Monday, September 5, 2005

Getting in the Groove

Our second week on Mefloquine/Larium seems to be OK. All the kids took their pills without trouble; Jonathon was very proud of himself, as he should be.

The effects do seem to be stronger the first few days, the boys wake more often with reports of nightmares or just wanting to sleep with us. Last night was odd. Nicholas came into the den, which is clear on the other side of the house from his bedroom, around 10 p.m. He still wakes up nightly to use the bathroom so that wasn’t unusual, but last night he came in with no PJs or underwear on, took a blanket from the chair and left the room. I followed him to find his bedroom light on, his bed made, his PJs on the floor and Jonathon still sleeping. He hadn’t used the toilet yet, so once he was done I put him back to bed where he asked for his bottoms again, curled up, and was instantly asleep. I don’t think he was ever actually awake.
The girls and parents aren’t exhibiting any side effects yet, but we still have another couple weeks before we really know.
We still don’t have a routine for bedtime/wake-up. The alarm rings between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m., so our current bedtime of 7:30 p.m. leaves us with a lot of tired little bodies. The worst part is waking up Jonathon. I looked at him this morning in his fuzzy footy dinosaur PJs and realized that he really is too small yet to have to get up and go to “school” like this. I have half a mind to withdraw him. Half days would work, but I don’t have a car to pick him up, and once I do have a car my plan is to go to the school anyway to do what can be done for the library. So if I’m going to be at the school regularly in a couple months anyway, it makes sense to have Jonathon there in the preK room, right? But what I really want to do is let him sleep. Nicholas too, to be honest.
Of course, this is their 4th day of school and it’s still an adjustment for everyone.
Aside from not having a car, cash and groceries are our other two hurdles. 500CFA = ~$1. To get CFA, Ian cashes $ cheques at the Embassy Cashier. The Embassy Cashier gives out money in 5000CFA and 10,000CFA notes. Bakery bread, street food, snack items in the school cost less than 500CFA, some as little as 25CFA (like the muffins we bought last week). Expecting change from 5000CFA is unreasonable, and it’s never wise to walk around with large bills anyway.
When we were home, I knew that food would be the biggest of my stressors here. Can someone tell me why it takes two months for consumables to arrive? All I want right now are some baguettes. And some fruit. We have a mango tree in the yard, but the mangoes have just started growing. I could take a taxi to SupeRamco, but… I don’t trust taxis and there’s that cash issue again. A typical (haggled) fare is 1000CFA and not having the exact amount is never a good thing.
Mental note: Next time we go to a consumables post, order from Netgrocer 3 weeks prior to arrival, and mail several boxes of assorted dried goods 2 weeks prior to arrival. Especially kid lunch foods, and spices/flavorings/sauces.
Enough whining.
AFN is what we watch on TV. Ian insists he wants cable as well. I don’t see the point, AFN has news, TV shows, movies, sports, what more does anyone need? The other day they showed five football games at the same time, flipping between them. We also have Netflix. I don’t see how South African TV will be of any benefit, aside from Togo’s imminent last step towards the World Cup. If Togo did make it to Germany, it would be fun to watch them play. One of the kids at AISL is the daughter of a futboler.
What’s on the news nearly 24/7 is Katrina disaster updates. Absolutely devastating. I learned yesterday that my great-aunt is currently safe in Georgia. Her house in Biloxi, MS was destroyed. Jeff’s sister is safe with neighbors in their Louisiana town. Ian’s mom in Mobile, AL is also safe.
If we could only get Geraldo off the screen. *shudder*

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