Babushka and the Computer…

In our little village we have about 6 people who stay all Winter. Most of those 6 are babushkas. (4 out of 6) If I remember correctly our goat lady next door who supplies us with goat milk. Is about 86 years old. It is with this lady that I saw a wonderful blending of the ancient ways and modern technology…

Sveta a few days ago had come to me and said that the next door babushka’s computer was broke. They (family was down to harvest veggies) had been trying to get it to work but no one could get it fixed. Well Sveta had volunteered me to fix it. She knew that if anyone could, I could. Wives are great aren’t they? 🙂

Well I was very busy and it took a day for me to get around and find time that I could look at their computer system. It was intriguing me that a babushka in the middle of nowhere would have a computer in her house. In fact we are so far from nowhere that these people never go to a nearby village and get groceries. They live entirely off of what they produce and what family from the cities brings a couple times a year and those family members come by train…

I have to side step the computer for a second: This 86 year old babushka is an old bootlegger. She grows a huge field of potatoes every year and 90 percent of those potatoes become vodka. Home grown and home brewed. She is the vodka supplier for many many kilometers. Those potatoes are being harvested right now and they will soon make the basis for a new batch of Russian Vodka. This is her money in this unsure world and with her kind of money she will never starve or lack a person to do work for her… 🙂

Now back to the computer: Sveta and I went and over to see what was up with this computer. The first thing I noticed when entering the ancient abode of of the babushka was a huge flat screen TV, a new Samsung cell phone and a whole desk with a scarf covered computer. It reminded me of a shrine and was decorated with various items and things of importance. I could tell that this computer held a high position in this household along with the flat screen TV!

I then looked around the home and realized that I was in a Russian home of a hundred years ago. With a mixing of modern existence. The imprint of children was seen on the carpet in the room. It was a carpet of endless roads for a child to drive their little car all over it. The typical Russian carpets hanging on the walls everywhere. They were of beautiful colors in wool and gorgeous to bare. I was impressed with the feeling of the home and it was pleasant to visit…

After looking over the computer and realizing that trying to explain what I was doing was not necessary. It was not understood and never would be. They just wanted to play games and look at pictures and videos. So I gave it (computer) another go at life and think that they will get several more years out of it. They had one of their cd drives crash and burn (they had two). I just took it off line. The computer was happy and they all smiled and we got two huge pumpkins and two gigantic squash for saving their computer… 🙂

I looked at Sveta and said, “Imagine a babushka with a computer!” I then started to wonder if I could somehow get internet to the whole village? I believe that we could get more people to move back if we could get a few modern conveniences implemented…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

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