12 June 2009

Broken Bicycle Seats

Things break. Such is known. But the rate of how things break in rural Africa is hard to comprehend.

This morning I noticed that only one seat of our six biclycles is not broken: the seat on Elmo's biclycle. That one we replaced with a new one last week. My bicycle seat is broken, Janneke's bicycle seat is broken, Merel's bicycle seat is broken, Beauty's bicycle seat is broken, and the guest bicycle seat is broken too.

Then we were taking files off a laptop this morning, as the screen is faulty. We will continue using the laptop with an external display, if we can find a working one. And I struggle to keep a back up from my data, as three hard disks bigger then 500 Gb broke within one year, only one left - with all my data on it.

Rural Africa is harsh on stuff. It breaks at an unimaginable rate. Stuff that we get from the West, that normally lasts there, breaks here fast. Stuff that we buy in the South, often cheaply made, breaks even faster.

All in all, in rural Africa it is not about implementing really. That is just one step, a start. No, it is all about maintenance.