Sunday, August 29, 2010

And There Was Rejoicing

This afternoon, a great hew and cry went up in our house: "The Internet is back!!" I don't think Oscar was as excited, but the rest of us were quite pumped up. It's been out for the last three days, and we weren't sure we'd see it at all this weekend. I actually wrote my last post sitting outside the retail store down the street from us. I wish I could use Blogger in offline mode then upload my posts because it's not so easy to write a decent post when you are limited to a random time in the coming days. I think we might end up getting a netbook because our laptop is too large to lug around everywhere. It was supposed to be a desktop replacement, but it hasn't really worked out like that because of the situation here.

All of this drama has taught me a few things, though. The biggest one is probably patience. From talking with the wifi guy here, it seems the problem is mostly because too many people in our area of base are using repeaters or routers. Some of them don't know how to set them up and have used the SSID of our internet signal as the name of their repeater. That means it's hard to know if we're connecting to the right thing. Also, with so many things vying for the internet, it bogs it down because there aren't enough channels to keep funneling it accurately. (And if you want more detailed info, well, I can't give much more because I barely understand this myself, haha.)

So, basically, this is a problem that may never be fixed. They are doing what they can, but they can't control what other people do. That wasn't good news, but I took a deep breath and decided to just make the best of it. It's tough because we rely on the internet for so much, more so than we had to do in the States, but as with all things here, you learn to go with the flow.

The second, and probably more important, lesson that I've learned is I have a bit of a problem with time wasting on the Internet. Now that we've faced more than one days-long outage, I'm discovering just how much more I get done without it. After hanging pictures and curtains, I've spent a lot of time in our yard, as it's a long neglected weed pit for the most part. I dug out a section next to our main entrance, built a stone wall, and transplanted a few plants into it. I finished it yesterday by covering it with red birch mulch, something we can get pretty cheaply here:

The two plants in the front are our jalapeno plants. The leaves are curled up for some reason, but they are still producing well. The container I had them in was breaking apart due to the harshness of the weather we have here, so they needed a new place to grow. I'm so glad there is actually dirt outside our new trailer! The green and purple plant in the middle is one that grows all over the place here. I even found one growing in our window sill when we moved here. They are extremely hardy and need almost no soil to get going, so very easy to transplant. I love how pretty they are, and plan on putting some more in on the other side of the trailer.

I think they want us to grow stuff or something because you can get mulch, compost (but only cow manure compost which is why I use my own, too), potting soil, and sometime peat moss for a much cheaper price than I recall buying it in the States. It's weird, too, because most stuff here is a lot more expensive.

Like our $7 a gallon milk, which, incidentally, the store is out of at the moment. There's a chance we won't have more until the end of next week, depending on what is going on with the supply barge, so I'm glad I have both powdered and canned milk to last us until then. Although we won't drink it fresh, that will work fine for just about anything else we need to do with it.

Whether it's milk, the Internet, or something else, living here has been an eye-opening education in what it means to do without. I get impatient with it sometimes, but I'm so grateful for it. I don't approach life quite the same as I used to, and that's a good thing. I think it's going to be weird to go back to life in the U.S. I do look forward to being able to count on things again, but I am really going to miss the constant challenge of figuring out how to do the basics.  It turns out, I'm a lot more innovative than I ever thought I could be!

1 sonar pings:

Carrie Stuart said...

While we struggle with some different issues, we are having very similar experiences. There are definitely things about the US I won't take for granted again. Like the prices. Potatoes are $2 each here. Whooda thunk? Running out of cold stuff because a shipment was delayed and/or spoiled. You know the drill even better than I, so I'm preaching to the choir. But all in all, I'm loving the adventure. It's fun to read about yours, too!