No WiFi, Little Notes and Fun Stories

Carly Baldwin
Majors: Early Childhood Professional & Spanish
Education, Service, and International Development in Nepal,
Summer I, 2018

Before going abroad, I made sure to contact my phone provider to update them on my whereabouts for the time I was going to be abroad. Although I did this, it was mostly for safety reasons for the unlikely case that I would have to use data for something.  Other than that, I have kept my phone on airplane mode since arriving in Nepal.  I have relied on the spotty WiFi to keep in contact with my family and friends to let them know that I am, in fact, still alive.

Image: This is a group of us being social with each other as opposed to the media…

I think usually when people (including myself) go abroad, wherever they stay has WiFi.  This study abroad has been a little different because we’ve had eight days of trekking the Mardi Himal path of the Himalayas where there has been WiFi that has maybe worked or no WiFi at all.  In order to keep my American people from freaking out about my safety during this time, I told them well in advance that I would not be able to contact them for multiple days.  Even if we hadn’t been trekking for eight days, I still would have let my family and friends know that communication would be slim to none.  Yes, it’s nice to update people on experiences abroad and check in, but it is also nice to have a break from all social media, communication, and the dependence on WiFi and phones in general.  To go along with that, once being back in the states, there will be time to reconnect with family and friends to chat about the study abroad.

Image: This was our first hang out spot next to our “hotel” on the trek… The Fishtail Hotel

One thing I tend to do while abroad without WiFi is type notes on my phone about topics I want to talk about with certain people.  For example, while I was packing for my trip I was really debating taking my shiny star stickers, so I asked my friend if I should pack them and she said no.  Fast forward to the first day of no WiFi: we were playing cards and someone said they wanted stars next to the person’s name who won each round.  I verbally yelled, “Dang it, Jeane!” This, as you could imagine, sparked confusion and concern in everyone’s eyes, which welcomed my story of the shiny star stickers and the first note I put in my phone on the trek.  When I finally had WiFi I was able to text that story to my friend.  Leaving notes for myself don’t always include a way to guilt people, but it’s nice to remember the important things.


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