Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The runaround

*sigh* I have no idea yet when I'll be able to leave the city, head
for Nyota, and begin field work. The best case scenario is probably
Sunday. I sailed through step 1 without problems but there are 4 more
steps that must happen before I can begin my research. I'm part way
through step 2 and step 3 simultaneously, but 3 can't be done before 2
is finished. There's a slim possibility that step 2 will be finished
tomorrow, but Friday is more likely :-(

If step 2 doesn't finish until Friday, then I'll have to stay at least
until Tuesday or Wednesday because steps 3 and 4 can only happen on a
business day. GAH!

I knew this might happen. Sam mentally prepared for it last year. At
least the hostel where I'm staying it relatively convenient to do all
of this running around.

I've got plenty to do while I wait. Today I started private language
tutoring classes for 1-2 hours every weekday until I leave the city. I
also have lots of reading and writing to do. I STILL haven't submitted
the grant that my prelim proposal was written for. I very much
intended to finish it before I left but everything took longer than I
thought it would. That seems to be a theme for me these days. I
suppose I should start being exceedingly pessimistic in my estimates.

I may have also underestimated my internet needs. Yesterday I got my
3G USB modem working and signed up for 500 MB per month. My plan was
to use it for small things in the city but go to internet cafes for
sending or receiving large attachments. But, connecting my own laptop
at an internet cafe can be far more difficult (or expensive) than you
expect. The transfer rate can also be agonizingly slow. I tried to
send an attachment to Leo tonight and it failed to finish before the
cafe closed so I ended up sending it over 3G anyways. That combined
with checking my bank account online and sending & receiving a few
other emails used 8.5 MB in only 20 minutes. And really, I need to
reserve most of the volume for when I'm at Nyota with few other
internet options. Maybe I should sign up for an unlimited 3G plan with
another provider while I'm in the city and save the remaining 16 MB/
day for Nyota. If I have to be here for another week it may be worth it.

Somewhat unexpectedly, I haven't made any traveling friends yet. This
is probably a record for my longest time traveling alone (I wrote
about traveling alone last year). I haven't yet walked out of this
hostel to go anywhere with anyone else this year. Thankfully, I also
seem to attract fewer guys who want to be my friend and talk my ear
off so walking alone isn't so bad. I did run into some Canadians who I
met when I stayed here last year, but I've only really seen them at
meals at the hostel. It's kind of lonely. It sure was awesome to have
Helen around last year. I could really use someone to talk about my
research with.

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