Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I got a blender! and a sweet care package... Lucky me :)

FYI: I started this post last night at 9pm, but only got as far as outlining it. Trying to remember all that happened in the last 7 days is hard! Anyway, here goes…

Last Tuesday I successfully posted the last entry and had a wonderfully long conversation with my Mom. I went to Les Petites Delices as usual and this time since my stomach was really shot I ordered a “pain au raisin”, which is normally a spiral of flaky dough with raisins inside. However, the pain au raisin from the petites delices is more like a cinnamon roll without the heavy frosting. Major score! I will definitely get that again. And they served it HOT! Yum. I got there about 8pm and was afraid it was closed since there was no one else there. But they said they were open and didn’t seem to mind having me there. Besides, I really liked having the place to myself. The only downside was the mosquitoes, but for some reason I can’t feel them when they bite me and the bites don’t itch…even though I know I get some because I can see the red spots, weird.

Wednesday I woke up feeling much, much better. Not eating much for a few days was a good plan. I also didn’t take the Doxycycline again because I heard that could have adverse affects on one’s stomach. You have to eat it with a meal which I feel like I normally do, but oh well. I am going to switch back to Mefloquin for a bit to see if it helps my stomach not be so sore. In the morning, I was hard at work doing some suspended solids measurements, basically to measure how much stuff in the water… I worked until 2:30 and then made up some baked oatmeal before heading to bible study. I had run out of cereal and I found this recipe in my magic cookbook and wanted to give it a try. It smelled really yummy when it came out of the oven. I can’t wait to try to for breakfast!

Bible study went great. The girls were really engaged and thinking. We went over James 2:14-3:12, talking about faith and deeds and taming the tongue. Both excellent topics! After bible study I decided not to go back to work, this was my plan all along which is why I worked straight up until 2:30… Instead I went and took care of depositing a check and getting more money out the bank. Again this endeavor took me 45 minutes! I was about to go to the local branch by the university, but that line was out the door. So instead I went to the downtown one thinking there might be less people. At least that way there would be places to sit while waiting, and I could check on my ATM card. When you get to the bank the first thing you do is take a number like you do at the deli counter. Well the number I got was 914… and they were currently helping customer 879. Yeah, talk about a discouraging way to start off this banking experience :( At the bank I next went to the lady who gives you a piece of paper with your account balance on it. Forget monthly statements, or online banking. The only thing you know about your account it the bottom line, which for me is frustrating because I like to see all my information, thank you very much. Since at that point I had a ton of time to kill I went over and asked about my card, pretty sure I would get the same response as before… BUT to my surprise and delight they had my card! The heavens parted and angels started singing… However, I couldn’t use it until after 7pm that night and I still had to deposit a check so I still had to wait. BUT the prospect of not having to wait like that again, helped me pass the time.

From the bank I headed to Orca intending to buy a spatula and check prices on blenders. I was successful with the spatula as well as found some great shampoo and conditioner which is hard to find…Unfortunately their blender selection was less than impressive so I made the decision that I would go back to the Decorama and buy the one I liked there. This was my hunch all along, but I needed to be a smart shopper and check out all my options. And when I say all my option I mean all my options. After leaving Orca I managed some tricky traffic maneuvers and made it to the home store kitty corner to Orca. They had a huge selection of fine blending devices, but the prices were double what I wanted to pay. C’est la vie! So from here I rode my bike to the vegetable market. It was just past 6 and most of the women were packed up to go home… but I had already invited Maggie over to help make and enjoy dinner and needed a few things. So, I had to try. And sure enough as soon as I roll up I am bombarded by teenage girls asking me what I want and suggesting that I have a need for just about everything they are selling. I get the green peppers and green onions which was what I was looking for and just as I am refusing every other offer saying I don’t need anything else, a women with awesome looking strawberries catches my eye… I can’t resist and buy 2 kilos, or 4 pints worth. Well worth the stop since the price was only 1250CFA a kilo down from 3000CFA when strawberry season first started. I am trying to build up a supply in my freezer so I can have smoothies for a while…

