Friday, August 29, 2014

only in Africa

Got home from work... pay day today so everyone is in a great mood.. Unfortunately it is the end of the month and everybody is also paying some bills, out shopping with the cash in their pocket, etc..
I got out of my car today, and had it all planned... get on some new clothes, take a long walk , and relax.. Cam our gardener tells me I am low on energy here and need to go prepay for my electricity.
the whole prepay thing is actually great.. If you want to use electricity , you have to prepay for it... if you want cable tv, you have to prepay,.. if you want internet.. prepay.. So if for one month you'd rather live without some of these luxuries and pocket the money instead, there is no pressure.
But Cam informed me it would be best to pay for the service. This was around 2:30. We got to a small stand at a gas station and saw the line. Cam laughed and said we will have to wait for a little bit.
We waited, waited , and waited.. making some progress towards the booth and then it came to a screeching halt. The network was down and they weren't sure when it was going to come back on.
People got out of the line, I assumed to go home and try again tomorrow... not necessarily.. Here, as it was in Botswana, just because you got out of line, doesn't mean you lost your place in line.. so people would reappear and slide right back in their place after 20 minutes absence. No one says a thing..
Coming from the US, you just have to take a deep breath and realize this is an experience.. you are a breathing human being, and an hour or two of waiting in a line to nowhere is fun.. it is a way of life here.  People have great patience.

So Cam decides it would be best if I give him the money, and he pay the bill. this is after about 90  minutes..He tells me to go home..
Well, I tried to go home, but of course the place is jammed with cars and I can't turn right because no one is obeying the traffic lights.. so I decide to go to the shop and buy some light bulbs instead.. Surprisingly, there is a traffic cop directing traffic in what is probably the most busy intersection in the city.. I pull right in, find my bulbs, wait in another huge line and then get in the car..

The traffic cop is gone.. it's almost 5 pm and there's no way to turn left.. I can't believe people aren't killing each other.. but people just keep driving, blocking major intersections, and driving right through red lights.. I take a chance, find a hole in this whole debacle and make a run for it.. I just got home.. and instead of exercising, and am enjoying a Carlsberg beer.

Tomorrow I hope to take about a 2 hour hike.. I need to find directions though as it is a bit off the beaten path.

One last thing... the Comboni Missions  (which any graduate from Cov Cath or NDA from my era would remember from Christian Awakening) have a very big presence here.. There are a few Comboni missionaries I have met who actually went to train at their location on Beechmond avenue before coming here..This made me think of my mom and dad.. Many a day we spent at the combini retreat house as kids and adults... In some way it was comforting knowing I was in the same country as the Comboni missions.. I wonder if they can do anything about the traffic and line waiting issues here in town...

Last night I was able to listen to the reds and Marty Brennaman since it was a day game.. i miss the reds and my grill at home. Here's me in my new fishing hat.. hand made grass hat.. cost me 50 cents.. better than the hats at the "flying J" or whatever gas station/ truck stop that is called at home.
Headed out for a dinner with colleagues from my work.. of course, it's a beautiful evening.

Hope all is well at home. Happy birthday to Kate.. I will see you soon and I love you.
Happy Friday everyone.. Cheers.