Wednesday afternoon I got back from the boma (you like that seamless transition from the last post to this when, when does that happen, right? I know, I know, awesome.) and pretty much booked it (despite the temporary monsoon) to ask a friend of mine how the meeting went. He said it went really well and people were very receptive to the entire idea of not begging from me. Evidently, everyone thought they were the only one asking me for things and when everyone got together and talked about it, that dis-illusion came out in the open. Great. We'll see what happens when I'm at my house for more than 12 hours after the meeting. Bri came home from the boma with me and crashed at my house. I brought Chuck over to the Makhuva's (she snorted the entire way, it was cute) so she won't be alone until whenever I decide to go back home. The next morning (Thursday), early, we got up and headed to the bus stage. We caught a bus to Limbe for very cheap (the driver ended up being the brother of my nightwatchman, so I felt bad after I found out because I convinced him to take us for a couple hundred kwacha less than the price). In limbe I had a meeting with the country director of an organization that helps bring feeding programs to primary school. Rejected. I'll just keep trying the organization I've been trying (the one that's waiting on the borehole, more on that later). After I finished there, we headed to Blantyre to eat lunch, meet some friends and drop our stuff off. We headed back to Limbe for the clothes market where I didn't buy a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt for 400mk (still regretting it and am planning to stop by on my return to get it) but I did get a 100% silk green (but not a real green dress, that's cruel) dress for 150mk (under 1$). I am currently wearing it, and still, obviously, excited. After the market we hung around Blantyre until night, which included going to the curios market. One of the guys at the market gave me a bracelet because I said I would bring my parents to his shop when the come. Another guy gave me a bracelet (which I tried to refuse) because I said he could marry Diana (sorry kiddo, I didn't tell you that). So, that should be fun. I'm also wearing it right now, its cute! haha. I love Malawi, in case I don't say it enough.
That night, in Blantyre, all (most) of the peace corps volunteers in the south met at doogles (a backpacker's lodge) and hung out all night as an orientation. The next morning we got up and headed to the bus depot. I learned to take my doxy with food or it makes you nautious. I threw up my doxy, then got on a bus. We got on what we were told was the express bus that would get us to Lilongwe by 10:30 (leaving at 6:30am, great timing!). We got on the bus, we got our seats, we were comfy, we were off. About 2 seconds into the ride we stopped to picked up more people, realized it wasn't, in fact, the express bus and saw the express bus pass us upon that realization. Good times. We made it to Lilongwe around noon (still good timeing but some of us get antsy when we're sitting for more than 15 minutes which I'm told often by my mom is why the Cross family never took vacations of the road-trip types. Oh well.
We made it to Lilongwe fine but on the walk to the peace corps office, one of the girls in our party tripped and fell (surprisingly not me) and fractured her ankle. We drew a crowd. We flagged down a car to help, they did. The rest of us walked. She is casted and medicated, don't worry. The Peace Corps doctors know what they're doing, and she was lucky enough to injure herself within a mile of the Peace Corps office where there is free medication and health service. I got more sunblock (you know, after the skin-cancer scare, I vowed to be more diligent).
So this is yesterday. I ran around the office getting everything I needed done, done. Receipts signed, reimbursments, borehole stuff (skip to the last paragraph if you're anxious about that), smaller scale water project stuff (like bags of cement for hand-dug wells), ect. Oh, AND I got wireless hooked up on my laptop so I can use my laptop in the Peace Corps office (awesome!). Now, I don't have to stay until Tuesday, I probably still will so I can get other stuff done, but I don't HAVE to. So that's nice. I've never appreciated obligations. Some people live for them, I don't get it.
After I finished at the office, I went to go claim a bed at the hostil I'm staying at. The guy at the hostil tried to charge us double but discounted it if we promised to always stay there (there is a hostil rivalry in Lilongwe). I dropped stuff, picked a bed, hung out a bit, then went to get ice cream (somewhere in here I ate lunch). I came back and watched arrested development on my laptop (I love electricity). After a while, I headed, with some friends, downtown, where someone picked us up and took us to a mutual friends where we ate lebenese food. AMAZING! I'm still full off of the best food I've had in country. Back to the hostil, sleep.
This morning I had breakfast and came to the office. That's EVERYTHING I've done since Wednesday afternoon, the last post. I know you're not used to this ammount of detail but the internet is fast and hardly anyone is here. Also, I'm sort of killing time until its time to go to the Ambassador's house for our Saturday Thanksgiving celebration. I have 3 hours to kill. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'll figure something out.
Someone, a friend, who recently returned to country from the US brought me 5 skanes of wool yarn! That is more exciting than it should be for someone under 70. I'm gonna get my knit on.
I guess that's all for now, I can't think of anything to say. You'll probably get another update tomorrow, as I'm going to lock myself, in the office and write a bunch of proposals (for an oil press, bags of cement, ect, ect). If you're lucky, I might even update on Monday but I haven't planned that far ahead of time.
Borehole: I went to check on my proposal, again, for the bajillionth time only to find out that, since I dont' have microsoft word, only notepad, the person to whom I submited it couldn't open the file until yesterday when I had it converted. I'm frustrated so won't go into more detail but it should be passed on this week. I hear rumors of people thinking that it won't happen. I still fully intend on having this drilled this year. That is fully depended, however, on how quickly this proposal can be run through the Peace Corps ranks. Sorry for dragging you all on for so long, I am more frustrated that you know. My village, in the mean time, finished raising their 25% of the cost 4 days ago so we are litteraly waiting on administrated hoops that need to be jumped through. Still trying but, family, if you want to draw names, I understand. My intentions, however, are to get a deep borehole dug as soon as I get the money. I have been informed that it is still ok to drill even in the rainy season as long as the driller is aware of the depth of the water table and the situation, all things which I am capable of explaining in both chichewa and english. So that is that. I'm annoyed and impatient too.