Anyway, I told Maggie between 6:15-6:30 and I didn’t get home until 6:30… lucky for me the housemates let her in and she waiting for me there. We got straight to work on the dinner I had planned. We made salmon cakes from the packaged salmon my Mom sent… We had green beans left over from Monday and made rice and a lemon thyme sauce. The meal was delicious! And afterwards Ben came over and the three of us watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Ben really reminds me of my brother Jordan. It is like looking at Jordan 5 years from now… weird. After everyone left I stayed up and looked over my finances. As I mentioned, there isn’t an easy way to see what is going on with my account so I have to keep good records myself or else I end up surprised by my balance at the end of the month! I had also taken out quite a bit the last time and it didn’t last as long as I had expected… I was able to figure out where all the money went and determined it was well within my budget. Living in a cash economy is tough! The way I handle things is I have a monthly calendar that I draw up at the start of each month and each day write in what money I spent that day. I usually record stuff about every three to five days, everyday is too hard to remember to do! The system is working well so far. I am trying to balance spending enough to enjoy myself here, while saving some to manage the travel I want to do and the expenses I will have this summer. Since I don’t have much time at home this summer I don’t think I can find a job. I would like to work, but more than that I want to be able to go on vacation with my family. If you have any suggestions for me I would love them!

Since I ended up staying up later than I had hoped on Wednesday night and still wasn’t 100%, Thursday morning I decided to stay in bed until I felt good and then go into work. This scheme worked and can now say I have fully recovered from whatever was wrong. I still haven’t taken and Doxcycline again… I plan to start the mefloquine on Friday. In the morning I worked on my filters as usual. I cleaned out the basins again because one of them had some serious algae growing in it! I brought my camera to take pictures of it and then decided to walk around and take pictures of the whole campus. You can expect a virtual tour of 2iE in the next monthly update… Oh the suspense! I had lunch with my friend Moulaye who afterwards showed me pictures of his house and the desert in Mauritania. They were pretty cool actually. In the afternoon I responded to the Birthday emails and facebook messages I had gotten… This took a lot more time than I had anticipated! There was also a department wide meeting I attended. I understood a lot more than the first one I went to a few months ago, but still have a ways to go. At one point some guys came in and started moving around boxes and chairs making it very hard to hear! I was like come on… are you serious, I have a hard enough time as it is understanding what is going on without having to strain to hear what is being said! Anyway, at the meeting Professor Maiga brought up the proposals I made for possible Master’s research topics and they were well received.

Thursday evening I went to WIRED, as is the norm. Ben taught Junior High and I helped him. He did a question and answer thing where the kids wrote down questions they had and we answered them as best as we could… I was skeptical at first, but it turned out well.

Friday morning I had a meeting scheduled with Professor Maiga. I had made up a list of things to go over with him the day before which was helpful, but my printer connection is still not working so I had to go from memory kind of defeating the point of typing up meeting notes. He had another meeting right after mine and since we started late I didn’t get to discuss all the topics in as much detail as I had hoped for, but I was still able to take some major steps forward. We discussed in more depth the proposals I mentioned before and emailed another professor here who we are hoping will be interested in working on finding local materials suitable for making the ceramic filters. Finding and testing the materials is the most time consuming steps in trying to set up a filter factory. If this can be done by 2iE, establishing a factory in Ouagadougou should be easy. Also, I would like to mention that all this past week, minus Thursday I have been to work pretty much on time. Yeah for me.

Friday was already scheduled to be a hectic day in that I planned to go to the post office to pick up a package as well as go buy the blender. I had invited my friends over for smoothies that night, so I kind of needed to buy it… I left work at 11:00 to go get my package before the post office closed for lunch and then go workout. I headed out, ready to go and find the road barricaded! So I have to take a detour to a side street… ugh. I make it to the post office only to find as I am walking in that I left the magic slip of paper with the package number on it at home! I try to talk the guy into getting me the package anyway, but I knew it was useless. The place is such a mess and without the number it would be impossible to find it… so I was about to be very sad, when I just brightened up and said, “Oh well! I guess I will have to come back again this afternoon, even though I also have to go to Decorama which is in the opposite direction…more exercise and chance preserve through trials” (Persevering through trials was something we went over in bible study.) Before leaving, I did buy some strawberries from the lady outside the post office. Funny story, I ask for 2 kilos and she hears 10 kilos. We agree on a per kilo price and then she asks me if I want them in a crate or in the large metal bowl she has. I don’t really get it because 2 kilos isn’t that much… it is at this point I realize she thinks I want 10 kilos. I explain the misunderstanding and buy my 2 kilos and leave, but I was still around to hear her recounting to her friends the story of the white girl who got ten and two mixed up. It was funny, but I kind of felt like she was making fun of me, but I am going to hope it was all good natured which I genuinely believe it was.

