Monday, May 18, 2009

Internet strategies

I'm quite proud of what I got accomplished today. First thing after breakfast I went to get my permits and I was back at the hostel by 10 am! Long time readers may recall that I did not get permits when I was here last year. Thankfully I did not run into any complications- yet- this year.

It is great to have my permit. However, there are still three or four more bureaucratic steps (hoops?) that I must go through before I can actually go to my field site and begin research. Today I made significant progress on two of those steps, which involved photographs, printing, photocopying, and faxing. Tomorrow morning I hope to have a better idea of when I'll be able to head for Nyota (my field site).

Last year I made a fast friend, Helen, at the hostel. She and I would go sit in the lobby of a swanky hotel and nurse very expensive sodas in exchange for their free wireless. Well, I guess they decided they had too many backpackers in the lobby bringing down the class average, or too many of us were cheapskates. Either way, they now charge $20 per day. I found a different hotel I can't afford to stay at that only charges $10 per day, so that where I am now trying to make the most of my 24 hours.

Yesterday I wrote several emails (including a few blog posts) and sent them all when I got online today. It's really satisfying to do that.

Soon I need to figure out how to get online with the 3G USB modem I bought. I'll use it to check email when I'm at my field site, but the prices can be quite high so I need to be careful of my usage. Typical plans are in the range of 10 MB to 1 GB per month (uploads and downloads combined). Per MB charges range from about 2 cents to 30 cents, depending on the plan. In preparation for my switch to volume-based internet useage, I downloaded SurplusMeter. Clearly from my usage so far, things like large email attachments and podcast downloads will be out of the question on the USB modem. I'm stocking up on podcasts right now at the hotel while I have this fast and already paid-for internet connection.

That reminds me that I should be searching for literature right now because pdfs start to add up in the MBs as well. Better stop blogging and start working.

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