We're staring down the pike at an impending phone strike here in Belize. What that means is not only no phone service, but also no cell phone service, no long distance to the U.S. or the rest of the world, no internet or email, for however long it takes for the Communication Worker's Union to settle with BTL (the local phone company) which is short for Belize Telecommunications Limited or Beggars, Theives and Liars, depending on which side of the fence you're standing on. So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why. The last strike in May 2005 snowballed into a general strike with many of the unions in Belize in solidarity, and then that snowballed into rioting in Belmopan, police special units in riot gear, the Dragon Unit being called in, troops, etc. etc.
I don't blame the people on strike, they have legitimate grievances against the company (BTL). No one wants to strike and lose pay, but sometimes its the only way.
What this also means is no electronic transactions, like credit card processing. So on the day-to-day level, we have to resort to knuckle busting charges manually, and saying hail mary's when we are eventually able to put the charges through, key entered, weeks later.
The last time this happened I swore I would get a satellite system, but time dulls all memories, even of the sharp pain in the pocketbook.