After home for a week after a semester during which I stayed awake for / attented many classes I shouldnít have and before an internship making me worthy of the title ďWharton Tool,Ē Iím at Penn preparing for a trip to India and Pakistan. Why? Short answer: because itís free and Iíve never been there. Longer answer: myself and other students will install Community Technology Centers in an effort to bridge the Digital Divide, under the auspices of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania through the charitable (tax-deductible) donations of generous Corporate Sponsors etc. etcÖ Anyways, Iím the main tech guy, and Iím going to try hard not to screw anything up too badly.
Speaking of screwing up badly, Iím royally screwed should my flights home go wacky. My flight is scheduled to land in Philly at 11:00 on Sunday, June 6th, leaving my a little less than 10 hours before Iím supposed to be at work for the first day of my internship. Were I working anywhere near where I fly into, my only problem would be jetlag. But thatíd be too smart: Iíve got to drive to Richmond, Virginia, a four-hour trek even with my radar detector. Add in baggage claim and packing my car and Iíll be lucky if I get to work on time, let alone get any sleep. Iím hoping my body will be too confused from the 10-hour time difference to care.
Being on Pennís campus after classes have ended, I get the impression that, were Penn to relocate to New Jersey or the Main Line, West Philadelphia would reabsorb the university within days. Restaurants near campus actually have clientele of races remotely representative of the demographics of the surrounding community, and I can almost take more than several steps without hearing someone scream ďoh my god, like you wontí believeÖĒ into a cell phone.
Packing takes a while, finally wrapping up around 3 in the a.m. with most of my clothing being used to wrap computer parts. Weíre probably taking fewer supplies with us to set up four computer labs on the other side of the world than your average Penn kid takes on spring break. That may be something to brag about, assuming we actually get the computers to work...