Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Fortune

19,000 words and counting! My goal, 20,000 words by the end of March. So I have until around 6:30 today to crank out another 1,000 words before driving down to Cincinnati to have dinner with my old roommate and her husband. (There's a cheerleader's voice in my head shouting, You can do it! You can do it! She's annoying but helpful.)

I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing what I am. This time--whole days when I don't "work"--has been a gift to me. That full-time library job I mentioned a couple weeks ago isn't going to open up. No new hires until the state budget is finalized. I'm sort of glad for that decision to be out of my hands. I didn't want to choose to give up my time.

Speaking of fortunate, my dad is back in Kenya and couldn't be happier. He writes about visiting schools that his foundation supports, noting the enthusiasm of the teachers and students. But what made me laugh this morning is his description of his journey back from one of the schools:

Well, Mwololo and I walked down the hill (mountain) from the school to the main road, about a 30 minute walk. At the main road we waited for a matatu, the mode of transport in Kenya. Basically a rusty van that is falling apart that drivers jam full with as many people in as possible. The saying goes “There is no such thing as a full matatu.” We waited and waited, finally a van comes and stops but it has red ribbons hanging from the side mirrors. This usually indicates it is part of a funeral procession but some matatu drivers put the red ribbons on to fool the many police roadblocks who rarely stop them. So the van stops, we ask about the ribbons and the guy points to the dead body propped up in the front seat! They were taking this dead man to the mortuary but still wanted to make extra money by making stops for more passengers! They wouldn’t even lay the man down because that would take three seats (three fares!) We passed on that matatu and waited for the next.

Another time, he had to hold a live chicken for an entire ride! By the way, today is opening day - I hope I can find somewhere online to watch the Reds game as I slowly march toward 20,000 :)

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