This morning, I have run out of internet. I am not sure how internet services work for those of you who read our blog, but here in Kenya, we buy 'bundles.'
For example, if I need internet, I must first buy airtime for my phone. The cool thing is that putting credit/money on our phones is easy! Many Kenyans do banking on their phones instead if in banks. In fact, we have a couple of friends who donate directly to our phones through an app called wave. It literally comes instantly, and it sits in an app waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I can grocery shop with it in town, and even dine out and pay using my phone. It is called mpesa, and it basically acts like a wallet on your phone. It is used everywhere in Kenya, even in the most remote village, and I can almost live a 'cashless' life!
Now on to internet... If I need internet, I have to make sure I have airtime. If I don't, I can use the money I have in mpesa to buy airtime. It is just a click of a few buttons. Then, I type in a code and a menu comes up with 'bundle' options. I can get 12 GB that are available for a month for $30, or if I want 1GB of data for $1, I can select that option, but it only lasts 24 hours. Another option is a seven day bundle for $10 that gives me 10 GB. After seven days, you lose whatever you don't use. So basically, we can get different packages that work for what we need.
We have a hot spot device, my cell phone, Johnny's cell phone, Makena, Butterfly, Emma, and Eowyn's cell phones. We use our phones as 'hotspots' in the house. My phone gets used most. We do home education online part of the day (not all), and in the end, we can spend probably $80-$150 on internet and airtime in a month. The nice thing is that our phones are OURS. We do not have cell phone 'plans' or contracts. We prepay as we go along and get credit when we can afford to.
Obviously, in our case, since we rely upon donations from folks like you, we must have access to internet. Otherwise, we cannot communicate with our friends and family!
So this morning, I am up early, still in my PJ's, typing on my laptop using Evernote while sitting by the fire, listening to birds chirp outside. It is amazing what apps do NOT work without internet access! WOW! My computer is almost useless without it. I miss 'plug n play.' Do you guys remember those days? Back in the 90's, I think, windows had drivers in its programming so that you just had to plug your new device such as a printer into your computer and voila! It would automatically set up the drivers for it. Now, one must have connections to the internet. It is not always a possibility in our house, like now.
Well, my fire is almost burned out in the fireplace, and the sun has finally risen enough that I can blow out my candles.
Good morning from The Shire. This will get posted after I find a way to buy more internet credit!