Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sounds Worse Than It Is

Water is life. I have heard that twice this week. The island ran out of drinking water this week. I guess it was a problem for a while, the reverse osmosis system was working intermittently, but evidently stopped altogether. Water came in from somewhere because there were pick up trucks with plastic barrels lined up down Pond Street waiting to be filled from what looked like a fire hose.

I ran out of drinking water two days ago. That is to say, I have a 5 gallon water cooler and I drank the last of it. No problem really, I had gone down to the store on Monday and bought a gallon of drinking water just in case.

Deneeen hates when I say this, is really hot here. Everyone says "its unseasonably hot." Really its just hot. Yesterday I spent the day working at the house. I drank the entire gallon of water. I was sweating so much that I did not pee once the whole day. I was absolutely soaking wet, every stitch of clothes.

Why such a day? I was finally able to unload our container. It was dropped at the house on Monday and a customs officer came out and cleared our household goods on Tuesday. Joseph, our maintenance staff of one, and I unloaded tools out of the container and removed the existing furniture from the house. I could not unload our furniture until I got rid of all the stuff in the house - which was a lot of stuff. We live across from a house owned by the Catholic church. I spoke to Father Basil about my furniture problems. Furniture here is very hard to come by. It is very expensive and not very nice. If you come here with nothing-you have nothing. Father Basil said that he would take care of it.

On Tuesday night I had three Haitian families come to the house and pick up the old furniture. There was actually a fairly nice king Certa Perfect Sleeper with a bed frame. The math teacher at the local high school came to pick this up. After all of this, Father Basil invited me over for dinner. I had heard earlier that he makes a very spicy curry, I actually had told him this. Father Basil is from Singapore. He is here on his mission assignment. This is a mission area for the Catholic church and they assign priests through here every couple of years. The other priest in the house does not eat spicy food, so Father Basil does not get to make traditional Singapore dishes very often. For the record, he makes a very spicy curry. I think this was the best meal that I have had here yet.

Yesterday, I started painting the interior of the house at 6:30am. At 1:00 I picked up Joseph and we unloaded the rest of the container. The house is completely full of boxes. I can not even move down the hall. I need to finish painting tonight so that I can begin to unpack.

In the middle of all of this, I had an unplanned meeting with the director of what is the environmental agency here. I presented a plan that the museum has been working on and we were awarded a $15,000 project to design and build kiosks to interpret the Salinas along Pond Street.

Nothing quite as exciting today. We had another air conditioner fail in the museum. I am finalizing plans to come home over the weekend. I fly out tomorrow and we are having a fundraising event in Columbus on Sunday. This has been an unbelievable two weeks.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Neal,

Steve gave me your blog address. I've read all of your entries to date. You really are living in a novel, lucky chap. You should buy some gin & tonic to go with those limes. Good luck to you!

Laurie von Endt