Batibo Blow

        The electrician guys are here at day's start, but of course without promised supplies. We're assured they'll be here soon, with soon being measured in funkified Cameroon time. Iíll be happy if the labís powerís fixed while weíre still in country.
        Our destination is a lab upgrade in Batibo, but random communication needs/withdrawal force a stop in Bamenda for the cityís interned cafť. Others opt for a stop at the craft shop, but Iím so used to so much net that I spend the entire 1.5+ hours feeding my information addiction. NY Times, my dadís columns, Wired News: I frantically download all interesting things I can find onto a floppy to fully satisfy the craving while back and disconnected in Mbengwi. Wow: so information deprived in all of under a week offline.
        So to Batibo. Itís PHS Batibo, Dr. Fonjwengís old school, and this connection seems to fully explain why weíre here. With a 15 computer lab, I think weíve got little to no work cut out for us. I couldnít be much more wrong, as exhibited by a power supply erupting into smoke in Steveís face, dozens of random ancient computer tic setbacks, and other assorted problems. All told, we leave 5 of our better machines at the lab, successfully repair all but ~2 of the originals, and leave the networking to the guy with half a clue and our email addresses who runs the lab.
        Suddenly, itís dark and, to my surprise, we have a problem. Apparently roadside bandits attacked a car along the road between Mbengwi and Batibo that weíre now supposed to drive. Dr.s Fonjweng and Gangulee try for a local hotel room and find them all booked. Apparently, thereís some todo for an American bank thatís opening. With little alternative and the professors confident weíll have enough cotravelers from the party to ensure our safety, we get on the road.
        The allure of danger keeps me going maybe 5 minutes; most everyone else is out when I awake to shift into a position thatíll put my other leg to sleep. Of course, itís a bandit-free ride back to Mbengwi.
        And another reason today blows: my laptop does. The heavy piece of shit had a good run, and Iím pretty sure itís beyond just comatose. My regret at a further barrier to connectedness is coupled with satisfaction that I donít have to carry the damn thing around anymore. Iíd consider the depth of my emotional connection to a chunk of circuitry a sign of how fundamentally computers are changing the world. Or Iím just a huge dork. Or, and probably most likely, both:)

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