Saturday, February 09, 2008

THe Birds Sing for Everyone Else . . .

Friday began with my discovering that I’d lost one of the few pairs of earrings I brought. Oh well, I hadn’t included anything of great value in my packing.

At work, I learned that I had mislabeled 67 slides, so I explained to my Pennsylvanian co-worker the Southerner’s meaning behind the fact that I was having a “bless my heart” moment.

Then we found that the new color printer’s driver wouldn’t load on my Mac. Neither would it load properly on my co-worker’s Dell or the office manager’s PC. Without instructions (they weren’t included), we methodically (I have mentioned that all the volunteers excluding me are science-oriented, haven’t I?) explored every rationale for why the printer wouldn’t print. By lunch time we still had no answers.

I was now in the mood for carbs. The other vols decided to reheat the tomato soup we’d had the night before but having been the creator of said soup I had smelled it for quite some time and couldn’t fathom another go at it. My California connection and I decided to head for Parrot, a cheap place for good basic rice and meat.

But first a stop at the house because dehydration (I know! I’m supposed to be drinking more water at this altitude!) had left my stomach in knots and I wanted to check in with the Western toilet for a few minutes. That’s when I learned that we still had not received our refill of the water tank. And I had to turn the vols back to the second house in our compound (where the fridge is and where the soup had been stored) because we also still didn’t have a new full gas tank for cooking. Of course, all of this was after we had finally retrieved the keys to get into these houses after the woman who cleans them had determined that our hiding place was evidently too obvious and had locked them INSIDE one of the houses.

My fellow carb hunter and I started heading toward the oasis of food that was intended to make this day brighter and that’s with IT happened.

I felt and heard it. The feeling suggested someone had thrown a rock. The direction from which it came and the subsequent oozing on my fingers when I reached for what I thought might be the wound confirmed that no one in Karatu was stoning me, but a bird had done his business in my hair.

I’m wondering, dear reader, at this point what would you have done?

I directed my friend to carry on and turned quickly around to go wash my hair in what limited water we had on the premises. With my shiny clean hair, I marched to the other house and prepared a delicious fried egg and cheese sandwich.

I then proceeded with my fellow workers to tackle that printer problem with gusto. The day had started anew. I couldn’t continue to catalog how bad it was. The negative energy had already resulted in a handful of … well crap!

Thanks to minds sharper than mine, we finally got one computer to talk to that printer, finally got one set of colored prints to come out right (we now have 79 more sets at 67 pages to go!) and the day ended with me winning one game of Scrabble and one game of Farkle and dinner at Bytes (where we get cold drinks and meat that I can not only eat but last night’s lamb was so tender I could cut it with a spoon.)

All this reminded me of my brother Bart. He used to frequently remark that “the birds sang for everyone else but shit on him.” He said it though, with great irony, because he was one of the most content men I knew or have ever known.

Shit happens, I think he knew, but your response is up to you. As for me and my house, we had a good laugh and then a very good day.

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