I have the flu. I’ve had it for about 10 days now. It’s definitely cold and flu season here in Dodoma, and many people on the staff are or have been sick. I took two days off of work last week, and one day off this week, trying to rest up and beat the bug, but it’s hanging on. C’est la vie.
I got my first haircut since I’ve been in Africa. Last night Leah used a pair of safety scissors and cut about two inches off my hair. I can’t really see the back of it, but it seems like she did a pretty good job. I’m just happy to have some of the weight off.
I lost my cell phone two weeks ago. A friend gave me a phone, and I’ve been trying to get my same phone number back. The cell phone system is just different here, and I have to petition the cell company to get my same number. Otherwise I’ll just have to buy a new line, which is cheap, but annoying to have to update my number to everyone. I lost about half of the phone numbers which I’d not written down, so I’ve learned a lesson there. Hopefully I’ll be back up and running in a few more days.
One of our kids, Victoria, is really sick right now. She is HIV+ and lost both of her parents, so she lives with an aunt. Her aunt has a really good job, but totally neglects Victoria. We’d been noticing that Victoria seemed to be getting sicker and sicker, but the aunt said she’d taken her to the hospital. Yesterday we took her to the special Catholic-run HIV clinic, and they ordered an x-ray of her lungs. It looks like tuberculosis, which is very serious for HIV+ clients. Please pray for Victoria.
The rumors are true. I’ve lost a ton (not literally) of weight in the past six months. If you want to know the exact number, you’ll have to read my next support letter.
I’m losing my other roommate. Beatrice has been volunteering in Dodoma for almost a year, but she’s returning to her home town on Saturday. Overall she has been a wonderful roommate, and I’ll miss our complicated Swanglish conversations over dinner (her English is minimal, and my Swahili is still pretty poor, but we manage to understand each other for the most part). There is some discussion if Leah will come and live with me for her remaining six months. She’s been staying with me while another traveler is here, and we’ve had a good time. Otherwise I’ll probably just live on my own for a while.
Anyway, nothing too glamorous to report, just a lot of dirty handkerchiefs to wash.