Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013

Having gone to bed relatively early the night before compelled me to get up early this morning as well. The apartment was a mess and I wanted to start cooking as soon as possible and get everything done before Willoughby showed up before noon.

I changed the bed, did one load of laundry, got the dishes done, started browning the beef, cleaned the toilet, vacuumed the carpets and finally took a long shower. I got into a pair of sweatpants and a sweater and I was ready for company before Willoughby showed up at eleven. She’d brought a loaf of banana bread she’d baked that morning.

I cooked white rice, put the finishing touches on the lentil soup and reheated the flat bread. I had made another batch of compote and sweetened with honey. We had a delicious meal ending with her banana bread and my French roast coffee of which I had to make another cup for her so she could finish her banana bread.

We moved to the computer room and I transferred all my files on speaking activities and games, warm-ups and icebreakers so she can get started with the conversation club for Forum teachers while I’m in Almaty. I also transferred some movies for her to watch at home. We went through the steps on how to use a web-based program that Peace Corps makes available to volunteers so they can find out which bus routes to take from any two places. This program comes really handy now that I need to familiarize with a new neighborhood.

I also showed her how to use my template to craft her own cards for whatever activities she might need and gave her the set she’d need for the first meeting on January 26. We also agreed that if no one replied to our invitation for the book club by tomorrow evening, the meeting would be cancelled entirely. There really is no point in trying to get people to attend these meetings if they are not interested anyway.

It was a most pleasant way to spend a snowy Sunday. In the evening, I watched the first two parts of three hour documentary made by the BBC entitled “Welcome to India”, which purported to show how a nation of over one billion people was coping with over population, lack of housing, an over abundance of plastic bottles and other ills of modern life. It was meant to be a hopeful paean to those of us on the other side of the planet, but I couldn’t see how a woman who had had 12 kids, a guy that uses mercury to find gold, and squatters on a beach had anything promising to show us. I’ll reserve my final judgment until I watch the last episode.

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