Right, back to me… I head to the rec center and have an awesome, awesome workout. Mix some speed work into the normal 3 mile run. I go back to work around 2:00 and take some samples. I don’t have time to run the tests because there is a school wide meeting at 3:30, Oye! Also, I should mention that I was invited to participate in a IWA conference call set for that evening at 11:00pm and since I don’t have a direct number they can call in on I have to scramble to find a way to take the call. Luckily I talked to the right person, Professor Wethe, who said I could use his office and have them call into his direct line.

The 3:30 meeting turned out to be all about a big 2iE Foundation planning meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week, of which I had no part to play. Luckily the meeting didn’t last long! I also would like to point out that this meeting must be pretty important because they repainted all the walls and scrubbed everything down, added potted plants to the buildings, ect. They are really getting everything ready. I think it is a meeting for all the donors… definitely people you want to impress. Anyway, after the meeting I head out for the post office adventure – take two. I feel like I have resigned myself to the fact that whenever I get a package it will take me two trips to the post office to get it! I made it there successfully and lucky for me the barricade was down so I didn’t have to detour again. I found out the package was from my friends Claire and Carolyn two girls who were very close friends on my crew team. They sent me new guitar strings, hair elastics, some magazines, gum, candy hearts, and hair conditioner. I love these girls! They are amazing :)

After the package was securely in my possession I rode the 2.5 miles to get to Decorama and bought my blender. This purchase was made possible by the Birthday present from my grandparents. Blenders aren’t cheap here, but I am sure I will use it enough to make it worth it. AND, I will probably be able to sell it before I leave to recover some of the cost. On the way back I stopped at a convenience store to buy some sugar for the smoothies and made it back to 2iE before 6:00. Impressive, I know. I needed to be back by 6:00 to get the keys to Professor Wethe’s office to take the call that night. BUT he was no where to be found. I waited until 6:15 but then had to go to get to Grease on time… He said he would leave the key with the guard if he couldn’t find me. So I wrote him a reminder note that I stuck on his door, crossed my fingers, and headed out. I planned to walk to ISO, but just as I left 2iE Omar, the lab technician rode past, stopped, and offered me a ride. The prospect of walking wasn’t that appealing so I took him up on his offer! I got to the school in plenty of time :)

Sidenote: I was supposed to have a French lesson at 5:00, but I canceled earlier in the week because I wasn’t sure what time the Grease play would start. Even though the play didn’t start until 7:00, I was glad I cancelled it… except that my teacher didn’t get the message and showed up anyway. Quel dommage! (What a shame!) The good thing is he doesn’t really care when stuff like happens... which is all the same to me :)

Grease was great. I knew most of the kids who were in it from WIRED and other activities so it was really neat to see them succeed. Keri was so cute as Sandy. Keri’s sister, Amy, played Rizzo and her own personality fit the character great. The singing was really impressive and given the limitations of Ouagadougou, the sets and costumes were well done. The sound quality was rough, but it’s Africa… so what can you do. At least they tried to have microphones; even if the sound was really hollow and scratchy sometimes. After the show was over Leanna, Tyler, Ben, Will, Maggie, Anna, and Rosie all came over as planned. The only sad part of the night was that Bianca couldn’t join us. Apparently there is some talk of protests in the near future so Peace Corps is keeping all the volunteers in their villages and out of the bigger cities. The day set for the demonstrations is tomorrow Thursday February 28th. My hope is that nothing happens at all. I guess we will find out tomorrow, eh?

When we first came in the gate I stopped and asked the guard about the key that was supposed to be left for me. He didn’t have it and didn’t know anything about it. Ugh, so I still didn’t have the key… it was about 9:30, my call was set for 11 and I had 7 guests over… What did I do? I went home, made everyone smoothies, and then spent the next half hour talking to the guards trying to track down what might have happened to the key Professor Wethe was supposed to leave. I tried to call him on his cell, but the call wouldn’t go through! Talk about inconvenient time for the cell network to malfunction… After a lot of talking I finally made the guards get out the bag of keys I knew they had in the back room. They assured me, though, that the key wasn’t there. The big black plastic bag holding all the keys contained 4 little bags inside. We opened 3 of them with no luck and the guy is like, “See, it’s not here…” I politely asked him to open the last bag, and wouldn’t you know… the last key in the last bag was for Professor Wethe’s office. My heart started racing. Could this be real? I had resigned myself to the fact that I would miss the call and was pretty bummed, but now I had a key in my hands. I start walking with determination to his office to see if it worked. You know that walk when you are so nervous to know what you will find, so you are praying the whole time that the key works, or the letter says what you want it say, ect.

