Sunday, September 1, 2013

Making due without internet at our new home

Monday, August 19, 2013
By Michael
            So Yulia and I don’t have internet at our new house yet. We want it (very badly), but the internet company that installs it is waiting on an order of antennas to arrive. Where we live the only option for quick internet is called “radio internet.” Radio internet works wherever there is a radio signal. An antenna catches the signal and receives and transmits information via that antenna. I may have very well made some factual errors in my explanation, but as far as I understand it, that’s how it works. Yulia’s sister had radio internet installed at their grandparents’ house for a short time, and it works very well—much quicker than our 3G modem that we use in the city (there’s no 3G coverage here). Anyway, we’ve been calling about internet since we arrived here, and they have not had antennas this whole time. Supposedly a shipment arrived at the end of last week. Who knows? Maybe we’ll actually have internet in the near future.
            Until we do have internet at our house, we will be relying on our 3G modem. We go to Yulia’s parents’ house in the city (L’viv) and use it whenever we are there. We were in L’viv over the weekend, in fact, and published our blog while we were there. So now whenever we go to the city we’ll be updating our blog. We will continue to write it while at our house and will record when we write each entry so that it takes the form of live journal, more or less.
            We also download movies, music, and reading material and bring it back with us to our house. We’ve watched some videos of Reggie Watts performing his music and downloaded the movie Before Sunrise. Yulia has introduced me to some great music by Regina Spektor. We also read the magazine The Ukrainian Week and copy and paste articles from the newspaper the Kyiv Post. Both have lots of great content written by excellent journalists. I consider them to be truly independent media that fairly cover the news. Along with Eкспрес, I think they are the best sources of news in Ukraine. It also helps that The Ukrainian Week and Kyiv Post are written in English. The Ukrainian Week is translated into English and the Kyiv Post is originally written in English.
This weekend Yulia and I also discovered several blogs by Peace Corps volunteers who work in Ukraine. We saved some of their blogs to our computer and have been reading them since coming back home. They are interesting to us because they are written by Americans, so their blogs are trans Atlantic by nature.  To a certain extent we share their perspective. Many things we have seen in Ukraine were a shock to Yulia and me—and it is comforting knowing they were a shock to others. We have read how Ukrainian birthday parties, with their emphasis on shots of vodka and heavy foods, are a harrowing experience for an outsider. Many bloggers will post survival tips (like riding on the train, for example) that are most helpful. Yulia and I have developed our own strategies, and it turns out that they correspond exactly with other people’s lessons. It’s nice knowing that there are kindred spirits out there.

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