Tuesday, May 13, 2008

vamos pa´lante?

Hello, hello!

I´ve been settling in at my site the last few days. Things are going pretty well; getting used to the new awkwardness of living with a different family, getting used to hanging around the school here (I still don´t know most of the teacher´s names but they mostly know mine), and getting used to having much more limited Internet access (alas!) My computer lab lacks Internet, although the encargada is theoretically interested in maybe trying to get Internet someday, si Dios quiere. The only Internet café I´ve found so far (there is a storefront labelled Centro de Internet elsewhere in town, but it is a completely empty room) is terribly slow and has unpredictable hours. Still, better than nothing, which is what a lot of the Environment volunteers have in terms of technology.

The biggest news around these parts, aside from the new gringa in town, is the election on the 16th. Dominicans tend to get way more excited about politics than Americans. Then again, maybe Americans would get more excited if our politicians had parades where they threw whole salamis at the crowd, as would-be Dominican president Amable Aristy does. People here are known to paint their entire houses the colors of their political party, or to paste a giant portrait of their candidate of choice on the roof.

On the other hand, Americans would probably become even less engaged with politics if American candidates adopted the habit of paying giant speaker trucks to drive around towns blaring their message. Current President Leonel Fernandez even has his own specially-written hiphop theme song featuring his campaign slogan, ¨Pa´lante, Presidente!¨ (A slangy way to say, ¨Forward, President!¨)

Anyway, supposedly President Fernandez is pretty much a shoo-in for reelection, which is handy, since in the DR changes in office tend to have weird repercussions in social programs. And since technology in schools is one of Leonel´s pet projects, a new President could possibly be bad news for me and my fellow ICT volunteers. Not that our labs would be closed down, or anything, but I have a feeling that the already-slow centralized computer repair program would take a hit.

Speaking of slow, I´ve been installing Microsoft Encarta on another computer here in the lab for almost two hours now and it´s still not done. Goodness me. Luckily, I´ve learned the art of computer cloning, so instead of installing Encarta on all 20 computers (a full 40-hour work week), I´ll install it—and my other shiny new programs—on this one computer and then copy this hard drive to all the other hard drives.

(Alternately, I´ll goof up the cable order and copy the bad hard drive onto the good hard drive and have to start over again, so, keep your fingers crossed for me!)

1 comment:

Keith said...

Man, cloning? You gained haXX0r skills so quickly. You're awesome.