Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Communication from Belize with the outside world can sometimes be tricky. It is easy and not crazy expensive to buy a prepaid cell phone that is useful when communicating within the country. To make calls to the states with this prepaid phone is a different story. When Sean was here before I was, we got quite used to his Jungle Phone. It would cut out as it pleased and cost about .40 cents per minute. It is certainly not the most practical of all phone plans. In my research, I found that one of the 2 cable companies in Belize offers VOIP. So we bought cable service through them, and I brought along a Magic Jack from the states. I arrived in Dangria on Thursday before Good Friday. I was able to activate my Magic Jack instantly and also able to get a phone number from the Pittsburgh area. My friends and family are able to call me 3000 miles away in Belize with a number that acts like it's just down the street! No long distance charges. No international calling plans. No problem.
As I said, I arrived just before the long holiday weekend, most stores were closed through Monday for Easter. I was able to find ONE home phone for sale to use with my Magic Jack. It was some type of office phone with many more buttons and lines than I needed, but hey...it was a phone with a wall cord. I needed a phone with a wall cord to make calls with my Magic Jack. I bought it and brought it home and plugged it into the Magic Jack. The dag gum thing was stuck on speaker phone and conference call! I was able to use it to call out to the states, but when an incoming call came in, the caller was prompted to enter the conference code. I didn't have a conference code. Grrr.
Today the town opened back up and I was able to purchase the set of phones you see above. I plugged them into my Magic Jack, and magically...the phone now works both ways! In a former life, I was a 911 dispatcher. As a 911 dispatcher, I was opposed to Magic Jack, Vonage, and any VOIP phones. When you purchase these systems to use in the states, you should always call your local Emergency Management Agency's NON EMERGENCY number and notify them of your address. VOIP can be tough for a dispatcher to trace, and if you need help and can't give your address...well...Just call ahead (when you're fine and don't need help) and give the address so it can be noted in the system.
The ease of this Magic Jack has changed my tune. Now...I'm singing happy Magic Jack songs! lol My internet has been pretty reliable, so my phone should be as well. In an emergency situation, I will still have The Jungle Phone. But for affordability and reliability if you're coming to Belize for any length of time...Bring a Magic Jack!
More soon...Here's a pic of the fishing boats in the canal this morning for you to enjoy today!