14) The Last Bit: Writing from the Road Increases my Respect

I’m (Doug) on the road, writing my part of this edition of Brigada from East Africa tonight. It has poured rain much of the day here. The internet is spotty. And slow. Downloading a PDF sometimes resembles waiting for a pot to boil. I pretty much have to go start on the next item because, if I sit there and watch the little bar graph crawl its way across the bottom of the screen, one centimeter at a time, I can easily begin shaking my head in disbelief: How can my fast internet back in the USA seem so… “average” to me? I regularly hit around 100 MBPS in Louisville. Here, on the road in East Africa, I’m lucky to hit .68. Back at the house, graphics just zip. Here, I’m so thankful for a clean Brigada page with no ads. Have I become an internet snob? Of course, it doesn’t help matters that the electric was off for half the day yesterday, or that we haven’t had any water here for the past 7 hours. So — whether that means not being able to flush the toilet, or whether I’m already thinking of the fact that I have to be ready for my next flight tomorrow at 7:30am (with no shower or shave), the bottom line is, these are not new problems. Many of our Brigada readers LIVE like this. One worker here worked for 4 years living in a thatched-roof hut with no hot water at all… in fact… no *PLUMBING* period nor electricity EVER. Yikes.

Of course, I’m thankful for blankets. And I’m grateful for the shower I had YESTERDAY. It was even hot!

But should I confess that my town is one of two towns identified first for Google fiber, citywide?

Sigh. Please forgive me. Times like these inspire me to deeper and greater respect for all those workers who REGULARLY work off internet with these speeds. I’ll try my best to be grateful — and not careless in my attachments. I’ll also be very thankful if you choose to read Brigada. And we’ll stick to our guns, with no ads, and a clean page. We appreciate your service to unreached peoples, the church, and to God. May He bless you in a special way tonight.

2 Responses to 14) The Last Bit: Writing from the Road Increases my Respect
  1. Bob Allen Reply

    I have felt your pain, brother. When internet first became somewhat widely available in Kenya in the 90s, ours was dial-up over ancient phone lines that were literally tied together in many, many places. Until about 2010, even in Nairobi, we had the same problem you talk about — then we got inexpensive 4mbps fibre optic. Outside of Nairobi, that was still the case until we took early retirement at the end of 2015. Pole sana!

  2. Editor Reply

    Until Musk gives us planet-wide low-earth orbit satellite internet, we will still likely face areas like these, Bob.

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