Plumbers and Computer Experts / Yoani Sánchez

Image from the Internet
Image from the Internet

Everything was planned for weeks. We would escape far from the city, disabling our cellphones so State Security couldn’t track us, and have our first break in five years. Just as we were about to leave for our two-day vacation a pipe broke inside the wall and started to pour water on the neighbors below. “Bad sign,” said Reinaldo. We repaired the unfortunate leak and were ready to spend 48 hours far from keyboard, screen or mouse. We left on the run, before anything else unforeseen could happen… But bad news has a way to get to you in an almost telepathic way, parallel to the technological paths. When we’d had just one day to decompress from the daily stress, we learned that the entire site was out of service. In this case our skills as plumbers were of no use, because repairing a server is a far cry from fixing a leak.

We returned to the city blaming ourselves that our absence had been taken advantage of by some restless hacker to do something like this. Most distressing in these cases is the sensation that with a fairly efficient Internet connection I could have quickly fixed the situation myself. But reality contrasts with all the conspiracy theories that claim this blog has so many links to the “powerful” and “sophisticated.” When a simple technical problem presents itself, the rusticity and helplessness of this personal effort becomes clear. What these “conspiracy theorists” never take into account is the citizen solidarity that is put to the test in such cases. This is, without a doubt, my most precious capital and the most effective help I receive.

María, the English translator, called her friend Karen, a computer expert, and via email I sent the steps of what I thought might be the solution. Out out damn complication! As if it would not have been easier, from the beginning, to have hosted my blog on a national server and count on a domestic Internet connect that would allow me to repair it. But no. The lives of Cubans have always been more complicated. A portal with opinions different from those in the official media will never be able to have a “.cu” URL and my longed for vacation will have to wait for a better time.

What is sure is that GY has come back to life thanks to the work of many young citizens like me. It was not as easy as a broken pipe, but put the ingenuity and friendship of many to the test. Thank you!

14 July 2012