Learning to type in Masabuka
Friday’s everywhere seem to radiate a happy vibe that the weekend is approaching. The morning began with porridge and then we finished loading up a couple of computers with new operating systems in our make-shift workshop beside Claire’s room. It serves as a training room for two technicians who work for the Christian Brothers so that they can continue to fix and maintain the computers after we are gone. It takes about four hours to prepare a computer (wipe data, load new software and test). The technicians David and Sheldrick will look after that process while Justin, Claire and I travel to the Girls school. Everyone of their machines is in need of maintenance, the hot and dusty conditions of Masabuka are harsh on the delicate machines.  The 26 computers have Windows XP Operating Systems but only 4 of them have the hardware specification to operate optimally. The Linux Edubuntu Operating System would be more suitable as it is designed to operate on low specification machines, it is not as a graphical as XP but it does all of the basics quite efficiently.
Walking back from the school diagnosing hardware problems (Justin and Claire are starting to talk like nerds!) and chatting about the upcoming week, we could see the shanty village in the distance. We had been told of the 250 families that live here that most of the orphans are raised by the village if older siblings could not or did not take responsibility for the child. They all live on less on 1 Euro a day. We wondered where they get that Euro from. At dinner time, Brother Hayes informed us that most of them work cultivating vegetables. Another common occupation is to walk a couple of hours out of town, buy a large bag of charcoal, carry it back to Masabuka, break it down into smaller bags and then sell them for cooking. The majority cook over a charcoal fire than wood. Not surprising as half of the forests in Zambia have disappeared in the last twenty years.