For the last few weeks there has been a small conversation going on about what some of us would really like as our latest gadget. The iPad and the Kindle were the ones which came up among this small group of women based here in Accra. Yet none of us has really interacted with either of these new items, but we still want them. And two of us are young, and yours truly is not so young. So I don’t think it is totally a generational thing.
Maybe I should go and look in the Apple store in the Accra Mall, and ask whether they have an iPad – just to look at, and maybe touch? Of course, realistically it is probably not a good idea to get one here in Ghana just yet, as there are issues about accessing all sorts of stuff from here, but then if iPhones work and their apps work here, why not? Another key factor to consider is cost, as the iPad is not cheap, and here in Ghana it would be even more expensive. There is also a matter of dust to be considered, and hard concrete floors. And to be frank, what would I really, really, really do with one? Apart from showing off, that is?
Now a Kindle is something else: not so flashy, and pretty discrete looking, and it has been on my wish list for more than a few months. And I keep going to the Amazon website and seeing the horribly depressing message “We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address” but then there is another one on the same page – well, with a little following of some links, which says “We are excited to now ship Kindle to Ghana. Customers in Ghana will enjoy:..’ and it goes on. So what should I believe?
I wish I trusted Ghana Post a bit more, and then I might take the risk and try to buy one and send it to myself. I suspect however that I will take the more precautionary approach, and see if I can buy it in the US, and bring it back with me. After all, I gather there are oodles of freebies just waiting to be downloaded, even if it is not quite the one-step process it is in the US!
Am I being a bit conservative? Yes, probably. But why not?
And after all, I hear there is a project which is testing the use of Kindles in Ghanaian schools, and one of the people involved even came by where I work.
Now, what would be nice is a project using Kindles in higher education in an African setting… but maybe that is too much wishful thinking?