Round Up

Round up;

    • A toxic herbicide manufactured by Monsanto
    • To raise to the nearest convenient number
    • To seek out and bring together e.g. livestock. 
  • Or possibly…
    • A summary of unconnected (news) reports. 

That’s probably the one we’re looking for

News round, round up… I was watching Country File the other week (we watch the BBC sort of semi-legally-ish), and spotted John Craven.  Made me realise just how young he must have been in those 70’s days of the Newsround when I was seven and thought he looked really old. 

So what else is news…

We spent an arm and a leg servicing the car on Monday, and it died in the middle of nowhere on Tuesday, but appears to be fixed again now; it didn’t die today anyway. 

After several weeks, many phone calls, and two trips to Cordoba, Martin finally managed to track down a prisoner he’d been looking for.  The prison service turns out actually to have a computerised data-base, but it appears that it might not be anyone’s job to keep it updated or checked for accuracy, so we were variously told that the guy was in a prison in Cordoba, a prison in Cruz del Eje (three hours beyond Cordoba), or had been released.  A phone call to his family ascertained that he was in fact in the other prison in Cordoba, which is exactly where Martin thought he was in the first place, but not one of the options suggested by the official system.  They managed to meet last Monday.  Another ex-prisoner friend reckons that sometimes people die in custody and simply “disappear” from the system.  I’m not in a position to comment, beyond observing the ease with which “the system” manages to lose even the living, apparently without trying. 

Having finally had my degree certificates returned from the British Foreign and Commonwealth office, apparently the next stage in the marathon confetti chase, is to be revalidated as having finished secondary school.  A check on the Argentinean government website says that this needs to be done in the locality where I am resident.  So off I went to the local ministry of education this morning.  “Why do they need your secondary certificate if you have higher education qualifications?”  Do you know, I have wondered the same myself, but since this is your country’s ministry of education not mine, perhaps you’ll take it up with them for me.  “You’ll need to get an appointment and do this in Buenos Aires”.  Au contraire… luckily I’d printed out the webpage and brought it with me; it says here that I have to do it in the locality where I am resident and that’s here.  “hmm… we don’t see many of these…” No, I’ll grant you that much “so I’ll need to find out what we’re supposed to do, can I get back to you?”  How about I come again on Friday? 

In the interim I’m busy doing stuff with the special school when the kids show up, and when the car doesn’t leave me stranded by the road-side, and when the teachers aren’t cancelling classes in order to have a meeting instead.  Routines seem a lot more precarious here somehow, but I’m enjoying it when it happens, and for now, the school have got me for next to nothing since I’m not officially qualified to do anything! 

Right now I’m planning the programme for cub camp in two weeks time on the theme of detectives, so we’ll be playing with invisible writing and finger printing, all cloak and dagger; or as cloak and dagger as it’s possible to achieve with a bunch of over-excited eight year olds anyway. 

And right right now, it’s bed-time. 

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