Angola Offline & Sly’s Sick – Luanda – Day 16

So first of all, I have now been in Angola for just on 2 weeks, and I’m still in the honeymoon phase! 🙂 The appeal is still here and I am still getting to grips with the place, so I can’t complain, and I’m not particularly missing home, or Cape Town for that matter. Not yet that is! haha

Day 14 - Robots

How to f*ck up traffic! 🙂 (They usually direct from above the portable podium)

So at around 12h we suddenly lost Internet connectivity. Well, it just stopped responding. I noticed because mail wasn’t working. As I am a “contractor” at BP I only have access to the Internet connection. Not the local network. Sly and the other guys have BP logins so they sit on the local network. So I connect directly to the DD mail server via the web, and use RPC over HTTPS, which works really well actually. I have connectivity issues every now and again, but it usually resolves itself after a while. Typically when we have mail issues everything else works fine, but this time everything was down. My mail and all Internet access too. We thought it might have been an Angola Telecom issue internally, but then when we realised that BP’s main link from Luanda to the UK had dropped too we called up Angola Telecom to find out what was wrong. Well, they were as much in the dark as we were. About an hour later we got a response that it was the SAT3 Connection that was down. The SAT3 is a fibre cable that runs under the sea on the sea bed from Cape Town in South Africa right up the West Coast of Africa and terminates in both Chipiona, Spain and Sesimbra in Portugal. A few countries on the West Coast make use of this cable. One of them being Angola. So our connection to the SAT3 was down. It was unlikely that the actual SAT3 itself was damaged, more likely our connection to the peering point in Angola was damaged. Everything was down. Most calls in and out of the country, all data comms in and out of Angola, and the weird thing was that even the internal calling within the mobile networks seemed to be affected too, which was just plain weird! But really suprising I guess. 🙂

At about 14h we finally got an update that the cable from Angola Telecoms to the Peering Point had been damaged. Someone had put a hole through it, which is apparently a very common occurrence over here I was told. With all the construction going on everywhere it was bound to happen at some stage or another.  I was informed by Maria that we should connectivity at our house, as SRC used satelllite for most of the their comms, and there wasn’t actually a hell of a lot I could do here now, with mail down, so I decided to go continue working from home. We did have comms at the house, which was great.

James McCormack arrived in Luanda that day, along with Bruno, Bruno’s wife, and Neda. They were a few of the crew from DD JHB who were up here to check out the terrain. I got a call around 15h or so from James in a bit of a panic. The place they had been recommended to was crap. So, they wanted to come have a gander at our place. Well, our place ain’t a hell of lot either. In fact at this stage, all 3 downstairs room’s aircon’s were on the blink. The one had been working and a company came in to service them, and when they left, none of them left. I had been on Hugo’s case about it for about a week already, yet nothing had happened. I had explained this on the phone, but they still wanted to come have a look.

Now, our place ain’t exactly the Ritz. It is a split level house, and we occupy the 1st floor, which is separate from the ground floor in the fact that it doesn’t actually have stairs inside the house. The access is via a flights of steps on the outside of the building, so the ground floor is pretty much a separate entity. We don’t actually use the downstairs at all. The ladies use it because the washing machine is there and they do the ironing in one of the rooms too, and the Driver and Security Guard pretty much chill out there too, as there is a TV in the one room, but that aside, it’s pretty sparse. There is a lounge suite and a dining room table, but that’s about it. The rooms and bathrooms are pretty dilapidated, as they aren’t used much It is very reminiscent of what a 60’s East Coast Holiday Home might look like now if it hadn’t been used much since being built.

So anyway, James and the clan pulled through, and they weren’t at all impressed I can tell you that. 🙂 The fact that the aircons don’t work either wasn’t even a factor. But they did a load of biltona nd droewors from JHB International, and that was definitely appreciated and well received. Well, after a few calls we managed to get hold of Jose from SRC, who hooked them up the first time, and now managed to hook them up again with another place to stay and they left to go check that out. Sly arrived home just after 18h, and told me the link had now come back up. Man, it was down for like 6-7 hours. Pretty rough. The amazing thing is that they don’t even have a redundant connection to the peering point, or if they do, it wasn’t working.

Sly wasn’t feeling too well, so he  went straight to bed when he got home. Now that boy can sleep, that’s for sure, but this was different. I checked on him later and he was telling me he wasn’t feeling at all well. He had a headache, was just really tired, and his joints were sore. Well, that to me says one thing . . . MALARIA! Especially here in the tropics where it is absolutely rife. I called up the BP Doctor, Sly has a BP card, and was referred to the local SOS doctor. I gave him a call and he sounded like a bit of a twat. Was quite brisk with me, and suggested I bring him in in the morning. So off to the doc tomorrow I guess.



Easy Going Guy 😉