Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Inside I'm Screaming

Some days you just shrug your shoulders and say T.I.A (This is Africa). Other days you get so much achieved, like last weekend that you forget how hard it can be. This afternoon wasn't quite like that.

It has been so hot the past couple of days and with no air conditioning and a broken fan, the classroom is a sweat box. By the time 3.15 rolled around I had a red face, wet thighs and a pile of marking.

I broke my one-job-per-day rule and thought I could go food shopping, visit MTN (AGAIN!) and then swim laps! How many of those do you think I got done? One, it is always one, haven't I learnt that yet!?

This was my second visit to try the mobile shop to get my now not-so-new gadget set up for the modern world. It apparently can receive e-mails, if I need this or not is not the point, the point is that it was still not working.  After an hour in the shop, at a point when I didn't know if I was going to cry or storm out (but really...I would have had to go back another day...!) the chap that was fixing my phone, in between gossiping with the pretty (ish) girl next to him (who did not pick up my evil 'he-is-busy-with-me' eyes, selling airtime and picking his nose, handed back (yeesss....yuck...with those same fingers!!) a fully functional mobile! I never even mentioned the nose-picking, just wiped the buttons and happily walked out of the shop...

into ...traffic!

This week the traffic seems particularly bad...is it just the heat that makes me think this!? I am sure I said to myself that my next 'home' would be somewhere that I could cycle to work and around town. I am sure I did. I don't think there are cycle lanes in Nairobi!

Saying that, just as I was reaching the 0.7km mark from my house (or 30 minutes away by car) a boda-boda (motorbike) passed me with a passenger carrying...a... boda-boda. That made me smile! It zoomed (!) passed the traffic at such a speed that I didn't manage to get my mobile (it has a camera too you know!!) out of its case in time, so you will just have to imagine it.

I am learning with time, how to manage these frustrations  and I am passing on more little jobs to my man-helper (I usually just call him my 'man', as finding a suitable label for a male cleaner/helper/weighing scales (another story)/finder of all lost things is hard; I don't have 'staff', I have only a 'man'...anyhow); he now goes to the post office for me and gets my fruit and veg from the market. In my spare time I am teaching him how to teach!!!

I know that these are small frustrations. I have a friend going through tough times at the moment and I am not comparing these silly woes with theirs...still... I hope it rains tonight, that may help keep the state of zen and calm in my life.

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