Saturday, January 12, 2008


My remaining six months in country will be decidedly more comfortable thanks to my decision to start being more outspoken. I'm already enjoying the results of this loudness. In the middle of the photo above is the house's new blender. Yes, after six months of constant work, I have succeeded in obtaining a working blender for the house.

For my new readers, when I arrived I was told the blender no longer worked after I had happily announced that whole bean coffee could be sent as we had a grinder (blenders here come with all sorts of different tops -- between three to seven -- including a coffee bean grinder). Thus, I've been hand grinding coffee beans via a mortal and pestle for the past six months (thanks to generous friends in the U.S.). I took the blender to the office and requested it be fixed. It then sat in Mr. Aruna's office for two months. So I asked Ms. Kumari if she could do something and she sent it away to the factory. Every so often I'd ask about it and it would still be "at the shop." I asked right before leaving for Christmas when it was determined unfixable. Approval was provided for a new blender. When I returned from Christmas Ms. Kumari said she signed the check request for a blender so she did not understand why we don't have one. Thus, yesterday a blender was presented. We enjoyed watermelon-mango juice last night and I ground coffee this morning in less than 10 seconds!

I also brought a set of pots back with me. They are camping pots, but Aya and I have both used them already and they are way better than anything else in the house (the exception is the wonderful pot that Sarah sent me last year). So now we are back in the cooking business. I'll be taking these pots home with me when I leave (which is why I picked camping pots as I didn't have any). With no moving in allowance and no support in terms of making this house livable, my charitable inclinations are negative towards Sewalanka.

Finally, I received from Mama T a wonderful little piece of plastic that sits on top of milk boxes to make pouring easier. It is wonderful. Thanks Mama T! It is amazing how something so small can actually improve daily life.

In the meantime, I finally edited the photos I took in the States. Oddly, I took one photo of my nephew and many photos of friends making beer. Clearly I was not quite myself while home.

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