As the end of my service approaches, what am I thinking?
I’m starting (I think) to get things turned around and pull out of this slump. Not to throw myself a pity party or anything, but it’s kinda been rough. Leaving my family, coming home to a terrorist attack with a busted knee, the death of one of my sweetest little helpers… it’s been hard. but these hard things do have a way of bringing out the finer things in life, even though sometimes I feel guilty, maybe, for finding pleasure in such sad things. But I know it’s necessary, otherwise, a person would just drive their mind into the ground with negativity and sadness. Anyways, this blog isn’t about the sad things, it’s more about the lighter side of dark incidents.
“Just one of those days.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
As soon as I got back to my house today, this thought immediately crossed my mind: “one of those days..” even though I’m 100% certain I’ve never had a day quite like this. Here goes.
This morning I woke up way early, which is pretty typical for me. It’s Eid Mubarak, so we don’t have classes. That doesn’t really mean too much for me, since I live with the kids on the school compound, so as usual I could hear them up and about before the sun could even light the ground. I untangled myself from my mosquito net and stumbled through my dark living room, into my kitchen to put water on for tea and try to find something to eat.
Last night the girls got into a fight in the dormitory, so I spent most of my evening over there settling things down before taking the culprits into my house (per the housemother’s request) to do some late night therapy. The spotlight of my torch really set the mood – I actually felt like a cop. First shining it any myself while I try to sign “Nefrine, tell me what happened,” and then shining it right on her while she signs her side of the story. Back at me, “Why did you do that? That was wrong.” Back at her for her explanation while the other fighter, Judith, sat in the dark observing until it was her turn. I imagine that’s what it was like in the old days; a dramatic crime/thriller movie set in the 30’s, with a police officer interrogating suspects in dark room with one-way glass. Anyways, point is that I didn’t get to eat dinner last night so I woke up starving with no eggs (my staple breakfast food), no milk for tea and no sugar or splenda. This creates a tricky situation for breakfast. And a very grumpy Kelsey. After scavenging my shelf one last time for any hidden remnant of something quick to eat, I decided my only option was lentils and black tea, no sugar.
While I was waiting for breakfast, I sat in the dark in my living room. I realized I was completely out of airtime for my phone, which prevented me from checking emails/facebook or contacting anyone outside of the compound. That rarely happens… but today was just “one of those days. “ Someone came pounding on my door, which I answered dazedly without any pants on. I peeked my head through the crack to find Nefrine, saying they didn’t fight any more last night. “Nice,” I signed before shutting the door and digging around in my dark bedroom for anything to cover my lower half. Did I mention I was out of candles, too?
Once breakfast was ready and pants were on, I brought Debora inside to play with the stuffed animals. She cried when I told her to go to the dormitory after dinner last night instead of letting her come back in to play, so I was sure to let her get an early start today. She came and started dressing them in my scarves and headbands while I went to wash my dishes, glad I could trust her to play by herself in the living room.
After dishes, my shoe fundi called saying my shoes were ready. I had placed an order for a pink pair for myself as well as 2 pairs (different colors) for my friends. He said “but only 2 are ready, the other 3 will be ready tomorrow.” What? 5 pairs of sandals? Huh? Yeah, apparently he made 3 of the same exact style for me…. As well as the two different ones for my friends. I guess you could call that a convenient miscommunication… I do love his shoes.
After hanging up the phone, I realized there were visitors outside. I simultaneously realized that Debora had become fascinated with my dental floss and unraveled the entire thing and strung it around my living room – through my shoes, around the stuffed animals, around my candle holders that weren’t actually holding any candles, through the handles of every mug I own… basically through and around everything in my living room. Cool. I kicked her out and decided to wait until someone called for me to come greet the visitors. In the meantime, I decided to go for some popcorn.
This was when I realized that there was a wasp in my living room. Usually I just nip it in the bud and whip out the can of Doom, but for some reason I let this one go. Mercy. That’s what it was. I let him buzz around, just watching him from the couch as I snacked on popcorn and occasionally swung my oven mitt at him when he got too close. When I had finished my popcorn, I decided that Mr. Wasp had worn out his welcome and went to get the can of Doom from my bookshelf. As I reached for the can, the wasp dove at my head, causing me to thrash my arms in the air wildly, hitting myself in the head with my big can of doom while knocking half of my bookshelf’s contents to the ground. I ducked down and looked around above me for the monster producing the hellish buzzing…. The wasp was stuck in my dreads. I jumped up and flipped my head over, shaking it like an 80’s rockstar while scrambling to my bedroom where I have a compact mirror. Freaking out, my judgment might have lapsed slightly and I began spraying my head with the Doom. Probably not the best idea… but who wants to get stung on the head? He fell out and I quickly calmed down to see the visitors standing right outside my window. Huh. Hope they missed my little show.
I quickly patted down my hair and spritzed a little body spray before going out to greet them. Jacky, our secretary, explained that they are here to talk about circumcision and that they would like for me to interpret for the boys. I said, “umm it’s a little early for that, don’t you think? And today is a holiday…” But they were pretty adamant about it, and said they only had 15 minutes before they had to move on to the next school. Ok. So I rounded up all of the boys and signed “penis” and “snip snip” more than I care to repeat. They snickered and giggled, and the ones who have already been circumcised stuck their chests out and strutted away. The few, the proud, the circumcised.
Once the visitors left, I asked Jacky to call Ojwang to carry me to Siaya (since I didn’t have any airtime). I wanted to buy a fish for supper, as well as airtime, candles, breakfast stuff. When he arrived I grabbed my sweater from the hook in my living room before heading out. We stopped to pick up his wife, which was a bit uncomfortable. Me, sandwiched between him and his wife on a bike. Cute. Once we reached Siaya, I dashed around to pick up everything on my list before calling him again to take me back. Again, he and his wife came and I hopped on the back this time before we took off. A quick stop at the butchery to pick up some dead animal and we were on the path back to Nina.
“Pssshhhhhhht….” That’s our tire going flat, right as we pass a herd of cows. Being on the back, I’m supposed to get off first, but these cows have huge horns. After they all passed, I alighted, followed by the wife and finally Ojwang. Cows are everywhere, herds of them going in all directions around us. I huddled up close to Ojwang and the bike with my bag of fish and eggs. About 20 minutes later, another bike comes and Ojwang tells me to use this one. He’s wearing a Santa hat. Awesome. So I get back to school without breaking a single egg and collapse as soon as I enter my house. My mom, Bruce, Terri & Bobby might be the only ones who understand how taxing it is to go on these excursions. Another wasp is buzzing around my chair. I don’t waste any time blasting him with Doom. I unload my goodies and change into my “play clothes” when I realized that there is actually a wasp nest on the back of my sweater. Huh. At least it wasn’t in my hair.
Woke up with this after sleeping on the floor in my friend’s living room last night. I guess repellant on the face, too, next time?