Travel Diary 3: THE TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE

Dear ITEM Partner,

It’s Thursday and there is nothing on the schedule. I put the extra day into the schedule knowing I’d have to wait for the results of a Covid test, which I took Tuesday. When I wrote “last night” the results had not come in as promised but after publishing the report, Joseph notified me that the results had come in and was “negative” as expected, since I was negative last Friday at home and Monday night here in Cameroon. So, I’m set to travel Friday from Yaounde, Cameroon to Nairobi, Kenya with a layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (my least favorite airport). 

TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE

I think we all realize how spoiled we are in the West with the high level of technology available to us. It’s not that way in many other places. Where I am staying has wonderful service and has a WIFI network, when it’s working. I am not a techno nerd but my impression is that it is a matter of what those techno nerds call bandwidth. The internet is like a super highway. If there are 1000 cars and only 2 lanes, the going will be very slow. And getting dropped happens frequently. 

As an example, I am trying to download “Zoom” (video conferencing app most of us have used during the pandemic) and for the last 30 minutes, the busy circle keeps spinning and spinning with the words “Pending.” You get the picture.

Why is this important? ITEM is in the process of setting our African teams up with equipment that will allow us, in the US, to teach, train, and mentor using this technology. But when connections are this bad, and many are, it is not reasonable.

The other option is to use a phone network. The phone can be used as a “hub” that other equipment, like a laptop, can connect to. Joseph and I have worked a couple of hours the last two days trying to make it work (Chromebook and video projector and Zoom). It’s been a painful experience. We will try one more time tomorrow, Friday, morning and I will suggest we buy him online “data” for his phone and try that.

We look forward to the future when internet speeds will be consistent worldwide. Rumors are that time is not too far away.

Praise the Lord with me that covid tests and results are on schedule. I’ll be in Kenya a few days but will be tested again next week in advance of my trip to the DRC (Dem Republic of the Congo) on Wednesday.

PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

While in Nairobi, I hope to meet again with Kevin Muriithi of Apologetics Kenya as we think through a strategy of building an ITEM Youth Ministry. I also will be delivering my first personal offering of books from my personal library to the library at ILU, the school I taught at 1998-2003, and meet again with the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Tim Kiruhi, to talk more about a formal partnership. 

Continue to pray for traveling safety and health safety, health, rest including good nights of sleep.

Thanks for your interest in ITEM.

By His grace and for His glory,

Steve

Here again is the link to the picture album.

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