Sunday, April 24, 2011

ooooo internet!

My internet situation continues to be just that-a situation.
And in an addendum to the post below, my computer is now suffering the effects of that power surge and refuses to reliably turn on. With a new power cord I was able to enjoy a few days of internet, but then Ed's internet itself broke. They replaced the whole system but continuing on this theme of luck, it did not recognize itself on any of Jackie, Jessica, nor my computer. At this whole time, my bank weirded me out a bit by deciding to become so modern by breaking down walls and expanding inside and installing internet to a few of the computers. So I have that availabiltity, although asking someone working if I could interrupt their work so I could check facebook doesn't really guarantee me quality internet time. But here's the good news! Peace Corps finally put internet and computers in the transit house in Bertoua. It may be 10 months after originally promised, but it means now that when I come to Bertoua for a day or two each month i'm getting more than an hour or two I pay for at an internet cafe. That and I can get it whenever I want and not wait months on end to upload photos! So how shall I celebrate? How about some long awaiting photos to this blog! Since i'm in Bertoua, let's start with the most recent trip to Bertoua. Making burgers and fries for some Cameroonian friends.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Electronics & Janelle = Oil & Water

I really, really lucked out in that it was only two weeks until a new power cord arrived. Very grateful to Ed (the American tobacco company owner) who just so happened to be making a visit from his home in Miami. How was two weeks without any internet? Well of course I survived but, to be honest, at this point would be okay without a repeat! And yes I'm feeling extremely spoiled and a bit guilty in sharing that. Wait a second, it basically was a repeat! Can't believe I almost forget I went about two months without stable internet as soon as I first got to Batouri. Operating system wigged out on me. So much appreciation goes out to the PCVs that did exactly what i'm doing but left their families with little to no contact during their two years! No option for internet meant I did search out more time with friends in town to spend with in the afternoons which is enjoyable for me. However, a strict eye was kept on my watch and a countdown to Ed's arrival. He called me in the morning saying he arrived and by the afternoon I was watching cable tv (in english!), sipping a cold beverage, and spending the next 4 hours catching up with everything. A new record of internet time here for me. Its all about the little things and he very much indulges us while here:)

At the moment things in Batouri were going well, usual frustrations aside, so much that it was becoming predictably stable. That is to say I started feeling I was beginning to know what to get out from post. Hitting a potential stride might be in order! When Ed is in town we usually have a few dinners at his place and stay late talking and enjoying his company. It was again such an occurance and he had just dropped me off at my house when I entered and immediately sensed something amiss. My window had been broken and was wide open! While I was gone in the evening, somebody decided to slit the screen and force open my window to see what treasures they might find on my table-it was a lot of effort and apparently worthwhile for that person. My curtains are always closed when I am gone. They had no way of knowing that that particular morning when I was on my way out I decided last moment I didn't want my camera with me and took it out of my bag. Being too lazy to put it back in my room I left it on the corner of my table. Even though there are bars on my windows they had stuck a stick with a hook in through those bars and got away with my camera! I was unsettled encountering it by myself late at night. Jessica had traveled so I was unable to call her over. Spending the rest of the week dealing with the police, getting the necessary paperwork for insurance,and trying to arrange with my landlord to get my window fixed left me mentally exhausted. Usually I hate spending a lot of time at home at one time. I need to get out doing something or seeing people. Though this time I was very grateful for the rare event of electricity three days in a row and had no problem spending most of it at home recharging my batteries.

Well that situation is now in the past. I've moved on, but it is now added to my list of ever growing proof how electronics, Janelle, & Africa are like oil & water. This situation made me reflect just on what i've accumulated on that list! So much so I decided to share. Hopefully putting this out there might slow down any new additions that may be to come. Computer will be getting one thorough checkup when at home. Except for the situations in which I lost my cameras, I do find this amusing and hope you do as well. My dad and I shared a chuckle over the phone together when I shared this with him. In the near 11 months I have been in country I have:

- gone through and upgraded an operating system
- fried a computer cord
- gone through 4 telephones so much that i'm on 5 and counting
- had 2 cameras stolen and waiting to get my 3rd here soon when i head home
(insurance is worth it!)

Yep, like oil & water! Ugh(slapping hand to forehand and shaking head) the luck, lol!