I spent the last 6 hours trying to get a single line out to Joburg. I’ve been taken to the most ridiculous places to hunt down reception. Try finding something you can’t see. Bloody impossible.
I was trying to call Darren, my bureau chief and I needed the SAT phone at the Standard. Wayne Mudekwa, the editor, helped me track down some reception outside. We hit all the usual spots he uses – the roof, a small hill on the back lot, the empty parking lot across the road, standing on the lunch room table. Nothing worked.
So we decided to head out to the large hill a kilometre north of the Standard. Once up top, we picked up a slight signal that flowed in and out. We were so close but couldn’t get any higher. Wayne suggested I climb his shoulders, so I did just that.
Now I’m not a big man I assure you, but Wayne wobbled around as if he carried the world on his back. But it worked. We had a signal. I quickly dialled and soon heard Darren’s voice far off in South Africa. I managed one word (“Darren!” ) before Wayne’s knees buckled and we crashed to the ground.
And that was the end of it. We never got the signal again. I had to write a quick email to Darren explaining that I hadn’t been attacked mid-call. We’ll try again later.