Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Every Third Day

Actually it's not too bad, showering every third day. Truly there is no body odor for me in this climate. NONE. My oil glands must be on a hiatus. My lovely feet which are used to a weekly foot bath and manicure are circling in a waiting pattern. This may continue till the Kennedy set down. Baby wipes which I purchased in Lakeside (touristville, remember) facilitate a quick and easy sponge bath. There are fewer times when I have less/no clothes on and my entire psyche appreciates this, not to mention the reduction of the shivering factor.

I have had quite a bit of trouble with my Internet connection and today the techs (I use the term VERY loosely) are coming again. They were here yesterday, but the power was cut. The monk who brought them to my room went to the head lama to request the generator be turned on and it was turned on for 15 minutes; not enough time.

But today, TODAY, as I sit here and type at 6:40 AM, I am warmed by a cup of instant coffee with Cremora – my only available dairy product at the monastery. Robert, baby you're the best. A package arrived yesterday after around 3 weeks with 4 boxes of instant coffee packets and Cremora in a large zip lock bag. I nearly put it under my pillow last night. I imbibed in TWO cups of Hazelnut flavored Nescafe Taster's Choice with Cremora. I taught a math lesson with the kids figuring out how many cups I could drink a day with the number of packets and the number of remaining days; 2.29 cups per day. This might be a problem. Robert send more. Remember there are other volunteers here and I MIGHT need to share.

I've got the computer lab up and running, but only 3 computers are operational. With all the power cuts they need to be run through another piece of hardware; not be directly plugged into the power. We now have a schedule for the Shedra, college monks, to practice keyboarding and class 7 to begin typing their essays on the word processor. Yesterday with class 7 there were many explanations about how to use the mouse - right click, left click, and also click and drag. Their time in the lab is limited to 45 minutes a day. Actually it took me two weeks to get the keys to the lab, permission for the time slots, and then the creation of a schedule. Heretofore some of the Shedra monks had been using the lab to view movies on the DVD players. Ergo the padlock.

I am looking forward to today's math lesson on estimation with class 2. They are a rather rambunctious group with a wide range of abilities. The classes here may contain an age range of 4 or more years. You do not move to the next class until you pass your exams for the year. So from my western educational point of view, there may be some kids with learning problems and they remain, in the same class, with the same problems. However I must say that somehow this system is working, everyone moves on - I guess repetition has some effect. (Remember, retention was also a method in our system)

(Murmur to self: you will not have another cup of coffee, YOU WILL WAIT.

And now for the mail:

Denis and Anne, the cards were great and the dishcloth was better. It was used immediately, washed and hung for another day. Thanks, from the heart of an American housewife. (OK, I chose not to say clean freak)

Terry, the photo of you all was super and I shall use the card in a lesson.

Jon, trad music fills the air in rhythm with the clicking keyboard. Your One Year Out CD is a beautiful outcome of your year in Ireland and I teared at the Sheba dedication.

Meghan, the poem truly hit home. Tanks

Peggy, the rubies, er pink tissues arrived and are in use. I refer to them as rubies because they are not an available product in Nepal. (except in touristville) The cards will also be used for teaching.

Renee, of course I have the Forest Animals book and as of yesterday I have received cards 1-5. The lesson will commence. I know the kids will love the visuals; we will definitely draw, color and write an English sentence about the animals.

I could talk here now about the card Robert sent me with a beloved cat on front saying "Oh, there you are…", but my mascara will start to run and my foundation streak and I've run out of makeup remover. So…'nuff said.

(If you think for one minute my face is covered with anything more than multiple scarves, hand knit woolen head bands and shawls, you lose.)

Well I enjoyed our chat; I will post this, post the tech visit which should occur sometime between 10 and 12 today.


Harry and Ellen sorry I missed you on Skype; the software has yet to arrive. I am a little worried that it looked appealing to someone in Dubai, or Mumbai, or Kathmandu.
Connie, nothing yet, but I think your care package will arrive for the Desperate Housewife.

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