Monday, May 30, 2011

East Africa Day 11 (Tues May 24): Intro to Computer Repair in Nanyuki

Started the day with a tour of the new banda construction site, with Wa. The new banda is going up next to the garden, for use by the Danish program that sublets part of campus from Daraja. Amazing to see the concrete floor that had been hand-mixed and poured the night before. The workers were really nice – I enjoyed watching them for a little bit and reflecting upon my great-grandfather’s work laying tile and stone in New Jersey.

Went back into town today with Andy and Daraja’s awesome mechanic, Peter to resolve my netbook internet problems. We brought my netbook to a shop that Peter and Wa knew, which required walking down a short alley, entering a courtyard, and then walking up two flights of steps to the second story shop. It was a small place – one room – with several work benches stacked with desktop computer towers and a fax machine that looked like it was a work in progress, and cubicles with a desktop computer in each, giving me the impression that the shop was also an internet cafĂ©. There were several young guys working there, who quickly diagnosed the problem – my netbook runs on Linux, and I now know that the Kenyan companies’ modems run on Windows. So we left my netbook there so that they could download the drivers for Linux and install them on my netbook.

Andy and I then went to The Eatery for lunch and wireless access, so that Andy could get some online worrk done. He was so nice – let me use his laptop in the restaurant, while he ran errands for both of us. When Andy picked my netbook up from the shop towards the end of the day, he saw it working with a Safaricom modem – internet connection success!

When we got back to campus I finally managed to get close enough to one of the beautiful (and common) birds on campus, to snap this photo for my grandmother. Maria, the resident bird expert told me that this is the Superb Starling.

After dinner Jacinta, the school’s nurse and mental health counselor gave me a tour of her new office, in an annex off of the newest of Daraja’s three dormitory buildings. I learned a lot about the services that she provides to the students, and we had a great talk about why I am in East Africa and my project for Daraja. Daraja is so lucky to have her here!

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