Thursday, February 20, 2014

One of the Joys of Living in the Third World...Or Not.

Life in the Third World is always an adventure.  Every day is different.  You never know what even the next hour will bring.  The Honduran government recently passed a law requiring the two cellphone/wireless/internet providers to block all signals within one km of any prison.   Since they have not been able to control the possession of cell phones and computers within the prison walls, they decided to block access.  Their intentions were good; the results have been a disaster.

There are twenty-five prisons in Honduras, and they are miserable places.  Except for the gang lords and the narcotraficantes.  They live a life of comparative luxury, and they continue to run their organizations from behind the prison walls.  Not hard to do if you have a smart phone or computor.  The government decided to block all signals going in and coming out of the prisons.  The result has been no service for anyone in the twenty-five towns near the prisons.  Except for TV and radio, they have been held incommunicado since February 10th. 

We were promised the problem would be fixed by midnight of the 14th.  Not so.  Then the government said it would be fixed by Monday, the 16th, or TIGO and Claro (the only two providers) would pay a fine of L 2,000,000 (approx. $100,000 USD) per day until they are up and running.  On Tuesday, the 17th, the government extended the deadline for two additional WEEKS.   Now, the government officials can be seen wringing their hands every day on the news, but not doing much else; and TIGO and Claro stand mute.  Can you imagine what a field day the First World conspiracy theorists would have with this?

So, what does this mean?  It means that business has almost come to a standstill.  We cannot call for emergency help.  Banking choices are limited, unless you go to the next town.  We drove 15 miles Sunday to call our daughter and wish her Happy Birthday and to reassure her we are okay.  I saw people actually talking rather than texting.  That's notable because even the adults here are in love with texting.   Macho Man and his brother are in total withdrawal, because they are used to talking to each other several times a day, and Pablo lives in Tocoa, so we can't go to visit.  I am suffering greatly because I can't get to FB, or play Criminal Cash, Candy Crush, Wors of Wonder, or do the Washington Post crossword puzzle.  I miss my FB friends, even those who insult my intelligence on a daily basis.

When will we be reconnected to the rest of the world?  Quien Sabe? Could be before the two weeks are up, or not.  This is Honduras.

We are still blessed.