Saturday, April 04, 2009

Different Worlds

There’s nothing like stepping out of one world and into another to make you realize just how different they can be from each other. We're very aware of the differences right now since we're still rather fresh in Canada.

For example, in Africa, pedestrians essentially have no rights once they step off a sidewalk. Streets are for cars. Everything else has to fend for itself. Crossing a street consists of 4 very important, ordered activities:

1. Stop
2. Look
3. Listen
4. Dodge traffic (this may mean run across the street, even though mom taught you not to)

In Canada, pedestrians (and animals) have the right of way on both the sidewalk and the street. This is a nice change from the 007-type maneuvers described above, but when you're not used to it, it can be a bit unnerving when cars stop for you for what seems to be no apparent reason. After a few awkward moments, you figure out YOU’RE the reason they stopped and you skidaddle cross the street asap all the while feeling like you should salute or something.

Another difference between our worlds is internet speed. I noticed the upload speed in Edmonton the other day was 50-60 kb/sec. That’s nothing short of wonderful. On our bush satellite system, upload "speeds" start at 20-30 kb/sec then quickly drop to 6-7 (on a good day) or to1-2. Sometimes we even have “no speed” days.

(One of our guards, proudly displaying his cell phone.)

Even our cell phone coverage has its hiccups, though we shouldn't complain since we waited so long to get it in the first place. Many of our attempts at calls out don't make it past “Network busy” or “Try again”.

But necessity is the mother of invention and the work-around for the poor reception problem is to make your calls from higher ground. Like this:

Wow, dizzying height...
Or this:

(Nat phoning the airline to track down lost luggage.)

Although the location below is a super-good reception spot, it’s about a 10 minute walk from our house. Great for one's health but it makes you think twice about how important that call is.

Onto news...
Guinea fowl project: We did a pilot project on the side with the guinea fowl we recently bought in for distribution. Since it was laying season, we collected their eggs and put them under this broody little hen since they're better "hatchers" than guinea fowl hens. Conditions weren’t optimal this time around, what with our learning curve and all, so our hatch rate was only 3 out of 10, survival rate 2 out of 10--but even so, I’m very impressed that we have these two little guinea fowl chicks, keets as they're called! (Photo compliments of Heather)

On the road again: This week we will be putting on some miles traveling north to visit supporting churches and people in Grande Prairie, Manning, Carrot Creek, etc.

Below: getting photos ready for our display board. Fun job ☺

Snow along the highway in Alberta.

I'll close this post off with a recent photo of us with a niece (Kim) and grand-niece (Cora). 

I've got to run for now, but until next time, I'll be enjoying that speed. And we'll do our best to try to remember to stop for pedestrians matter where they be!


Russoft said...

2/10 seems like a pretty terrible survival rate to me.

Penny said...

Nice post. Looking forward to more!