Anyway, I put the key in the lock and almost leaped for joy when it turned the lock and let me! I was afraid it was an old key and wouldn’t work… But it did work! This would be an example of providence. So I went home to be with my guests again, this time happy and content, to pass the last half hour with them before I had to go take the call. I wouldn’t have arranged the smoothie night given the craziness of this conference call stuff. However, I didn’t know the time the call would be scheduled for until the day before, and who would have thought it would be 11pm on Friday! When I got home with the keys in hand, my friends were finishing up LOST and then started watching The Office. I totally wanted to stay and watch with them, but I had to go. Boy was I glad I did! The conference call went so great! I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to contribute, but turns out I did and I felt like a million bucks walking out the office a midnight when the call ended… The call was in regards the IWA sustainability toolbox I created in the summer of 2006 when I worked at IWA. They are reopening and reworking the initiative, and now I can stay a part of it! Being able to explain the original thinking and give my blessing for redesigning the site was great. Before the call I had sat down and took notes on the points I wanted to make, ect. This was SO helpful! I would also like to ad my toastmasters training really came in handy. When I was about to start speaking I got kind of nervous. It was a call with 7 other people from all over the world; professionals who are high in their company ranks and leaders in the IWA. Could be intimidating, but I just remembered what I had learned with Toastmasters and spoke with confidence :)

I went home at midnight, and speaking of Toastmasters, I stayed up and planned for Toastmaster the next morning. I was the Table Topics Master and I had been meaning to plan for this role for the last two weeks and never got to it! All I can say is I guess the night before is better than the morning of…

I would also like to note Tuesday night while outlining this post I was listening to Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus at the moment, nothing like that teen pop sensation to pick me when I feeling a bit down.

Saturday I got up to review what I had planned for Toastmasters only to discover Susan had asked me to present an education session, and I totally forgot about it!
After a minor internal struggled I decided I could not do it. It about killed me. But I gave myself grace. I would rather disappoint Susan, than do a shoddy job at something. This would be my definition of exercising the idea of “not sweating the small stuff”. I could have beat myself up about it, but I didn’t. And you know what? The meeting went just fine without the extra session. In fact, the meeting would have gone way overtime if I had taken another 10 minutes to present the educational session on how to pick a speech topic.

As the Table Topics Master I was in charge of the impromptu speech part of the meeting. I had to ask questions that people could give one to two minute responses to. The theme I chose was “What If…” and had the members use their imagination to answer questions like:

What if you could be Olympic athlete? What sport would you chose and what would you do with your gold medal if you won?

What if you could live in any movie? Which movie would like to live in and what makes you chose that film?

What if you were able to fly in a hot air balloon over any city in the world? Which city would you pick and what would you hope to see?

What if you were running for president of your country? What would be the most important issue to you and how would you address this issue once you became president?

The session went well, but it is hard to get non-native English speakers to speak on the spot for 2 minutes. Their answers usually last only about 30 seconds! After Toastmasters Susan and I went for lunch at a place called De Niro… I ordered a good tuna sandwich and while we were there a bunch of other white people started showing up. There was no one there when we got there, and we just randomly picked the place. We thought the owners should pay us for the publicity of sitting outside and bringing in other customers :) From lunch we went to the market to look for some fabric. Susan had found some really neat brown fabric with a cool bird and paisley type print… I was hoping to find the same thing. Unfortunately, we had no such luck. I did, however, buy some strawberries. This time I only paid a 1000CFA a kilo! But I didn’t have a good bag to put them in and as I rode home on my bike I could tell I was crushing them. Sure enough, when I got home there was a nice pool of strawberry juice in the plastic bag which had proceeded to leak into my purse… sad. But I was still able to freeze the strawberries, which was good, even though they were kind of beat up. Oh, before we headed back home Susan offered to buy me a milkshake at the rec center. We had ridden our bikes there, parked them then walked to lunch and the market so on the way back it was natural to stop in for some dessert and to sit out and enjoy the pool and nice weather :)

When we finally got back to 2iE we ran into Professor Wethe. He was so concerned when, that morning, the guard told him he hadn’t given me the keys. I guess he did leave the keys at the gate, but they never got to me due to miscommunication among the guards. He seemed pretty concerned that I hadn’t been able to take the call, but he was very happy to hear I found a key and was able to get in. Saturday afternoon I ran tests on the samples I had taken on Friday. I intended to run the samples on Friday, but I didn’t have time to do it considering I was running around trying to everything at once that day! I blame it on the fact I left my slip of paper for the package at home the first time. This faux pas cost me a good 45 minutes, but who’s counting. It was good exercise, not that I needed any more!

