Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sat 9/24

It is Saturday at nearly 2pm, and Chris & Norma should arrive any minute! They finally got thru the border from Zambia this morning. 
Meanwhile, I’ve been with Brad & Ruth, who have been very nice. Yesterday was an odd day for me, but overall a good one. We spent the morning at TCZ (Theological College of Zimbabwe). There was a service for an hour but mostly all 3 of us were on the computer. Ruth had an interview or two to do with people, as well. It was nice to be online and be able to post blogs and shoot off a few emails and drop the occasional wall post, but it was also frustrating because there is a 6 hr time difference and everyone at home in the US was in bed. (Curses.) I don’t know when I’ll be online again, either. But it was still nice. I even got to watch the season premiere of Castle! Granted, it was pretty terrible (bad writing, lame plot, overused themes, extra-terrible acting on the part of Beckett), but it still let me feel a bit connected to my own culture for 45 minutes. Don’t know if I’ll get to do anything like that again or not. 
I read the plot summary for the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy and I really think I give up on the show. It’s been a guilty pleasure for a few years now, but the second half of last season was pretty awful, and they are making extremely blatant choices to promote abortion on the show now; I just can’t stomach it any more. The producer is downright evangelical about abortion at this point - it’s shown up on Grey’s a good bit, but Private Practice (same producer, spin-off series) is LOADED with it. It makes me ill. So I think I’m done. It’s a bummer. But it’s just a show, and there are better uses of my time. (just needed to get that off my chest! :>) 
Back to yesterday! After a very warm morning in a little office with 3 computers going (sweaty!), we came back and had tuna sandwiches for lunch at the house and then Ruth & Brad went off to some kind of junk sale, where they bought steel for building out at Ebenezer and very luckily, a desk! They’ve been slowly accumulating furniture in their (enormous) rental house here, and I know they’ve been looking for a desk, so that’s exciting. I stayed home and read a book, cover to cover, until about 7pm! It was nice, tho, to just lay around and rest and get totally caught up in the story. I did skim a bit, but not too much. It was just silly Brit Chic Lit but I liked it alright. Good escapism reading. 
The electricity at R & B’s is very unpredictable (at least when you’ve just arrived! they know the system). It’s always on on Wednesdays, I believe, but after that, it’ll go on and off for half days at a time. We had none on Thursday evening until about 930 (Settlers of Cattan by candlelight!), then we had it yesterday evening thru now, but it’s supposed to go off again tonight and turn on again tomorrow evening. I  have no idea what Monday and Tuesdays are like. I guess it’s a lot of “well, we had it this morning, so we won’t have it tonight” and vice versa. It’s strange, too, because I know the whole city isn’t like that, but I guess there are areas that have it off and on and then others just have it?
I was talking to a man at TCZ this morning and he asked me what America is like. I said, “Big. And fast.” He laughed (he laughed a lot of things, very cheery guy :>) and we talked about what’s different here. I said we have electricity all the time - yes, even in rural areas, we’re very wired there. And ‘tis true. 
It’s a little shocking how much I want to check my phone for texts or just get online and check my email. I am remembering now how hard it was in England not to have a phone (the pay phone system was a mess at my school); I did end up getting one there within maybe 2 weeks because I just couldn’t stand to be so totally disconnected. I didn’t have a computer at the beginning of the semester, either,  and there are far fewer computer labs on non-American campuses. I am thinking about trying to get a phone here, but I’ll talk to Chris & Norma - and Ryan next week - and see if that would be reasonable or silly. There are rental phone plans, so it’s a thought. It would be really great to have a phone while I’m in Italy, too. I am FINALLY beginning to see advantages to smart phones, like having the internet at your fingertips at all times (which truly is useful when you are traveling) and having an international SIM card option so you can make calls from overseas. 
I got quite lonely yesterday after being online while everyone at home was asleep. I kept hoping that my dad would wake up wicked early so I could call him on Skype. Alas, it was not to be. It’s been okay to be w/ total strangers for this first bit but I am certainly ready to see Chris and Norma and be at Morning Star, and I know it will be delightful to see the Kings next week, and even more Ryan and Ellen. To see Africa through Ryan’s eyes... That’s what I would like. 5 more days or so and I’ll be traveling with Forgotten Voices, travels many years in the making for me. I am very excited, to put it mildly. 
For dinner yesterday, Brad made salad and grilled squash and chicken kiev - all delicious - and we sat around in the living room eating with plates in laps and watching a BBC show called “Gavin & Stacey” that they love. It was quite funny and VERY British.
They’re here! They’re here!!! Off I go! :>D 


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