Monday, May 12, 2008

technology....i love it, i hate it

let me first explain that i´ve been having trouble updating the blog, which i´m sure you´re all (those few that are still keeping up with it...don´t worry, you only have about 6 or 7 months more of it!) aware. first of all, i already told you about my computer woes. well, that problem didn´t get solved. i took it to this out-of-the-way place in san salvador and the tech guy was this dude that seriously needed to take voice lessons, like learning how to talk above a whisper. it didn´t help that the store was blasting this cumbia music, ALONG with the barça vs. real madrid fútbol match on an overhead television. the guy took the computer back into the ¨shop¨ area and came back and says that he couldn´t get it working, but he thinks he knows what the problem is. it took about five times of him telling me this until i could understand what he was saying, because all he did was mumble and whisper. so i ask him if he is sure he knows what the problem is and he just smiles. then i ask how much it costs and he says, ¨i don´t know. probably around $800.¨ again, i had to wrestle this information out of him. finally, i told him to write what he thought the problem was and how much it cost on a piece of paper. then i told him i didn´t think i´d get it fixed just yet.

so incidently, what he wrote he thought was the problem was the logic board. i did some searches online and found many a forum and message board saying that this specific computer (mac) that i have has had a gazillion problems with this. that made me feel somewhat better, as most of the websites said that even if that part is f%)!´ed, the hard drive is probably still ok. so then came the decision about what exactly to DO with my computer. not many people have macs here, and i just really felt uneasy about handing over my computer to this tech that couldn´t describe for me clearly what exactly the problem was and exactly how much it was going to cost. and i´ll be honest with ya, i don´t HAVE $800 for anything right now. i ended up going over to the brand new fed ex office in col. escalón and asked about sending it back to the states.

i must have spent an hour with the workers there trying to dechiper the process of sending something from el salvador to the states. if you send something over a $500 value, you have to pay duty on it, and with that, a bunch of friggin´ paperwork that makes absolutely no sense to me. it´s like it´s written in sanskrit. i wanted to insure it for the full value with fed ex, but didn´t want to have to pay customs on it because it wasn´t something new i was sending home or whatever. all i kept thinking was ¨i just want my computer fixed!¨ so finally the women there helped me out in a big way, and they said if there were any problems they´d call me. so we went to pack up the computer and i´m all in american mode, in this brand spankin´ new fed ex office, thinking they´d have bubble wrap or something to pack stuff with and they´re like, ¨no, we don´t have any of that.¨ so they gave me these confusing directions to some hardware store a million blocks away.

finally, i got the thing shipped off. you know, i don´t even care if i have the computer here, i just don´t want it broken and here. i ended up tracking the package today and un milagro, it actually has made it´s way to northwood, ohio. now all my mom has to do is pick it up or be home when they try to deliver it, and i´ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

while i love technology....having the computer, being able to track packages via the internet, being able to write a blog, etc., i really hate it as well. the fact that my computer is less than 3 years old and all of a sudden the logic board goes out for no reason is ridiculous to me. the fact that companies don´t make computers to last, just because they want you to get a new one, absolutely sucks. i can understand if my programs get outdated or it starts running slower or whatever....that´s just to be expected the older it gets, just like a car or whatever. but for it one day just to quit working, when it´s only 2 1/2 years old? so stupid. and it´s a friggin´ mac! i suppose i just have to go with it because there are millions of other people going through the same frustrations with whatever bit of technology they have in their lives.

so writing the blog has become a bit more difficult as i have to sit here in front of the computer screen and decide what i want to say and how i want to say it on cue. also, because i don´t have my computer, i obviously can´t upload any pictures from my camera. i have to save them on a flashdrive, but my flashdrive is super small and so i´ve had to start putting them on other digital cards from my other TWO cameras that i had previously (one broken, one stolen). but thanks to lovely technology, i have a digital card reader, so i´m at least able to use whatever card i want.

and finally, i´ve been extremely busy as of late. i was asked by rolando to participate in a taller in san salvador with 7 other volunteers and a few salvadoran counterparts. we redesigned the peace corps agroforestry and environmental education programs to more fit the goals of peace corps as well as the needs we have seen in the salvadoran communities in general. i´m also working on a huge campaign regarding health in san jorge. antonio and i are working on presenting a nutrition and health program to whoever is interested, focusing especially on risks associated with the salvadoran diet. i´ve mentioned before that people generally don´t drink water in their homes. they buy these 3 liter bottles of soda like 3 times a week, pumping sugar and carbonated water into their bodies. i´m all for the yucca frita and pupusas or whatever, but not every day. all this fried food and grease is basically the diet here, and it´s running a toll on the health of the salvadorans. rates of diabetes are high, as well as high blood pressure and other problems. the ministerio de salud really doesn´t focus much on diabetes, but more on mosquito borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria. thing is, there are higher rates of diabetes than there are malaria and dengue fever in most areas (at least those not on the beach).

don´t worry, i´m still at the school. our library still hasn´t gotten up and running yet because i had the list of ALL the books in my computer and now we have to start over because, well, you know....the computer and all. but we celebrated earth day and i´ve been teaching english regularly. plus the work with the environmental committee.

anyway, i promise to post pictures either this week or next. i can´t believe it is the middle of may already. i´m seriously ready for a vacation......

that´s all for now....