Mission ’24 – New hardware and software for Ruaraka

Over the last few months, the three IT specialists Ecki, Michael Jr (Schmelzer) and Werner have been working on an update to the server software, also to make it easier to use the clients and to switch to English keyboards. Once the tests were completed to our satisfaction, we were able to start planning our trip for April 17-29.

The work to be carried out was more manageable than in previous years, so Werner decided not to travel to Kenya this time, but to act as a “Skype backup” together with Ecki, so Michael senior (Scholtz) and junior traveled to Nairobi together. This time they didn’t fly with Lufthansa from Frankfurt, but with Qatar Airlines from Zurich. This meant that we did not have to travel to Frankfurt the day before departure.

The service on board was very good and the luggage was not lost.

In Germany, the eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) as a successor to a visa could be obtained quickly and easily beforehand, which gave rise to the hope that the passport check would also be quick – but this was not the case. The check-in usually took 4 minutes per person and there were only two officials working for the numerous foreigners. This is tedious, especially if you arrive after midnight.

Then came customs. According to the pro forma invoice, we had brought hardware worth almost EUR 800, which normally requires import and VAT payments (around EUR 300), especially as Sr Lucy had not managed to get the exemption permit for donations in time. But apparently Michael Sr. Michael Sr. has the art of persuasion – we were allowed to move on without paying a single euro (or shilling). Srs. Margret-Mary, Lucy and Rita were waiting for us and so we drove to the convent and fell into bed after dinner and the obligatory beer.

The next day we went over to the school, past the new school building that was being built. The computer rooms were just as we had wanted them to be on our last visit; all the computers covered and the server room tidy. Tip-top.

In the meantime, the computers that had problems starting up are up and running again and the circuit boards of the devices that get hot during operation will be replaced in the next few days. The two new teachers, Mike Bwise and Mark Mogere, have already introduced themselves – much to the delight of Michael Jr. as they proved to be very knowledgeable and got straight to work.

The English keyboard and screen already purchased by Sr. Lucy work without any problems with our minis and we will buy the necessary number for the conversion in the next few days. In the evening, the “Sisters” were delighted with the video clips they had brought with them from Mainau and Hallelujah with Rae Garvey and Helene Fischer