Back in the Village

Frisbee’s in heat. I thought she liked to yowl and meow before; man, I had no idea. Next time, I get a boy cat. Like Caroline’s cat, Lovelace. Yes, I know the name is not a boy name. She named him before she was able to correctly identify his gender. I refer to him as “the boy named Sue”.

Anyway, things are rolling along here in Ghana. I returned, went to the PEPFAR IST, and then headed home to a house full of cobwebs and musty smell, as well as an internet connection that needed to be turned back on after not paying the bill for a month. Still, it’s good to be back. I’ve only got 11 months left, and I intend to enjoy it.

There’s a lot about this life that I enjoy. Yeah, it’s a pain doing laundry by hand, and travel is annoying, but all things considered, I am happy. My clothes get clean, my food is tasty, and my electric bill is about $10 a month. Teaching can be a bit stressful, but that’s true of any job; and I still end up with a ton of time to read, write, and tinker with stuff. And after being completely overwhelmed by the snack food selection at Target, I’ve come to appreciate buying whatever brand of biscuit the shopkeeper bought that week.

About the only gripe I have is internet access. I could live in a shack in the middle of nowhere so long as I had a garden, a root cellar, a bicycle, a solar panel, and a connection to the internet. I get most of my news via shortwave radio; the rest comes from the internet. The software updates and anti-virus definitions for my school come from my internet connection (though they’ll have one by the beginning of October or whenever I next get to Sunyani) and if I had a faster (and more reliable) Internet connection, I’d probably get more of my entertainment that way, too. Not that I don’t mind reading; I’ve read more good (and bad, and downright mediocre*) books here than I’ve been able to read in a long time, but it’s also nice to be able to listen to a new album or watch a movie a little sooner than 6 months after it’s released.

School has started again as of last week, which means that my students started showing up as of this week and we have a timetable as of today. It seems inefficient and wasteful, but consider that it’s hard to have motivated students when you don’t have motivated teachers, and it’s difficult to have motivated teachers when your paycheck is a pittance and arrives anywhere from 2 days to 3 months late.  Still, I’m excited to teach this term; I’ve got a dedicated lab (which means NO! MORE! PRACTICALS! AFTER. SCHOOL!) and a good solid stack of lesson plans from which to work. The ICT fee has also finally been added to the student bill, so we should be able to get something a little bit better than the dregs of technology to work with. As much as I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making Pentium Pros work in a modern computing environment, I think it’s time to move on to more maintainable and responsive hardware.

Alright, that’s about all I’ve got this week. Next week: what I do all day.

* I’m looking at you, Clive Cussler. Oh, and Mr. Clancy: whoever’s writing the Op-Center series of books these days is pretty much phoning it in.

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Grant

I'm just this guy, you know?

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