Thursday, July 21, 2011

Safe and sound

We made it back and forth to the workshop OK. We noticed on our way up that the Toteng bridge had sandbags on it and that the water was all the way to the edge of the road but we went ahead anyway. On the way back, the water was creeping onto the bridge.

The workshop went well, all the remaining Shiyeyi hymns to be revised before the new printing were checked. Most of the changes were just to the new orthography. After the revisions were complete, on the second day, there was a Shiyeyi lesson.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The floods are here

Have been seeing pictures posted on facebook in the past week by friends who live here in Maun of the floodwaters covering the roads to their home.

[photo from Sitatunga Dispatches, the blog of Elena, for whom we house sat a couple of months back]

I don't think we have anything to worry about here at our house. The real heavy flooding is supposed to hit on Friday, the day that we're traveling up to Gumare for a writers' workshop. Flooding is predicted to possibly continue until the end of August. It's going to be a wet few years, they say (the local flood-pattern experts, that is… not your typical, generic "they"). Still, when we head northwest, we'll get all our electronics off the floor. The complex that we're living in has been around for a fair amount of time, long enough to even show up on Google satellite maps, so I doubt that we'll have an issue.

My main concern is actually the route to Gumare. I'll have to keep an ear to the ground for the next couple of days, make sure we're not driving into a problem. Gumare doesn't flood, I hear, but the roads around it occasionally do. North of it, really. I remember well the writers' workshop around this same time of the year, a few years back, where we had reservations at a river camp in Sepopa that was flooded and had to leave the car at the flood edge to take a mokoro to the camp.

I would say "those were the days" but, as I'm beginning to think, these may be the days again. At least accommodation is now available in Gumare so we don't have to drive back and forth through the worst of the flood plain during this time of year anymore. I'll actually be able to walk back and forth to the workshop from where we're staying; thanks be to God!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Getting ready

There are so many aspects of a translation project needing to be attended to that never occurred to me prior to being here, being an advisor to such a project. Like, it isn't enough to rent an office; the office building itself requires tending. Right now, the office has 2 broken window panes (came with it, were going to be fixed "ASAP"), a leaky toilet and (possibly) a rodent infestation. Yes, we've got droppings. I'm not sure if they are rodent or lizard but they don't have that telltale white dot on the end of any of the droppings so I'm leaning more towards rodent, unfortunately. I have no idea how they could be getting in, the only entry point is under the front door. Which I can't even imagine, the crack is so small. But I have heard tales of rodents getting into the tiniest of crevices, often dying where they crawl in, if they can't get out. So, now, I am having to fuss with some additional basic logistics that are surprisingly time consuming.

Also, I still have to outfit the office, finding and purchasing furniture and other fittings. Which I am holding off on, frankly, until I figure out the source of the droppings.

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