January 13, Day 531
I wake up in the middle of the night, awoken by my own sweat. My bed is absolutely terrible. It’s at least 15 years old and sinks in in the middle and on the sides and has no support. I put a large foam pad on it, which makes it more comfortable, but it holds heat like an oven.
I’m laying in an oven. You could fry an egg on me. My shirt is drenched with sweat.
I get up and open the window next to my bed that I closed after the girl was watching me sleep. I’d rather someone stalk me than die of heat stroke.
Get a glass of water.
Go back to bed.
I wake up to the sound of my alarm. Apparently it has been going off for 40 minutes and I didn’t hear it.
Get up and get dressed. Put on makeup for the first time in over a week.
I feel sad and depressed and burned out. Can I do this? Can I really start over at a new organization and rebuild everything again halfway through my service?
I know this too shall pass, so I force myself to go through the motions of getting ready for work. It will get better, I know it.
Water all the plants.
Make my eggs. Sip iced coffee and listen to folk and Americana music on the couch. I still haven’t fixed the new flat tire on my bike, so I opt to walk to BOCAIP this morning.
BOCAIP stands for “Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme”. It’s where my lovely friend Baitshepi works. She has agreed to become my new counterpart and let me be a community volunteer, with BOCAIP as my main base for the remainder of my service.
BOCAIP focuses on HIV/AIDS testing, sharing the message of abstinence and alcohol/drug counseling.
Keep walking. And walking. And walking. Man, it’s a long walk to BOCAIP! I make a mental note to fix my bike.
Arrive at work and meet with Baitshepi in her office. We have a talk and agree to some ground rules of how we will work together. She shows me around the building and teaches me how she does HIV/AIDS testing. She says she needs help with promotion around the community.
I set up shop in her event hall that is usually empty with tables and work on my laptop until lunch time.
It’s noon, I’m starving. Decide to pack up my things and walk over to the only restaurant in town, called Boise. It has an awesome lunch deal that sticks to my ribs all day long. Usually you can get meat, rice or sorgum with soup, a vegetable and cole slaw for 25 pula ($2.50).
However, I ask for that same plate without meat and they only charge me 15 pula ($1.50). It’s a deal!!
Get my lunch deal and decide to walk over to the DAC office and check on how they’re doing.
Walk to the DAC, man it’s hot. Bontle shows up and we catch up with one another and eat lunch together. We need to print a document for the office, but our IT person uninstalled Adobe from our computer for whatever reason so we can’t. I plug in my laptop to the printer and we print from my computer instead.
As I’m casually looking through the documents on the desk, I come across the meeting schedule for our district.
HOLY CRAP, THERE IS A SUB-DMSAC MEETING TOMORROW.
Why did no one know this???!!!!
That is a meeting run by the DAC office, and now we have no DAC with Catherine gone. Who is going to run it??? WHY HAS NO ONE DONE ANYTHING?
Usually, our office should have written and sent out paper invitations to everyone. We should have reminded them to calculate their data and bring it to the office. We should have prepared a package of materials for the District Commissioner and he should have it by now.
None of that was done.
Because there’s no DAC. It’s their job and we have no DAC.
I get on the phone and call everyone to invite them to the meeting. I walk down the hallway to the Molaodi, or District Commissioner, and invite him to the meeting and explain the situation.
Print the minutes from the last meeting and write up an attendance sheet.
At 3 pm, I walk over to BOCAIP and run into Goaba on the way. We wave and hug. She says she’s in town to move her things to Gabs.
Stop off at the Ombudsman to make sure that the guy there knows there’s a meeting tomorrow. He’s not there.
Arrive back at BOCAIP and review the minutes with Baitshepi. She finds a few issues and we fix them together.
Work on my next lesson plan for the media class.
At 4:30 I say goodbye to Baitshepi and walk over to the shops. The line is too freaking long at Sefalana, so I go to Choppies to do my shopping there.
As I’m walking down the aisle, I run into Wakgotla. He offers to give me a ride home. Woo hoo!! This means I can buy heavy things that I don’t have to carry. I pick up a 5 kg bag of rice.
Wakgotla drops me off, and then Goaba calls. She says she is going to come over tonight with Kesh.
The gals arrive, and Kesh brings her daughter. We all chat and I show Goaba how to use her kindle.
Kesh leaves with her daughter, and then as usual, Goaba and I talk into the night. Suddenly the thunder and lightning starts, and it begins to pour rain hard.
Goaba calls a taxi and heads back to her old house.
Watch a little “Grey’s Anatomy” and hit the hay.