Just a week after my last entry, my laptop was stolen through my window from my bedroom. I have bars on my windows and had a computer lock on the laptop, however, it was taken. The police came and took fingerprints and a statement but gave me no hope of ever seeing it again. C'est la vie, but I do miss the pictures. Unfortunately, I haven't backed them up since I got here so those I've put on here are the only ones I have from the last two years. Fortunately, the memories are all in my head!
A week later, I bought a new (cheap) laptop and had it loaded with the necessary software (I HATE Windows Vista...it is just too big and slow to load and too much stuff I just don't want or need, but I suppose I'll get used to it just as I have every other upgrade). So far, so good, but I haven't been able to load Skype or the camera/mike I bought to use with it. In addition, I can't play American DVDs until I get some sort of unscrambler, but, aside from that, I'm up and going again. My newest pastime is jigsaw and crossword puzzles on it. Keeps me out of trouble and my hope is that it will keep my brain from dying. This period of my life reminds me of when I stayed home with my children when they were small and worried daily that my brain was shriveling up and blowing away. At that time, I read every magazine I could get my hands on...Saturday Review, Harpers, Atlantic, Mother Jones, from cover to cover. So much for mothering! Now, I have the advantage of a computer to help, but can't get my hands on decent magazines, so I read lots and lots of books. Ah, well, I guess if the brain wants to go, it will, but I will fight it every inch of the way.
My posting with Age-in-Action continues to be difficult. I have talked at length with Peace Corps about how to make it work and am hopeful that it can be done. I have been waiting for over a week to talk to Mary Jane, my executive director, about the necessary changes to my work week but she has been out sick or on leave ever since it became clear to her that change is in the air. She loves just having me here to answer her phone and do her occassional typing; it is a power and status thing. I'm bored to tears most days, however, the cause (I think and hope) of my sense of a dying brain. The struggle continues. I am exploring transferring to another country at the end of my two years here rather than staying on here, though I still keep thinking I can make it work (my stubborn or, maybe my PollyAnna, aspect). We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, I went to Pretoria again and saw the audiologist who adjusted my hearing aids and now I am going to try to wear them daily for the next month so my "brain can get used to them". God, I'm demanding a lot of my poor little brain right now! This weekend, I'm attending a wedding in a village near here for a gal who used to intern at Age-in-Action. I'm looking forward to it as yet another opportunity to wear my red dress! Will be going with my friend, Wanda, and some friends of her's who are visiting her from the U.S. The amazing part is that she lives in the village where the wedding is being held! How much of a coincidence is that? Well...it is really a coincidence as there are hundreds of villages all around Mafikeng.
The weekend before last, I went to visit a couple of twenty-something friends in Setlogole (Set-le-hole-le), which is about an hour west of here and is another world. They are both in true villages and it is so laid back and so easy and was a wonderful interlude for me. Erin, where we stayed, has no running water or refrigeration so it was what I think of as "real Peace Corps". Had a wonderful time with lots of very stimulating conversation...and exercise. We walked for miles as there is no alternative transportation. I plan to go back often. It was just what I needed; let's hear it for good conversation!
I'll try to be better about blogging. It has been very difficult for me lately but I am able to recognize the good that comes from adversity and am working hard to stay positive. I've already been forced to look at some of the less wonderful parts of my personality and I keep trying to change. I doubt that it is noticible to anyone but me, but I'm trying!