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Isn’t it some sort of holiday?

July 5, 2011

Here’s a rundown of some toys I’ll be taking with my to South Africa:

  • A camera, specifically an Olympus EVOLT E-420, a light and compact DSLR. I’m not too experienced with photography so hopefully I can get good with this thing before I have to photograph something really important.
  • A Kindle, which weighs a lot less than a book and will take me longer to finish reading. I’m 22% done reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, and I just can’t wait for the part where he spends a long time in prison. It’s loaded with free books, and the lovely people at the math lab gave me a gift certificate on my last day to fill it up even more. No idea yet what I’m going to spend it on.
  • My rusty old laptop. It’s missing a few keys, and whenever I start up Ubuntu, it tells me that the battery is broken or just too old to hold a charge. It’s just as well that the battery is ruined, because this way I don’t have to worry about damaging it when it’s plugged into the South African grid, and I can use my laptop to charge my other electronics via USB. Everything I’ve read says that there are a lot of viruses in every computer in South Africa, so I’ve configured my laptop to dual boot Windows XP and Ubuntu. I can use Ubuntu without risking any viruses, and I can use Windows to be on the same page as everyone else in SA.

Speaking of computers, I’ve set up a USB flash drive to hold a bunch of programs I may need. (In fact, that’s what I got on the computer to do, but somehow I ended up here.) I’ve installed ClamWin antivirus to run from the flash drive so I can disinfect computers wherever I go, and it’s also got some of Piriform’s applications such as Recuva and CCleaner for other miscellaneous maintenance. I hope the Peace Corps South Africa people don’t read this and try to shoehorn me into an IT job, because I signed up to be a math teacher. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only place that lacks qualified math teachers; anywhere else and I’d just be stealing a job from a native countryman.

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