Fiber Optic Project Featured

We’ve discussed the fiber optic project which took place in Yaoundé this past February and March in our newsletters. This project was first discussed about two years ago. In many ways, it was just a start of a large project — although in some ways it felt like the end of a long journey as well.

This tells the story of that project from a different perspective, highlighted on the blog of JAARS, a partner organization who assisted us with the project. It highlights a long day of shopping when myself, a Cameroonian colleague, and our two visitors drove around Yaoundé looking for ground rods. Ultimately we were successful.

[They] were impressed by the persistence and creativity of the IT staff in solving problems. In the U.S. if you need a ground rod, you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and grab one. Not so in Yaoundé. The group had to go to four stores before they found the ground rods, and it was piecemeal. They found some parts at one store and some at another. But this never bothered the IT staff. “Their mentality is, ‘We will find a way to do this. We will fix it,’” Jordan recalled. “And it was a great joy to see.”

– from the JAARS blog

You can read their story here.

From a distance

As most people around the world have experienced over the past few years, working remotely has some distinct pros and cons. We are really thankful that we are able to continue our work from a distance, but there are a few challenges as well.

The family in Detroit, MI.

One of the main advantages of working from the USA is the difference in internet capabilities and consistency. We have ben able to do some tasks ten times as quickly which allows us to spend more time on other tasks that are needing attention. Another big plus is the quiet, at least for me (Shannon). I work really well in a quiet environment and while I love the varied noises that come with living in an urban rainforest and actually miss them, the relative quiet of a suburban home is conducive to a productive work day. Also, there are many conveniences available to make non-working life more productive which means that we have more time to devote to working.

Remote office

On the other hand, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a real struggle when working remotely. And while some tasks are done more efficiently, meetings with colleagues and collecting language data can take a lot more time from a distance. We definitely miss being able to chat at coffee break or pop in to ask a quick question before lunch.

When you have two homes, the hardest part of being at a distance is always being away from some of your loved ones. The flip side of that is that even from a distance, we are able to connect with family and friends, but it is makes the enjoyment of being together in person even greaterǃ