Item #2—(Without a doubt)—bandwidth—
First a bit of context—
Most of you reading this post will do so using a high-speed internet connection, the speed of which exceeds the old dial-up connection by hundreds of times. Do most of you even remember how slow dial-up was? Yes, I know, when you think “dial-up,” you think dinosaur, not so much from the last decade, but from the remote history of the previous century. (Does anyone even use dial-up any more?)
I have given up my career teaching writing to live on island with the infrastructure of 19th-Century London, given it up, hoping to make meaning from the work of ACTUAL writing, rather than the work of merely teaching writing. Given this, the tools of the trade tend to matter. At least they matter to me.
Herein lies my problem—namely that I’m blogging, and blogging requires bandwidth—or, at the very least, the option of up-loading text and images at a reasonably decent speed—and by “decent” I mean—able to post 1000 words and one photo in not more than 8 hours.
(Let me be perfectly clear—I’m not talking about writing time—I’m referring to the time it takes to upload a word document and a photo or two—something that from our home in Kentucky I can do in a matter of seconds—copy, paste, save, upload (image), save, post—not a complicated or time-consuming process—5 minutes max, if literally everything imaginable goes wrong.)
Not so in Port-au-Prince—
Not so by a long shot—
One day over a month ago, I decide to change my blog’s theme (big mistake), which ultimately involves uploading a new header image (even bigger mistake).
The process begins around 9 in the morning. I have been awake for several hours—since 5, actually. I’ve had my French lesson, which is challenging and something I sometimes even hate. (See “A Tale of Miserable Failure: Moanings of a Second Language Learner” to fully appreciate my struggles with the language.) I have been to the gym—
I am eager to get started but remember that posting to my blog the day before and the day before had not gone well—had taken considerable time—
Here’s how it all goes down—
9:15 am: I make myself a cup of coffee. I need to be fully fortified. Caffeine should do the trick.
9:21am: I position myself on the corner of the couch, open laptop.
9:23 am: Click the Internet Explorer icon on my desktop and wait for my Yahoo home page to load.
9:26am: Still waiting.
9:27am: Text begins appearing on the screen.
9:30am: Text still loading.
9:33am: The first image—a photo of Michelle Obama—begins appearing.
9:35 am: More photos———
9:38am: With Yahoo fully loaded, I decide to forego checking email. (It might take too long.)
9:39am: Sigh—click “WordPress Dashboard” on Favorites drop down menu.
9:43am: Dashboard still loading.
9:50am: I decide against checking stats. (It might take too long.)
9:51am: Sigh—click “Appearance.”—Sigh—Click “Theme.”
10:01am: First page of themes fully loaded.
(You see where this is going)
Around 6 in the evening Sara comes home.
I am not in the best of moods. I am not welcoming. I am not gracious when asked how my day has been.
Apparently, I share too much.
I share too vigorously.
I use a few too many expletives.
“You wanna know how my day has been?” The rhetorical question is Sara’s first clue—things may not have gone well.
“I’ll tell you how my day has been.” Sara takes a step back. I have that look in my eye.
“I have just spent 8 hours pounding my f—ing head against a f—ing virtual wall. And I’ve accomplished nothing. Absolutely. Nothing.”
“Nothing?” Now Sara has the look—duck and cover—duck and cover!
“Nothing—a big, fat, mind-numbing NOTHING!”
“In that case, I think I’ll get something to eat.” Sara leaves the guest room, where I am hovering as close to the router as humanly possible without morphing into router myself. I’m hoping it might increase my chances. Improve my reception.
I’m hoping it will keep me sane and Sara able to live with me, not living with enough bandwidth.
Fast forward several weeks—————–
Sara shares the other morning, once we’ve decided to schedule my return to Haiti, “I’ve had Steve from IT working on our internet connectivity.”
Maybe this means it will only take half a day, a mere 4 hours to post 1000 words and one photo.
I’ll keep you posted—