Nicholas School Internship Blogs

Communication Challenges
by -- July 12th, 2012

So Jen wandered into the office a couple of Saturday’s ago and said “Well, I just lost my internet access so perhaps we need to investigate the text messages we have been getting.” That’s how it started….

Back at the start of the summer in Arusha, Jen and I (well Jen mostly as I was too timid to really talk to anyone), successfully got our phone and data cards registered through the service provider Vodacom, or so we thought. We continued to get text messages reminding us to register our numbers but when we texted the registration inquiry line, we always received a message that we were registered and did not in fact need to do anything. Apparently, this was not the case. First Jen lost phone service and then internet, then me, and finally Andrew. Fortunately I had a bit of a heads up and managed to get a few important emails out before I was cut off! Buddy was nice enough to get on the phone with Vodacom for us (how he managed to get a person I’ll never know….they kept disconnecting me and that was before my line was terminated) and his first response to us was “Well, you guys are screwed….sort of.” Not what we wanted to hear. Turns out, we were only given a 30 day temporary registration and not a long term registration – no one at Noloholo had even heard of a temporary registration before. He is in touch with the head of customer service and that gentleman was willing to reinstate our phone service rather quickly without us having to make the trek back to Arusha. Our data lines however, have stayed blocked, hence the lack of blog posts and pictures recently (I’m hoping to be able to edit some pictures back in to my posts at a later date). Buddy and Laly headed to Arusha this afternoon for a meeting and will hopefully be able to get the cards reactivated. Worst case scenario is that we lose all the money that was on the cards – highly unfortunate but not the end of the world and certainly better than not really having internet! Such is the fun of communication in the bush!

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