Computer Problems and Update on Fieldwork

For the past week, I had struggled with some computer problems. The worst thing to happen in a developing country during your fieldwork, even one that is as advanced as Pakistan, is computer problems. For that reason, I am behind on a lot of work, deadlines, alongside recruitment efforts, and of course these blog posts.

It is quite unfortunate, because I had an amazing experience in my 2nd trip to Peshawar last week, as well as my 3rd trip, which was a two day trip this time, to Peshawar this week, which I hope to post about as soon as I get a little more time. I have started those posts, will share soon, but add photos to those posts in the next week or so.  I also was attending a huge conference in Islamabad and it was an amazing experience that I’d like to write about. I was supposed to present at that conference, but had to decline with focus on fieldwork and I am glad I did, especially with these computer challenges.

I am glad I was able to find a repair shop this past Saturday (12/8), but the repair shop happen to be in Rawalpindi. I was directed to them on Saturday after an engineer did not show up in the Blue area, closer to where I live. So we drove about a half hour or so to find this small little shop selling outdated and refurbished computers, called Computer Valley, on a very busy street in the Dubai Plaza area. They were not very warm people, and people around were staring and confused by my presence there. Occasionally, poor people would come inside asking for money and they didn’t seem to mind. It was the only admirable quality in that shop. But I was desperate to get my computer fixed, so I trusted them and let them do it, in about four hours. They were able to recover all the data, but all my sticky notes were gone, at least from what I see so far. The notes were important because I would often write some observations on them from time to time and other key information. I am reluctant to use sticky notes anymore.

It is fixed now thankfully will most if not all data there (although all my software are gone and I will need to upload them with the liscence keys again). I am returning to Peshawar tomorrow, but hope to update on the experiences from the past two weeks, and post some pictures and very soon when I get a chance.

I think there are a lot of elements during fieldwork that test your patience. But challenges with computers tend to be the most damaging to the spirit sometimes, especially when it limits your ability to complete critical tasks or to “connect” through very slow internet speeds. But you have to take these moments as part of your experience and journey.

For those who have been reading my posts. Thank you very much for your patience. I have now completed two months of my fieldwork, and decided to extend my trip longer, so I have about two more months left. Mental, emotional, physical stamina continues to whither but I am staying strong and focused, as so much has been done and so much more is in the workings…progress is imminent and I remain determined to complete my time in KP and Federal Capital Territory with at least 50 interviews and many other observations/analysis as well.

Thank you for following my journey so far. More updates on last week or so will follow.

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