Living in the community – Too much temptation.

They played with pencils and paper and we got lax about leaving stuff out and about.  One day I could not find my penknife – I searched high and low in my suitcase and room for it.  The last time I had remembered using it was to cut open a mango on the table out front.  I mentioned I had mislaid it to Momoh one morning and wondered if one of the kids had taken it.  I was not accusing in any way; I was half certain it was my own absent mindedness that had caused it to go missing, but he said he would have a word and by the end of the day he handed it back to me.  To me it was not a theft; these children just were not used to seeing that many gadgets; a kettle or a bowl was about as sophisticated a piece of machinery they would come in to regular contact.  To see the array of torches, pens, pencils, knives and of course the laptops and GPS was a world away from their experience.

The one ubiquitous technological item that we saw in the village was the mobile phone.  There was no coverage at all in Fintonia – people would take their phones with them to the nearest town, Kamakwie when they were heading to market.  When they reached the town they were within range of the huge mast there and would download their messages and send out new calls and texts.  In the village the phones were mainly used as torches, and recharged on solar cells accessed at small stores or from the better off residents.  Some used them to play music, but in the evenings it was much more common just to hear various stations being played on the radio rather than stored music on other devices.

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You can’t punish these thieves

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