Patience prevailed on a challenging day!…

Ratnesh stopped along the highway to show us this lily pond.

We realize all of our readers must be tired of hearing about our wifi issues. Hopefully, by the end of today, we’re hoping to have working Internet. Right now, as I’ve done over the past several days, I’m using “Internet sharing” off of the Vodaphone Fiji SIM card installed in Tom’s phone in order to upload our posts.

The SIM card expires tomorrow and we still have 28 unused gigs we’ll lose when the data is only usable for 30 days. The signal was too weak to use much of the 30 gigs we purchased when we arrived. Tomorrow, we’ll “top off” the card with less data than the original purchase. 

Using wifi in this manner results in the slowest connection I’ve experienced since 1991 when it took hours to connect to the Internet via a landline. Yesterday, it took 30 minutes to load each of a few photos.

In late 1991, in the early Internet days, Tom and I each had a desktop computer. We’d play one of the first games offered online, Netplay. It took eight hours to download the game and it required a re-install many times when it would crash. We’d leave the computers on all night attempting to re-install it, often finding it wasn’t done in the morning.

On Monday, the phone company was supposed to come here to resolve our issues. Their truck broke down.  Then they were scheduled again for Tuesday. Alas, at 9:00 am yesterday, the power went out. There’s no way the phone company could work on providing us service without power.

Badal stops by every night while we’re having dinner. We give him something good to eat, the usual meat off of our plates. This photo was taken a few days ago when oddly, he arrived earlier than usual, just before sunset, enabling me to take a photo. 

We didn’t realize the power had gone out until about 30 minutes later when we tried to turn on the overhead fan and it wouldn’t start.  Checking a few outlets, we realized what had happened.  A short time later, Junior popped in to tell us the power would be out most of the day.  They were working on the lines.

Oh.  No power and no wifi. That makes for a fun-filled day. We thought about calling Ratnesh for a day’s outing, but if the power returned, the phone company could arrive and we needed to be here.

Quickly, we dimmed the brightness settings on our laptops and phones to a point of being barely readable, checking how much time we had left on the batteries on each, planning our day accordingly, mixed amongst playing Gin, playing games, reading a book on our laptops and phones. 

We couldn’t open the refrigerator to start preparing the salad for dinner, not wanting any of the coolness to escape, although we did so a few times for iced tea and ice.

We began planning the evening should the power not return before dark.  We had a delicious leftover entrée we could easily heat in a pan on the stove with some side dishes already made to accompany. When the power was out a week ago Shalote had brought us candles and matches so we could easily light the gas stove to reheat the meal. At 4:00 pm, I made my tea, as usual, heating the water in a pot on the stove as opposed to using the electric teapot.

If we left enough juice on my computer we could watch one or two videos we’d saved from Graboid. If we left enough juice on our phones we could read after dinner after watching a few videos.

At certain points, we discussed how the roads could have been anywhere in the world such as in this photo.

By 2 pm, we were almost out of juice, phones down to 20%, laptops not lagging far behind. If the power didn’t return it would be Gin only by candlelight, no books, no games, no mindless drivel. My laptop and Tom’s phone were nearly depleted of power from using his phone to prepare and upload the post which hogs data and energy.

Being together 24/7 doesn’t leave us hours of idle chatter over the events of our day to share with one another.  Although, throughout the day, we somehow found ourselves chatting over endless topics we may not have discussed most recently.

At 4:00 pm, Junior stopped by again to let us know if the power returned before 4:30 the phone company would still come out to work on the signal. Otherwise, they’d come out first thing today. 

Well, 4:30 came and went…no power. At 5 pm, almost to the minute when the electric company employee’s shift ends, the power returned. We still had no wifi, other than the weak signal returning on Tom’s phone as it began to recharge. 

We’ve learned to keep all of our electronics fully charged at all times for this very purpose. Had we not done so, we’d have run out of juice much earlier and those hours of solitaire on our laptops, whiled the time away, sort of.

Beach view. Seldom have we’ve seen people on the beaches.

We didn’t complain to Mario or Junior. We didn’t complain to one another in an effort to keep each other’s spirits up.  In these cases, it’s always comforting to know if the power will return before dark. But, one never does.

This isn’t comparable to living in one’s home when the power is out at night. We’d have gone down to the basement with an enormous flashlight, gathered our trusty Coleman battery and gas lanterns, and been set for the night. We’d even have had the opportunity to power up the generator we had for such occasions, returning the refrigerator to full operation along with many lights and other appliances.

During the day, we could have cleaned cupboards, rearranged dresser drawers, and busied ourselves in certain household tasks. In this life, we have no basement with lanterns or battery or gas operated devices to light the night. We had no shelves to rearrange and we don’t have a dresser with drawers, just a few shelves in a closet without hanging space. 

We had two tall skinny candles without candle holders and a book of matches. We’d do the “melt some wax into a plate and set the candle into it” thing and we’d have light.

This is the life we’ve chosen. And, sometimes, it’s not convenient. And sometimes, it’s annoying. And yes, sometimes we do complain. After all, simply because we’ve changed the roof over our heads, and the country in which we’re living, we’re still human and subject to frustrations, just like everyone else.

It was a beautiful day to be out. Hopefully, tomorrow’s outing will be equally sunny when today is overcast and windy.

We’re still us and although we’re more tolerant than in our old lives, our feathers do get ruffled from time to time.

So, while the power was out, I went on an ant killing rampage. Using the remaining hot water and soap, I washed everything where I saw a single ant, the exterior of the refrigerator, the cabinet door fronts, the wood countertops, the stovetop where they were marching in a straight line looking for a sloppy morsel I may have left behind. 

By 5:00 pm, on the nose, the power returned. The fact that we still had no wifi was incidental at that point.  We’d be able to enjoy our evening, have a nice dinner, watch our two remaining shows, an episode of Shark Tank and another episode of season two of Scandal (without a good wifi signal we haven’t been able to download movies and TV shows).

As always, Badal, Sewak’s dog, arrived at our door at 6:30 pm for a bite to eat which we freely offered and, we had a lovely meal, smiling and giggling over the excitement of the returned power, being together and our good fortune, good health and a roof over our heads.

Today, we wait even more patiently for the phone company to fix our issues but for now, with power, we’re fine. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Photo from one year ago, October 7, 2014:

Sunset photo we took standing on the shore of Waikiki Beach, one year ago. For more details, please click here.

Leave a Reply