African Geeks and Free Geeks Everywhere

No sooner had Miguel reboarded the plane, with his sample laptops (sans hard drive), than we got another call from Wahab, and his friend Dada, of Ghana.  Wahab came to my plant to share photos and do an interview, and to meet the founder of Free Geek and IndieCycle, Nate Hutnak, who's also visiting Middlebury.

From Ghana Wahab 2011

Wahab's sharing photos of the wonderful genius "e-waste" technicians he hired (that means created jobs for) with the load from Vermont.  Here's a picture of the copy machine guru, who Wahab was delightfully describing an hour ago, using his hands and gestures to show how cool this guys work is.  He will also share some photos of a 15 year old he hired for circuit board repair (bad capacitor replacement included), who fixed the LCDs.

From Ghana Wahab 2011

I'll also share photos of the mistakes and lessons.  Wahab, you'll remember, tested the equipment at our site, but took them by truck to load himself in New York (closer to port).  Though he packed them himself, the container was "inspected" and either in shipping or in inspection, some LCDs got busted.

That's one example of how busted equipment winds up in Ghana.  Did you know that 11% of all  new display devices sold in the USA are non-working returns? 
From Ghana Wahab 2011

I'm trying people.   I'm trying so hard.  These are the jobs I dreamed of for my students in Cameroon.  Egypt's Tahir Square is the result I dreamed of.  More people are writing about alter-globalization, fair trade, and trying to do the right thing.

No comments: