On Monday, because the Internet connection at Sera’s was unusable due to its slowness, I was looking forward to using the school’s network. However, it was not to be.

The school’s setup is a bit complicated – not to say ad hoc or chaotic: there are a number of small wireless networks – the IT Lab is one of these – all connected to the Internet via a central router; and it was the connections from some of these to the router that were out of action. I spent some time trying to get my head round the various peculiarities of the topology and eventually tracked down the problem to a tangle of cables that had been attacked by mice. Today, Tuesday, we got technical support from an IT company who replaced some of the cables and we’re up and running again, though how long the mice will be kept at bay is an open question: if they’d confine their efforts to the mains cables then the damage would probably be self-limiting as the mice would electrocute themselves: though there would no doubt be a fire hazard.

When I was in Deniyaya a few days back, Palith the guide said he saw signs that the weather would break in the next few days – for all I know, he might not have been relying on traditional weather-lore and had simply looked up a weather website. Whatever his basis for this comment, he may have been right as the heavens opened about midday today and thunderous rain has since been the order of the day. I hope it doesn’t develop into the sort of weather we had a week or two back as the rained-off visit to Madol Duwa has been rescheduled for this coming Friday: keep your fingers crossed for me. Nah, don’t bother: I don’t suppose that will have any impact at all on meteorological conditions thousands of miles from where you probably are.

This evening’s lesson with Venushka covered Mail Merge with Word & Excel, along with columns, inserting text boxes and pictures in Word, and simple formulae in Excel. We didn’t get round to Powerpoint as I called a halt after about an hour and a half: that’s going to happen on Thursday evening. The lad is attending an IT evening class but has missed a couple of sessions due to family commitments: he seems genuinely interested and from time to time a broad grin of pleasure and or satisfaction spreads across his face when something works well. I’m not being totally altruistic giving these lessons as an evening in my room, especially without useable Internet access, can be a bit tedious. He realised how slow the connection in the kitchen / apartments is when trying to download some stuff: his father has said he ordered more data capacity, but you really wouldn’t know it as it takes ages to log onto a page or download something.

I’m looking ahead to the mid-term holiday, 22nd – 26th Feb. My original thought was a couple of nights in Tissamaharama and a visit to Bundala National Park to commune with elephants (there’s an “elephant transit camp”) and see lots of interesting birds, but it looks as though my chosen hotel – Lake View Cottage – is already booked up. I also fancy a night or two in Tangalle, but that’s a bit further from Bundala NP, so I can’t really decide. Maybe Lake View Cottage would have rooms not available through, but I’d need to commit myself now and I’d rather hang on to see weather etc. nearer the time.

Not much inspiration tonight: I almost fell back on complaining about tuk-tuk drivers but if you followed this stuff last year you’ll have had your fill of that.




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