Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Bane of my Existence

At ORTV, my schedule revolved around meetings. Meetings to plan future editions of our magazines. "Post mortem" meetings to discuss past issues of the magazines. Meetings to plan meetings. Meetings with my staff. Meetings about big outreach meetings. Meetings, meetings, meetings.

I had a Palm Pilot, partly because I found it far easier to keep my life organized that way. I could take notes at the meetings and simply sync it with my computer afterwards and have all future meetings put into Outlook. But honestly, sometimes my Palm Pilot came in extra handy: I was able to make very detailed to-do lists, answer e-mail, beam notes to co-workers.

Today, I wished I had a Palm Pilot. Or even my computer, for that matter. I sat in a 3-hour meeting to discuss our upcoming 10-year anniversary celebration. There were 20 people in the meeting. We voted on things like what food should be served, where the tents should be pitched and the cars be parked, who the VIPs should be, if we should give our cooks a break and hire outside cooks... It was one of those days when I truly sat there thanking God that meetings like these aren't a regular part of my schedule, because it's just one of those major cultural differences.

So, now I'm back home and am heading out to read If you give a mouse a cookie to my kids. I missed the kids. Going to read to them will be better than spending time in my house. Got an e-mail from an intern saying, "I'm picturing you with one of your lovely gourmet dinners snuggled up in that ultra-soft blanket of yours listening to some good music and visiting with your chameleon." Yip. That's my life here. Self-care means I try to cook myself decent meals, listen to good music. Surviving the cold from living at a high altitude and with cement floors means I often have to wrap myself in my blanket (and happen to have some wonderfully soft blankets friends have given me as gifts). And unless I go to read to the kids or invite guests over, my company is indeed my chameleon. Though right now, he's hanging in my plant, not being very talkative. Not that he ever is. He's very low-maintenance. He eats flies. Comes to me when I hold out my hand (because he knows the hand is what takes him to find flies). Drinks water. Hangs out on my plant. That's it. No sounds from him.
I am back from reading to the kids. Read to four rooms (West Wing) and the kids did very well even telling me step by step what would happen if you gave a mouse a cookie... Thanks, Tom, for sending this book and other books. I love reading to the kids! We always pray together afterwards, and then they line up to each give me a hug. I love that.
This morning, I was up very early to go and spend my quiet time on a rock in Kipkaren, overlooking the valley below. It was the most gorgeous and serene scene, especially watching the sunrise. But having gone to bed late, getting up early and spending grueling hours in a meeting means I'm ready to call it the day.

Signing off from my little corner of Kenya

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