Hey folks, I haven't died, as my dear friend Erica fretted in a comment posted to my last blog entry ... entry date July 20th. I have had a disillusioning array of computer/tech issues.
#1: Wherein the Internet/Phone company shuts off our internet connection, claiming my sitemate did not pay a bill from February. (He has the documentation to prove he paid it). The internet connection displays a red arrow in the corner of my screen (disabled).
Day 2: Antoine goes to the Maroc Telecom office in Casablanca to inquire as to the problem. Informed of circumstance above. He pays the bill (a second time) and requests that they turn the internet service back on. Red arrow shows its ugly face.
Day 3: No internet service. Antoine must wait until the following week to return to their office (thankfully he was in Casablanca area for a children's camp for two weeks and could make these enjoyable visits. They were convinced he was crazy at one point, in his desire to convince them to help us.) Red arrow in corner of screen begins to annoy me.
Day 4: No internet service. Antoine returns to Casablanca office. They assure us it will be turned on that very day. Red arrow really starts to grate on my nerves. I try to make myself stop compulsively trying to reconnect it, hoping for a green arrow.
Day 5: No internet service. Antoine returns to Casablanca office. They inform us they will send out a technician from the desertous region of Zagora to Agdz to flip a switch and restore service, the following day. Red arrow becomes bane of my existence.
Day 6: No internet service. No technician arrives. Antoine makes another visit. The Zagora office was not responding to the Casablanca phone calls. Red arrow glares at me.
Day 7: No internet service. They inform us they came to the house at 3:30 on the previous day. Never saw him. They say there are technicians in the area and we should be helped shortly. Red arrow grows horns and holds pitchfork.
Day 8: I return from an afternoon at a local office, teaching a friend how to use Excel. I turn on my computer to type a document, not really considering even checking the connection, convinced Internet was a thing of the past. Something strange shocks my senses. I stare at the righthand corner of my screen. Arrow is green. A miracle has happened.
#2: Wherein my celebration of returned Internet is cut short after 1.5 days... while watching a (DVD) movie with friends in the evening, my computer battery dies. No matter. We plug it in, press the power button. No success. Computer is dead.
Day 2: Computer power button pressing continues
Day 3: Computer power button pressing continues, rhythms and patterns of pushing developed. No luck.
Day 4: Computer power button pressing continues, new recruits added while we carry on with other tasks such as breakfast, lunch, dinner.. (i.e. other activities that might distract from power button pushing).
Day 5: Reality sets in. Rhythms and patterns, freezer sessions, fan dustings, memory card unseatings, power draining ... none met with any success. Antoine out of town for three weeks straight, so no computers, no music, no movies, no work-related writing, etc.
#3: Wherein Antoine tries to repair his damaged DVD drive while still in Casablanca (we have depended on my computer for DVD/movies all this time).
Day (I don't know what): He is called and informed that his computer is ready for pick up. He visist the Compaq office and waits several hours. Finally helped, a girl departs to the back office to retrieve his computer. She reappears, computer in hand. She trips. Computer goes flying. She cries in agony. Computer parachute apparently disabled... computer crashes to the floor. Antoine tries to conceal a look of ... concern. They hand an apparently undamaged, but supposively fixed computer to him. He examines it. Determines that his DVD drive (and SD drive) have not been repaired. He inquires as to what they did do. Office personnel scramble about, trying to determine the true status of his case.
They return, inquiring as to whether he purchased the computer in Morocco. No. "Oh, well then, I'm sorry, we cannot fix your computer," was the reply. (Please note: despite the fact that he had been informed that they had fixed it, and to return to the office to get it.) Disenchanted, he departs, still broken computer in arm. He returns to camp, and a fellow volunteer decides to test out the DVD player anyways. It works. For no reason, but it works.
Day (The next one..) He tries to watch a movie. DVD player does not work.
Day (eventually) He returns to the Draa Valley (Agdz) ... computer in tow. April and I rejoice that we once again have internet and music, if not movies.
Another Day: Antoine runs a diagnostic: DVD starts working again.
#4: Wherein brand new computer at local office, where I am teaching my host sister Excel, does not recognize CD's. She had been excited to print photos I had taken of the family. My other host sister ran to the house to fetch the CD containing all the photos. We inserted it in the drive. The DVD drive did not recognize it, nor any other CD's. The computer is a few months old.
Same Day: I determine that my touch must be one of dangerous consequence upon computers and swear to refrain from any contact with such in the future.
Status on my computer: I determined that my extended Circuit City warranty (in the U.S.) expires in three weeks. I spent a day flurrying about, calling FedEx, UPS, Play Mart (my family's company) technician, Circuit City, HP, etc... and finally determine a plan to ship the computer to Play Mart, have their technician repackage and send off to Circuit City. Case opened before time ran out. Thank our dear Lord.
#5: Wherein I cannot find any local or volunteer to translate surveys from English to French.
Day 1: I return to Agdz from America (July 10th, I believe). I immediately set about typing surveys for tourists, artisans and bizarres. Each document simply needs to be translated into French to present to tourist committee here in Agdz so we can develop a plan for distributing them. I determine that all the local teachers have left in a mass exodus for summer vacation. (Teachers = only local French/English near-fluent types)
Day 2: I contact a local volunteer and request her help. She's near fluent in French. Determine that she is leaving town and will be traveling on a number of work-related and vacationing trips across Morocco and Egypt for the next month. I consider other volunteers
Day 3&4: I contact another friend. Wait for response. Similary story. No go.
Day 5: I contact another volunteer from our volunteer skills database. She doesn't speak enough French.
Day 6: I contact a friend who already has her hands full. She has her hands full but promises me that her French friends are coming over for the evening and could take a look at them.
Day 7: I check results of evenings work. The French friends never came. She is overloaded and might get to them eventually. Never hear back from her about them. (She only had a whole brand new festival to plan and coordinate, and dozens of volunteers and artisans, as well as ex-pats converging on her city within weeks. Thats all.)
Day 8: I contact another volunteer. She is between meetings, only has that evening to look at them before taking off on a vacation. She looks at them. They are too extensive and vocabulary too technical for her abilities.
Day 15: Contact another volunteer that previously was traveling, but had returned. She promised to take a look at them.
Day 18: She responds that they are very extensive and will require cooperation with her tutor, and several days worth of work. I heartily agree and thank her. She gives me an estimated date for completion.
Day 22?: I contact her as to the status, hoping they will be completed. She is very busy and has had numerous trips. Still in the works.
Day today... maybe day 28: That's the latest I heard. Still waiting. Emailed them to Play Mart in hopes my parents can contact French friends in the states who can translate the documents.
Never even considered this stage would be a holdup. Ahh patience.