The exotic life

Me: Oh Joni, the sweeties have all gone. What shall we do?Him: Go to the shop. Buy some more.

The couple of weeks since Peru have mostly been filled with pushing small things forward in the hope that something might crack and some progress might crawl out of the woodwork. Hence my diary contains enthralling jottings such as “buy pencil sharpeners”, “parents’ meeting” and “phone X again”. The exotic life of a missionary. I find myself hopping on the spot, torn between wanting to boldly go with my sleeves rolled up like a real missionary, and wanting to have a normal life like a real person. So what will it be; the one, the other, both, or neither?

Meantime, we might have made some measurable progress on the “kid from village goes to school” front. We have a tentative agreement from the local governor that the village will fund someone’s fuel (probably mine in the outset; the exotic life) to transport kiddo for three days a week for however long it takes for the proper funding from the provincial government to come through, at which point hopefully we might hand the transport over to a proper taxi company for five days a week. Next Wednesday we have an interview with the school to which I’ve been invited as mum’s advocate. It’s a strange thought that I’m more articulate than she is in her first language. I hope I can do her justice; that kid really needs the stimulation. The sticking point with the school might be the “three days” thing; structures are sometimes quite rigid around here. If they say it’s five days or nothing, I might be left with a choice of transporting him unpaid, or having him not in school at all, neither of which would be a preferred option.

This weekend I’m at a Scout leaders’ camp, which unusually, I’m not wildly excited about, not least because there’s something on in Cordoba that I’d rather be at, and partly because I’m probably going to end up lugging the dog along with me. She has her leg splinted and bandaged having been run over last Saturday. She’s a street dog, she chases cars for sport. Normally our dogs spend most of their time outside doing their own thing around the neighbourhood (this is normal in Argentina for mutts like ours), but at the moment she’s too uncoordinated to be allowed out without a chaperone, so we’re having to lock her in or cart her around for the next month or so, while hoping against hope that her near death experience might reduce her enthusiasm for playing chicken with the traffic. Oh for the exotic life.

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