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March 14, 2000 (Email)
I'm Still Alive

I don't mean to quote Gloria Gaynor, but I realize how long it's been since I've been able to write or call home. I might be in Kathmandu again as early as March 23. Or, if my salary arrives before that, I may call from Janakpur. 

The center's computer took a long time to be repaired, but it is finally here. Since it arrived, I've been playing with their email system and re-learning Access so I can build a beginner's database system for them. It would be nice if I could make a useful system for inputting orders, materials prices, production times, inventories, etc. which could do projections, salary calculations, etc. This is my long-term, ambitious goal. For now, I'd just like to set up some tables on which we can store information and which will allow me to expand in the future. None of the women -- including the brand new manager (Shradha) -- are computer literate, so user-friendliness will be necessary in whatever I put together. 

School is useless. I think I've worked about 1/3 of the days since I got back from Kathmandu. The cold I had in K-du worsened a little before it went away, but that's not the reason I've missed school. It's just been closed almost all the time. This past week my headsir's son got married, which they used as an excuse to skip 4 out of 6 days. I've spent most of the off time playing chess with some of the kids and going to the center early. 

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