Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bring on the encore of the pots and pans chorus

On September 1st I symbolically packed away my sleeping bag. It had been a while since I’d needed it, so I figured it would be best to accept that summer had arrived and began to mentally prepare for the heat wave that was soon in coming. A few nights later, I unceremoniously unpacked the sleeping bag because some thunderstorms and cloudy days had brought back the chilly nights. I’m back to doubling up my blanket and stacking my 3 jackets on top of me to keep warm. I also had to unpack a pair of pants and some long-sleeved shirts. I definitely am not complaining though. Summer is going to long and nasty. I’ll enjoy the cool weather for all its worth while it lasts. Last night we had a huge thunderstorm with quarter-sized hail. The lightning flashes that I could see through my window make my room look like the scene from an old black and white horror movie. I kept half-expecting some disfigured man with a butcher knife to appear in one of the corner after one of the flashes. Did I mention the roof of my room is made of tin?

It sounds like a 2-year-old future heavy metal drummer practicing on mommy’s pots and pans in the kitchen. My host mom and sister asked me if I was scared of the storms; I said no’. If I was in Texas, I would expect some tornados to be out and about, but I was told they almost never have those here. So a little hail and lighting? I don’t have a car to worry about anymore, so bring on the encore of the pots and pans chorus. The hail does seem to have done some damage to roof over my room. I used to only have one spot along the wall by my door that leaked during heavy rains. Now there are about 5 new spots along the wall with my bed dripping steadily. Fortunately I’ve moved everything on that side away from the wall so the water is just getting my cement floor and rug wet. They probably needed to be washed anyway.

The power went out, as it has been doing on and off this morning as well. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the power going out in a small city like this where nothing has back-up power. One minute you’re in civilization, the next you might as well be out in the middle of the woods. The other night, while some fellow volunteers and I were watching the Paraguay vs Bolivia soccer game on the patio of a little restaurant, the lights went out for a few seconds for no apparent reason. It felt like I had been suddenly pushed into a dark basement; it was completely disorienting. The rain also means a free pass from doing any sort of work. Pretty much everything is guaranteed to be cancelled. While I didn’t have any specific plans for today, the rain gives me an excuse to sleep until 8:30 and then spend the rest of the day huddled in my sleeping bag on my bed writing to you. In addition to writing for my adoring public and my own private notes, I have been playing computer games excessively. I purged myself of Spider Solitaire recently, and have managed to stay that particular addiction after getting about a 68% win/lose ration.

Yes folks, read it and weep.

I also figured out that it is possible to cheat and artificially boost my percentages by saving a game that I am about to win and playing it over and over. However my score was duly won. I won my first game of computer chess, I’m still terrible because I can’t think ahead to how to trap the king. I spend most of my time just trying to capture the other players pieces. After a few rounds of Hearts I got bored. Mahjong Titans was interesting until I realized that most of the games are almost impossible to lose and require no skill. Inkball is not interesting. Actually the most interesting game, I’m a little embarrassed to say, is memory. It is for kids, so I have to match up cakes or cartoony faces. The gumdrop level is the most difficult in case you were wondering. If only they had tetris…or maybe I should just go study.

Good thing I went shopping yesterday for my ingredients to make tomato soup.

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