My computer’s saga has finally been concluded, and with a happy ending!! My computer’s backlight went out right after in-service training in April, making it rather useless. I could only see things on the screen if I used a flashlight. I spent many hours sitting on my couch with a blanket over my head and my headlight, trying to pick what music I would like to put on my Ipod as I prepared for Mac’s return to America to get fixed. When I was not desperately hiding under my blanket trying to get even the smallest use out of my computer, it made a very nice, shiny, and expensive paperweight on my desk. My site mate (well—if you count a neighbor someone who lives 5 hours away from me—which, here, I do) Glenn, was returning to America in June for a short visit. I solicited his help, and the operation began.
Step 1: At our Girl’s conference, in June, I handed the computer off to Glenn. He returned to America and everything seemed to be going right to plan. My computer was only a few weeks over warranty so Mac even agreed to fix it under warranty.
Hitch 1 (in any great mission, there must be a hitch): Glenn was returning to Tanzania and the computer was not fixed yet. Bummer. So, now, my computer was in Georgia with Glenn’s sister (who picked it up when it was fixed after Glenn’s return), and I didn’t know what to do.
Step 2: My friend Danielle’s friend was coming to Tanzania. This seemed like a great option to get the computer back into country.
Hitch 2 (if this is a mission involving me, there will probably be more than one hitch—just my luck): Danielle’s friend lives in Texas, and was leaving for Tanzania in 4 days
Step 3: Have Glenn’s sister Fed-Ex the computer to Texas overnight, with insurance. $133. Yikes.
Step 4: Have my mom send Glenn’s sister a reimbursement check.
Hitch 3: Danielle’s friend was flying into Moshi, a 3 day trip from my site
Step 5: Danielle left it at a volunteer’s house in Moshi
Step 6: Another volunteer, Yue, picked it up and brought it with him to Dar a few days later.
Step 7: The handoff. Yue handed it to my other sort of site mate, Katie, in Dar, who brought it to her village (about 60 km away)
Step 8: Katie came to my site this week with the computer!!
After 5 months, mission complete!! Thanks to everyone who helped. You all are AMAZING and I owe you BIG.
Last week I decided it would be a good idea to get my hair cornrowed. Tanzanians love this, and I really like the feeling of the wind on my scalp as I ride my bike. I did it once before and it was really cheap and didn’t hurt very much, so, why not? The last lady I went to put in pretty big braids so it only took about 2 hours. Oh my, the lady I went to last week did the smallest braids and it hurt soooooo bad. After 5 hours of sitting there I had tears running down my face, I was cursing life, and all I could think was how I was no longer afraid for childbirth. It was way not worth it. Then I started getting “you look beautiful,” from everyone. Then I got two marriage proposals, and one guy bought me a soda, so it wasn’t completely bad. I also had them put in some Little Shop of Physics beads in it, which are white until you go out into the sun and they change color! Ha.
Earlier this week I was left with the daunting task of taking them out. After 4 hours of unbraiding and being forced to cut the beads out of my hair, I remain with approximately half the volume of hair I had before I did this. Never again. But, for your entertainment, pictures!