October 31, Day 457
I had a horrible time trying to sleep last night. I woke up at 2 am and just stayed awake thinking of everything under the sun until about 4 am.
The alarm goes off at 6 to remind me to get up and do yoga.
I’m not having it today.
Lay in bed until 7 am.
Eggs, coffee, bucket bath.
No time to water the plants so I decide I’ll do it when I get home later.
Make a lunch of leftover lentils and morogo to bring with me to the office.
Today is Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year!
Get dressed in my black outfit with an orange sweater. We have an important Sub-DMSAC meeting today and it starts at 8:30 am. Crap! It’s already 8 am! I must go now now.
Get on my bike and Olive insists on following me. He can’t come to the office today, our district commissioner would be horrified if he tried to follow me to the meeting.
I stop to tell him to go away and pretend to throw rocks at him but he doesn’t care and keeps following me. He’s determined and clearly he is in control of this relationship, not me.
It’s either be late to the meeting fighting off Olive, or take a chance with him following me. I decide to take a chance.
He can’t keep up with my bike and I lose him halfway. Phew!
Rush into the meeting and it starts right away. I’m three minutes late but considering that I spent hours waiting for people usually I consider myself on time.
“Agere when we say a meeting starts at 8:30 we will start at 8:30. People are wasting my time starting now 7 minutes late,” the District Commissioner says. His name is Bigboy. I believe his tribe usually names their children with names like that.
Yikes. Okay so I guess we are playing the on time game today. Cool.
The meeting starts, it goes well.
A few minutes in, Olive prances into the conference room like he owns the place. Ah! I see eyes shifting with confusion and people giggling.
I get up and escort the dog outside and come back quietly like nothing happened. Close the door behind me so he can’t come back in.
I hear Olive plop himself down in front of the door.
I open the conference room door and he is growling at a poor unsuspecting man who is coming back to the meeting from the bathroom. He is trying to shoo away Olive with a stick and Olive ain’t having it.
I pick up the dog and move him and yell at him to stay so he doesn’t bite anyone.
Our cleaning lady comes to deliver tea and magwinya and leaves the door wide open. I know she hates Olive and refuses to clean our office because of him, even though I don’t let the dog into our office. I’m pretty sure she left the door open on purpose.
Of course, Olive sneaks back in and tries to sleep by my feet on the floor.
I chase him out again.
We break for tea and it’s the best thing that ever happened to my life. Tea time rocks. We stop working and stand around sipping tea and eating delicious breads. Shout out to the English for that tradition that stuck.
The meeting finishes around noon, and I go back to the office to do some work.
At 12:30 pm I decide to ride my bike over to the hotel that is the designated consolidation point for our region to introduce myself. In the event of an emergency, volunteers in our region are supposed to travel to my village and we will all consolidate at this hotel together.
Olive chases goats and makes a big scene in the road. It’s horrible. I decide to pretend that I don’t know him and keep riding.
Get to the hotel and it looks like a prison fortress with unpainted Grey concrete blocks building a wall around the hotel.
In order to get through the gate it says I have to call a number for someone. I don’t have my phone with me.
“Ko ko! Ko ko!” I yell, over and over again.
Finally after about 15 minutes they open the gate.
Go inside and introduce myself as the security warden of the area and let them know the volunteers will be coming here in the event of an emergency.
As I thought, they have no idea that they are our consolidation point. They don’t know who I am and I’m pretty sure they don’t know what I’m talking about.
“Soo… did you want to book a room?” The woman asks.
I ask her to show me what a room looks like. It’s nice inside. At least it has a shower, so that puts it above the other lodge in our area.
Ride back to work. Eat lunch.
Mabe and a few other guys hang out in the office and work. I’m supposed to go to the Brigade today and can’t get anyone to answer my calls.
Nops shows up at 1:45 pm for our meeting at the Brigade. We decide to just go there and roll up on the scene.
We drive to the Brigade together and Nops shows me the dents all over the hood of his car. They’re from a pack of goats who climbed onto the hood to eat some leaves on a tree above. Eish! It’s bad.
Arrive at the Brigade and meet with the headmaster and introduce ourselves. It’s a great meeting! They are happy to have us come to use their facility to teach our media production class.
However, they say they don’t have students to give us since all of their students are taking exams right now.
Drive back to work and part ways with Nops.
Walk to MYSC (Ministry of Youth empowerment, Sports and Culture) and pitch my idea about the media club to Mma Gautilwe. She loves the idea and says she will give us a list of unemployed youth who are interested in the arts to join the class.
She also wants to expand the program to all the libraries in the surrounding area. Nice!
Take out the candy I brought for Halloween today, and share it with my coworkers. I go office to office teaching each person about the tradition of Halloween and make them say “trick or treat!” before taking a piece of candy.
Most of them remember Halloween from last year and are excited to trick or treat again. It’s a hit!
Bike home with Olive.
As I near home I see the little boys who live next to me playing in the sand. I teach them about Halloween and give them a piece of candy.
A passing car with two drunk men see me handing a piece of candy to the boy and assume I’m giving him money. The boy leaves and the men slow down in their car.
They’ve got beers in their hands and are smoking cigarettes. I recognize one is the guys as the man who proposed marriage to me at the last development committee meeting I went to.
“I want money, too,” he yells from his car window.
“Excuse me? You know very well I am a volunteer and don’t have money. You should know better than to ask me that!”
“Well, I saw you gave that little boy money just now,” he says.
“Eish! It is Halloween, an American holiday, I was giving him a sweet. Would you like a sweet, too?” I ask.
I make the men get out of the car, and teach them about Halloween and make them trick or treat for a piece of candy. We all laugh and they drive away.
When I arrive home, I discover that my driveway gate is wide open. Goats have broken into my yard and eaten everything!!
All of my vegetables, all of my plants are gone. They ate my rape, spinach, carrots, potatoes, even my lavender plants.
They came in like a wrecking ball and ate it all! Even my Halloween pumpkins!
What a bummer. Is it a bad omen if goats eat your Halloween pumpkins on Halloween?
Sit on the front porch and watch the sun set.
I’ve got a headache from the sun today. It sure is hot out. I drink more water.
Olive finds a sock of mine in the house and decides he wants to chew it in the front yard. The sock already has a hole in it, so knock yourself out buddy.
Make a taco salad for dinner and watch the movie “I Tanya”.
Go to bed.