Thursday, December 27, 2007

What did I get for Christmas ? Two bars of scented soap and a calendar. I feel that I am already both prompt and reasonably clean, but maybe I’ve just been kidding myself….Anyway, I’ve had lots of time to puzzle over the question today, as I couldn’t go to work or run any errands. The car (yes, the “new” car) broke down in the middle of Avenue Charles de G. right in the middle of the morning rush hour. The pathetic creature had to be towed to the Garage Seid, where my previous vehicle spent so much of its leisure time. So, my little station wagon and Mr. Seid are spending some quality time together today. How nice for them. For me, not so nice, as I had other plans, including the Bank of Africa, the medical laboratory, video shop, and gym, not to mention a stop at Papiers du Sahel to see how the project is doing over the holiday. Instead, I’m at home, dealing with the kitchen sink- still leaking after two “repair” jobs- and trying to “work” online. Dial-up is just hopeless, isn’t it? I may as well incise my messages on clay tablets and ship them by sea. It would be less frustrating. But perhaps messier. Anyway, I’ve spent hours today trying to catch up on emails and trying to “upgrade” my blog. And I think I broke it. Yes. I broke my blog. My counter is gone , my little flags, etc. They say the original template is saved somewhere, but I can’t, for the life of me, find it. And none of the features work like they promised they would. Which is all par for the course when someone says they are going to “improve” something and make it “easier to use”. It’s never true, is it?

In a way, though, I’m glad I was home this morning. Our young friends Aisha and Mariam came by for a visit, which was very unusual. They know I am typically not around during the day. But, as it happened, I was. The girls told me that their father died this morning. It was quite sudden an unexpected, though he was quite old. They asked if they could leave the two younger children with me today, as their courtyard would be full of visitors. And they thought spending the day around their father’s dead body might be a bit much for the little ones, as well. So, Alima (age 6) and Moussa (8) are here. Mallory just took them out for a walk with Aslan and his little goat cart. Now they’re back, playing on the terrace. Like most young kids, they have hardly realised what has happened. It’s harder right now on Aisha (19) and Mariam (13). Their mother is severely mentally ill and I know that the girls are scared that the landlord is not going to let them keep their little home without a man heading the household. I think Aisha could hold the family together, but this society is still so sexist at base, it might not work out. The elder brother has come in from the village, though, so it’s to be hoped that he’ll be able to figure something out. Though if he comes up with something horrible like : "Aisha should marry some creepy old man", I'll definitely have to do whatever I can to keep her from that fate!

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