Technology is absolutely amazing and it is improving at a rapid pace! We have recently experienced the truth of this and are so incredibly thankful for it! About two months ago we were able to purchase a special antenna that would allow us to receive a phone signal within our house, and through the tiny little SIM card in our phone receiving that signal we can connect to the internet- in our house as well! The antenna finally arrived about a week ago and now, thanks to Tom’s great ability to follow directions and try new things, we are CONNECTED! I really cannot even express to you how much this means to us. It is wonderful!
Here are just few reasons we are so happy to be CONNECTED:
Encouragement: We have been blessed that some of our friends & family have sent us mail with cards and encouraging letters. But for many of our contacts, letters is not how we hear from them. With email access and facebook access it is way easier to stay in contact with those we love! Though we still highly encourage people to send us “real” paper mail, we are glad to be able to hear from you whenever you feel like emailing!
Phone Calls: With this antenna we can now make phone calls from inside our home. This is a HUGE blessing and a help to me especially. Before if we needed to make a phone call we would have to leave our house and walk toward the beach to get a signal. Often this would involve a long walk and a call being dropped several times because I could not keep a strong enough signal. It was also complicated because I have two small children who would have to be with me. One usually grabbing for the phone and baby talking at me (Iris :D) and the other needing my constant attention out of one eye as he chased chickens, threw things down crab holes or gathered a crowd of kids to further disrupt my call (Jude). I am so thankful now that I will be able to make calls much more easily while my children are comfortable occupied in a controlled environment. This means we can more easily give family & friends phone calls, make special phone calls needed for supply buying and contact our missions nurse in an emergency if need be.
Emergencies: Ever since we moved here to Papua New Guinea there have been a number of earthquakes in our area and the surrounding areas. Having to ability to access the web means we can get up to date information on any threats that may be headed our way and allow us to make the wisest decision in light of them for our safety. *Our scariest memory in this area was last year when we were notified via radio that the Tsunami that had just devastated Japan was headed right our way and all we could do was wait and pray like sitting ducks. Thank the Lord for His protection!* Before, when these disasters have taken place, our family & friends in the States hear news of them and automatically wonder if we are ok and wish they had a fool proof way of contacting us. Now we can reassure many people of our safety very quickly.
Also, though we do have some great books and a computer resources with us here in the village to help us determine what to do about certain sickness’s and first aid scenarios, being able to search for help on the internet might be useful. A few times I’v spotted a strange rash or one of the kids will get a fever and we wonder what the best thing to do is. Now, if I ever have a doubt I can check online.
Getting online from our house is pretty simple. All we do is stick a USB internet stick, which holds our SIM card and is hooked to a cord from our antenna on one end, into our USB drive on the other. Then a box pops up, we click “Connect” and watch as it detects the stick, authenticates, and Voila! CONNECTED!
Of course our connection is still limited, and certainly not high speed! There will be no Hulu or Netflix (Who needs those distractions anyways? Especially when you can already get on facebook… 😀 ), and we have yet to attempt any kind of Skype. Either way, though, the face of what remote living looks like for us is quickly changing and we say- bring it on! We thank the Lord for the encouragement that comes with this connection.