Yesterday was the first day I was capable of abstract thought in while, so it’s probably time to continue the blog.  Better ten days late than never.  The trip really does deserve a full write-up, which I had neither time or focus to do while it was happening.  So let’s return to Sunday, June 19th …

The day started very early for me, rushing to the bathroom numerous times, emptying pretty much everything in my system.  Diarrhea’s unpleasant enough in the States, but in Haiti it takes on a new dimension of worry and discomfort.  First thought is “Thank god for a nearby flush toilet.”  Next thought is cholera, which I’ve heard drains you of seven liters of water in a matter of hours, so I start playing head games with myself, guessing how much is how much.  The next game is “how did I get it?”, wondering where I let my guard down.  I counted four possible scenarios, two of which were later eliminated.  My best guess at this point is the buffet at the Hotel Montana.  Given that it was a buffet that got me last time, I’ve pretty much decided to swear off buffets in Haiti.  The last head game of course is “Will I be able to stand during the first days of training?”

So I decide to test the vertigo and get some coffee (I know, I know).  Walking to the lobby and dining porch seemed easy enough, so I refilled my water, got some coffee, and tried a couple of sips.  After a bit, it became clear that I might not make it back upstairs, so I left my coffee and scrambled to bed.  An hour or so later I’m downstairs looking for meds.

I walk up to an American woman working by herself on a laptop.  “Excuse me, by any chance do you have some Imodium?”  (meanwhile musing that in Haiti this is probably a standard greeting among visitors).  Well, I picked the right person to ask.  Stephanie is a nurse helping to treat cholera.  She quickly diagnoses me and runs upstairs to get Cipro (which I forgot), re-hydration salts (which I never had), and the phone number of a doctor she knows.  What a turn from bad to good luck!  (the first of many this trip).  Turns out she’s staying with the three college girls I’d met the day before, that offered to help with the laptops.

I head upstairs to tell Adam that he’ll have to lead the laptop prepping session, since I likely won’t be able to get out of bed.  I pour salts in my water, along with some powdered Gatorade to help with the taste, and start my first of five half-liters for the day.  Adam assembles the mentors and they start triaging laptops and reflashing.  (apologies for the next two blurry pictures, my auto-focus switch some how got turned off)

Out of 126 laptops, we had only 54 “bricks”, which was considerably better than last February when we had more than half.  The trainers started reflashing the good ones, while I played RAM on my Mac, then songs from Many Hands, telling them about my twilight night.  I prepared USB jump drives on the bed, still lying down, while listening to the trainers talk to each other in Creole, trying to catch bits and pieces of their jokes.

After a lunch break, we were joined by Rachel, Emily, and Ana, who first listened to my Waveplace rap, then some movies.  They seem very excited about Waveplace, though my little dog-and-pony show completely exhausted me, which didn’t bode well for the start of training.  Adam taught them and the trainers how to dissemble the laptops. We were all thankful for the big room and balcony.

While everyone disassembled, I worked on a quandary.  Apparently the newest version of Terminal didn’t work, something we’d discovered only after reflashing 72 laptops, all with that version.  If I couldn’t figure out a way to easily uninstall the bad version and reinstall the older working version, we’d have to reflash all 72 laptops again.  I tried finding a command-line way to uninstall activities (none).  I tried the simple Sugar way (no luck).  After about an hour of further half-hearted attempts, I came upon a very simple solution that required simply putting in a USB stick and starting the machine.  I’m glad I was able to solve the problem, though distressed by just how muddled my brain was.

Our group of eight was able to debrick all 54 laptops in about three hours, which was quite the improvement over just me and Beth last February.  Just as Adam was assembling the last laptop, power went out in the hotel.  I held my iPhone up to give him light to finish.  We all agreed that it was Providence that power lasted all day, allowing us to get as much done as we did.  In the end, we had only seven questionable laptops, which is a low 6%.

Later I chanced a plate of spaghetti after a day of not eating.  The re-hydration salts clearly had down their job, as I was feeling much better.  The spaghetti was easily the best I had ever had, not just for my hunger but also for the excellent seasonings.  After a nice long talk with Stephanie and the college girls, I went to bed feeling ready for our early day of training.  And the food stayed down.

One response to “D4) Louverture’s Revenge”

  1. Kevin Mark says:

    wow! sorry to hear about your plight. Feel better!

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