Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Pirates Took Our Internet

Last week, the internet went out in Gaborone. I was told that the entire city was without internet because of a glitch in the main system. After word spread to the offices in the complex where I work, people started thinning out for the day. I was among those who decided to venture home.

I began my walk back towards my apartment right around the time when my mom usually logs online and we get a few moments to chat. The majority of our communication is done this way - over instant messenger and email. Without internet, however, I would not be able to log on so I shot her a text message so she wouldn't worry. A few minutes later, my phone rang. Mama Tina! How exciting to get to hear her voice and talk with her on my journey home.

The first thing she asked me when I reiterated that the internet was down across the city was "Does this have anything to do with the pirates?" I paused for a moment, trying to make sense of her question. And then it dawned on me...

During my first year in Botswana, the internet went down for an extended time. I chalked it up to life in Africa and didn't think much more of it. That is, until someone explained the outage to me:
"The pirates dropped their anchor off the coast of Kenya and it hit the undersea internet lines. We won't have internet back until those cables are repaired."
PIRATES?! You have to be kidding me?! We have to deal with pirates here?! This was almost too much for my brain to handle.

To me, pirates were only in movies or rides at Disney World. They weren't real. At least they had never played a role in my life before so I could imagine them as something of fantasy and fiction. And, honestly, it was pretty funny to think that pirates, with peg-legs and hooks (of course), were the ones who "stole my internet". Which is true. PIRATES! And a pirate ship no less! Anchor plop, bye bye internet.

They were not the thieves this time though.

But now pirates are a part of my story. And, it seems, a story that my mama has a great chuckle out of too.

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