A few thoughts from the week (catching up)

Saturday 27th October

I am a volunteer with VSO but all entries on this blog are my personal responsibility alone and do not represent the views of VSO.

 On our way to work one of the dirt roads goes past a school and if we hit it at the wrong (or right) time we arrive as they are singing the National Anthem. Children are posted outside and they make sure that everybody, cars, motorbikes, pedestrians and us all stop until it is finished. Great pride in a new nation!

Before I arrived and before they all went on holiday, the three girls (well women but they are all much younger than me) who also live at the guest house had arranged for a lady to cook and bring in their evening meal. This week we started the arrangement again – for 3 days of the week. It was very nice to have one’s dinner brought in, especially because the food is so good. The lady is Eritrean but apparently used to work for an Italian company so it is mixture of food traditions.

At work it is quite common for people to wander into the office. Most are looking for other people in the Ministry but two stood out. One was when a tall thin young man came in. He couldn’t speak any English, so he hung around for a bit then produced from his bag a letter which had a heading of the Ministry of Culture, introducing him as a musician and asking for people to support him with cash or in kind. The second time a man appeared with a letter from the hospital saying he was a poor farmer whose wife had just had triplets and they couldn’t afford milk.

There’s been a development on accommodation – the girls have been negotiating for months about moving to a different house and there has been a series of delays. Suddenly it’s coming together and they have asked me if I would like to move to it as well. I was quite flattered really and although I have enjoyed the guest house, it would be very different without the company in the evening.

This week the bike broke – the crank arm with the pedal fell off after a nut came loose. Friday was a Muslim holiday and we were off work; I managed to get one of the local places to repair the bike. Seems alright but it’s making some pretty awful noises

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