Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gaborone, Botswana: do-everything-but-get-nothing-accomplished day

This felt like a do-everything-but-get-nothing-accomplished day. I started out great with plans to do all kinds of things but the internet was working like molasses in winter so mostly I spent the day trying to get things done without actually getting anything done. To make matters worse, I tried making and receiving phone calls on my cell phone and the Orange network which is one of the companies that provide the cell phone network was not working today so the phone calls were getting cut off or not dialling at all.
Priya and I worked on some more revisions for the website and I’m now feeling like it will actually get done. Thapelo who is the person doing the domain name registration, worked on his part as well. Fortunately we are all able to do our portions to get it done and he said that he may be able to have it up by this weekend. Dare I hope that it will happen?
We had an HIV/AIDS workshop today and there were about 30 people in attendance. Emily planned it and managed to get a couple of local guest speakers to come in. That’s a really good idea because using the local resources is so much better than trying to get the international volunteers to do that. I think that makes the plan more sustainable for several reasons.
We couldn’t work on the CV’s today because most of the students were at the workshop. I guess you make Plan A and if that doesn’t work, you go with Plan B which is to adapt the schedule for when the students can attend.
I did manage to work with the Fashion Design students today on learning and improving their typing skills. I’ve been doing that for all of this week because the computer instructor was not available. That was a sort of impromptu teaching. Fortunately the software is pretty easy to learn myself because it’s not one that I have ever worked with. There are 6 computers and 8 or 9 students so they have to take turns doing the typing.
The floral design students had a large order for 15 table arrangements for a function so they were busy working on that today. Then they have a big order for funeral wreaths. They certainly do have a lot of funerals over here and you can see why with many people dying from AIDS as well as a large number from road accidents. As morbid as it may seem, the floral design students could have a good entrepreneurial business going with providing floral arrangements for those occasions. I was looking for the students today and found them (about 6-8) diligently working on their arrangements in a storage room about 8 feet by 10 feet that is also used for storage. Makes me wonder how they manage to learn under those conditions. I walked over to the WUSC office, which is about 10 minutes and waited for Kathy who was having the same problem with sending or receiving her emails. It must be some satellite that was the problem because the cell phone network as well as the internet was malfunctioning today. The internet also works with satellite. I can’t figure out how all this stuff works but when it doesn’t, it can be very frustrating. I also missed Izabel’s call today and I did try calling back but was too late. I did speak to my parents on Skype but the conversation was very choppy so I gave up and signed off. All together a technology deficient day. We tried again tonight at Kathy’s home which has dial-up but it’s the same story. I think that maybe someone is trying to tell me to take a break. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe I should just read my book. That might be more satisfying.

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