Saturday, February 2, 2008

Seven Days

Well, it's only been a day, but it feels like it's been two or three. I've been exhausted lately — even for me, who routinely hits the sack at around 2 or 3 AM. I'm not sure why. It might be the fact that I can't sleep in lately, even on weekends. There's too much to get done. And too many people rattling around in the kitchen I sleep right next to. That's the price you pay for being the fourth guy, and the one who's always out, in a three-bedroom house.

I have not made much progress as far as preparing to leave. I'm at my parents' house over the weekend. My younger brother is getting confirmed at his church tomorrow and he wanted me to be there. Or rather, our parents did, he doesn't seem to care a ton one way or another.

While I'm in my hometown, I've been going out shopping for little necessities: socks and underwear that aren't years old, ties to wear when I teach at the local South African school — I'll teach some English and basic sex ed as part of my internship — a book or two to read on the plane and so on. It's all kind of boring for today. Except for the ties, according to my Dad; I rummaged through the bins at Salvation Army and picked out (without knowing what they were!) a classy designer tie and two Grateful Dead ties. Or actually, one Grateful Dead tie. My brother picked out the other one. I'm okay with it, it may have a bitchin' label but it looks roughly like this:

Yeah, I wasn't too enthused about it.

I got Africa news from a friend of mine the other day! Thanks, Julian, for the info. It seems South Africa's electric power is running lower than a flashbacking Vietnam vet. The government forgot to tell anybody, though, until the country was having outages that lasted half a day in a display of federal wisdom that only the post-Mandelan regime could have slapped together. And oh, that display got some noise from the crowd. You could almost call it pyrotechnic if it weren't the exact opposite.

Now I'm worried about driving a car through those blacked-out stoplights. I've heard the drivers in South Africa are terrible. For them, if I'm to believe friends who have been there, four-way stops are hardly cause to tap the brake. One more thing to watch out for.

I will be back tomorrow with pictures, if I can get 'em. I'll slap a real To-Do list together too, so I can check stuff off over the rest of the week. I leave a week from today, it's past time to get that laid out in black and white.

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