November 28, Day 485
The alarm on my phone goes off at 6 am. I hear Lulu get up and she head butts my hand on the bed until it falls onto her head, and then I’m forced to pet her head.
She sure does love attention. Can’t blame her, she’s adorable.
I’m once again in a rush this morning because I have to write 25+ savingrams today to get all of the members of the Men’s Sector excused from work to attend the football tournament we are planning.
I give all three dogs belly rubs and love this morning.
Get up and unlock the front gate for the housekeeper and let the dogs out.
The new housekeeper arrives and greets me. She’s wonderful.
Pack my bags and put the dogs inside for a few minutes so that they don’t follow me when I leave. Ride my bike home.
Get dressed, make breakfast. My usual eggs and coffee, it really never gets old! My kitchen really needs a good cleaning and I make a mental note to do it when I get a minute.
Ride my bike to work and as I’m riding, I see Mabe’s truck pass by. He stops and pulls over to talk to me. I tell him I’m on my way to the office to write the letters he needs.
“Abigail, do you have your wifi modem with you today?” he asks.
“Yes, Mabe, I brought the wifi to the office today,” I assure him.
“Okay! Great! Then I’ll see you there!” he says.
“Ohhhh now that we have wifi in the office you want to come in and work with us!” I say, jokingly.
Ride to the office and immediately start writing the letters. This takes a lot of focus because it’s 25 different letters addressed to 25 different people in 25 different departments and we don’t have mail merge here to do it on a spreadsheet. Many of the names are written in handwriting I cannot read and are names I’ve never heard of before.
Mabe arrives in the office and has brought two women with him. Mabe picks up the office phone and makes a phone call and is yelling into the phone. The other two women are talking to one another and then staring at me.
Why are they staring at me?
I feel distracted and irritated, but I continue to work silently.
Finally, I figure out that the women aren’t here to hang out. They’re here for their letters! I feel so distracted, I wish everyone would go.
So, I write the letters for these two women, assuming they would leave once they receive their letters. They thank me for their letters but don’t leave.
Now I figure out that they’re actually here to help me out. How nice! They start moving my papers around and reading what I’m writing, which throws off the order that I’m working. I politely ask that they don’t touch them, and then start handing the letters as I write them to one woman to proofread. She is wonderful and points out where I have misread a name and need to correct it.
Finally, I finish all the letters. One woman checks my work and the other staples the letter closed.
They leave with Mabe to deliver the letters.
Just then, a truck arrives with the tons of food that we ordered to bring with us to the football tournament. We all take turns walking to the truck to carry the food into the office and pile it up against the wall.
Next up, I have to write letters to request us to borrow a PA system from another department.
Meanwhile, I have to teach my media production class tonight, too. So, I walk to the hospital to meet with my counterpart and pick up his projector for us to use.
Drop off the letter for the PA system at the hospital while I’m there.
Walk back to the office and stop at the Ministry of Crops to ask if we can use their PA system. The man there introduces himself as Modise and says he has seen me walk by several times. He says I can borrow his PA system.
He takes me to the Crops supplies office to meet with the supplies woman and make sure the PA system works.
Walk back to the office and Mabe says he’ll pick it up on Monday.
I check that Cheza’s laptop works with my counterpart’s projector for class tonight and it works perfectly. Phew.
Work to prepare for the class. Eat lunch.
Mabe arrives and says he is stressed to the max and it looks like he needs a breather before he drives me to my production class. I tell him to use the wifi and chill out for a bit. We sit quietly for a few minutes.
We leave and he drives me to my house to pick up materials for the class. Olive is on the front porch and I give him belly rubs and tell him I love him and some water.
Drive to the Brigade and when I arrive I discover the school is empty. No one is there.
Usually the classroom is set up with desks. Today they are all pushed against the wall and there is old food everywhere. Plates with chicken bones and mugs.
I ask the man at the Brigade to unclock the classroom. As he does, he tells me most people have finished exams and have left for the rest of the year.
I move all of the desks and clean the room. Hang up the sheets I brought to cover the windows so we can watch a movie.
Only 10 students show up out of the 21 that are supposed to be there. What the heck?
We teach the class anyways and it goes as well as it could.
Just as we finish, Hanlie texts me and says that she knows it’s Thanksgiving today in the US. She invites me over for fruit and chocolate and says it would be nice to celebrate together.
Hanlie is the best. She really is family here. That is so thoughtful of her!
Nops drives me to Hanlie’s house. We dip our feet in the pool, have a drink and chat. She serves fruit and Reese’s peanut butter cups that her daughter brought from the US in her last visit.
It’s truly wonderful and it means the world to me to have someone acknowledge what an important holiday Thanksgiving is to me. I have so many friends posting pictures on Facebook today with their family making turkey, and I’m here as if it’s just another day of the week. Her acknowledgement makes me feel so much better.
Thomas drives me home afterwards.
I settle in to watch “The Family Stone” and have some pasta for dinner.
Go to bed early.