Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Computer repair, spiders, and a Cavongo orange (email from Amy)

I know I haven't emailed you in a while. Last weekend my computer power cord broke and I attempted to fix it myself, which really didn't work. It wasn't that great, especially because my brother was going in to the doctor to see if he needed surgery and, because I couldn't charge the computer, I couldn't check my email. Anyway, on Friday I headed out to Otjiwarongo and actually got my cord fixed, surprisingly. I also had a great meal at the Wimpy Burger with a bunch of other volunteers, and had the chance to talk and catch up with some people.

I have a lot of work to catch up with this week, though. Lots of marking to do. Last Tuesday I killed a spider the size of my open palm in the library. I killed another one just today. I had found two similar spiders dead earlier in the week. The learners told me it was poisonous so I looked it up in my book about spiders. Apparently it was a violin spider, which is cytotoxic and although it won't kill you, it will make you really extremely unhappy for a while. So, in addition to the swarms of possibly malarial mosquitoes, the library is also apparently infested with enormous poisonous spiders. Yay!

Also, I thought that I had a mosquito bite on my arm, but it isn't going away and I'm starting to think that I might have ringworm. It doesn't surprise me too much—hygiene is not intensely practiced here and although I am pretty clean, it seems like it would be a lot easier to contract infectious diseases here. Among the diseases that other volunteers have been exposed to—one volunteer had a person from the Ministry of Health check out her learners and found that all but three had scabies, one volunteer from the Cavongo was telling me that her mattress has been infected by bedbugs several times, I know that my kids have head lice, and there are all sorts of worms and parasites that go around (one of my kids was out of school for a while because of a worm that's infects you when you walk around barefoot.)

Really I should be glad that it hasn't happened sooner. Anyway, I'm going to call the Peace Corps soon, but I really have a lot of work to do before the exam and I don't want them to pull me out to Otjiwarongo or anything until the weekend, so I have to be pretty sure that I need a prescription first. Ringworm won't kill me.

While I was away someone gave me a Cavongo orange. A Cavongo orange is the size of a baseball and as hard as a rock. In fact, to open a Cavongo orange you have to hit it against a rock. The inside of the fruit looks like a brown brain and it tastes a little like a sweetish grapefruit. It was pretty good. Other than that, not too much has happened. I'm doing OK.

Take care,

PO Box 90
Kamanjab, Namibia

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