Thursday, October 23, 2008

Computer Down

I have some bad news. My computer has recently taken a turn for the worst. A couple of nights ago it fell off the dresser at home and now the screen is cracked. Big oops! My plan is to order a new one, but who knows when it will get here. I hope to send it with my administrator, coming at the end of November. Until then, I am using an external monitor at work, but don't have access at home or internet cafes. I apologize in advance if I am slow at writing back to emails or updating my blog. Please don't give up on me. Hopefully, it won't be long before I am up and running again.

One Day to the Next...

It is funny how things here change so drastically from one day to the next. Today we are out electricity, stuck in traffic for hours, not able to go to the bank because they decided to close early, the mechanic has said no to yet another car we are trying to buy, a parent is irate, and tomorrow will be completely the opposite. The sun will be out, a letter will come in the mail, I'll have time to finish work, go out to dinner and laugh with friends, get a strong internet signal while at work, and go home to zero sightings of cockroaches and a warm shower. Whatever kind of day it is I am learning to make the choice to be content with my surroundings. I know that I am extremely blessed to be here in Africa and have every intention to make the most of it.

So what can I update you on? It has been a little while since I’ve checked in. Still no car, but we have been looking under the hood of quite a few lately. Needless to say this has been a frustrating process. I am grateful though to Joel and Jonathan (WNS teachers), who have been picking up Julie (my roommate) and I, each and every day to go into work. Even Saturdays, which are game days for elementary soccer. Pictured: Jen (salsa partner), me, Julie

I have conquered my goal of learning to drive here and feeling comfortable behind the wheel. It is not like home, where we have set traffic laws and people obey them for the most part. In Kenya, there are limited driving laws and they are certainly not followed or enforced. It is rare to find posted speed limits or street signs. People drive on the left side of the road, or wherever is most convenient. On a two lane road you will find a variation of busses, matatus (taxis), water trucks, people sections, cars, bicycles, walkers, men pulling carts, goats, herds of cows, and school kids. At any time there might be 2-5 lanes of moving traffic. Needless to say, it is essential to have two hands on the wheel at all times. Another challenge has been getting use to driving stick again. I think I’ve got the hang of it though.

A local Chinese restaurant called "Four You", has become a frequent favorite for those of us on the WNS staff. Last Friday night, a group of us, after a high school basketball game, sat through 1 ½ hours of stop and go traffic to eat at this favorite cuisine. While immersed in our dinner conversation the electricity goes out. Not a problem, the waiter just brings over a kerosene lamp. Well… while we thought this was a great idea it quickly turned into ciaos. So let me set the scene. We are sitting at a nice outside umbrella covered table, we have a Jiko (a small camp stove) nearby to keep us warm, great food, alternative light now to see our food, but not everyone agreed that it was light enough. So, Joel volunteered to start messing with the lantern, trying to turn it up. A few minuets later the lantern was engulfed in flames, people running in every direction. When the waiter realized what was going on, he came by and threw a towel over the lantern, then carried it away. Never a dull moment with this crowd. And when will I get over these minor things, like the electricity going out?