Friday, April 30, 2010

Technology Meltdown

We forgot to show you this one a few weeks ago. Hebron School had a "60's Night" and, well, you guessed it, this is the Palm kids in their 60's garb. (Yes, James has a fake mustache painted on his face.)

I am trying to find the right words to appropriately describe our week. Okay, how about one noun and one adjective? Or is this one noun and one verb? I honestly don’t know. But here they are: Technology meltdown. Let’s start a list. Shall we? I like lists. I actually love writing them, but never get around to using them. Anyway, a list.

1) The land line in our house hasn’t worked for three weeks.

2) In turn, we do not have internet. I do love staying in touch with family and friends, but I also do quite a bit of work at home as FF’s volunteer coordinator. So, I get behind when the internet at home is not working.

3) Our power has been off at some point every day this week. It does come on the evenings, minus tonight, but still the lowering and rising of temperature in the freezer makes me a bit nervous. I am just cooking that meat up real well.

4) Our mobile phone service did not work Tuesday or Wednesday. And with the whole no land line situation going on, makes it difficult to, I don’t know, communicate.

5) The internet was down in FF’s office for most of the week. Coming on, randomly, throughout the day for an hour or two. Today, however, absolutely no internet at the office.

6) The electricity in FF’s office was literally unplugged last Friday, because the city said that the owner of the office had not built the office legally. News to Freedom Firm. So, Jayson has strung an extension cord from the flat below theirs, so they could at least have power for the computers.

7) The water for the office was also turned off. They can pump water from a big tank at the bottom floor of the building, but I guess you need a good amount of electricity to work a pump. So, no water.

How we're getting electricity in the Freedom Firm office now that they pulled our electricity plug!

An extension cord coming out our landlady's home (out her window) and running up to our office (into our window)

Extension cord coming in our window, plugging into a second extension cord on the Administrator's desk

And yes, this is the technology and electricity hub of the office (1) The cord in the lower right is the power coming from our landlady (2) The two huge, heavy batteries and the white box is a power backup system, giving the office four hours of backup when the electricity goes out...daily (3) The top shelf is our server, modem, and wireless router

And this is how we're getting power to multiple outlets in the office...looks dangerous if you ask me!

I think that is a good little list. I also think that list reflects why there are times when other parts of the world wonder why it takes so long to get things done around here. My attitude this week has been okay about it all. I did get frustrated tonight (by the way I am grateful that Jayson’s computer has a four hour battery, so I can say hi to you all) when the clock turned, 5:30, then 6, then 7… still no power. I called Sarah to cheer me, and her son, Sammy, who is eight, was home sick from school, and without any prompting, told me that he is excited to see us this summer. That definitely cheered me.

Once Jayson found out that the office they are currently in is not going to function properly for a long time, or might even get condemned, he started looking for a new office. Quick as wink, he found one which we are entirely grateful for. Finding something that quick just doesn’t happen around here. Offices and flats are interchangeable around here. Are there office buildings in Ooty? I don’t know. But places are built with such simplicity that any space can easily be turned into from a home into an office. Which is pretty handy, if you ask me. Hopefully we can move into that office this month before we go back to the States, so the staff can be back to as fully functioning as India can be. That was a wee sarcastic slam to India, but I am still a bit crabby, sorry.

In other FF news... Today, there was a conviction of a brothel keeper, named Kanchi Tamang, who was arrested last July 31 during a FF raid. The brothel keeper was sentenced to seven years. We are so glad about the conviction and the grateful that it only took nine months, which is like warp speed here.
We don't have a photo of Kanchi Tamang. But to give you some form of a visual, this is Sonam Roy, the second Freedom Firm brothel keeper conviction, last summer.

I am going to tell you a secret: I am kind of prideful about reverse culture shock. For some odd reason, I want to float back into normal American culture with finesse and confidence. So, sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I pretend that I am going to Super Target, and going through all the aisles. I am not going to be overwhelmed when I can buy sliced deli meat or cheese that taste good. I am not going to cry when I see Mac n’ Cheese for the kids or Grape Nuts for me. I will not dance through the aisles with a cart because it is the first time that my almost two year old has ever been in a cart (I guess as an infant she probably was in a cart while in her car seat, but that doesn’t count). My children will not be alarmed when the doors open automatically when you get close to them. I will not buy 20 frozen pizzas just because I can. My kids won’t faint when they see the rows of toys. Oh, people, do you want to be a little birdie on my shoulder when I get back to the States? I do.


Kara said...

Oh dear friend, we cannot wait to have you here! I would LOVE to be that little birdie. You help us all be grateful for the little things we so take for granted. Lise says hi to Ani. Can't wait to see her.

mel said...

i say, buy up as many frozen pizzas as your little heart desires...
although i don't think they compare to the friday night pizza night pizzas. just sayin' ...
can't wait, can't wait to see and hug all of yas!!


As far as the reverse culture shock goes, I am going to make a little prediction here . . . that the first time you (and Sarah L.) go to Starbucks together . . . you will burst into tears from happiness . . . so will Sarah.