December 16, Day 503
It’s Monday. That means I have to get up.
Well, at least we won’t be so busy anymore since World AIDS Day is finally over.
Get up and go to fill up my electric kettle to make coffee and there’s only a small trickle of water. Stand for eternity and wait for it to fill up. The water goes out. Nevermind.
Break out the stored water in containers.
Get the water boiling and make my daily eggs.
Ugh, no water means I have to take a bucket bath. I’ve been avoiding that because it means I have to clean my buckets. I let several people borrow my bucket in Hereford to bathe and I don’t like sharing buckets with people, so I should clean it out. I’ve been lazy up until now.
Break out the Handy Andy (seriously the BEST cleaning stuff) and put some in the bucket and scrub out the buckets with a brush.
Boil water for a bucket bath and get the bathing done. Get dressed. Call Mabe and ask him to come and pick me up because I have several things from World AIDS Day that they decided to store at my house over the weekend that need to be returned, and it’s too much for me to carry.
Mabe says he’s headed to the office now and will pick me up in a few minutes.
An hour passes.
Call Mabe and he says he is nearby. At 11:30 am, he arrives and we load up the truck and head to the office. Catherine and Bontle are there when we arrive. Today my goal is to organize a collection of money in the office for Catherine’s baby and for her mother that passed away recently. I’m pretty sure no one in the office did anything and I want to make sure she has been properly acknowledged.
We talk with Catherine for a bit and she says she secretly thinks maybe World AIDS Day was a disaster and no one wants to tell her. Ha ha, I assure her it was not a disaster and went well, with a few hiccups.
Walk over to Mmapula’s office and find Tsepiso there counting money for something. When I ask her to donate to Catherine, she says there is already a collection for her.
Um, if there’s already a collection, why didn’t they include our office? I ask her. When are they giving her the money? So many questions, so little answers.
I don’t know the cultural traditions for baby showers and mothers passing away here. I’m just told a collection of money is what people do! I don’t know the process for it, so I figure I should ask. I’m so confused as to why she is saying a collection has taken place but then no one has asked me to donate.
She gives me some sort of cryptic answer that says yes, I should do the collection, but that she won’t contribute because sometimes people don’t contribute to her. Something like that.
Okay, I’ll judge based on words, not actions. I asked her to contribute, and she didn’t. That means she won’t. I move on and decide to just have a little collection for our office and not include everyone else.
Go back to the office and Catherine says she’s hungry. I offer to go get her lunch so that I can sneak out and buy baby shower stuff.
Gather my things and walk over to Sefalana and walk to the parcel counter to check my backpack. A woman walks right in front of me as if I’m invisible and cuts me in line to check her bag.
“Mma, I was standing here. I am waiting in the queue,” I tell her.
She pretends not to hear me and walks away.
Go inside the store and it’s super crowded. I’m getting cranky now. Find some cool looking little cakes with sprinkles on it. When I go to pay, the cashier can’t find the code to punch into the register for the sprinkly cake, and I wait forever while she solves the issue.
I can’t have an 8-month pregnant and hungry woman waiting on me! This wait is killing me.
Finally, I pay, and walk over to PEP to pick up a few baby items.
As I’m waiting in line to pay, I see Olive’s owner standing in front of me. She recognizes me and says hello.
“Dumela, Mma!” I say. “How is your dog? I have not seen him in about a month. Is he okay?”
“Oh yes. He’s fine. He’s just at home,” she says.
Olive is chillin’ at her house and just chose not to come to my house? He has lived at my house for the past year and a half. Now all of a sudden he leaves? I’m so hurt!
Come to think of it, I haven’t really seen him since that day he tried to attack Dawgie. I wonder if he got Dawgie jealous?
Whatever the case, it’s clear that I’ve been doggie dumped.
Walk to the restaurant and pick up Catherine’s lunch. Head back to the office and when I arrive, I see that Mma Bimbo is here to help Bontle. That’s perfect! Mma Bimbo is part of the office family, so she should be part of the baby shower.
I sneak into Mahapele’s office and put all of the gifts inside of the gift bag. Go back to the office and I see Mabe standing outside. He takes the bag and carries it behind his back like a spy and puts it by my feet so Catherine won’t notice.
We surprise Catherine with her baby shower and gifts. We drink Coke and eat that cake (which turned out to be super gross) and unwrap presents. She is grateful and happy.
After a while, everyone leaves to do their work. I walk to the Post Office and see if they have a package for me.
“Hello Mma, where have you been? We have been waiting for you to collect this box!” the woman at the post office tells me.
Oh! I have a package! Nice!
It’s a big ole beautiful box from my friend Candice in Connecticut. I bring it to the office, and Mabe and Shadow are there and watch me unpack it.
SO MANY GOODIES!
I make them try Nacho cheese Doritos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Mabe says he doesn’t like Reese’s and thinks it’s too salty. I think that’s because chocolate melts fast here and he just got a piece with only peanut butter, no chocolate.
The box has a new pair of Chacos, taco shells, Doritos and coffee. Wowwwww!
Pack up my things and Mabe says he will give me a ride home since I have such a big box. Climb in the truck and we stop at Information Services so Mabe can take something from his car that he parked there, and then I realize I forgot my backpack in the office.
Make a run for it back to work, grab my bag, and run back to the truck. Drive home.
Nap for 20 minutes.
Eat Reese’s and remember that I’m going to Zanzibar soon. I need to be on a diet!
Write and listen to Christmas music for a while.
Sautee mushrooms, onion and garlic for dinner and sip cold water. Goaba calls and tells me she has been selected for the Community Solutions program to submit a written application in the next step of the process. WOWW I am so proud of her!!
Congratulations, my friend!
Head to bed.