So for those who don’t know, my computer got overheated completely fried (not during a power surge) at the Transit House in Ouaga. I backed up awhile ago but I lost everything. We tried everything we coupld to retrieve the files but we could not. Thankfully it was over two years old and it doesn’t owe me anything. The file I am most upset about is our Volunteer Reporting Form.
FYI This form records our activities and data as PCVs. It runs on an application that is very clunky and not particularly user-friendly. You can hit one button and lose all of your work.
Now I know there are some PCVs reading this and thinking WTF Sara why did you already start it!? I’m going on vacation when it’s due, and I hate procrastinating so I wanted to work on it a little at a time before I turned it in. I wanted to enter the data when it was fresh in my mind and not during a marathon session right before the due date.
1. Back up your computer often!!! If you don’t have electricity in your village, back it up everytime before you return.
2. Computers go to Africa to die. Heat and dust kill electronics here (Many of my electronics have been destroyed since arriving here including my kindle, my battery charger, my flash drives, and my computer.)
3. Avoid bringing brand new electronics if you can, if they die you will be less upset
4. Save your VRF in multiple places and save it on a key each time you finish using the application.
Backup! Backup! Backup! Don’t let this happen to you!