A brief interruption for whining about the Internet

I don’t really want to whine. Just to note that once again, I feel like Charlie Brown, year after year believing Lucy when she promised not to take away the football. Somehow, I really thought Internet access would be easier on this trip. But once again, it’s been amazingly challenging to get online. Our hotel in Kisoro, the Traveler’s Rest (which gorillista Dian Fossey reportedly considered to be her second home), claims on their website to have wifi. But we didn’t even have electricity for parts of our stay there. There was a decent Internet cafe 5 minutes from the hotel. But both full days that we were in Kisoro were crammed with hiking — one day tracking gorillas and the other trekking with local pygmies.

Both those experiences deserve posts of their own, and I’m going to try to write them now from the Hotel Paradis Malahide. It’s about 90 minutes from the border crossing where we passed from Uganda into Rwanda this morning. The hotel is a rustic place on the shore of Lake Kivu. They say that early in the morning, when the air is clear, we’ll be able to see the Congo on the far side of the lake. Tomorrow we’ll go biking in the Rwanda hills with Tom Tofield, an expat Englishman who runs a tour company. But this afternoon it feels delicious to hunker down and catch up — with e-mail, blog posts, and photo organization.

With luck, our good Internet access should continue for at least another week or so. But here (NOW I remember!) you never know. When we can’t get online, I’ve also been tweeting (@jdewyze) with my Twitter feed linking to the blog page (though now that we’re in Rwanda, we’re having trouble with our cell phones.)


On and off the grid

Sunday, January 15

For the first time since our arrival in Ethiopia 18 days ago, we should have uninterrupted Internet until our departure from Frankfurt Wednesday morning. We bought a local SIM card for my phone on our very first morning, and our guide assured us we should be able to access the Internet on it. He did on his phone, routinely.

But although I’ve used the phone a lot to make calls and text people within Addis, it never would allow me to get online. Various folks told me I needed to call the central Ethiopian telecommunications office, to get them to turn that feature on. We dialed and dialed; were cut off and put on endless holds. Finally I gave up.

But I’ve been writing, almost every day. And we just arrived back at out guest house in Addis, where we’ll spend out last day and a half.What follows is what would have appeared, had we not encountered those road blocks on the Ethiopian information highway.

Still more whining about the Internet in South Africa

Thursday, March 11
Can the Internet in Nigeria possibly be so much better than it is in South Africa? But if it isn’t, how could all those scammers possibly operate, without dying of frustration??@!! As I’ve been doing.

I’m now sitting in the lounge of the most expensive hotel we will enjoy on this trip, one of the nicest hotels, in fact, I’ve ever stayed at. The Internet actually WORKS here, unlike the very nice place we stayed last night, where it theoretically works, except when it’s raining. Which it was, when I tried to use it. The quite nice place where we stayed the night before had no wi-fi. Frank, the manager, used it only via some card he plugged into his computer. Very confusing.

My problem now is that I THOUGHT I just uploaded four posts, written over the past three days. But I don’t see them yet. Can they be lost in cyberspace? Is blogspot aging them, like fine bourbon?

Stay tuned.

Technology headaches

Posted my first message to this blog from the airport this morning, then got a message saying that it could not be sent to the Google group that I set up. Board plane and learned I could get wifi for $12.95 (for this flight.) That’s the good news. Bad news is I’ve only got 40% of my battery left, and we have no connection to the on-board power.

I just changed a setting and am hoping this message goes through. If you get an e-mail saying it was posted, somebody send me a word or two saying it came through. Gracias!