The content of this blog does not reflect the positions of the Peace Corps and is solely the responsibility of the author.

In Which I am So Confused by the Absence of Vitriolic Frustration in my life that I Try to Manufacture Some in my Quest for Butterflies.


Training is over! This horrible thing of coddlesome time-wasting is over and I am in the process of writing a formal and well-formatted letter to the director about all the things that need to be different. But that isn't really happening fast or much because I have more breathtakingly interesting things to do with my time. Nest, for example. Being as I am more selfish than Virginia Woolf, I need an entire house of my own before I become self-actualized. Actually, all I really need is a large open space in which to dance without being watched or having my music criticized and a kitchen. I need many things for my kitchen, and they are accumulating slowly because I have to buy things as time permits and in amounts of weight I am willing to carry a long distance up a hill.

Also, I have a new job that I think I will love once I get over the initial awkward phase. I am working at a teacher's college and I have three servers! Three! The fact that I think one has a dead motherboard is entirely beside the point. I have three servers! Downstairs there is an actual real library with both children's books in Kiswahili and novels by Sir Walter Scott that look fair to swashing my buckles! And I have three servers! Before I came two weren't working and I fixed one* so I am useful! And also, I have a dress with butterflies. The two are unconnected. I had purchased fabric with butterflies on it and taken it to my fundi right before leaving for swearing in, tried to retrieve it after returning, had to have it altered because my fundi overestimates my skinniness, and then kept trying to retrieve it at times when the fundi had stepped out for chai or something. While waiting for her return the other day I tried to feel the great frustration I would normally expect to feel, but really, I don't have a tight schedule as yet, I don't have any curfew due to homestay family, I don't have silly training activites, and I do need groceries. I can chill out in the market, greet people, text my fundi in Kiswahili asking when she will return, and buy tomatoes while I wait. I now have my dress. It is pretty and it has butterflies, and I wore it while trying to figure out how to configure a Cisco 870 router for the college. I have no idea how to do this, but I have the ability and free time to look up stuff on the web, which seems to make me the expert in the absence if anyone who knows where this router came from or where documentation for it might be found.

In today's agenda, I have a cold, and it is Eid, so I am taking a sick to stay in bed communing with my laptop and all the anime saved to my hard drive.

*By turning it on. Either it didn't actually have a problem or I haz teh Holy Hands of Dijkstra. 

In Which I Realize that Significant Bandwidth is Necessary for Identity Theft

I just became a victim of theft.  Nothing terribly serious, and actually I got my wallet back sans 15,000 =/, so that is all right best beloved, but it was a creepy experience in which I learned many valuable lessons.  One being that graphical user interfaces on the web are not designed for developing countries.   I know this because in the creepy panic of post-theft, my initial instinct was to cancel all of my credit cards.  This means that I have to visit bank websites from Tanzania, which takes bloody forever and a day due to graphical security measures.  By forever and a day, I mean Chase's website would sometimes hit a logoff timout before it finished loading.  The good news about this is that it would seem to indicate that online identity theft is a problem only of high bandwidth.  The bad news is that I have low bandwidth.   I began cursing ING for their nice little graphical pin which, in retrospect, is a fairly reasonable response to keyloggers.   It does, however, mean that online banking is not really a viable option for developing countries, which is a problem in and of itself.

I also learned that thieves are extremely quiet and that the Peace Corps Safety and Security people are surprisingly sympathetic and helpful even to the trainee who routinely brings a book to all training sessions or falls asleep.  Hamna shida darlings, lesson learned on carelessness, and it only cost me about $10 and some peace of mind.