internet hell in Ethiopia 1

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I have no idea if this is going to work.  A friend of mine gave me instructions on how to try to post blogs via email — so I’m giving this a try.
Why by email, you ask??  Let’s talk for a second about Ethiopia.
The power here is only on every other day.  One day on — one day off.  The three internet cafes in the town that I’m at right now, Gondor, don’t have generators.  When there is power, it sometimes will cut out, right in the middle of you doing something (like writing a blg) on the net and you’ve lost all your stuff.
Speaking of the blog — I simply can’t load it.  For about a week now, anytime I’ve tried to load it, the page just sits blank for an hour or so.  NOthing loaded.  No way to post.
And the internet here is slower than dial-up back home.  Yes.  Its that bad.
I’m really, really sick of everything not working.  A food example might be best here.  Breakfast yesterday morning (a no power day, but the cafe had a generator, so it shouldn’t have been a problem).  They have wonderful fresh juices in this country.  This place had the following on the menu: guava, avocado, pineapple, mango and mixed.  I asked for pineapple.  “No.  Only mixed.”  OK, I figured that they had premixed and blended up some juices and used all of them.  Ordered a mixed.  It came out — 4 juices — in layers.  They had obviously just poured all four of the juices into one glass and served it.  Why couldn’t you get just one of the four juices seperately?  No reason, of course.
“Could I have some coffee, please?”
“No coffee.  Coffee with tea.”
There was an item on the menu listed as “coffee with tea.”  One could only assume they brewed the coffee and tea seperately and mixed them into one glass for some reason.
“But could I just get coffee?  No tea?”
I drank my mixed juice and watched as another server brought 2 glasses of what were obviously coffee past me to someone else.  Then another guy from our overland truck at a seperate table got coffee from another server.  My server came back and I said that I’d seen others get coffee — could I get some as well.  “No.  No coffee today.”  I had the guy from our truck hold up his coffee glass and told me server “can I have that, please?”  “O’.  Yes.  Of course.”
Hot coffee arrived 3 minutes later.
I never, in dozen years never, would have thought I’d ever say this in my lifetime.  I can’t wait to get to Sudan.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

One thought on “internet hell in Ethiopia

  • Ethiopiawi

    Sorry that you had such a horrible experience in Ethiopia. Regarding the Internet, you had other options.

    1. You might have used EVDO service, faster 3G service for personal use, if you are that an intensive user
    2. You could use your laptop to upload to your blog, in that case, you could have saved everything you typed, whether the power gets interrupted or not.
    3. The bandwidth you get all depends on the number of users per the Internet cafe and the bandwidth they subscribed to,,,, this is a general fact. You shouldn’t expect a 1 MBps access connecting yourself to a 10 user Internet cafe subscribed to a 256KBps bandwidth,, All you get is 25.6 less than a dial up as you said it already!

    Regarding the power outage, yes we have a serious problem. That is why we are trying to build Gibe III and GRD on Nile, non of which was supported by the west. Please inform people outside that this shortage of power is the real demand for our dams, not other intention than this.

    Finally, this is the beauty of a trip. You shouldn’t expect everything as you used to get at home, otherwise you will get nothing to talk about!

    Good Luck!

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