…that symbolically describe what I am doing here in Nepal.
The Shaolin monk from Kung Fu
I vaguely remember watching old re-runs of this television series. The main character is an ever-so wise Shaolin monk who wanders around the wild west looking for his half brother and fights for justice while always offering fortune cookie advice to any one he meets along the way. My role here is somewhat similar but instead of fighting evil-doers, I battle lethal viruses, joust with money-hungry Web/IT consultants, and trying to educate the the towns people about the importance of scanning pen drives, file management, virus updates, and routine back-ups.
Sometimes I feel like I am fighting the battle alone. As the local villagers are grateful that I have come to the rescue, I often wonder if they may “always” rely on someone coming in to help them fight the evil monsters of the IT realm. The villagers are often very busy at times trying to take on a mountain of tasks. As much as I can, I always try to include them in everything that I am doing in hopes that one day the little “IT fighter” in them will emerge to continue the battle when I have moved on.
Duct tape, a set of keys, and surprisingly a vacuum has really been my best friend here in Nepal. So far, I have pretty much used everything that was available to help fix the various problems that I have encountered. I have to be resourceful as I can here, especially in times when:
- I have to fight battles with a stick (ie. having no tools, screw drivers, etc.),
- I am surrounded by a culture of piracy,
- there is no electricity and slow Internet access,
- there is a seemingly allusive IT budget (although management can be very selective on issues and can pull funds out from thin air), and
- I have to perform magic tricks on archaic computer systems.
On another note, I have been pleasantly surprised by the local community of MacGyers here in Nepal. You can easily step out the door, yell out your problem and before you know it, random people from every corner of the community (such as the the elderly-fridge-carrying man…. agh, I still feel bad that I let him do that) are eagerly willing, extremely innovative, and ready to help save the day. And if they can’t solve it themselves, they can easily find someone who can.
The Littlest Hobo
This dog (or cast of German-shepherd dogs) is one of my childhood heroes. Curiously glued to the television set and immersed in tv-make-believe-land when I was a kid, I was so amazed on how this dog can pretty much do anything and probably even more than the two guys mentioned above combined! This four-legged avenger would save people from burning house fires and mechanical hazards, counsel troubled souls about their life problems and mend relationships without even saying a comprehensible word (sounds like my Nepali), and strategically pull, place, and knock things over to diffuse bombs, stop avalanches, and save entire towns from any natural disasters.
Hmmm…I’m not exactly sure or remember why I mentioned this character here but he is still a cool canine nonetheless!