December 11, Day 498
“Just make it through this week, Abbie,” I tell myself as I awake.
I haven’t had a day off in a few weeks and I’m feeling like I’m going to break. We just have to get through World AIDS Day this week, and then everyone in our office can finally rest until the New Year.
We got this!
Get up and take a bucket bath. No power and water again today, per the usual. Get dressed and have coffee and eggs.
Gather my things and ride to the office.
Catherine is there and she brought her daughter, Anaya, with her today. I love love love Anaya. I know, I’m not a kid person at all and usual I just tolerate them when they’re around. But Anaya? She’s my favorite. I don’t have to tolerate her at all. I always tell Catherine that if I had a kid like Anaya I’d actually want to have kids.
Anaya and I hang out and I show her how to thumb wrestle while Catherine tries to work.
We are leaving for Hereford tomorrow, so we have to make sure everything is ready to go for World AIDS Day beforehand. Banda arrives with a truckload of peanuts, juice and snacks to bring with us. I help unload the truck and we pile it up against the wall. She mentions that some of it is for a Teen Club event happening today.
Catherine asks me to make a selfie frame to bring to Hereford. This is a big project, and I’ll need cardboard. I decide to walk to Choppies and ask for a cardboard box and bring Anaya with me.
I get a little treat for Anaya and some spicy potato wedges for myself, and then find the manager and ask him for a box.
“Dumela, Rra! I am wondering if you can give me a box? Perhaps an old one that was used for fruits?” I ask.
“Dumela! You want a box?”
“Yes, a box.”
“yes, a box.”
“Box,” I say again.
He calls someone over and he opens a cash register and hands me some money.
I’m so confused.
“Rra, what is this money for? I am looking for a box. You know, cardboard and square shaped to carry things,” I say.
“Ohhhhh a BOX!” he says. “I thought you were asking for BUCKS!”
“Well that is certainly generous of you to offer me money, but no! I’m looking for something you would have in the rubbish bin!”
We laugh and he tells one of the guys to go get me a box. While we wait, I hang out with Anaya and talk. Everyone thinks she is my daughter and keeps asking her name, and I tell them she’s a friend, not family.
We walk back to the office, and Anaya tells me all about the different princess hairstyles and her new favorite princess is Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin”.
Get back to the office and Anaya and I work on cutting up the box to make it a frame. She uses the remaining cardboard to make a counter and pretend to own a tuck shop.
Soon, Catherine leaves to take Anaya to a doctor’s appointment at the hospital. I stay and cover the cardboard in white paper and glue. What the heck am I going to do to make colored letters?
I remember seeing green, red and yellow wrapping paper at the grocery store on sale. So, I walk back to the store and buy the wrapping paper.
Walk back to the office.
I discover that wrapping paper here is, in fact, not paper.
It’s a thin piece of foil that could rip to shreds if you blow on it. EISH. What will I do? I decide to make big letters on paper from the computer, cut them out, then glue them to the back of the foil, then cut around the letter on the foil and then glue it to the selfie frame.
This might take me until the day I die, but it’s how it has to be. I will get it done.
Work for the rest of the day on this selfie frame.
Mma Monnahela arrives with Mma Chiroze to collect the peanuts and juice for the Teen Club and I give them all the stuff we have in the office and help them carry it to their van. My buddy Joe is driving. I love Joe! He was the driver for the Peace Corps during my 3 months of training and always made sure I got home okay. Turns out he lives in my village, too.
Just then, Catherine and Anaya come back and Catherine tells me some of the things I gave to the Teen Club weren’t meant for them. Whoops! We run and get some of it back.
I give some paper and foil to Anaya to do her own arts and craft project. She works on her project, I work on mine. It’s pretty perfect considering we still have no power in the office and there’s not much else we can do.
We wrap it up for the day and I decide to finish this at home tonight. As we leave, Banda arrives with a massive bag filled with raw chicken to bring to Hereford. He says there is no refrigerator to put the chicken in over night.
After much debate, it is decided that they will store the chicken in my refrigerator tonight.
So, we all hop in the truck to drive to my house and deliver the chicken. I am so sketched out by raw meat that I don’t even eat it, so I don’t love this idea but understand it’s important to be a team player here.
Anaya asks for a picture with the selfie frame before we go.
Arrive at my house and we load up the chicken into my fridge. They leave and I eat dinner, chat with Colden.
There’s still no power at my house, so I write for a bit by candlelight. Then I put on my headlamp and work on the selfie frame.
At 12:45 am, I finally finish it. Booyah!
Go to bed.