Life Solomon Islands

Game of Patience

July 18, 2017

Using the internet here is a constant test of patience and determination.

It is painfully slow to the point that it should be considered a human rights violation in this day and age.

This means no Netflix, no Spotify, and YouTube that buffers every 2 seconds into the clip.

Even updating the blog is a process. Whittling down images to a hair above looking like some pixelated landscape from Minecraft, transferring onto a USB stick for Nid to upload using the WiFi at work, then instructing Nid, who is barely computer literate, over the phone how to WordPress. We’ve never been closer.

The main way to internets here is by using phone data or WiFi at work, which are both so slow it’s admirable unless you’re using it when the nation is sleeping.

There are only two competing phone and internet companies here – Vodafone and Telekom. This duopoly and the lack of infrastructure means that we are forced to spend SBD 100 for a 1.5GB data plan which expires after 14 days. Not that we’ve ever lasted that long before running out.

Nid is fortunate enough that he has access to WiFi at work so that his umbilical cord is not entirely severed. The bedtime routine after teeth-brushing time is relaying the choice Reddit news so that I am also able to retain the sliver of sanity I still have.

Needless to say, fibre is unheard of on these islands unless you’re talking about a healthy diet, and home WiFi only an option for those who can dish out NZD 400 per month.

Because we are smart, we planned far in advance for this and brought with us a library that will last us the duration of our contract.

But even smart planning wasn’t going to change the fact that we didn’t have Game of Thrones, Season 7 as HBO decided to air it after we arrived. Thanks a lot HBO for not considering us when planning your release date.

Nevertheless, a serendipitous meeting at a local establishment led us to meet a guy, who knows a guy, who has a USB stick, that does the rounds every Tuesday morning to anyone who wants it.


One day later than the rest of the world but at least we garem!

  1. Reply

    Beate Lauterbach

    August 16, 2017

    I had a wonderful morning in bed with a cup of tea reading your blogs. And haven’t managed all of them, so there will be another morning. Soooo funny and delightful and interesting too.
    The language, I mean the Pijin is fantastic!!!! But your writing too. It’s great and you should make a book, get it published. It is so professionally done! With lovely photos. It’s great to take part in your adventure and I’m looking forward to read more and really learn about the Solomons!
    Thanks a million!
    Wish you all the best! Hope your courage gets really rewarded. Lots of love!

    • Reply


      August 16, 2017

      Aw shucks – thanks Beate. Your comment has really made our morning. I was actually thinking about you yesterday – I was eyeing up the green tomatoes at the market and I think I will try making Beate’s Green Tomato chutney but adapting it to ingredients you can find in the Sollies. Will keep you updated. Thank you for reading, Beate!