PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — One of our challenges in trying to report from earthquake-stricken Haiti is the frequent lack of electrical power to supply laptop, cell phone and camera batteries. And Internet access to transmit stories and photos is also hard to come by.

What is working with some regularity is e-mail and text service on my BlackBerry World Edition. At times when Internet access is spotty or out completely, I've used the phone's mini-keypad to compose stories.

During one midweek 24-hour period, I typed up and transmitted three major stories for the Deseret News from the BlackBerry. Other times, I've had to call the newsroom to dictate reports over the phone.

Given the portability and accessibility of the cell phone and its service, we'll continue to send little notes and tidbits — and call them "BlackBerry Bytes From Haiti."

That's not a mouse

At the home/guesthouse/property where the LDS Church-sponsored volunteer doctors and nurses are staying, some watched one of the many roosters on site chase down and gobble up a mouse on the driveway.

So the group was thinking the same scene was repeating Saturday morning — until they realized it wasn't a mouse under attack but rather a large tarantula.

Grabbing their cameras, the volunteers enjoyed following the hairy spider — about the size of a man's hand. As interest waned, the spider took refuge among the some of the group's bags and packs in a covered area where several have also been sleeping at night.

One of the volunteers soon cajoled the tarantula onto the end of a PVC pipe and flicked him over the compound's fence.

e-mail: taylor@desnews.com