Barbara's Random Thoughts

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events

My trip to Mozambique, in bullet point form, broken down by category.

The Bad:
-Getting pulled over by a police officer who threatened to arrest Tyler for driving illegally because he didn’t have an international driver’s license.
-Also getting harassed by this police officer for not having a triangle. Quote of the day from Tyler: “I know what a triangle is. The shape?”
-Said police officer asking that we just give him the 2000-meticais fine and “make this all go away real fast.”
-Subsequently bribing the police officer with 200 rand. Yes, I have now bribed a government official in a foreign country.
-Tyler’s cell phone not working outside of South Africa.
-Underestimating the distance to Tofo, resulting in a seemingly endless 16-hour drive that we thought was going to be a 7-8 hour drive.
-Getting our car stuck in the sand and needing local help to push the car back to stable ground...then not having enough Mozambican cash to adequately give them “Something? Just so we can buy a drink?” Quote of the night from Carissa, in response to their requests: “I have a Coke!”
-Our hostel being only accessible via 4x4. We were driving a Corolla.
-The above, in addition to fears over driving illegally in a foreign country (which was totally NOT TRUE), leading to us having to walk many kilometers down the beach in order to get anywhere.
-Me killing my ankles with said walking.
-Tyler and Carissa getting eaten by unidentified insects in the night.
-Katie and Tyler already suffering from colds at the beginning of the trip.
-Me catching Tyler’s cold.
-Much stress over the return trip to South Africa, due to the police officer incident.
-Getting caught by high tide and then rain while walking down the beach for dinner on our last night there.
-Losing a hubcap and what the car rental place called a “spotlight cover” on a badly potholed Mozambican road.
-Getting up early this morning in order to return the car on time, and finding that the car rental place was closed all day, even though I was there at the prearranged time.
-Having to drive downtown twice this morning to deal with the rental car, dodging taxis, getting lost, and feeling horrible due to the previously mentioned cold.
-Coming home to find several random new people staying at Pangani. I can’t deal with new people in my current state of body and mind and have been hiding in my room all day.

The Good:
-A beautiful beach
-Beautiful weather (for the most part)
-Eating baby clams and crab at our hostel
-Good friends in the midst of a crappy trip

Did I mention, however, that it’s good to be home?


| posted by Barbara | 7:32 PM |

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thinking ahead

I recently got an email from our site director here saying they've shifted our year-end final dinner from Nov. 9 to Nov. 8. This means, in theory, that IF I can afford to change the date on my flight back to LA, I can leave here on the 9th and be back in CA in time to go to my friend Hannah's wedding on the 11th.

I chatted a bit with Hannah tonight online and this started me thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know). Although I am loath to leave this community and break things up early, there's stuff I'm looking forward to doing when I get back. (Other than driving a reliable car. I think about that one a lot.) And tonight all of the sudden, I'm missing people & thinking fondly of places that aren't here.

I want to go to Hannah's wedding! I can't wait to reunite with the Ah's and do things like predict who'll be next to be married. The other night I dreamed that we had a Halloween party at Pangani and Melinda and Hannah showed up randomly and inexplicably. I miss them!!

I want to go to Half Moon Bay for the annual John's birthday Barbara's Fish Trap dangerous crab pilgrimage. Which we'd better be having this year, even though John's heading to LA soon. (I wonder if I can muster the energy to get up to the Bay area in time for this particular outing?) I miss the former work gang, none of whom are still working at the yet-again-renamed publishing company where we all met.

I'd love to visit PBC's second service and YAF friends, though visiting the current incarnation of YAF would probably make me feel weirdly old and moved-on.

Then, of course, there's Thanksgiving with my family. Meeting my new nephew (who will actually be born by then). Emily's 12th birthday. Playing Unexploded Cow or Snorta or Apples to Apples with the family...and all the hilarity that ensues from such activities.

Going to the beach with Elise and talking about God and life and all the things we're reading and listening to. Eating chicken & waffles at Roscoe's in Pasadena and chicken coconut milk soup at Star of Siam in Long Beach. Probably both with Kristy, if that's not prevented by the soon-to-arrive second baby Cowell. For that matter, meeting new baby Cowell will be pretty cool, too. And seeing Heather's baby Dell and how much he's grown. Seeing just how pregnant Heather is by then. ;-)

And hopefully, again if I can afford it, a trip to Wales for Jude's wedding in December. Dangit, why do people all have to be so far away? I know I'll be saying the same thing about the NC gang when I'm back in California...

Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.
--Charles M. Schulz
| posted by Barbara | 12:42 AM |