Some Day

Some Day

A broadband internet connection. Just a few months ago something I took for granted. Now it has come to seem like the holy grail. Since we have been here these posters have been appearing around the capital promising to connect you in “One Day”. Well it has taken months. Each time I went into the shop they said the “fixed wireless” network was in the pipeline. Also that I could expect to be able to apply in “a month” (in Swazi-speak I have begun to realise, that usually means never). It got so I stopped going to ask to preserve my own sanity if nothing else. The posters got more insistent however and I started to think, well, maybe it could be that easy….
When I called the lady said, “yes, come in, we have a dongle for you”. A dongle? Whatever that was it sounded like something I had to have. I shoved a wad of cash at them and they shoved a dongle at me. A dongle, by the way, is just a card you plug-in like a USB key. Still, we had high hopes. “You won’t be sorry,” called the lady after me as I rushed from the shop clutching my dongle.
Oh the deception, oh the disappointment when, after several hours of playing with our settings, we got connected and even managed to reach our friends, Pierre and Nisrine in Z├╝rich over Skype. “We’ll just go and crack open our bottle of wine,” they said excited at the prospect of catching up. Then our connection dropped. We plummeted from the sky to “this connection is being processed” never to return to those giddy heights.
This morning I got a taste of what a Swazi technical call centre is all about. The nice man employed to guide me through to solving my problem kept saying, “do you see the icon? Now double-click it”” Somehow we could never get beyond that.
To cut a long story short I do have an internet connection. It is intermittent, it is expensive, but it is sometimes there. It is much like so much else in Swaziland. But perhaps one day…

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