Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Having a good attitude

Today has been an interesting day. We were meeting with groups giving vegetable seeds and teaching them how to plant them and then explaining how to cook them. We were supposed to have an agricultural officer, but he couldn’t come until tomorrow, so I did it all by myself. I was enjoying it very much until the end. All of a sudden, as we were dividing and giving the seeds, people started showing up late and other people came wanting seeds. The whole point was to introduce new vegetables that people here don’t grow but can (zucchini, watermelon, broccoli, green peppers, carrots and eggplant), so a key element was teaching and making sure that the ones who were giving seeds were able to plant them and able to get water them in the next few dry months. So it was frustrating to me that people just showed up at the end demanding seeds. We had some left, so we did give them and one of the people who was there and who already knew a lot explained how to plant them. But even one of the people who is supposed to be doing follow-up only showed up at the end. So all of that kind of put me in a bad mood.

But I realized before long that it was all about my attitude. I had to choose whether to have a good attitude or a bad one. So I decided to have a good attitude and not let little things like that frustrate me. I decided to laugh instead. So the rest of the day was okay.

I’ve been working on making badges for the vigilantes in the location (the community police who voluntarily patrol the area at night – a dangerous and thankless job). It started out as something small and then kept getting bigger and bigger. If I’d known how much work it would be, I might not have volunteered. But I think with one more hour, they’ll be done, and I know that they will be appreciated.

After dinner tonight, I went on a killing spree. There are cockroaches in every crevice of my room and it is getting to be too much. I think I smushed 7 of them. 2 of them were in notebooks that were sitting on my bed. I saw about 5 more in the bottom of my drawer, but I couldn’t get them. Here, I’m just used to them, so although they are gross, I don’t mind them too much. What I’m afraid of, though, is that I’ll end up with stowaways in my things and then we’ll get them in the house in Malawi. I definitely don’t want that. I can handle them for 2 more weeks, but I don’t really want them in Malawi. When I was in Kisumu on Saturday, I found that one had hidden himself in the socket of my outlet strip. I think it almost fried something. But I happened to see it and it happened to be in the one outlet that I wasn’t using. So I shook him out on the floor and smushed him with my shoe. Last week, I pulled out my water pump that I hadn’t used for a few weeks and I found several had lodged themselves in a small crevice in the handle. Gross.

The other things I can deal with for 2 more weeks is breakfast. I’m getting very tired of tea, white bread and margarine every morning for breakfast. I like my chai every now and then in America, but now it’s definitely getting old every day. I don’t know what I’ll eat in Malawi, but it won’t be that. I bought some cereal and long shelf life milk in Kisumu Saturday, which I ate yesterday. They forgot and put sugar in the tea and there was no way I could drink it (or drink enough of it to not be hungry in an hour). So it was a perfect excuse to get out my cereal and milk. Very happy camper. I’m really looking forward to cooking for myself in two more weeks, buying fruits and vegetables and deciding what to eat. That has definitely been one of the hardest things here – living in someone else’s house on their schedule, eating their food. My body is very sensitive to food and I can always tell when I’m not getting enough of certain things. I’ve been missing good protein, fruits and vegetables, and I can really feel it.

Anyway, enough of that. The reason I was writing today was that I could see myself falling into a negative attitude and decided to stop. I was proud of myself. Sorry to complain again about food. At least I have enough food to fill my belly, which is more than a lot of people can say.

4 more days until Dave gets here. Hurray! It still feels like a long time, but 4 days is really very short.

We got everything worked out for the tickets to Kisumu. The airport is open again, Kenya Airways has started flying again, and after a lot of craziness, we have all the tickets we need and only the tickets we need. I went to the travel agent’s in Kisumu Saturday and went ahead and bought 2 tickets on the other airline because we still didn’t know when Kenya Airways would start again and it was my last chance. I knew that the seats were filling up (for the Saturday morning before Christmas). But the airline office in Kisumu had run out of electronic ticket numbers so they had to wait for more from Nairobi on Monday. So our names were on a list, but we hadn’t actually been issued tickets, which made me a little nervous. But then yesterday, I heard on the radio that Kenya Airways was resuming flights today, I realized that God was really watching over my bumbling around. I called them again early this morning and we were able to cancel the tickets before they were issued and buy a ticket for me to fly back with Dave on Kenya Airways. That also means that we’re okay for our flight to Malawi as well. I don’t know if all of that makes sense, but suffice it to day that I’m relieved that it’s all taken care of now. I’ve been watching the whole airline/airport situation for the last few months, not knowing whether it would be resolved before Dave came. Options were limited and there was the chance that he/we would end up stuck in Nairobi. So, it’s all good.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Love you all,


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