By the time I finished running the microbiology tests I was exhausted. I went home and laid down watch a little ducktales, you know the old Disney cartoon about the three little duck brothers and their uncle Scrooge. It was surprisingly not quite as entertaining as I remember it… For dinner I had the salmon cakes left over from Wednesday. FYI they were just as good, if not better, than they were the first time around. After dinner about 7:00ish I rode my bike over to Leanna for a low key movie with her and Tyler. We decide to watch Micheal Clayton. I was doubtful at first, but it turned out to be an excellent movie. I was a little frustrating in that I didn’t know what the hack had been going on until the end. After the movie was over I rode my bike home and went to sleep…sigh… I slept very well. I should have. Boy was I tired!

Sunday I woke up and went to the gym to work out. I chose to run and listened to great sermon titled “The Art of Rebellion”. It is about how being a Christian actually requires rebelling and being different from the world. I was a bit tired on the treadmill, but I worked through it and in the end felt really good. For lunch I made the last hamburger in my freezer with a mango on the side :) I read some more of my book and made a quick outline of the talk I going to give on March 6th at the 2iE Scientific Forum. I quickly ran to the lab to read the tests I did the day before, and then headed with Susan over to the book club meeting. I was supposed to have a tennis lesson, but I had to cancel because book club was at the same time. Book club was held at the house of one of the Peace Corps administrators. It was awesome. She has a real American couch in the living room… I could have sat there all night. The conversation about the book was great. We were discussing, “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, and boy is there a lot to talk about in that book! This was the first book club I had been to since high school and I loved it. Also, going along with the theme of the book some people made and brought Afganistani food to sample. Yum.

Book club lasted until 5:00 and from there I stopped by Leanna’s and then rode on to her office at ISO to talk with my family. It was nice to reconnect. I hadn’t talked to my Dad or Ryan for a while! It was about the time that they were eating so they just brought the computer to the table and I joined in on the meal. It made me feel like I was really there, how nice!

I had originally planned on having a chill evening at home on Sunday. However, the gang was to get together for dinner on Saturday night and since that didn’t happen we did it on Sunday instead… The boys were cooking so I didn’t complain. Ben made Ninja chicken, basically just a Chinese chicken dish his Dad made for him growing up. His Dad called it ninja chicken to get the little boy Ben to eat it. It was really quite good and we had steamed veggies that included peas at my request ;) I did get home early, about 9:10ish… which was nice. Before I went to bed I made a list of things I had to do in the coming week. Otherwise I am pretty sure I would have laid in bed fretting all night. Laying in bed I read for a little while, I am starting a real push to finish the book I am currently reading… It’s not exactly a page turner, but one I would like to finish. Problem is it is 400 pages and I am on page 175, so I have a ways to go.

Monday I got up refreshed and was at work on time! Getting to bed early really helps this to happen. I also have been praying God will give me what Solomon prayed for, contentment and purpose in my everyday work… working for God, not for man or praises from other people. This is a hard attitude to come by, but I have confidence God will provide. The morning went well I laid out what I would do and basically stuck to the plan. I have resolved to practice French at least 30 minutes each day. I found a great site Francais Interactif, that I am using on a daily basis now. If I am serious about learning French this is the type of dedication it will take. I also filled out a form for an Oxford Scholarship. The form was only 1 page containing 3 questions with only 4 lines in which to answer each question. Shorter would seem easier to fill out, but it just means you have to choose your words even more carefully since there is only a very limited number you can use. This is great scholarship covering all fees- academic and college- plus a living stipend. I really tried to distinguish myself on paper, but like I said in such limited space it is tough. A number of finalists get flown to Oxford to interview. Pray for this one for me, it would be huge!

In other news, I haven’t been to the store in a week and I wasn’t planning on going for a while. I kind of want to use up what I have… so for lunch I made spaghetti, with onions, peppers, not too great, but hey it worked. I took a nap after lunch and then headed to the pool for a quick swim. I wanted to work on kicking and using my legs more. This is what Bianca told me to work on. So I used the kickboard and went to town practicing kicking. It is surprisingly tiring! I also picked up some recharge cards for my phone. I had run out of credit on Friday and just hadn’t realized my messages weren’t being sent… maybe that is why my French teacher showed up…oops. I also tried to mail a small package, but it was going to cost about $40 so I said forget it! I will send it with a missions team headed back to the states and have them mail it domestically. Might not be as exciting as getting a package mailed from Africa, but it is definitely more economical.

