Charity, Computers and Curses

My goal for 2010 was to apply for Canadian charity status for TASK. With a group of local interested people, we began investigating the process in the fall of 2009. During my trip to Santa Rosa del Peñon in February 2010, I spent many hours working with Doña Bertha and other members of CENMIN developing the goals, objectives and activities of each of the projects TASK supports.

Carroll (second right) meeting (l to r) with Lilliam, midwife at the Casa Materna, Maria, manager of the Nutrition Program and Bertha, TASK's contact person in Santa Rosa. The conversation is translated with the help of Tania Gutierrez (r).

In the past, I’ve always carried a pen and notebook to record all the details of my trip. Since there was so much writing to do, I purchased a small PC Netbook, which I thought would make recording of all the information much easier. Little did I know that my petite laptop would get REALLY cranky in the extreme heat (high 30s C) and misbehave VERY frequently!! I had an external mouse but decided to leave it home…just another thing to lose along the way. However, I was unaware of the extreme frustration a mouse pad can inflict on a person in a hot, humid place. Constantly sweaty fingers DON’T slide smoothly over the mouse pad!! The curser refused to move, would jump all over the screen, and almost always dug its little heels in when I tried to position it in any specific location. In addition, the screen would frequently shudder and do a little dance, the curser would disappear and curse words welled up in my head, sometimes escaping into the room! I work on a wonderful MacBook at home, and found the updated Word for Windows equally frustrating. So my bright idea to use a computer, instead of handwriting everything and bringing it all back to retype, created a lot of stress for me. I don’t get frustrated easily, but that trip, I took many deep breaths to calm myself and learned that if one gets up at 3 AM when the temperature has cooled to about 27 C, my little Netbook behaved most acceptably until about 9 AM, when the temperature starts to rise for another day.

Working at 4 AM, on the bed, a surface in the house where I stay, that is a comfortable height for typing.

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