Monday, August 14, 2017

The Unsuccessful Journey

The WiFi transmitter notorious for breaking down so often did the same this month. The tower located at the roof of government in school in Khalte, Patle, Dhading Besi showed problems and there was no internet signal being transmitted to the other side of the hills. The project initiated by Himalayan Children Charities Nepal to connect rural schools to internet have been benefiting many schools of Dhading region of central Nepal allowing them to surf the internet and enabling information technology for learning.

Author on the way to the WiFi tower
Being a project coordinator, it was my responsibility to fix it so that thousands of students studying in other side of the hills will have WiFi signals. Hence, along with Suryaraj Timsina - IT Manager at Deerwalk Institute of Technology packed our gears and headed to the wonderland as we had never been there earlier. The bus from the Western Outlet of Kathmandu dropped us to the district head quarter of Dhading. After consulting the locals and numerous phone calls, we started our hike to Patle with no estimation when we will reach there.
Suryaraj fixing the transmitter

We walked along the green hills with the river whistling beneath it. Every now and then, there occurred green paddy fields with women pulling out the weeds. The environment was silent and completely natural. We could hear insects cricking, wind whistling and birds chirping. There was no disturbance except for the walking sounds made by our foot. This calm hike suddenly turned into adventure when the clouds above us decide to shoot us with the heavy downpours. The rain was so hard that our umbrella could not block it and was successful in giving us a on clothe bath. After walking through the rains and climbing hills for about 3 hours, we reached the roof where the tower was fixed.

Suryaraj with good knowledge of networking started to check the router, transmitter and receiver. The problem was hard to detect and the weather did not favor. The wind started to blow more strongly and rain started to come down more heavily. There was no option rather than to abandon and take shelter in some place to spend the night. Our first plan to return on the same day got flopped.

The night when the whole country was drowning in flood, we were drowning in our tent. All our bag packs, quilts and mattresses were soaked with rain water making it impossible for us to sleep even after the tiring day's walk. We hoped for the rooster to give signal that the dawn was beginning. Finally, it arrived with goats bleating and crows crowing. Still, it was drizzling but we had to sort out the problem and head towards the capital city that day as my colleague had his office next day and I had to prepare for exam. We fiddle with all the equipment, yet the device was not communicating with the device in next hill located some 20 kilometers away. It was already mid day when we figured out that the transmitter had some physical problem, we packed up our equipment to come back another day.

We walked downhills for two hours and rode back to the capital city with two unsuccessful experience. Firstly, not making home on the same day and next failure to provide signal to all those students eagerly waiting to connect to internet. While going to bed in my room, I prayed and apologized for postponing students dream of using internet to the almighty.

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