15 July, 2011
Today was pretty taxing but not in the normal physical way. It was somewhat like what I experienced in the Dominican Republic, and for you readers who may keep coming back I apologize if I reference the DR frequently—it is my only reference point at the moment. Today I was always on, there were no real breaks until dinnertime and I was trying to absorb everything. So here we go:
I woke up early this morning and decided that I needed a bit more sleep so I turned over for a few more minutes and ended up sleeping for over an hour. Guess my jetlag is present, it just doesn’t feel too bad during the daytime, my body just takes the sleep it needs. I went to breakfast and Sally, the chef, made sure I was taken care of even though I was a little late getting there. It was a tea, a big bowl of fruit, a big bowl of yogurt, some bacon/ham and some toast. I didn’t come anywhere near finishing all of the very fresh fruit (actually with one I couldn’t identify right off-orange-ish with bigger, black, hopefully edible seeds) or the yogurt and I was still stuffed.
After breakfast, I went back to my room where the staff was cleaning so I went for a little walk in the gardens. There were plenty of stairs up and down and they have a pool as well. It was quite different in the daylight and very pretty to see in the sun. As I was wandering, I heard Robyn, the JRS Advocacy and Communications Officer, call my name and remembered that I had to go. So I met her for the first time, grabbed my camera and headed off to the Jesuit Refugee Service’s (from now on JRS) regional office.
We drove the rather short drive (10 minutes or so) to the JRS regional office and we snuck the little car past two others and a fence with maybe an inch to spare and walked inside. I met everyone briefly and was shown to my desk. Although small, I can already tell that good things will happen at that desk.
I read through my orientation packet and then we had a staff meeting of sorts. I was introduced again and brought into the group with plenty of discussion about how everyone was doing on their separate projects. I already feel they are trying to include me right away and for that I am very grateful since I feel out of place and out of my element at the moment.
The meeting concluded and I finished reading up on the different country documentations that JRS had. As I was reading, pizza was ordered and then delivered. Lunch is provided every day and I look forward to the connection time between me and myand I tried two very different styles of pizza that I have never seen in the States. One I tried was a salami and chicken and a white sauce that tasted somewhat like mayonnaise to me, which was surprisingly good. The other I tried was a chili pepper and beef and a sort of spicy sauce. All in all pretty good, too.
Once we finished lunch, Robyn took me shopping to get me a few essentials at the mall. I purchased a phone card for local calls, some electrical outlet converters and I got some cash from an ATM. If you haven’t ever seen it, check out some South African rand, it is quite pretty.
We drove back to my little cottage at the hotel, and I set up my phone and got ready for dinner. My dinner was very good, chicken, sausage, potatoes and vegetables with some fruit juice and fruit and yogurt on the side. I wonder what I am going to do when I have to start making my own food here in a week or two.
My apologies to all of you, I do not mean to make this blog into just a play by play of my day, I hope to start delving into some deeper topics from time to time. I have some good books to read and lots of experiences to experience yet so I am sure to have some deeper moments while I am here. At the moment, I feel rather isolated from things so I may go to a museum tomorrow and try and see more of the city. Stay tuned and thanks for listening in!