Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Joy of a New Computer

This evening I asked Reshat, our guard, how he is doing.

“Excellent,” he said, with enthusiasm.

That was the second time he’s answered that way. He seems to be truly happy.

“Why?” I asked.

“I have a new computer and life is wonderful,” he said.

He bought his computer, a Pentium 4, on credit he got from FINCA. I was surprised when he came and asked for a letter verifying his salary. He makes only about $30 a month at this job, plus an equivalent amount at another job as a guard. I wondered why he needed a computer and how he could pay for it.

“I’m studying at home to be a programmer,” he said. “I don’t have enough money to take classes, but I have a book and I teach myself at home. In the future, I can do computer consulting for you.”

I was really impressed by his motivation and initiative. And I thought it was a really neat thing to be able to get credit for a computer.

A few days later, our office assistant, Elmira, said she had also applied for credit to buy a computer.

“My two younger brothers want a computer so badly. So I decided to get one for them.”

Again, her salary is low and almost everything will go to paying for this computer. I don’t think it would be so great if she was getting credit for a TV or for a vacation to Turkey. But the computer seems to provide the opportunity for education and for developing skills, which will hopefully offer this guard and our assistant’s school-age brothers better opportunities in the future.

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