The day the internet arrived

On October 21st 2009, the day the Internet arrived in Gashora!  After several “guarantees” of installation and a couple different companies, the satellite installation truck rolled into the primary school grounds midday.  Think of the satellite dishes that we had in the 80’s.  Very big, and it had to be pointed in the right direction to pick up the signal.  Looks don’t matter here.  After 6 hours of installation, the Gashora Primary School was connected.  It’s hard to comprehend how much the Internet will change the school and the community, but it’s going to be significant.  The community doesn’t have electricity, so the lab is running off a generator until electricity arrives (supposedly by the end of 2009).  To put it into perspective, our meeting this afternoon with community leaders ran long.  The sun set 30 minutes earlier and the only light was coming from cell phones.  We have been riding our bikes to and from work everyday.  The unpaved, weather eroded roads are tricky to nagivate during the day.  Without light, it’s impossible.  To get back to our hotel, we had a motorcycle and truck escort that provided light while we rode our bikes.  Oh yea, it took us about 30 minutes to figure out how we were going to get home..  Have you tried riding your bike in the dark? 
 
Tomorrow is our last day in Gashora.  To celebrate the completion of the computer lab and the sports facilities, we invited print and tv media to the festivities, or so we thought.  Peter and I worked with Lama this afternoon putting together a media release.  Considering it was everyone’s first attempt at a media release, I thought we did a good job. When we finished the release, we talked about who we were going to send it to, and how.  We only have access to Internet and power a few hours a day at night when the generator is running.  It’s tough to send out a media release midday when you don’t have the Internet.  It turns out that even if we had access to power and the Internet, the media outlets don’t.  🙂 
 
It’s going to be tough to leave, but we have done some incredible work.  Our last update from Gashora..   🙁