Living in the Community – Connecting to the outside world

It was good that we split the day up into field work in the mornings and other activities in the afternoon.  We were all more productive when fresh and relatively cool, and the afternoons gave Kofi and I a chance to catch up on other work.  Our biggest problem was that most of our work was computer based and our guest house had no electricity.  So daily we would hike up the road to the project office and call on the caretaker there to unlock the building and turn on the generator.  We would settle ourselves at the table on the back veranda there and get our maps and laptops out while he would run off to find the fuel in a storehouse at the back of the compound, fill the generator, prime the pump, and switch it on.  It took a couple of pulls before it would whirr in to life.  Only then would we connect our laptops to the plugs – we took no chances with spikes in supply.  The generator was linked to a whole bunch of plugs around the building and also powered the satellite dish.  This meant we could get a little connectivity with the outside world and I was able to quick download emails and reply to the most essential ones.  I felt a little bit of a cheat here; in theory I did not need to keep up to date and there was little I could do with such limited connectivity but my western mind had grown too used to not being out of touch with my life back home.  We would stay at the office only as long as it took to power up our laptop batteries, then we would walk back down the hill.

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STEWARD’s office

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