i have a friend who is going to ethiopia for 3 months. her flight leaves in a week or maybe 10 days and she will be living in the capitol, Addis Ababa. from what i understand she will be working (volunteering) at a school somewhere outside the city.
how can she most easily (tech-wise) and cost effectively stay connected to her friends and family in the states (plus probably iran) via mobile phone and email while there?
and yes, calling cards may work, but she specifically wants to have a mobile phone while there - for emergencies or even for when it might be particularly useful to have one.
should she get her phone (and/or service) here in the states? or in ethiopia?
ive tried some obvious google
searches, but couldnt come away with enough knowledge to give my friend any helpful information (not regarding mobile phones, anyway).
she has mobile service here with at&t, and sorry i dont know the details, but she says she spoke with them and it is way way expensive to use them in ethiopia.
also, she would like to have email/internet access somehow. she will be taking her laptop, though i havent much idea how available net access will be. google seems to suggest that there are plenty of net cafes and whatnot. is this correct? is it pretty easy to find one? are there neighborhoods or shopping centers that might be more likely to have them? (she will likely be taking taxis around the city, unless she finds some way to rent a car.)
my friend is a lady in her 50s. she is not at all
tech savvy, and any option she uses would have to pretty much work already, without her having to fiddle with it much at all, other than perhaps a simple activation or something.
so again, if my explanation was a little muddy:
1. should my friend obtain mobile phone service before she leaves or when she gets there? and from whom? and
2. tips/suggestions on locating/using internet cafes in Addis Ababa, and will having her (xp or vista) laptop simplify internet access for her?