Friday we did our usual shopping except our kids tested for their belt upgrade in their Shotokhan karate class. They were so excited to get their new yellow belts. Both my video camera and still camera batteries died just at the belt awarding ceremony. I will be asking the instructor for copies of the pictures he took next week.
True to African-form, the class and ceremony ran extra long which meant we left Mansa 2 hours later than usual. This wouldn't have been a big deal except that we had houseguests arrive that afternoon. I felt so bad about them arriving to an 'empty' house but shouldn't have worried. When we finally got back they had already made themselves at home and were busy playing with all the kids.
Another consequence to being late was having to meet up with a Social Welfare officer, from Lusaka, on the side of the road rather than at the orphanage. I was especially disappointed about this as this particular officer had been less than enthusiastic about our home for children when we met her last month in Lusaka. She was more of the school-of-thought that children belong with relatives rather than in an institution. I agree with her wholeheartedly but I longed for the chance to show her that our home is truly that--a home, not an institution. Sadly, she only viewed the property from the gate and then after phoning me arranged to meet me on the road as we drove back from Mansa. Oh, well, maybe next time.
We had a wonderful weekend visit with our guests from Belgium despite not having electricity for all of Saturday and Sunday. At the time I was so irritated because I had piles of work that needed to be done on the computer and I had planned to sneak away from time to time to try to make some progress on it. Now, looking back, I can see that maybe it was a gift from God to allow me some good visiting time with this sweet family. We really loved having them with us AND, bonus, they left their son with us for the next 3 weeks. He will be playing with the kids and focusing primarily on physical exercise and development. He has already jumped right in and gotten busy.
Monday started out really well with electricity and the opportunity to make some progress on my computer work while Tom took our Belgian guests out on the boat. Have I told you about the boat and showed you pictures? If not, I'll have to remedy that right quick. In the words of our friends: "Tom has created a real paradise".
Monday afternoon I spent in the office of the local Social Security office taking care of employee taxes. Yep, folks, even moving to the backside of nowhere in the depths of rural Africa won't get you out of paying the government its due.
Arriving back home I found the power out again. I admit to throwing just the tiniest of ladylike fits at this point. I try to see the big picture but it's hard when the lights keep going out.
This morning I found out some news that troubled me and gave me cause for another foot-stomping tantrum (not that I gave into that urge--at least not as far as you know) and provided a good part of the agenda for our weekly staff meeting this afternoon. But that is a post in itself and you'll just have to come back for that.
Please tell me about your weeks. Surely back to school week is tons of fun. I need perspective, people.
Your adventuring fool,
P.S I hinted about a future blog post telling about an investigation and all sorts of juicy details but the woman in the U.S has asked that I not share details in case the guilty parties on this end feel the need for retribution. I have filed the story away for my book so you'll just have to read that when it comes. :D
P.P.S Please continue to pray for Chola and his upcoming surgery. Thanks