March 18, 2008
Still no Internet (it hasn’t been working for more than a week now), but I find it to be a blessing in disguise really. It’s true that I can’t call home, and I missed the Palm Sunday service, but those are really the only two disappointments. Now I read more, I ironed my clothes for tomorrow, did a ton of laundry, baked banana nut muffins, and wrote a few letters to people at home. I read Newsweek from a month ago, went to work on my day off (to get ready for our HIV/AIDS training) and spent more time just sitting and thinking. I needed a break. Unfortunately I doubt there will be any kind of financial compensation for my week without Internet, but who knows. I’m just hoping it’s working again by Sunday, as I would love to be able to listen to the Easter Sunday service on Skype. I have yet to go to an Internet café during this time because the thought of paying even more for Internet makes me a little angry. I’ve had a few moments at work on the computer, so I’m able to read any urgent emails. Goodness, what do people without Internet do?
I bailed on aerobics class last night even though I was dressed and walked all the way over there. There are just so many people coming now that it’s uncomfortable. You can hardly swing your arms or kick your legs without running into someone. I told myself I would go home and do my own workout (half thinking this would not happen) but on the way I stopped in a store to buy frozen veggies. When I couldn’t find them, I decided to walk to the big grocery store on the main road. There, as I was walking toward to entrance jabbing away on my cell phone, someone grabbed my arm. It was Luda, my star volunteer, who I hadn’t seen in over a week. We chatted for a while, both apologizing for not calling sooner, and she introduced me to her son. He looked at me with big eyes, listening to my funny accent and then dismissing me as less interesting than the automatic sliding glass doors.
After I decided to buy raspberry vinegar, a head of lettuce, frozen broccoli, carrots, and a tomato, I spent over ten dollars. I definitely spend a majority of my monthly allowance on food. This is the first time I have seen a head of iceberg lettuce in the grocery store, so I was excited to make a salad. Tomatoes are still pretty expensive (I paid roughly $0.40 for a tiny one) but I’m looking forward to summer when fruits and veggies are cheap and fresh.
I made my salad when I got home, adding walnuts, steaming broccoli and eating a spoonful of honey for dessert. I have never really been a big fan of honey, especially eating it plain. But lately it has grown on me, particularly as an alternative to cookies and candy. I use it when I make chocolate chip cookies (somehow it’s supposed to be a substitute for brown sugar, even though it’s nothing like molasses) and granola bars.
So , I never really worked out. I did walk all over the place trying to find everything for my dinner, but it still isn’t the same. For some reason, I just can’t make myself work out on my own. Maybe I will just have to get over the crowded exercise room. I don’t want to think about the alternative.
I woke up at about two in the morning to the sound of shouting and noises in the apartment aboved me. I have no idea what was going on, but it sounded like someone wrestling or fighting, then an older woman yelling. It went on for quite awhile and I was astounded at how loud they were for such a late hour. On a Monday night. Fortuantely I was eventually able to drift off to sleep, hoping no one was in trouble or getting hurt.
This morning I headed off to the orphanage, dragging my feet a bit. I brought supplies to make God’s Eyes, which proved to be a bit difficult for the four and five year-olds gracing my presense this morning. One of the kids, about seven, quickly caught on and was able to help the others. This made me happy, and of course, it made him proud. One of the smallest children, Denise, got a hold of the scissors and wouldn’t let them go. This is the same child, who a few weeks ago, insisted on stealing UNO cards while I was trying to teach the game. One of the older kids whacked him on the arm every time he came close, or smashed his little hand with his fist if he put his hand near the deck. I expected the teacher to reprimand the older child for such abusive behavior towards the little guy, so imagine my surpise when she herself whacked him on the arm and yanked him backwards. So as he stood there, gripping the scissors with all the determination a three year old can muster, I tried to think quickly of a way to keep him from crying, being hit, or hurting himself. From then on he became master of the scissors, all of us trucking over to him with our yarn when we needed something cut. He seemed happy to have such an important role, stayed in his seat, and reluctantly handed over the scissors at the end of my “class”.
At the Administration building I made photocopies of material for our HIV/AIDS training. I handed over the first installment of the grant money, about $700, and Vera gave me her word that she would have receipts totaling that amount in the next week. I’m a little concerned that we didn’t do more to prepare for the training before hand (it’s on Thursday) but I am working with capable people and I have already learned not to underestimate them. I trust Vera completely with the money, and almost completely with planning a quality training. We shall see.
Only a few people showed up for English Club tonight, which doesn’t really bother me. I told Curtis, the volunteer near me, that I would cook him dinner next week if he comes as a guest speaker next Tuesday for a discussion on volunteerism. He said he would get back to me about it. Now I am in bed, my clothes ironed and sitting on the ironing board for tomorrow, my eyes droopy, and my alarm set for seven. I want so much to roll out of bed, put on some sweatpants and tennis shoes, then go out for a run. But there is a 90% chance that is simply not going to happen. Especially if my neighbors above re-enact the World Wrestling Federation (it’s not called that anymore is it?) again tonight. We shall see…