Monday, April 12, 2010

It's the 3rd World, Figure it Out For Yourself

Living in Africa has taught me a new motto…just go figure it out.

The camera broke this weekend. I know it was still taking pictures, but you couldn’t see anything because the LCD screen wasn’t showing any images.  After being pissed, frustrated and upset for a day, I finally got off my ass and went to the internet (fortunately it was working).  I found a sight with recommendations from a “camera guy” who listed potential solutions to my problem.  A pair of eyeglass screwdrivers, a cloth to catch the tiny screws and a tweezer from the bathroom helped me take the LCD screen apart and reconnect the circuit board.  I don’t even know how to use the flash, but viola, a little trial and error and the camera is working again; which you can see from the pic above of Sabliere after the storm today.

When something goes wrong here, you just have to deal with it.  There is no concierge to assist you and you certainly can’t take it to the repair guy on the west side...even if you could speak fluent French, there is no west side.  A little effort and ingenuity and you deal with it.  I’m in my 40’s and being here is the 1st time I’ve changed a tire, dealt with a major flood in the house and figured out how to turn the water off, found and dealt with the circuit break system for the compound we live on, power washed the pool to help the GSO out, tinkered and fixed the powerwasher that the GSO purchased to clean the pool, etc.

You even get to use skills here that you forgot you had. There was a party at the Ambassadors residence and the local staff were invited to bring their kids.  The pool was mentioned on the invite, but who knew that each of the forty kids would want to go in the pool.  Of course they would, many have never been in a pool.  They were waiting with baited breathe for the DCM to put her bathing suit on and open the pool.  Now, I was a lifeguard in high school and college, but that was a long time ago.  It wasn’t 5 minutes until I was in the water fully dressed pulling a kid out who didn’t know there was a deep end.  

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