Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This morning I had Linda, our househelp, help me make soup. We cooked the various vegetables that I had on hand (onion, celery, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots), then put them all in the food processor. When it was done, she asked me what we eat it with (Rice? Plantains? Manioc?) I told her that we eat it "like that" –without anything else, except maybe some bread and cheese, eaten separately from the soup. She was taken aback at first, the after thinking about it she observed, "If you ate it with a fork, you wouldn't get much."

My Internet situation hasn't improved, but my adaptation to it has. I have various options that I can turn to, depending on what I need. At home, we have a USB stick that can sometimes get us a connection through cell technology. This is random (It works about half of the time), slow, and, given how slow it is, expensive. (We pay in 15 min. increments.) About two blocks away, I can access our mission's system, if I ask some colleague or other if I can intrude. (It is not where our offices are. Rather, it is the vicinity of a housing complex where many of our missionaries live and the offices of CABTAL, our Cameroonian partner organization.) Two blocks may not seem far until you consider that this is rainy season and the road is neither paved nor graded, so walking there with a computer is dicey. The connection is reasonably reliable and moderately fast, but I am limited during office hours to downloads of 20mb: not nearly enough for the audio recordings of my lectures, ebooks or Skype. (I can Skype after hours, but big downloads need to be cleared with our IT dept in advance.) So in order to get my lectures and books, I need to find a kind colleague who will let me come into their house and use the connection for which they pay each month, separate from our mission's system. I can also ask our mission's IT dept to schedule an evening download for me, which I have now done for those of my lectures that were pre-recorded and posted before the start of the course. The fast, relatively reliable connection that we were thinking of getting is becoming less and less of an option, so I'm working at getting along with what we've got.

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