Ironing out the kinks…Rice paddies and fish distribution…

The fish are brought in from the various boats at the Negara Harbour to be distributed to a multitude of vendors. 
“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”
This fishing boat with its pink and black sail passed by a few days ago.

We’re working with Gede on the wifi issues. As it turns out this house and the owner’s house next door share the local Internet connection. Many service providers claim their routers may handle five devices online simultaneously, but this is often a fallacy in the most remote areas of the world. 

A waiting area at the Negara fishing harbor as fishermen and vendors work on the distribution of thousands of fish caught overnight or in the morning.

The pole for the signal is located between the two houses. The signal, even when it’s only the two of us using it, is weak at best. No less than half of each day we’re unable to get online. On many occasions, we’ve had to get up during the night to handle bookings, inquiries and financial matters.

The pier at the Niagara Harbour.

We knew there’d be a weak signal here which we were prepared to accept. But, the bigger connection problem we’ve encountered has been escalated by the use of the house’s WiFi by staff onsite next door during daylight hours from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, when staff is off for the day, we have fewer issues.

Off and on, the staff is working on some remodeling at the owner’s house. (The owners are gone at this time).  Throughout the day, they’re taking breaks to get online checking Facebook, playing games and engaging in other online activities. Most can’t afford to purchase data for their phones or don’t have the availability of data at their homes.  We appreciate this and fully understand.

These ducks hang out at the rice paddy fields awaiting their share of rice which the locals provide.

But, as part of our vacation rental contract, wifi is provided. With the staff online, we have little ability to be online at the same time resulting in our spending no less than half of each day attempting to get a connection.  This has been frustrating to say the least.

Over the past several days, Tom walked over to that house, asking if they could be offline so we can do our work. Although some of our readers may assume we’re also “playing” online, most of our online hours are spent on research, bookings, banking, investments and working on this site. 

Huge bags of rice, ready for processing, at the side of the road awaiting pickup.

This life we live, although at times playful and unstructured, requires diligent daily communications with a plethora of websites to keep our travel plans intact and on target. Recently, with a slow connection, it may take hours to handle a single transaction. 

Add the staff’s seeming constant use of the shared signal and we’re in a tough situation. Recently, we spent an entire two days, almost three, figuring out how to handle upcoming visas when we kept getting “kicked off” during daylight hours.

Note the hat on the woman in red, known as  sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat, bamboo hat or raiden hat, is carrying more rice from the fields while the guy in blue talks on his phone.

At the end of any given day, we not unlike most of the working world, like to wind down to watch a few shows and get mindless for a few hours. With the frustration surrounding this situation, yesterday we beaconed Gede to discuss the situation in person. He couldn’t have been more interested and willing to work out an equitable solution.

The best solution is to separate the two houses into two routers as opposed to sharing one. Then, the staff can continue being online status quo. In the interim, we’ve asked Gede for a solution and he offered to explain to staff, “No use of the house’s WiFi at all.”

The rice paddies ready for planting.  See this site for more details.  “The Balinese system of irrigating their rice terraces is known as Subak. It is such an important part of Balinese culture that in June 2012 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status. This method for irrigating the land was inspired by an ancient Hindu philosophy, and it has been used since at least the 11th century. Using this method the rice fields were built around temples and the allocation of water is the responsibility of priests. In order for this management of irrigation to work successfully it has required that members of each community cooperate with one another and work in partnership. Each member of the community takes responsibility for maintaining the systems integrity, and this is why the terraces tend to look so well maintained. The rice farmers work as a unit to create appropriate canals and dams. Another important element of the Subak system is the religious festivals that mark the cycle of the year.”

Instead, we suggested they can be online from noon to 1 pm during their lunch break each day when we’re usually exercising in the pool. In the interim, Gede will continue to work with the service provider to figure out an alternative solution. He’s already called and is on track to figure out a few options. Apparently, we’re not the first guests in these villas who’ve had these issues. 

We’ve offered to contribute financially to resolve the issue, at least for the excess data we may use monthly which can be as much as a maximum of 100 gigs between us.

The lush greenery coupled with the irrigation views creates an appealing scene.Paddy fields refer to any parcel of arable land that is devoted to rice farming. The most common form of paddy field will be on flat land, but it is also possible to have paddy terraces that follow the natural contours of hills. Bali offers both type of paddy, but it is the terraces that visitors usually most want to see because these tend to be the most stunningly beautiful. The rice terraces have been here on Bali for at least 2,000 years, and they were originally carved into the hills using hand tools.”

This morning, with the staff aware of our concerns and now staying offline, we’ve already observed a vast improvement in the connection. This could easily be the solution for us for our remaining less than six weeks until departing the island.  

Our bigger concern is when other guests and the owners will be at the villa next door when we return on September 1st for another two months. When the owners were here when we first arrived and they too, busy with online work, we had no choice but to use the Internet during the middle of the night.

Also, I had to use an alternate offline program to post each day. It was frustrating and time consuming to say the least having an impact on the quality of our time here.

The rice begins to grow for eventual harvesting by hand.  Rice paddies are a prolific source of business in Bali and many other parts of the world.

Gede’s concern for our enjoyment and well being assures us both that he’ll figure out a solution for both our time here now and into the future.  In the meanwhile we’re enjoying a good connection this morning, soon to be happily sharing the service with staff from noon to 1 pm this afternoon.

There are always solutions to every problem. The reality is, we may not always like the solution. We hope your day brings solutions that work for you.

Photo from one year ago today, May 18, 2015:

This pretty gazebo was located on a private ranch we spotted in Kauai as our time on the island was winding down. Click here for more details.