Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Internet Update

Our internet situation is definitely dismal here compared to what I had expected. I was under the impression that the internet was going to be fully functioning by the time that Carolyn, Gordon, and I arrived. I visited the three schools for the first time on Monday, only to find out that none of the schools have working internet. Apparently, there was a problem with our servers when the Joes arrived, so our tech guy, Neo, came to from Johannesburg to fix the servers. Unfortunately, these repairs were never tested before Neo left, so we have no idea whether or not they worked. We will know whether or not the servers work when we get our internet problems worked out… which is a whole other issue…

When they left for Kigali, internet was working at the schools, but only through an Ethernet cable into a single computer. We need Routers to make the internet wireless so that all of the XOs can get online. We tried to purchase the new routers in Johannesburg when we got back from Kigali, but we couldn’t find the correct routers at any of the stores, so we ended up having to order them… They were supposed to arrive yesterday, but there is no sign of them yet today (Africa time works a little differently than US time).

Ordering routers turned out to be only a small problem in the grand scheme of things, though. We thought that we would be able to plug the routers in and have wireless internet, but that isn’t going to be the case. We plugged our personal computers into the Ethernet cable at the schools on Monday, expecting to have internet, and found that it did not work at all. This could be because the internet settings were changed on our laptops in Kigali, or it could be a bigger problem with our internet connection or provider. We are hoping that the problem is with our computers and not with the internet connection, but we really don’t know. We won’t be able to tell what the problem is until we get the routers here, which could be days. Until then, we are waiting for the routers, and hoping that they fix the problem. If we receive the routers and the problem isn’t fixed, we will have to start making calls. Our last resort would be to call someone back down here from Joburg to look at it- transportation + lodging + wages can be expensive, and considering that we already paid a tech person to be here for 2 weeks, calling him back down seems wasteful and inefficient.

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