Day 6

I am not really a superstitious person; but I think we could all agree that today was cursed with bad luck. Bad Juju magic as the Ghanaian people might call it.

The morning cloudiness and nice breeze early in the morning had us thinking that it might be somewhat a cooler afternoon. Chances were looking good when the sun came out and everyone got right to work, packing the truck with the computer gear. Hugo’s usual sassy shouts carried through the walls of the house. Of course we simply rolled our eyes, laughing in secrecy because if you show him any sign of entertainment, it only adds fuel to his fire. So despite the pleasant morning, it became a little too warm for my own liking.

Our mouths ran dry as we sat on the bus parked in the drive way of the local gas station. The time ticked by and we were becoming antsy. While the conversations turned from laughs and smiles to the look of heat exhaustion and resorting to finding creative ways to stay cool in a parked van. There just happened to be a refrigerator packed with soda and juice just calling out to us, “Have a cold drink… cool down why don’t you?” We couldn’t resist the purchase, thanks to Barb for funding and quenching our thirst with absolutely great sugary drinks. The smiles reappeared as everyone gulped down their soda pops, the general mood was lifting as we found a truck bed full of cocoa beans and cute baby goats walking along the road. It didn’t matter that the cars here drive way over 80 miles per hour.

Until a young goat was crossing the street and hit by a car going well over 70, and then once more by a car just a few meters behind the first. If you didn’t see the goat get hit directly, you could definitely hear the reaction from our group. What I heard first before the limp goat was the gasps of the remorseful girls and the guys receiving affirmation that their “bros” saw the goat get “smashed” too. This was just the beginning of the bad Juju magic.

Within minutes, we received a phone call. Barb’s face flushed, her warm expression turning to deep concern. Our friend and the driver of the truck full of the lab gear was sorry to tell us that a bin full of desktops had fallen loose of the truck bed and onto the road. The damage was obvious and the concern only deepened within the team when Barb broke the news to the technology leaders Hugo and Judy. Jugo and Hudy. As it’s said, you cannot change what has already been done so we went on our way to the school hoping that nothing else would go wrong.

Perhaps it could even be called Murphie’s law, in which anything bad that is possible of happening will happen. I could even say that on top of bad Juju magic could have played into the last chapter of our day.

The computer lab was a dark and shaded room, a traditional song was scribbled onto the chalk board and the desks were perfect for the remaining computers. Cheese-Its were being passed around the room and the previous two incidents were pushed far back into our minds. We were focused on getting the lab done quicker than the first two labs so that we would have a few hours with enough light out to wash a few loads of clothes. The kids weren’t as interactive this time around but it was okay because they were seated at their desks reading and writing, listening to their teacher. Teachers and other adults at the school were the most interactive, very kind and wise. When the electricity went out again, as the current is unreliable in Kumasi, we waited outside in the sun, mingling with the adults. Many of them wanted to exchange emails and become Facebook friends so that we could chat on the web, everyone seemed to be enjoying the sunshine, snacks and the beautiful landscape of the particular school grounds. The networking was almost finished before the power had gone out and the group had congregated in the lab to talk about the last step.

It started with a quick Pop! Pop! Pop! It was a familiar noise that I had heard before when my cameras battery charger circuit blew a few days earlier. The wires plugged into the desktops were steaming and the scent of charred plastic wafted into the air. After the first computers blew, it was followed by eighteen more loud bangs, there was an immediate panic as we evacuated the room.