Friday 13 June 2014

Fifteen Miles to Electricity

The broadband at Yateley Baptist hasn't been working very well for the last couple of months.  It broke down, stayed down for a fortnight or so, got fixed, stayed working for two or three weeks, and then broke down again - and it's been down for about three weeks now.  An engineer's coming on Tuesday.

Not very helpful when you've got sermon recordings to upload, or if you'd been planning to screen World Cup matches with free food as a getting-to-know-people-in-the-community exercise, and the screening was going to be done via the web.

However, I had an email last night which offers a timely dose of perspective:

I've recently been helping to prepare some booklets for printing, on behalf of YBC's missionary Ian, who makes radio programmes in French (mainly for broadcast into Francophone Africa) and writes up summaries of the teaching in booklet form.  It's an interesting exercise when I barely speak a word of French, although I can sometimes trace a few words back through their Greek or Latin roots and get some idea of what a sentence might be saying.  But the latest instalment gets even more interesting - it's not the French version (already published), but a translation into Lobiri.  I think I might have heard the name once or twice before the book turned up, but I've got to admit I haven't even got round to Googling it to find out what part of Africa it comes from!  The script uses some Latin characters, but also several others that don't appear in English and don't look much like Greek or Cyrillic, so I can't even guess at what's being said - I have to take it on trust that it's a straight translation of Ian's writing and doesn't contain any raving heresies.

I've been sent the translation in PDF format and it's proving difficult to transfer back into Word for processing, so I've asked if I could have a .doc version.  Then the reply came back, and this is where I return to my original point: apparently my request should be possible - except it might take a while, because the guy who translated the book into Lobiri doesn't have electricity.  The nearest town with electricity - never mind the Internet, just basic electricity - is at the other end of 25km's (or 15 miles') worth of dirt tracks.

Which makes my little gripe with BT Broadband seem a bit puny, doesn't it?

- The Colclough

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