There are no landlines reaching this far, and even cellphones-of which Africans are as fond as North Americans-are useless in Bekondo because the signal isn't strong enough to make or receive calls from the village. It's the girls who have often complained of the lack of phones: "If only we could just call people, we wouldn't have to walk all the way over there for nothing!" I figured that was just par for the course in village life.
What I find interesting is the isolation from the outside world. We do have a radio linking us to other World Team missionaries and through which we send and receive email, but that only puts us in touch with select people-and only if they sign on. So, when Mike goes to town to pick up supplies or attend a meeting, he has no way of letting Becky know he's not coming home because things took longer than he expected or because it's raining and he fears the roads will be impassable. We're currently awaiting Friesens' return; we expect them Wednesday,...or Thursday.or Friday.. Without a means of communicating with them (our email capabilities have a one-day delay on sending and receiving), all we can do is wonder and wait.
Footnote: before I managed to send off this entry, Friesens arrived safely on Thursday. We even received an email from them saying they'd missed their connection in Paris. I believe I won the pool for closest guess on their ETA in the village.