Why the Internet is worth malaria

13 12 2009

I’ll admit I was nervous that it would be an adjustment to not be accessible via cell and internet every second of the day but I tried to tell myself it would be a good change. Unfortunately, I had no idea really how difficult it would be. I’ve likely mentioned internet problems several times. As we speak, my roommates and I are lined up against the wall in one room of our house – one actually standing in the corner – staring at the little icon to let each other know when internet connects and ready to quick press send in that precious moment.  I’ll go outside and brave malaria and other disease carrying bugs just in hopes that the signal will work on the porch.

As much as I’d like to pretend I’m OK with it and enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a computer, that would be a blatant lie.  I’m not.  It is obscenely annoying and has a startling effect on my mood. While I try to not let it get to me, the internet issues have been frustrating. Little things I used to take for granted like reading the newspaper or uploading pictures have become challenges.  This is especially evident on days like today.  I was all set to head out to the market when it started down pouring. Stuck in the house with nothing to do, you realize how incredibly valuable the internet is for just filling time.

On the one hand, it is shocking that in Uganda there is an infrastructure to get internet when other basic infrastructure things like smooth roads are not in place. At the same time, we’re in a city. We are trying to do business, trying to stay in touch, trying to be informed and it is hard not to have internet.  How can you accomplish any of this without internet connectivity? I know those of you out there who remember days before the Internet are probably smirking at my rant but to be fair I remember it too and let me just say, I think the internet may be the best invention ever and don’t really care who claims to have invented it. I just want to be able to upload pictures and email friends!

So if by voicing this opinion for the world to see makes me a snobby, entitled and inflexible westerner, so be it.  Unreliable and slow internet is one aspect of the developing world I just can’t seem to get used to!

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2 responses

15 12 2009
Auntie M

I love reading your posts.
Allley-cat, have you thought about changing to a career in journalism? (I know that you are very happy at Tunheim and are not thinking of making any career changes, but your ability to share your experience on a personal level is incredible).
Uncle B and I have been “stuck” in the airport in Florida, but we have our computers and we have free internet, so life is good. I don’t think I could be sitting here so patiently if I didn’t have my computer and if I couldn’t connect with the “world” family and friends.
I look forward to your next blog.

Love,
Aunty M

24 12 2009
Andreea

Your post was so far, I think, one of my favorites. I guess we don’t realize how truly connected we are to the world until you are …well…unconnected. It’s funny as work has been so crazy busy the last thing I have wanted to do is come home and get on my computer, but I guess I should be grateful that I do have this option as it is snowing here in MN and probably will be stuck in the house for the next couple of days.

Oh and I agree with your aunt’s comment about journalism.

Miss you!

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