Kenya and Tanzania - and Dubai - Fall 2015 travel blog


When we returned from the Canadian Maritime Provinces in the motor home at the end of August, we knew we had some things to repair. One of the slide walls had stopped coming in and out and the dashboard A/C was cool, but not cold. We’d replaced the washer/dryer before we left, but did not finish the to-do list at home. The emerald ash borer has been wreaking havoc on the ash trees in northern Illinois and the lovely tree that stood less than a foot from our deck and finally was big enough to provide shade was clearly ailing. Our health insurance does not cover the routine issues that geezers of a certain age need to monitor and check when we are on the road, so some doctor’s visits were on the calendar. But little did we anticipate that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Shortly before the visit from the tree removal service, a huge bolt of lightening struck nearby in the middle of the night, so loud we levitated off the mattress. Our neighbor lost a number of his appliances and the lightening had melted the wiring in his garage door opener. For us it destroyed the connection between the kitchen TV and the antenna in the attic - easily replaced and the DVR. Ken had been wanting a new DVR with a smaller profile and other more modern features, but his heart was broken when he thought about the thousands of hours of carefully curated recorded entertainment that had been lost. Since we are required to rent the DVR from Direct TV, we spent countless hours talking to folks in India, trying to get the DVR replaced with the newer model. Every time we called, we got a different person in a different part of the world, even when we got to the supervisory level. They sent us two old style DVR’s before we finally encountered a competent person who knew what we needed and how to get it to us. Two weeks went by.

Our frustration during the long wait for the new DVR was tempered by the fact that we could stream some of the series and films we had missed while we were in Canada. Then the tree removal crew arrived and pulverized the wire bringing internet to our house while they were pulverizing the tree roots. No streaming, no phone service. We got an appointment to get this repaired the next day, but when the technician did not show up, we wended our way through yet another bureaucracy starting with the hard-to-understand residents of India and working our way up to supervisors, waiting four long days for a new line to be strung.

Then we headed to the factory in Indiana where our motor home was built to get the slide and A/C repaired. Many RV’s in the Elkhart area are built by the Amish. Harder working and more honest folks cannot be found. They like to start work at 6am (5am our time) and get off at 2pm, so they have some daylight to work on their farms. Bad experiences at other repair facilities had me grumbling that they better show up at 6am, if they were going to get us up so early. It was pitch black at 6:05 when the Amish gentleman knocked on our door and backed our motor home into the repair facility. We had a Rogue wif-fi extender antenna on our roof. Ken put it at an angle so it would tip over if he accidentally ran into an overhang at a gas station. But backing up snapped the antenna off. Another thing to fix.

The slide repair took all day, but the A/C tech could not get to us until the next day. More waiting. When we got home our neighbor told us that a trenching crew from Direct TV had come to bury our newly installed internet line. But we had no internet once again. When we called the 800 number, a prerecorded announcement said there were numerous outages in their system and we would be back online in a few hours. It didn’t happen.

When Ken went outside to winterize the RV before we drove it to the parking lot, he noticed that we now had a flat tire. This was the same tire the Amish tech had to remove to repair the slide motor. Was there a connection? Motor home tires weigh as much as we do. We have no spare, because there is no way we could handle it. A call to emergency roadside service brought a tire technician to our home within the hour. He found a nail imbedded in the tread, repaired it and reinstalled the tire. The winterized RV is parked until we need it again after the holidays. We read about someone who had their motor home stolen from a storage lot similar to ours with gates and video monitoring. He had no idea where the two men who stole it had gone and neither did the police. A scary story. This lead us to purchase and attach a new gizmo that sends signals to satellites every time it is moved at two minute intervals. Now we will be able to keep at eye on our motor home even from Africa! The broken internet antenna- still broken.

Ken had a brainstorm and checked the connections on the internet cable outside that had been reconnected by the man who buried the wire. A little wiggling and we were back on line at last. And this gives me a chance to rant and rave about all the repairs. Still waiting for the technician who was supposed to reconnect us to the internet…..

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |