The days are beginning to blend together now and I find that several days will pass with nothing really out of the ordinary happening. But then again, maybe my definition of ordinary is just changing; at one time I probably would have considered the power being disconnected because of an unpaid bill a pretty big deal but when it happened to me a couple of days ago, I just kind of shrugged and figured the issue would sort itself out eventually. You see it wasn't that I didn't pay my electric bill, but rather that the bill was never delivered (they bring it to your door because most people don't have a mailing address). In fact, our entire six-unit complex failed to receive their bills because on both occasions when the utility company attempted to deliver the bills, no one answered at the gate and the delivery person "feared" to enter the compound without authorization. (As a side note, the use of the word "fear" in lieu of "being afraid" of something takes some getting used to.) Well, I came home the other day to find the entire complex up in arms; there was no power (which really isn't that uncommon but I suppose a black-out is one thing, a disconnection rather quite a different one) and the bills we were to have received were rumoured to be in the millions of shillings range PER UNIT!! So we're talking thousands of dollars. Obviously, something had gone very wrong; as I still haven't received a bill, I don't think the issue has been completely resolved but at least power has been restored and I've heard from my neighbours that the landlord is looking into it.
Dignitaries from Malawi stopped by the BeadforLife office yesterday and spent the morning touring the office and observing the bead sale which was taking place at the time. They were the Minster of Social Development and Persons with Disabilities and her small entourage. Although I wasn't privy to the purpose behind their visit, I noticed they seemed impressed by the programs being offered by BFL and by the jewelry being sold by the Ugandan woman.
Kara and I continue to pursue the idea of starting up a resource centre in our area, but it has been a slow process so far. We hope to meet with a broker next week sometime to look at options for a small, but functional office space. The other option is to build something suitable. Kara has been volunteering at a local one-room school started by a retired Ugandan teacher named Florence who lives in our area. The students are children who normally wouldn't be able to attend school and the school is a one-room shack on a rented parcel of land. We are wondering if there isn't some way we can partner with Florence, maybe by raising funds to build a proper school which could double as our resource centre. I suppose the reason it is taking us awhile to get things moving is because we really don't want to rush into something until we know we are headed in the right direction. There are so many options for helping and some probably much more sustainable over the long-term than others.
I feel that after a bit of a lull in my blogging, I should have something more profound to say, maybe a few sage words about the state of the world and our place in it. I think it is this sense of ordinariness I've alluded to that is to blame. How quickly we humans learn to accept the status quo and comfortably live within it!