Somewhat--but surprisingly, not too much--later than the 40 days promised, a communications tower has indeed been erected, enabling us to get network in the village. It became functional on Christmas Eve. I left for Limbe and Kumba on Christmas Day and didn't return for just over a week, so when--alone in Scotts' house except for Rachel whom I'd borrowed to keep me company--a ringing sound pulled me from my holiday lie-in, my sleep-befuddled brain had no idea of what to make of it. I wandered into the utility room (from where the sound seemed to be emanating) and was staring at the solar power transformer, wondering if I needed to get Dan to come and fix whatever emergency was causing the noise, when Rachel stumbled in, rubbing sleep from her eyes and answered the phone.


To think I didn't even recognize the sound of a telephone ringing. But who ever would have expected such a thing in such a place? Not me, apparently.

So we are now connected to the outside world--sometimes. The signal doesn't always get through here either, but it's much more reliable (and convenient) than hiking up Pres Hill and hoping that standing in exactly the right spot, facing just the right angle will enable you to send a text-message. That morning, it was Becky calling from Bamenda to tell us to bring up one of Holly's kittens with us for the Baptist compound there. It also worked wonderfully to communicate with Becky from Kumba regarding when she and the kids should head out to 3 Corners for the long, un-punctual wedding celebration day.

As one of two houses in the village--the other being the Friesen-Mosongo duplex--with electricity, villagers often bring their phones here to be charged. (And you thought only North Americans collected gadgets of very situation-specific utility.) Whether the number of people acquiring cell phones has spiked, or whether they've just started keeping them charged now, I don't know, but there has been a markedly higher incidence of cell phone charge requests.


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