I figure something has happened between when I turned 40 and today. However, due to a server crash I lost all my updates since then. So the first half of my 41st time around the globe will be forever shrouded in mystery.
I should have had more recent backups. But I didn’t. Can you believe I used to get paid for this kind of stuff? Yeesh.
I’ve been 40 for over a week now. I can’t tell the difference, but boy does that sound old. Here’s a serious recommendation to the kids, though: stay out of shape through your teens and twenties, then get in reasonable shape just before you turn 30. You won’t even notice you’re aging.
It ended up taking a nasty cold to keep me still long enough to write an update. Here I am at my mom’s in Rhode Island, wrapped in blankets and sniffling on the last day of my thirties, trying to figure out how to describe the three month whirlwind I just experienced.
I suppose it’s time to give a small update about my first three weeks in South Africa this year. So here goes.
Ever since I came up with my own cheap, easy, healthy, and delicious chili recipe, it’s just about all I eat at home. Here’s what I do:
When I left South Africa this past May we had successfully networked Thalana High School, but we were still waiting on the local Telkom to hook up the DSL line. At the time we thought this would take a few weeks. And I really should know better than to take such an optimistic estimate at face value.
As it turned out, when Telkom did come to hook up the DSL a month or so later, there was some kind of line problem at the pole and it didn’t work. So they left and told us they’d fix it when they got a chance.
Then a bit after that the school fell behind in their phone payments and suddenly Telkom wasn’t feeling all that motivated to get the DSL fixed. And if I thought they were slow when they were motivated…
Anyway, I had tried to keep things rolling with persistant encouraging emails, but it soon became apparent it was out of my hands and was going to resolve itself, or not, of its own accord. As of a couple weeks ago I had more or less given up and I assumed I’d have to try getting things back on track when I returned.
Then today, out of the blue, I got an email from the CAT teacher Lucky, proclaiming that the internet was finally up and running! He included a picture of him accessing his hotmail account from the lab. This totally made my day. Now I’m re-fired up to see what we can accomplish next year.
It’s not always two steps forward one step back… sometimes it’s just very slow steps.
As of Wednesday night I’m “home” – whatever that means. The calendar tells me I’ve spent 3/4 of my 2012 time elsewhere so far. After getting back from South Africa I spent a couple weeks in New England visiting family and friends. I also did some renovations at the Warwick RI house while there – tuned up the electrical and the kitchen and bath to be more in line with my standards. My mom and Tim seemed to appreciate that too.
I’m off to San Francisco on Tuesday, but it’s nice to have a little break and to catch up with folks here. Had a lovely lunch with friends on the sidewalk cafe at the Paris, and I’m heading to a housewarming party tonight.
Life is a party. But what’s underneath the party? I say it’s parties all the way down.
Time to head north to Joburg. Then northwest to Atlanta. Then a little further north until I find myself in Boston. I’m a bit sad to be leaving so soon.
So let’s see how I did on my goals:
The last couple weeks are always a pileup. Wnen I arrive, I try to figure out what’s going on, what I hope to do, and then set some plans in motion. There’s usually a lull before those seeds start sprouting, a rusn as things either get done or they don’t all at once.
So we pulled the trigger on the wiring for the internet!
I don’t know who I am, exactly, but this week I found myself sitting with the principal and the CAT teacher of Thalana High School, promising the head of the school board we could hook the place up with internet. When he asked me how much it would cost, I referred to the chicken-scratch numbers in my notebook: a few network switches and 150 meters of cable measured by pacing from the main office to the lab and priced over the phone five minutes before coming into the meeting. “About $225 in supplies and $40 a month?”