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Happy New year! and all that jazz. Things have slowed down here in the mountain kingdom. I've mostly been reading (see : Booklist), exercising, and visiting people. New Years was decent, not spectacular, but then not everything can be. I met up with some other PCVs, we made fried chicken1), and mashed potatoes - not nearly as good without real butter. The best part was the view. Where we were staying had this amazing perspective onto a large plain, dotted with hills and houses, with mountains blue in the distance. The were rainclouds moving across the plain, and lightning overhead, and the sun setting behind us illuminating the whole scene spectacularly. To top things off, there was the brightest double rainbow I've ever seen, directly in the middle of the whole thing.
Lost My Debit Card
Extremely annoying. I had just bought some shorts, to replace my favorite linen pants that I had barely worn before moving here, and promptly gave out after me replacing some missing buttons. Anyways, these shorts, bought at an oddly American-seeming store in the middle of town, apparently had a hole in one of the pockets. Who knows how I'll get a replacement, especially since PC has all my banking information. I'm going to the bank tomorrow to see what happens.
Got a New Card
5 seals, 6 signatures, a stamp, and a visit to a police station is all it took to get my new card. Luckily, there wasn't much of a queue at the bank, so I found out pretty quickly what I needed to do. It took me longer to accept that I had to - I tried to argue my way out of it, alas to no avail. The guy gave me a form, I signed a few times, he signed a few times, I went to another government building, bought a paper stamp, then they signed and stamped the form, then took the same form to the police station, where some random guy signed and stamped, then back to the bank where the same guy stamped the poor form (quite tired of the stamping by this time, I'm sure) a few for more times for good measure. And then…I signed another form. Then they gave me my card.
However, that the end of the story. A day later, as I was walking to catch a taxi home, a taxi stops and asks me 'Sir did you lose something?' 'Uhh…' My mind isn't really catching on, but he takes out MY FREAKING DEBIT CARD UGHHHHH. 'Yeah…thanks.'
The lesson is, procrastination CAN yield results, if you just procrastinate long enough.
I was returning from visiting a friend, and it had rained heavily the previous night. It was mostly a dirt road - I'm sure you can see where this is going.
The taxi slowed to a crawl and stopped. Taxis stop here all the time, for no apparent reason, it's incredibly frustrating.2) But this was different, as everybody exited. The road was washed out. Not terribly, but enough we couldn't pass.3) So naturally, everybody gets out and starts fetching rocks to fix the road. Some system. Still, I'm proud to call myself part of the 'Taxi Road Repair Service'. What normally takes 1.5hours took us 3. Still, got home at the end of the day, which is the important bit.
I was going to take a shower at the gym, grabbing the knob to turn the water on when IT SHOCKED ME. The freaking shower was electrocuted. Everytime I went to turn a knob. Not my favorite shower.4)
I got new water buckets! They're not buckets, but rather old industrial chemical containers.5) The point is, they have better handles than buckets6), and hold a few more gallons (14g ea), meaning I have to get water less frequently. On the other hand, they weigh about 66lb each. You try carring 132 pounds of water down a steep hill for a few hundred feet. Literally could not close my hands after. I had to rest about a dozen times, my goal is by the end of the year to not have to rest at all.7)
End Notes - School Approaches
I'm writing by the pool, here in what is likely the most luxurious hotel in the country8), as the afternoon lengthens into sunset, the gym's windows reflecting the fading light and letting out hiphop music. I feel more like I'm on vacation at some resort than like I'm in the PC.9)
The vacation is coming to an end though - school starts in a week. Never have I been so close to actually wanting school to start. Not that I actually want it to start, mind you, but time has hung on my hands a bit. Not terribly. Things I managed to do : read a shit-ton10), sleep quite a bit, do more exercise than ever before, visit 4 out of the 10 districts in the country, build a garden, de-rock my yard11), experiment with clay, attempt a hammock, learn to start knitting, teach a Masotho to swim, finish Breaking Bad12) and write quite a bit. Not entirely unproductive, I suppose.