Long-time shortwave

Nov 1, 2008

Erin and I finally got around to cleaning our spare bedroom, which serves as a home office and all-around cybercafe. Erin’s law school books and bar exam prep are boxed and archived, my piles of magazines are culled, and Anna has a desk of her own so she can do her homework.

Radio Shack DX-392 shortwave radio I reached into the closet to rearrange the stuff stored there, and pulled out the Radio Shack DX-392 shortwave radio that’s been on the shelf next to the oboe I haven’t played since college. This is the radio that kept me informed all those nights on Paama when I settled into the sling chair, adjusted the small electric solar-powered fan on my face, and sipped tea or a glass of port (previously blogged here).

I’d gotten this radio from a Peace Corps Volunteer who lived on Epi, the island just south of Paama. He’d chosen to end his service early, but the Lamen Bay airstrip was flooded from cyclone rains, and so Noel (my ni-Vanuatu brother, a fisherman) and I motored over to Epi to retrieve the volunteer. He wanted to go back to the States lightly, so I bought his Teva sandals and shortwave radio.

The radio hasn’t worked since it got banged up in the shipping home from Vanuatu nearly 10 years ago, but I haven’t had the heart to discard it.

A couple of times I’ve thought about sending it off to get repaired, but didn’t think it worth the cost, considering that the World Wide Web can give me access to news from around the world. Maybe I should fix it myself, I reckoned today. So I pulled out a screwdriver, took the radio apart, tightened one loose piece, screwed it back together and plugged it in.

It works! And now it’s on the desk in between two internet-connected computers and beneath a picture of our three favorite girls from Paama.

Anton Zuiker

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