It’s been a warm hot day, unlike the weather at home in Auckland.
A quick early morning walk to one of the local markets ensured that we had fresh fruit for breakfast, bananas and pawpaw. The local produce is priced very reasonably, unlike imported produce. The grapefruit are large and fleshy, sweeter than New Zealand grapefruit, while the pawpaw melt in your mouth.
We caught a bus to the training centre, arriving there about 9:15am in plenty of time for the meeting with Cyrilline and the National President, Leifai Chilia. We chatted with Cyrilline and Enikelen while we waited for Leifai to arrive. Leifai lives on the other side of Efate in the northern region, so she had further to travel.
We heard about the sewing classes, which are popular with the women because they can give them a source of income as well as yielding clothing for their families. Some of the women bring their own sewing machines, a mixture of manual and electric ones. The classes give the women the skills to pass their knowledge on to others. We asked about maintenance on the training centre and learned that there are plans being made to replace the existing corrugated iron roof. We heard also that there is a need for classes to teach the women how to maintain their sewing machines. We enjoyed a morning tea, complete with fresh coconut milk, fresh fruit, sandwiches, biscuits and fruit juice. We are continually being humbled by the generous and gracious hospitality we encounter.
We finished up with a photo session in front of the new computers. The photo below shows from left, Joan, Enikelen, Cyrilline, Leifai and Paul.
The PWMU leadership are very grateful for the gift of the computers, bought with money provided by the Hibiscus Coast Presbyterian Church and the Lily Erikson Trust. We will now have to decide what can be done with the old computers that have been replaced. It is highly unlikely that any can be upgraded to a suitable standard because the technology inside them is just too dated to run the software required for the courses. Joan has now started work on rewriting the training manuals for the new version of Windows and the current Microsoft Office software.
This afternoon we have been on a learning curve. We couldn’t get the wireless connection working with my Nokia E71 phone for a start, and neither could we install the USB wireless adaptor on the new computers. We walked back down the hill to the motel so that we could use the free wireless connection at the motel to begin our troubleshooting. We downloaded a Windows 8 compatible version of the software for the wireless adaptor and found that this solved the second of the issues. We solved the first issue by some calculated guesswork and soon had the wireless adaptor and the wireless hotspot on my phone working on Paul’s computer. This gave us enough confidence to think that we could now install the wireless adaptor on the new computers back at the training centre, so back up the hill (by bus) we went.
We had sucess, well of sorts. The wireless adaptor is now installed on each of the new computers, and we have had the wireless hotspot running on my phone. The Digicel mobile network connection is much stronger up at the training centre than it is at the motel. By this stage, late afternoon, the battery on the phone needed recharging, however, and there were some issues with the Microsoft Office 365 setup webpage, so we decided that tomorrow is another day. We will begin the software installation tomorrow morning and, hopefully, it will all go without a hitch this time!
It’s been a challenging afternoon, but we are getting there!