End of my first day on Project Catskills and I’m sitting in the back of a pick up truck in a car park 15 minutes from home with Bill and Jeremey, trying to access the internet. I’m tapping away on my laptop and alternating with an i-pad, catching the 3G when the mifi gives up for a while. There isn’t even any mobile phone signal in the place where we’re living. Its a communications black hole.
Back in Indonesia a man shimmied 60 feet up a palm tree to install a satellite dish and provide internet for the base, assuming it wasn’t raining. Or cloudy. Which it invariably was. In Haiti the connection was decent as long as not everyone was on it and the password had been recently changed so that all and sundry weren’t hogging it from across the street. Which invariably they were. In Japan the lightening fast fiber optic cable connections had been lost, along with so much else, during the tsunami, and the connection was reasonable if you were the only one on it. Which you never were, thanks to myriad i-phones in bags and laptops left open in other rooms.
Here the connection is terrible but it means a pleasant trip to the greengrocers/coffee shop every day to schedule volunteers over a delicious pastry and a cup of earl gray. What’s next? Carbon copy paper? Semaphore? Morse Code? Answers on a postcard. It’s the only way you’ll reach me after all!