Epitaph for a phone

Early Friday evening Matt’s trusty phone, veteran of over 100 blog posts and dozens of snapshots of little Zambian kids and 24537 repeats of Toto’s Africa, finally succumbed to a protracted battle with a faulty charging port. It had been this rural Peace Corps volunteer’s sole source of computing power at site for nearly a full calendar year.

The Samsung Galaxy S-model smartphone fought valiantly in the last few weeks of its life. A year’s worth of cycling under suboptimal climate conditions had wreaked havoc on its internal circuitry, but each time it appeared that it had drawn its last spark, a new angle or tweak was found which yielded another charge. However, its final days witnessed a marked turn for the worse. The old phone struggled to eke out even a few more percentage points of battery life despite being hooked up to all manner of cables and power supplies, and in the end the unilateral decision was made to pull the plug. Very much literally speaking.

I figured that the chances of a used phone with cracked screen bought on eBay for $50 lasting through 27 months in sub-Saharan dust and heat were exactly nil, so I’ve kept a backup phone stored at the Peace Corps provincial house in Mansa in anticipation of this event. Though we’re experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment, not to worry! Fishing In Zambia will return to full operating strength and a regular posting schedule shortly.


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