Question: How long does it take to update your computer security software in Ouagadougou?
Answer: It depends.
This morning Bruce went on-line to update our internet security software. The internet speed varies day by day and from second to second. When he first went on-line, the system said it would take 96 hours to download the update. An hour later, when Bruce went to check again, it said that it would take 4,460 hours. A few minutes later it went up to 6,633 hours!
Living in Ouagadougou presents challenges and sometimes it is the simple things that put us over the edge, like the lack of a good internet connection.
Two days after we moved into our house, we headed to the telephone company’s office to request a phone line and internet service. (That was Sept. 3.) Now two months later we do not have either and are not sure we will get internet service in the near future.
Wait, you say, how is it that you have a blog without internet access? At first, Bruce began going to cyber cafes. He found that if he got there at 7:00 AM there was usually a pretty fast connection allowing him to upload our posts to the blog. It was not always convenient, however, to go out to a cyber café and sometimes the power would go off and Bruce would sit there for an hour or two waiting for it to come back on. So he could spend a morning trying to get our blog updated or to send out a prayer letter.
Next we invested in a connection provided by our cell phone service. We purchased a USB key that we plug into the computer to connect to the internet. This allows us to try getting on-line at different times in the day and also allows us to leave the computer running until our downloads are finished even if it takes several hours. As evidenced by the attempt to update our , however, you can see that this solution too is not satisfactory.
Most of the time we can be philosophical and figure if it doesn’t go now it will go later. So if you don’t get a quick response to your e-mail, it may be that we are just waiting to get back on-line!