My computer is on the fritz and other news from Buala

My computer is on the fritz and we're having the storm of the decade outside my door, so I'm sitting here running tests on my computer and using another computer to check my e-mail (and write this post, too!).

My computer — a new Dell laptop. The battery died about a month ago for unknown reasons. Dell will only ship a replacement to the US, so my friend Linda sent it onwards to me Express Mail. But that package seems to have gone missing. This happened once before — an Express Mail package went to Iceland instead of the Solomon Islands. And the Post Office wonders why people don't use their services. . . For me, of course, this is a rather big problem. Having a laptop without a battery is quite annoying and bad for the computer when you live in a place where the power gets cut routinely at unspecified times. So now it won't boot up. This happened last week one time, too. Thank God I just did a backup, but I'm not prepared to throw in the towel yet.

But this was NOT what I was planning to spend my Monday on.

The bank reconciliations are done. Woo hoo! Now I need to review the cashbook, make sure all the changes got entered, and then print out the cashbook and bank reconciliation for each month. But that means I have to go downstairs to finance (to look at the cashbook) and then to the receptionist (to print).Even though I asked for a printer, they (the CTA of my program) wouldn't give me one for reason unknown to me. Whatever.

We have had lots and lots and lots of rain in the past few days. I thought the rainy season was supposed to be winding down now. Maybe it is and this is its last hurrah. One interesting consequence of so much rain over several months is that trees have started to fall down. A small one fell in my yard and a rather large mango tree fell on the main path near the government housing, on my way to work. The ground is just so saturated that it can't hold the roots anymore, I guess.

Sad news about the puppies. Of the original 9 whom I met when they were probably 6 weeks old, there are only 3 left and this morning when I walked by, one of them was curled up sleeping and not looking at all well to my untrained eye. It's sad, they were so cute.

Saturday morning when I was running through Kubalota, I saw a teeny kitten. She looked a lot like Shivaya (my cat in Cameroon) which caught my eye. I stopped and looked at her and the folks standing around there said, "oh, you can take her." I asked where her mother was and they said she had gone off and left the kitten. So sad. That kitten probably didn't make it to Monday morning. It was very young.

I can see why people here, though they have cats and dogs around as pets, don't get very attached.

Another consequence of the hard rain, I think I've mentioned before, is that the water stops running inside my house. The water comes from the river and the pipe gets clogged. Such has been the case all weekend (I was getting dribbles, but not enough for a shower). When I moved in, my landlady said, "well, you can always go swim in the river." It took awhile for me to get that she meant "bathe" — the word suim in pidgen means both to swim and to bathe. Anyway, this morning my hair was beyond gross and really needed to be cleaned and I only had a pot to get water from the rain tank. That would probably be sufficient to wash up, but not do the hair. So, I decided to head down to the river. It worked quite well, particularly since the water was flowing so hard from the rain that there was a perfect place to rinse my head. The only difficulty was getting over my hesitation to get completely naked on the fear that someone might come and see me.

The other big news in Buala is that a young girl (10 or 11) was climbing one of the star fruit trees behind my house, got too high for her weight (which they *all* do, it scares me all the time) and fell. Fell onto the big rocks in that part of the river. Compound fractures. One person said both arms and both legs were broken. And this, of course, at the time when we have no doctor on the island and someone needed to evaluate whether the bones would heal on their own or she needed surgery. I'll have to ask later if someone was able to make that decision (although taking the plane to Honiara in her condition would be probably worse than just staying here). I can't imagine the pain she must be in.

Otherwise things are a bit quieter than usual (if that is possible) because of Lent. Somehow the church has the power to stop the weekly Friday night (and long into Saturday mornings) dances in Buala village because they didn't have them in Advent and now they are not having them in Lent.


About Seth Longacre

primal health coach, vision fast guide, itinerant discalced Episcopal Deacon, barefoot runner, photographer, spiritual director, yoga teacher, minimalist, pilgrim
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