I’m finally able to talk about this now because it’s basically over and it looks like everything’s going to be okay (well, sometimes you talk about bad news while it’s still happening so everyone can try to send some good vibes…next thing that goes wrong I will try to report live). Basically, a water tank overflowed last Friday, and the floodwaters reached four of my laptops that were charging on the roof.
We immediately stuck them in a bowl of rice. Then I got sick for two days and finally attempted to turn them on Monday. They seemed fine, but I sent a message asking for advice out to support-gang, the email list that I like to think of as a tech support hotline with more of a soul than your typical tech-support hotline.
The volunteers didn’t let me down, chiming in quickly with advice, examples, and requests for clarification. On Tuesday I embarked on my great laptop-disassembly adventure to check the motherboards for signs of water or damage.
Luckily, those two days in rice and the fact that the climate is so dry and hot seemed to do the trick. The laptops are fine. I repeat, the laptops are fine. Support-gang’s given me the go-ahead to start using them in class. Up until now we’ve been making do with one laptop per two children, which has made class more manageable for my teachers but won’t work for the next set of activities we’re planning.
The good thing about all of this is it’s made me realize just how fragile everything is at this stage. Losing 4 laptops wouldn’t have killed us – but it would have meant 8 kids not getting the chance to learn with the machines. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately talking about adding more classes so we can expand to include more of the community, and buying better solar panels so the laptops charge faster, and constructing a second room for classes…but all of that is a long way off, and will never happen if I can’t find a few good teachers to teach a few eager students using what we have available right now.