Working through the ups and downs of living in remote areas…

This is actually a dine in restaurant in the strip mall with two tiny tables for diners and minimal cooking space for the cook.

There’s an app I downloaded, Live Writer from Microsoft that enables me to write the post offline and upload it later to Blogger to post online. I’ve used this app many times over these past three years when there was no wifi signal and/or no electricity that obliterated the signal. I can prepare the post offline and upload it later once we’re back online.

Last night, after dinner, we had no signal. Luckily, after dinner, we watch a few shows to keep us entertained throughout the evening. Neither of us has ever enjoyed reading in the evening before going to bed. Once we retire for the night, reading a book on the Kindle app on our phones helps lull us to sleep. 
Often, if we awake during the night, unable to fall back to sleep, we may read a little more, once again able to fall back to sleep. Some mornings I awaken with the phone still in my hand or under my pillow. Oh, I know about radiation from the phone. Perhaps without service, our phones emit less of a signal. Who knows? 

Savusavu’s version of a strip mall.

One can only be cautious about so many things in life, leaving the rest to chance and good fortune. We only use the phone for short local calls, reducing the time the phone is spent next to our heads.

With no lamps or lighting other than the bright overhead light in the bedroom, reading a hardcover book is out of the question. Also, we’ve never had an interest in hauling physical books with us. Often we speak to other travelers our age who still prefer a paper book in hand. We get this. But, this lifestyle dictates that we read on our phones which I was doing long before leaving for our travels, many moons ago.

I recall watching the entire first season of “Glee” on my phone while working out on the elliptical at the health club on my phone, listening with earbuds, loving every moment. Surely, young people of today watch movies and TV shows on their phones without giving it a thought. Certainly, us older types aren’t exempt from participating in this type of pastime, freely using available technology.

This restaurant seems huge in comparison to the two table spot in another photo.

When we awoke at 6:30 this morning, still with no wifi signal, I expected the only way I’d be able to post today would be by using Live Writer and hoping for a blip of a signal long enough to upload it at some point.

When we first arrived in Fiji and the signal was bad, I was able to use the SIM card signal on Tom’s phone as a hot spot connection in order to upload the post.  Hopefully, today I’ll be able to do the same if we can’t get back online. As we’ve mentioned the signal on Tom’s phone is too weak to do much online.

There’s no question that not being able to be online is a huge factor in our level of satisfaction in where we’re living. We were lucky to be able to lock up the two vacation homes in Tasmania last week during a period we could get enough of a signal to research possibilities.

The bus depot in the village.

With one more gap to fill and research for the future, we’re at a loss without service, not only in that it impedes posting, a daily objective but, it prevents us from continuing our research, an ongoing process, we both find great pleasure in accomplishing, the search, the negotiations, the final contract and hopefully, the end result.

We feel bad for Mario. He’s quite the property owner/manager possessing a high degree of dedication and determination to provide the very best for his clients. His hands are tied. He’s worked steadily with the phone company to get the service working properly in this area. Obviously, some of his efforts have been in vain. We had better wifi service in Africa, living in the bush.

Burning garbage and refuse is allowed on the island.  Fortunately, there aren’t as many fires burning as there was in Kenya.

With the SIM card, we purchased on Tom’s phone, he can stay busy listening to the radio stream and his favorite, Garage Logic, from Minnesota. If I can get this post online today, I’ll be happy. At 1:00 pm today, Ratnesh is picking us up for sightseeing and shopping.

Today’s sunny skies make us excited that it may continue throughout the day. We’ve been disappointed that we haven’t been able to upload more amazing Fiji photos since our arrival. After all, we are in a beautiful place. 

We find these African tulips in most tropical countries.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not a skilled enough photographer to be able to take great photos on cloudy days and certainly not during rainstorms. But Tom begs to differ with me when we go back to review the photos of the Gardens of Versailles in August 2014 all taken during a rainstorm with the camera in a plastic bag in an attempt to keep it dry. 

Taking those photos in Versailles was quite a task which later we laughed over but now, with two more months on this island, I see no reason to go through that type of challenge when we can expect some sunny days. Also, why risk ruining the camera? There certainly aren’t any replacement options here on Vanua Levu.  Shipping rates are through the roof to this far away location making replacing any equipment too costly.

We’ve stopped taking the time to remove power lines from our photos.  They’re a fact of life in most areas.

We’re having snail mail sent to us from our mailing service in Nevada, three envelopes opened and stuffed into one letter-sized envelope, a few containing replacement credit cards that include the “chip technology.” The cost for priority mail for this single envelope was US $26, FJD $57. For FED EX with a three to five-day delivery, it was USD $114, FJD $248, an amount we just weren’t willing to pay for a single envelope. Hopefully, it will arrive in the next month or so.

So this morning, we’d experienced a modicum of frustration over the wifi issues. Otherwise, we’re quite fine.  Sure, there are a few annoying items with the rain, the ants, the lack of areas nearby suitable for walks, the uncomfortable bed, the limited products at the grocery store, and the tiny coffee pot. But, we don’t want to mislead our readers in claiming that everything is always rosy. In our old lives, there were frustrations of daily life as well, as there always is.

But there are many wonderful aspects we treasure. We think of Mario, the great owner looking out for us, the friendly support staff, the joy of visiting the various markets, the constants sounds of birds singing, the beautiful views, and the exquisite vegetation. We’ve learned to “Love, the One You’re With!” 

Nawi Island is across from the village.

This morning I called Helen, the owner of the tiny meat market in the village, Fiji Meats, asking her to hold two cooked chickens for us, which we now order weekly.  She recognized my voice and with warmth and enthusiasm in hers, she took our order with a heartfelt “vinaka” (thank you). It’s that kindness and familiarity that makes everything OK.

As I finish this post, Junior stopped by. He and Mario went up on the roof and reset the main switch to the Internet. We’re back on! Now, we can post, pay our bills online for the month of October (it’s the 1st here today), say hello to friends and family, and continue the search, the ongoing search for the next leg of our journey. As for today, we can now settle back and enjoy the moment, heading out on a sunny day!

Have a fabulous day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 1, 2014:
Although we had an upcoming almost two weeks to live in Honolulu/Waikiki, we got off the ship to wander about the downtown area of Honolulu. For more details, please click here.

Comments and responses Working through the ups and downs of living in remote areas…

  1. Anonymous

    "Sure, we could complain about the rain, the ants, the lack of areas nearby suitable for walks, the uncomfortable bed, sofa and chairs, the limited products at the grocery store and the tiny coffee pot." … without technically "complaining" you just complained…..way to go….

  2. Unknown

    My internet was down all last night too, here at home (right in the middle of my child trying to complete some assigned online homework. I was finally able to reset the device this morning. I guess you cannot avoid these types of things, no matter where in the world one might be! 🙂

  3. Jessica

    Jody, I often forget that the Internet would go down in the US. We used to get our from Mediacom in MN and they had a lot of issues with Internet and cable many years ago. I suppose by now they may have corrected it. It was as frustrating then as it is now, where we may be.

    We hope your child was able to finish the homework!

    Thanks for getting "caught up" and sharing our travels with us.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  4. Jessica

    Dear Anonymous in the first comment,
    You're correct! It did sound as if I was complaining. My intention was not to do so. With your comment I went back and reread the post and revised it.

    Its often difficult in words, without inflections of the voice and facial expressions to convey what one genuinely feels. Of course, at times, we do complain. That's the way life is when we don't always have things as we'd like them to be. Humans are the only creatures on earth that complain. Perhaps, that add to our uniqueness.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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