Friday, October 12, 2007

100th Day!

Today is my 100th day in Sri Lanka. I can't tell if it has gone by quickly or slowly. I guess that means time is moving at just the right speed for me.

I already did a 'happy, happy, joy, joy' post this week (I should have planned that better), so I won't bore you with another insipid look at the good times.

I was thinking about informing you that I added Google Analytics to this blog last month (because I still don't have enough to do on occasion). So now I know that the average amount of time spent reading this blog is currently one minute and 55 seconds. Either you guys are speed readers or no one is really reading this thing. Which is fine by me -- I'll keep writing it because it will be a nice journal in the end. Anyway, going into specifics about Google Analytics began to sound like a boring posts, so I won't bore you (oops, already did).

So rather than dwell on this random number I've decided is momentous, I'll just give a regular update.

We were supposed to get a new roommate yesterday. She didn't show. I'm actually assuming a lot by saying "she." We have been provided no information regarding this new person other than he/she is foreign. At least I knew Aya was Japanese and female before she walked in the door. Although I'm not sure if that information is really helpful.

So I washed the sheets and towels that had accumulated in the spare room (Sewalanka was using this room as a hotel when senior female staff come in from the districts) and tried to make it presentable for the new person. I wonder why these chores always fall to me.

Oh, and the housing meeting wasn't actually about ridiculing the foreigners (reminder to self: take everything Manurie says with a grain of salt). They did want to convey a need for conserving resources, but it wasn't the foreigner hostel they were concerned about.

They also mentioned that although we may think something is extremely important, it is one of just "a million" (actual quote) things Mr. Aruna has to do and he may not remember, but it is not appropriate to go over his head. I think this was directed at me (especially since while Ms. Kumari was speaking Mr. Aruna was looking directly at me). I didn't say so in the meeting (because frankly, I could care less what Mr. Aruna thinks I did), but I didn't go over his head. When someone directly asks me a question, however, I will provide an answer. Amanda asked how things at the house were and I said good, and then mentioned that we were waiting for new kitchen pots and the leaks to be fixed. I went on to say that I'm sure Mr. Aruna was working on these things and then Amanda casually said she'd check on them. Clearly, Mr. Aruna didn't like Amanda checking on them. Of course, this extra push got us new pans rather quickly. Granted, the pots are crap, but there was an effort made.

We have to start buying our own light bulbs. I'm happy about this because Sewalanka buys the worst bulbs possible -- they generally last less than a month. Manurie argued that Sewalanka should buy energy efficient bulbs for the entire house and then we will replace as necessary. I would have been happy to just buy the bulbs (it could take months for Sewalanka to do it), splitting the cost three ways (or four, if this new person does show up). Here is where having a Sri Lankan in the house is a problem because I know Manurie makes slightly less then us and therefore believes we (foreigners) should be responsible for a greater share of the costs than her. I don't agree since we (foreigners) get charged more for things our salaries are very comparable and we all live in the house and use the house resources, we should all be equally responsible for their replacement. Anyway, this is all mute because if Sewalanka does buy energy efficient bulbs they will last for my entire duration here.

And speaking of that subject, I have no idea how long I will stay. My current contract is until July 4, 2008. This week I'm really happy with my job here (worked on a water report for Ampara District), but some weeks (see this post for details) it leaves a lot to be desired. Plus the pay is awful. I know they want me to stay longer, but it also seems like this salary issue is non-negotiable. That maybe what makes the decision for me. I most likely will stay slightly more than a year as I would really like to do the Pada Yathra again.

Anyway, making such a decision when I'm only at day 100 seems silly. I have until at least day 360 to decide (I'm sure we won't visit the renewal of my contract any earlier).

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