In the afternoon on Monday I typed up my lab results from the past couple of weeks. It is exciting that I am actually accumulating quite a bit of data. Later on I also went over and worked with librarian on step two to securing access to free online journals. We finished step one, registering with PERI, now we are registering with the publishers and started on another network that is more focused on environmental studies… Things are looking promising for this endeavor. Once the connection is set up and I learn how to use it well, I will team up with Susan to teach the faculty and students how to use it.

Finally, before calling it a day on Monday I went over to the filter plant with Konate to look at why the flow rate was SO slow. We had Omar pump water through the pipe to try and clear any blockage that might be there. This seems to have worked as the flow rate went up again. We will see how long this increase lasts…

For dinner, again I am low on food, so I made a giant smoothie. It was really more like sherbet it was so thick :) After dinner, I had the realization that working one day here really feels like working two days because of the break in the middle day. It is exhausting! That night I worked on planning bible study for Wednesday, restringing my guitar and writing up a letter to Professor Soboyejo about my work, ect. I went to bed early and read for a while before nodding off.

Sidenote: The French girls got new motos today. New motos! I hate to admit it, but I was a little jealous a first. I started to think, “Why don’t I get a moto?” Then I remembered I didn’t ask for a moto and that I don’t want a moto. I have my bike. I love my bike. I get great exercise and I am way safer. But, admittedly, it is still hard when someone gets something and you don’t.

Sidenote2: I have decided to keep the pitcher part of the blender in my room. It is just too new and I don’t have a lot of confidence in how my housemates treat property to let them use it. This could be a mean thing to do, but this is how it is going to be…

Tuesday morning I again got an early start. This is a good record so far. I finished up the last of my baked oatmeal, which was incredible even cold! I never heated it up and still liked it :) I went into to work for only like 30 minutes then headed out on an adventure to visit the school where my friend Maggie helps out.

It was a very interesting experience. The school was so chaotic. There were a ton of kids running around. There were dirt floors, and no lights… you can imagine with all the jumping around the kids managed to kick up a fair amount of dust, not good for the lungs to be sure! They have only one notebook each and Maggie has to copy assignments for them into each book by hand since there are no photocopiers. We also worked on drawing donkey pictures for the kids to color in art class. The whole time I was there in the morning which was about 3 hours, the kids learned about a square, rectangle, circle and angle. They also practiced the letter “d”. That is it… in three hours! Any other time the kids were just running around. I took some pictures I will post them as soon I have a chance to go through them.

When I got back to 2iE around lunch time I immediately started the flow rate measurements. I made a quick lunch of rice, with some ranch seasoning on it. So I admit, I am not very good at making rice yet. I was impatient and should have let it cook longer… so it was still a bit crunchy. At first I liked the crunch, but it got progressively harder to eat as I got through the bowl.

After lunch I took my normal water samples, ran tests, ect. I then listened to sermon on science and faith taking notes as it went. I was supposed to be meeting with Ben at 6:30 to plan for the WIRED lesson this week. We were going to talk about faith and science so I wanted to prepare a little.

My French lesson at 5:00 was great. My resolve to spend 30 minutes has lasted two days so far, but there is a marked improvement. I will try and keep it up :) I should also note that the big todo meeting I was briefed about on Friday was going on… I was not super interested and not invited, so whatever, and I didn’t have the energy to get all dressed up to go talk to the people anyway. BTW the weather is getting hotter. I can feel my energy levels dropping during the day and at night I have to put on my A/C for like 15 minutes to cool down my room before falling asleep.

As planned at 6:30 Ben came over, we decided to answer some questions left over from the last week and then talk about prayer, so the notes on the sermon weren’t too important, but it is good to have them. Faith and science is an important topic. If you are interested I would recommend listening to this: HTB Faith and Science Message

After the meeting with Ben I made some awesome oatmeal crackers! Definitely a 10 on my rating system! For dinner I had another smoothie. This time I tried adding coconut for more flavor, but I think need to add more to get any sort of effect. I watched only some of the more exciting parts of Pirates of the Carribean at World’s End and worked on this post.

I could go into what has happened already today, Wednesday, but my time here is up! I have to get to bible study, so you will have to wait until next time to hear what I am up to today…

All the best,

P.S. Way to make it through this epic retelling of my week. This one is definitely longer than usual. My inner dialogue which naturally becomes my written posts seems to be especially detailed and loquacious today. (Bet you haven’t used that word in a sentence lately!)