When we boarded the planed to Ghana in January of 2007, I didn’t know when the next time was that I would speak to my family in the US. Sure, I knew that there were phones and email throughout the country but I didn’t know when I would have access to it all. While we were in Accra, the capital city, we had phones and the internet. We were even able to use Skype to call my parents during our first days in Ghana! That certainly was a blessing. Once we got to our house in Tamale, however, things were very different. Paul and I both had cell phones. However, the signal at our house was very weak and on top of that, for some reason, my phone only worked when I was in our house. If I were to go anywhere else, I wasn’t able to make or receive calls.
As time went on, I got a new phone, cell phone towers were upgraded and new ones were put up in various places. We were then able to talk with my parents on an almost weekly basis. Paul and I were sharing a laptop computer to accomplish all of our work. He took it with him to GILLBT during the day and when the kids would go to bed at night, I would attempt to read the email that had come that day and write responses. In order to send and receive email, Paul used a slow dial-up connection at the office. Although if it was raining or the wind was blowing too hard the connection would drop.
In July, 2007 DSL came to GILLBT and soon after, Paul was able to set up a wireless network so that we could have internet access at home as well. Though it was no where near fast, it was a step forward. After only a month, the phone line was cut and DSL was out for another month before the repair was completed. The benefit of the DSL was that the connection was on most of the time, but it was still extremely slow.
It wasn’t until March 2008 that I had my own computer. Now I could work on email throughout the day as the kids were napping or entertaining themselves. Then in November 2008 we got a satellite internet system at GILLBT. Internet browsing capabilities were now mine!
Though all of this technology has had its ups and downs, we’ve come a long way from when we first landed in 2007.