Live, from Managua…
We have internet at home! And it’s fast! We’ve been in the country for only 3 weeks and now have both cable and internet. I don’t know if that’s a record for Nicaragua, but it seems like it from the other people I’ve talked to. I think my expectations were so low that three weeks actually feels fast. We know of one person who still doesn’t have internet after about 5 months!
Also, our air shipment came yesterday so our house doesn’t feel so empty. Our slow-boat shipment probably won’t be here until October. At least they came in the right order. A few families here are getting their HHE before their UAB shipments.
If you want to read more about what sped up the internet hookup process, click for more below. If that doesn’t sound like the most interesting reading (a.k.a. you are not related to me or not moving to Nicaragua in the near future), then enjoy this photo of the lovely Iglesia Santo Domingo near our house just before the afternoon rain.
I think we got internet set up fairly quickly for a few reasons:
1) The fact that I speak Spanish helped tremendously. I could understand what they were doing and what they thought the problems were. I won’t go into them because that’s really boring, even if you are my blood relative, but the cable wiring in and around this house is pretty messed up. And most importantly, Spanish helped with explaining what the last guy did. Every visit was by a new person who had no clue what the last guy tried or said the problem was.
2) I followed-up directly. The Embassy helped set up the initial meeting, but I didn’t rely on them for follow-up. When the cable company didn’t show up as promised, I contacted them directly.
3) We are in our permanent housing. Forget trying to get internet here if you are in temporary housing.
4) I can stay home for most of the day right now. This would have been very difficult if one of us had to leave work and rush home every time they said they were coming. Never once did the cable company give me more than 20 minutes notice that they were coming. Luckily yesterday I was already on my way home when they called.
5) I think treating the technicians well also helped. I imagine some people are pretty rude. I offered water to the guys who spent hours in the sun. One was almost attacked by an angry bird whose nest he pretty much destroyed. (Can you really blame the bird?) I also tipped the people who I thought really tried to solve the problem, even if they didn’t completely fix it, which actually was most of the people that came by. I didn’t tip the dude who said he didn’t want to climb on the roof because he didn’t want to get his True Religion jeans and leather shoes dirty. Wrong work attire for a cable guy, perhaps?
And 6) Let’s face it, I think the fact that we’re associated with the Embassy helped. It shouldn’t be like that, but I saw first hand how calls from the technicians back to HQ got bumped up the chain of command when the words “embajada Americana” were dropped. I swear I didn’t play the Embassy card, but I can’t say I’m complaining either.