who at Chadiza Boarding school who may be teaching some classes after having gotten two pints of honey from the forestry office.
-Had lunch with the ALINET person who was going to show me his office, but needed to wait to hear back from someone
-left the BOMA for Zingalume basic school where there would have been a chonglowa club meeting if the students hadn’t needed to work on the construction of some new buildings. Yep, that’s right, you want a proper school house – go build it! (After having gotten approval of the head master and hired a building contractor that is)
-my solar panel had still not been charging my battery so I had my village brother/atate (he’s probably around my age or a few years older, but I think he has kids who are more then just toddlers so I fell alright calling him my atate) climb up on my roof again and try to secure the connections again, which I tested by trying the lights, which worked so I new the break had been fixed

-went to the BOMA as early as possible and after trying unsuccessfully to find the ALINET guy to see whether he still has the price quotes for satellite internet I had given him, went to the market.
-I was more successful in my attempt to get the price quotes at the FTC, although the people there said they would be unable to attend the internet meeting
-at 11:00 I went to the District Teacher Center where the internet meeting would be held (had to wait until then because grade 5 was having exams until then) and typed up an agenda for the meeting
-we started a little late and it wasn’t until around 15:00 when everyone who would be attending had trickled in. It wasn’t quite the turnout I had hoped for (basically the people there represented the two high schools in Chadiza and an HIV/AIDS organization) but at least some people came. The main out come of the meeting was to try to set up a community computer lab first, then to worry about internet. Some people who going to look into a location for the lab, either a building where the fair grounds are, or someplace right next to the district resource center.

-went to the market
-went to FTC to write some journal entries
-large clouds loomed over the horizon as I packed up hurriedly
-unfortunately I did not leave soon enough, as I was nearing the crest of a hill, the ski opened up. I quick covered my cargo and put on my rain gear but not before getting wet enough so that if hadn’t been a veritable torrent I wouldn’t have gotten that much wetter. One of my anti-wetness protection garments blew away in the process and I had to go running after it. It was slow going the rest of the way, I could hardly see the road but I finally made it.

-it was a typical Saturday without much planed. At about 1500 another storm loomed overhead. As it came near a fierce wind came roaring up, so fierce was it that it tore the top layer of my roof off. After the wind came the rain and the next hour or so was spent trying to keep my possessions from getting drenched. When the downpour let up ndibanja (my Zambian family) helped me put the plastic back on and new grass on top of that, however it got dark before we could tie the grass down

-because I don’t go to church, my Sundays mornings are usually fairly laid back
-in the afternoon we had another milk goat meeting and today we actually started to build a milk stand. I had needed to rethink a little bit how I wanted to teach the construction because to build it just like the stand I milked my goats in the states would require getting k50,000-100,000 worth of lumber not to mention the nails and other hardware. The design we used will be a permanent fixture because the platform the mbuzi climb up on will be made out of bricks and the part they put their heads threw is put in the ground. Basically I think the only thing that is not something found locally is a the one nail that was used to make the part that closes around the goats neck to prevent it from getting out. We got done with the front part that goes in the ground and hopefully we can complete the construction before I need to move.

-spent a long time trying to print some memos to get more people to go to the next internet/computer lab meeting because the computer I was trying to print from, and therefore my flash drive were infected with a virus
-finally printed and gave a memo to someone at Eatright restaurant, the business which is owned by the person in charge of the Chadiza Entrepreneurship Association. I went to the market and got some mangos, then distributed some memos to the Chadiza AG ministry.
-I then had lunch and found that in running the antivirus program on the computer that I had printed from, I had infected it worse and basically made the computer un-runable.
-I met with the person from ALINET and we went to a building that had been sited as a possible place for the computer lab. It seemed pretty nice although not quite computer-lab-esk
-I was going to go meet with my forestry counterpart but dark clouds again loomed over the horizons so I instead packed up and put on my rain gear. I felt somewhat silly for wearing it however as the rain never came

-went to the market
-tried to fix the computer in the day high school computer lab to no avail the reinstallation CD is at a teachers house so I will have to reinstall it Thursday at the earliest.
-chatted with one of the teachers and got my journal up to date