Monday, April 14, 2003

Friday, April 11th

Friday, April 11th: It all started innocently enough but before I knew it, Katherine had rushed off to school with shoes in hand, a half eaten egg on the table, and her lunchbox still half completed in the kitchen. Now I know the purpose of the morning.

Around 10 a.m. we hopped over to the school and were told it would be fine to go directly to her classroom to deliver her lunchbox. Only to find out that we’d already missed snack time and there’s a tab system running at the school where she can sign a slip and get her food anyway. It’s nice to know the back-up is there should this happen again. Which it will, I’m sure. I also stopped by the security office to apply for my school pass so I won’t have to keep checking in at the front gate. The folks in there acted like I was just plain silly bringing my kids everywhere with me and not having a housekeeper. Ugh. Anyway, I’ll be able to pick up the pass the same day I bring Rebecca to the school for her K testing after Easter. Once we were back at the guard shack, we hung around for a few minutes to wait for the car. There was one very chatty guard who asked if we lived in Dasma village, what our family name was and if we knew anyone in the States who was giving up their little girl for adoption because he wanted to adopt a little girl just like Rebecca.
Have I mentioned yet how weirded out I am at times here?
We stopped again at PriceSmart on the way home to finish up the shopping for tonight’s dinner. It’s still Lent, so we’re having a lemon-butter shrimp concoction with button mushrooms over noodles. It sounds good, let’s see what actually comes of it. At PriceSmart they have plenty of “fresh” fish in piles including whole flounder, live crabs in a wobbly cage, and some catfish looking things in a big tank. Some of the times they’re swimming around, but other times it seems like they get drained and there’s just a pile of previously wriggly bodies. There’s always a big pile of dead crabs, blue and regular, and I’m not quite sure why. I’d always thought that crabs were supposed to be cooked alive. There are some packaged fish parts, and even big piles of cooked crab meat all wrapped up, but I doubt very much the sanitation level of the crab/preparing/cooking area so I think we’ll wait until our immune systems are a little stronger before trusting “pre-cooked” foods. There are red fish, blue fish, spotted fish, striped fish, long skinny fish (and I mean long, like 2 feet long but only an inch or 2 wide), and some that are plain old fish heads. It’s just like a Dr. Seuss rhyme. This is, of course, the favorite stopping point in the store for all the kids. And it’s mildly stinky which adds to the experience.
What cash we spend here will be mostly on food. How could anyone pass up a P28 pineapple? To do the exchange, double the amount and move the decimal point to the left 2 spaces. That’ll give you an approximate amount as the exchange differs daily. Anyhow, P28=~60c, for a whole pineapple. It’s helps to have local Dole plantations.
Mangoes are a hit with all the kids. Katherine, Nicholas and Jonathon like papaya. Katherine likes cantelope melon. All four like watermelon, grapes, apples and oranges. Only the girls like bananas though the boys keep asking for them which drives me nuts. Next on my list is the pomalo. I have no idea what it is, so don’t ask. I’ll let you know once I cut it open. Sounds like a cross between 2 other fruits though and the skin is much like a grapefruit, but the shape is more like a giant pomegranate.
Jonathon has several bites on his arm which I initially assumed were mosquito bites, but they aren’t fading and in fact they are hard to the touch. Small, but solid, and sometimes he says Ouch when I touch one. Of course he says Ouch when I brush his hair too, so who knows if they really hurt. One in particular concerns me as the red area seems to be enlarging and there are several smaller bumps around the larger one. All told, it’s still smaller than the size of a dime. I’ll keep an eye on it, and take him to the doctor if it doesn’t get better. While in the school secirurity office I asked one of the ladies if perhaps she knew what had caused it. She thought mosquitoes at first but when she touched them and I told her it had been a few days, she thought maybe cockroaches. Everyone together now… Ew.
At bedtime, just as we turned out the light, we heard a huge crash. I mean, huge. All the noise needed was the sound of crashing glass and I would have sworn that something big and heavy had come through a window or that one of the giant mirrors in this house had fallen. Ian and I were both instantly on guard. We turned the TV back on, turned on the light, made our way downstairs, examined all the windows and doors. All was still locked up tight and we realized that it couldn’t have been glass, and that it was local to our bedroom since none of the kids had made a peep. Ideas flew and what we finally settled on was that a tree branch or something equally as heavy must have fallen outside our window and landed on the metal roof of the carport.
Tomorrow, we’re buying padlocks for all the windows.

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