There are days when it is tempting to hop online and book a flight home. A flight leaving tomorrow. Today was one of those days:
A day when the person supposed to be my new counterpart messaged me to say she would no longer be coming to work. She lasted one week. The backlog of to-dos stretches for miles.
A day when many of the nearly 300 teachers of English and other volunteers I work with all also decided to get hold of me via Facebook messenger, their preferred means of communication. My screen looked like my head felt.
A day when the satellite phone I was meant to check wouldn’t connect, not even when I stood outside in the cold and jumped to fix the magnet aerial to the highest point on a wrought iron gate.
A day when the bedroom fixtures were draped with sodden clothes, which had had to be rinsed by hand as a result of my latest gastric emergency.
A day when the wood was too wet to catch light in the wood-burning stove. A day it managed to resist the wiles of even Aleta, the flame whisperer.
A day when I had half a cabbage to cook and precious little else.
And then Ara, my personal winemaker, turned up with a liter Soda bottle full of his latest press.
“I want you to have a glass of this one and compare it to a glass of the first type” he said “I think this one is better. Be sure to taste them both”.
I poured a large glass of each wine and you know he was right. The second one is rich and round and mellow with none of the fizziness in the finish that so characterized the first. I poured a second glass of the second wine, just to make sure.
Aleta sacrificed an old chair and a window frame or two to get dry kindling. The stove is now throwing out a rare heat. My clothes may be dry in a couple of days .
I found a zucchini lurking in the fridge. I chopped it and the cabbage and threw them on top of a pot of pasta shells and boiling salted water. I chopped and fried an onion and some garlic and added them to the drained pasta and steamed vegetables. I even managed to squeeze the last of the sweet chili sauce out of a care package bottle.
I found three sycamore leaves– brown, yellow and green– a really cute kid gave me at the weekend. I arranged them in my window.
I remembered to be glad that we have no actual emergency that would require use of the satellite phone.
I don’t think I’ll book my flight tonight but I’ll stay away from the computer just to be sure. Perhaps I’ll leave it alone tomorrow too…