Keeping In Touch

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – The days of waiting months for the slow boat to round the Horn with the mail are gone. We have cell phones now, so the main obstacle to communicating with someone on another continent is the time difference.

There are Time Converter websites, and Time Clock apps, if you can’t do the math about the GMT + or -. No point in calling someone in the middle of their sleepy time. So know that first. I live in Arkansas, smack in the Central Time Zone along with Chicago, and Houston. When we get to Kenya, and Tanzania, we’ll be on the same time as Moscow, and Madagascar. In Frankfurt, and Zurich, where we change planes, we’ll be in sync with Rome, and when in Iceland, well, it’s all too confusing, the way the powers-that-be have set it up with those crooked lines. Just Google it.

And then there’s the matter of Country Calling Codes. Yes, there is an International Telecommunication Union (the ITU) and member countries are assigned their own special number. The USA is #1. Remember that. Kenya is 254, Tanzania is 255, and Iceland is 354. You have to get through to the country before dialing the number of the place within the country. But oh, you have to dial OUT of the country you’re in before you can even do that. That number is 011. So, calling from the US to our hotel in Nairobi is 011-254-732124000. Or let your Android app figure it out.

Lastly, it’s wise to know how to contact the U S Embassy in other countries, in case of some horrid disaster or unpredictable event when you can’t get through to us at all. Like maybe another volcano erupting in Iceland, only this time really HUGE, like the Mt St Helen’s blow-up in 1980 just as we were moving to Seattle.

The US Department of State likes to look after its citizens when they travel; we’re registered with our Embassy in each of the three countries we’re visiting – they know when to expect us, are available to help us with any difficulties we may experience while there, and know how to get in touch with our family should the need arise.

  • KENYA: U.S. Embassy Nairobi, United Nations Avenue Nairobi, P. O. Box 606 Village Market, 00621 Nairobi, Kenya, 254 20 363-6000
  • TANZANIA:  U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 255-22-229-4000
  • ICELAND:  U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, Laufásvegur 21, 101 Reykjavík, 354 595 2200.

There you have it, we’re only a phone call away. Just don’t wake me up, please.