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Post 18 October 2011

Posted by on December 7, 2011

Huge Bummer!  Somehow this post was missed!  Not sure why, but it was sitting in a Drafts folder for almost two months!   This is very disturbing to us, but we are publishing it anyway.  It is entirely anti-climactic, but we want it recorded here for our own memories, so know before you read it, that it is two months old and you may want to skip it!  Sorry for not getting it out there appropriately!

Today was a great day! It was Monday.  The first Monday after a really good relaxing weekend.  The first weekend that we had a break from the training we were all growing to tire of.   We spent a week doing “shadowing” and really enjoyed ourselves.  Then we got back on Friday and spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday relaxing, internetting, and drinking and eating with our friends, exchanging interesting stories. Then came Monday.  Today.  It was great!  We arrived at class, and although we spent pretty much the whole day in a couple of specialized classes “learning” stuff we pretty much already knew about safety and security, and about Monitoring and Evaluation techniques, a whole bunch of great things happened today. First, and foremost, Carol and John received 5 (yes FIVE!) separate care packages in the mail! We were the envy to end all envy!

We-Get-5-Care-Packages-in-1-day

No one could believe we knew that many concerned people serious enough to spend the time and money!  We got one box from Aaron, one from Eve, one from Joyce and two (yes TWO) boxes from Rick Reckamp!

Christmas-in-October

We we’re overwhelmed with joy and after class debated whether to bring home all 5 boxes or ration them for one per day for next 5 days.  We decided there was no way we were gonna wait, so we took them home and ripped into them all.  It was truly Christmas in October in our small home!  We will be sending personal Thank-You’s to each of you, but we want to say Thank You here too! Next, I received my Motorola Droid Pro back after almost 5 weeks of absence.  I arrived in Botswana with my “global” Smartphone, that Verizon assured me would work just fine here with a local SIM card.  The phone is advertised as a Global Phone; it has choices of networks that include GSM and CDMA and other Global network protocols; and Verizon assured me it would work.  Well, it doesn’t.  It is SIM locked.  So, I met with the top IT guy her at the PC and explained to him the situation and he said he would look into getting it fixed or otherwise figuring out what the problem was.  After 5 weeks and 5 or 6 conversations about how it was “in fact” SIM locked, it was finally determined that the phone was in fact, SIM locked.  So, it was returned to me in final defeat, however, thanks to Marion Mobley, my PC “mentor” I found several places on the internet who claim to be able to unlock my phone for a small $10 fee.  This sounds good to me, and it leads me to the third great thing that happened today… Internet!   The PC finally came back, as promised, with a final ruling on the usage they would allow to us Trainees of their wireless Internet at our school.  They decided that we could use their Internet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from EXACLTY (you’ll see why this is important in a moment)12:30 pm to 1:30 pm., which is our daily lunch hour.  This is quite an acceptable compromise considering it would have been somewhat justified on their part to prohibit the use completely based on the argument that we, as trainees, need to spend our time doing activities other than Internetting. So, I was quite happy with that and immediately got connected when the lunch bell rang, and answered some emails and other business while in the background searching out the Droid Unlock sites for the best deal.  I found one, but with only 15 minutes of lunch hour to go.  Since the afternoon session was an informal one (more on that later too)  I was pretty sure they might extend the internet usage time a bit, or at least sure that 15 minutes should be adequate to get my shopping done.  I entered my CC info and it was a race against time to download the codes to unlock my Droid before the lunch hour ended.  I lost.  The internet was shut off at precisely 1:30 pm with no warning and my download never occurred.  L Oh well, I will have to just wait until Wednesday to resume the Unlocking process, but that is ok. Next, on our list of great things to occur today was the informal start of our afternoon session.  That was because today was PAYDAY!  Yee haa!  Another 300 Pula!  (that’s $46 US).  2 Weeks pay!   Seems like very little, but actually, we really have very little expenses, so it is quite adequate.  We will get paid a bit more than that once we move to our final homes, but we will also have more expenses to pay ourselves, so in the end we come out just about even. Lastly, and probably leastly, today we finally got our long awaited and much anticipated grades from our recent Language Test.   I guess this wasn’t really all that great of a thing to happen, but it was something we had been curious about for a couple weeks and now the moment of truth.  As I slowly opened the paper just handed to me that contained my grade, all of my life’s Spanish classes flashed through my mind at once, and every grade I had ever gotten in a Foreign Language all averaged out to just about A+.  D.  Yes, D.  As in a, b, c, D!  That was my grade.  I guess I did even worse than I thought.  Carol had already told me she had gotten a D, and I knew I would not do much better.  This is a dang hard language! Don’t panic!   We have all been told many times that they have never yet kicked even one person out of Botswana for doing sub-par in the language!  That test was a practice test for the real proficiency test that will be administered in a couple weeks towards the end of our training.  We are both hoping to do much better by then! So,  today was a great day! JM

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