Monday, January 05, 2009

Blog hiatus 2

8 - First day of marimba class. Which, by the way, is the most satisfying class I've ever taken.
9 - Second day of marimba class. Begin practicing with Darius (marimba classmate) for the student night performance (Thursday). Teachers perform tonight.
10 - More marimba. Field trip to the set of the No. Ladies' Detective Agency film an T.V. series. Pro-Zimbabwe-aid play in the evening, donations collected afterwards for water purification tablets and cholera meds.
11 - More marimba. Student performance in the night: Rob plays guitar with an international group doing a Cuban piece, as well as accompanying me on my solo performance of Wayfaring Stranger. Darius plays flute in both pieces as well.
12 - Last day of marimba class.
13 - The big student performance night at Maitisong Theater in the evening. Braai afterwards; a very late night.
14 - We depart for a hotel in Gaborone as we have immigration business the next morning.
15 - Go to immigration. Find that one of the waivers is missing and are instructed to return the following day.
16 - So, we return the following day and collect the other waiver. Make a return trip to the car dealership to see if the one we had our eye on is sold yet. Have a meeting with the ELCB music team in the evening to assess the past workshop in Maun, earlier in December. Find out that one of the houses we had our eye on in Maun is now available for viewing.
17 - Drive to Maun. That's a full day trip via the Ghanzi road.
18 - Check out the house, get a copy of the lease to go over, make a list of repairs needed. Drive back to Francistown in the afternoon.
19 - Stop by the Kalanga Bible Translation Project office to give our Christmas greetings before they close for the holidays.

And I do mean “close for the holidays”. Many places close down until halfway through January. For example, after trying in late December to get a hold of business people about various things we needed to take care of (i.e. get the bakkie in for repairs, finalize the house rental, buy the new car), we discovered that everything shut down Christmas Eve and would not be available again until at least January 5. That's today. So, I called these places this morning. No answer at any of them. And, if they're not open today, that means they probably won't be open until January 12, the next big beginning of a business week. Anyhow, December continues…

20 - Take a day off: it's more than overdue.
21 - Another day off. This is when I started feeling not so healthy.
22 - Yup, I'm definitely sick and not improving by mid-afternoon.
23 - Go to the doctor, get a blood test for malaria (which comes back negative, thank God), start on some antibiotics
24 - Go to Christmas Eve service, then to Carl & Melody Knight's place for dinner and to spend the night
25 - Wake at 3AM with a fever, stay up until it breaks (around 6AM). Drag around all day at the Knights, go home in the evening.

It took me a week to get back to where I was feeling ready to be “up and at 'em”. Made an occasional foray out for food but would tire rapidly so Rob would have to take me home. I am now pretty much fully recovered, thankfully. Which is good because I have a lot to do. I'll keep checking the businesses I need to contact every day to see when they open, for starters. On the days that they aren't I'll keep working on my Setswana lesson plan for Rob & I, for a February start. Our hope is that we'll be settled and begin language learning the first week of February. We couldn't find a conventional language learning school anywhere so I'm having to make my own lesson plan from a few Setswana textbooks I found left here by a former LBT missionary. The plan is now complete. Next, I recruit a local mother-tongue speaker to record the vocabulary and example sentences from the lesson plans. Then, we study on our own for 5 days each week, meeting with a Setswana tutor (a lovely lady named Beauty) to fine-tune and check our progress for a few hours each weekend. Barring work interruptions, the whole study time should be 13 weeks. That means we should finish in the last week of April. Maybe we'll celebrate our completion (and our 8th anniversary!) with a touristy trip somewhere in the first week of May; that would be fun!

Speaking of being settled, we haven't found a house yet. We have found a number of options but none that have materialized (yet) into something fully viable or concrete. I'm actually waiting to hear from someone Beauty referred us to yesterday who is moving and, therefore, his place will be available for us to move into, if we're interested. The plan at this time is to move on the 15th to Maun and stay in the apartment of a Finnish missionary who is currently on home leave. That place is available to us until February 15, giving us a full month to finally get a place.

We haven't had our residence permits extended yet but we do have a waiver (sort of an interim residence permit), which has been extended until the end of March. At least we won't have to think about that for a while, eh?

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