Monday, July 17, 2006

Return to work

I returned to work today as a true volunteer (i.e. no remuneration). It was nearly two months since I had last stepped foot into my work place and much had changed in the interim.

We are now operating an emergency program until mid September which is being funded by INGOs. My team no longer exists as the coordinator remains living in Baukau and the acting coordinator now works on the emergency program in the IDP camps of Dili.

The computer problems continue unabated. Although I was not employed to do such tasks and nor do I have any expertise, in comparison to my Timorese colleagues I know many things. Unfortunately the power was off and would remain thus for five hours! The government had warned its citizens that it was low on mina (oil) and had instituted power blackouts until stocks could be replenished. Apparently someone in the electricity department had forgotten to order mina (from Indonesia) in advance. Now, due to the recent problems, this person could be forgiven for such an oversight but unfortunately, this sort of thing occurs regularly.

Thus, I had to wait until late afternoon before I dared to look at each and every one of the twenty odd computers to see how they were working. One computer which was in perfect working order two months ago was now (I believe) riddled with viruses and had to be taken to the real expert (a lovely Indonesian man named Harry) for a cure. Others were performing slowly but when I installed the latest Norton Anti Virus definitions (obtained from Daniel’s work place’s Internet connection), they picked up their game and now work fine.

We still have no widespread Internet access other than from one virus riddled laptop that my colleagues are reluctant to let me take to Harry, even for one day! It’s very frustrating trying to explain that because they insert their USBs into an infected computer and then into an uninfected one, the viruses keep doing the rounds in the office which makes it very difficult to get rid of the little buggers once and for all!

The server computer was cleared of viruses in May but ever since, we cannot establish any Internet or printer connection. Hence my colleagues are reliant on the use of USBs to take files to the one computer which remains connected to the printer, and hence the viruses do the rounds. At least the majority of computers are now up-to-date with the latest virus definitions so perhaps I can contain the viruses to a handful of computers (mostly laptops).

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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