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July 4th, 2000

Well that settles that argument.

In a landmark decision, and after several intense arguments with Kim, I think I've finally decided to let Godfrey go ahead and do the dishes on a limited trial basis. I had Jackson do them yesterday and it worked out pretty well. Actually, I wasn't here when he did them, Anne was. She was just beginning to finish the dishes that I started when he came in and volunteered to do them and the floors in addition. I guess he felt bad about not being able to help out very much in getting me to the hospital. Granted he did help me dial the phone numbers of all of our friends that have cars, but he and I both knew he wasn't doing a very good job at it. But I feel inclined to give him a break, even though he kept holding the phone up for me at waist level, I mean, after all I'm sure he hasn't had that much experience with phones. Besides he was probably a little distracted by all of the blood pouring out of my hand on to the floor and on the phone book. In hindsight I guess he could of given me a ride on our bike to the hospital or at least to a matatu. I do remember considering this possibility as I paid the matatu drive 200/= at the emergency room at Aga Kahn Hospital (after I got out and was trying to get my bearings and a doctor, the driver wanted to know if he should wait for me! Guess he didn't mind the blood). But we have to remember that Jackson is an old man (a mzee, he tells us, of 50), which is why we also had to hire Godfrey. Unfortunately, Godfrey doesn't work weekends. He was, of course, around when I returned from the hospital and was very concerned and wanted to know how many stitches I required (seven). I didn't have the presence of mind to tell him that for at least until the stitches come out in a week and maybe a little bit longer, he'd have to the dishes everyday. I would prefer that Kim told him, but I suppose I should be gracious in defeat.

That was the excitement this weekend. Not really a big deal. I was cleaning a glass and it broke a sliced my right index finger pretty thoroughly. So while ya'll are swimmin' at your Fourth of July parties or at your Cottage up North, I have to wrap a plastic bag around my hand while I shower! Not fair! Of course, I do have the compensation of eternal summer...

Kim is in the States for one of the most ridiculous reasons this week. I might have told you this before...She had to fly all the way from Africa to Atlanta, where the CDC is located, to get a piece of paper that orders her to travel back to Africa. The kind of mechanism that she was hired under pretends that she is working in Atlanta, but is "temporarily" working in Kisumu. In order to maintain that illusion she is required to be in Atlanta every 5.5 months to pick up orders sending her back to her "temporary" assignment. This is to go on for two to three years unless they can find a different way to hire her. The good side is that she was able to see her family for a day in transit.

So I'm home alone with Anne and the baby. Anne is a friend of Kim's who is doing some malaria research for a month. Her baby, Alaina, has been very well behaved (she's two months old). They don't do much at that age...

The only other excitement around here has been the purchase of four items that may or may not increase our quality of life here in Kisumu. (You'll have to guess which ones I'm the most excited about)

1. New tub fixtures.

We had two spigots. One for hot water, one for cold. This meant the water didn't mix until it made it into the tub. Actually, didn't mix until it made it in to the bucket. Since there was no shower, you either had to fill the whole bathtub each time or use a bucket and a bowl to bathe. After four days, two fundis, two assistants, three different methods of getting the water to the new faucet (and one of those pursued twice), seven trips to town for supplies, and one hole in the wall, later, we now have a new faucet. No water pressure to the showerhead at all, but, hey, it's finally done and at least mixes the water quite nicely.

2. New dining room table

We've been eating off our coffee table since we moved in. It's a nice big table, but it's so low you have to stoop to eat if you're on the coach and to high to eat from if you're sitting on the floor. We finally decided to get a proper dining room table with six chairs. This was a month ago. Yesterday it finally showed up. I don't want to talk about how it turned out...

3&4 Television and VCR

After hours of research, on-line shopping, and browsing in Kisumu's fine electronic stores, I finally made my decision: JVC HR-747MS VCR and JVC AV-A21 TV. It was a tough choice, let me tell you! I could go on ad infinitum about the relative merits of these fine products and about the difficulties of viewing PAL format tapes on NTSC televisions, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say, they're pretty darn cool. They should arrive some time in the next week. I already have a little TV stand waiting for them. In the meantime, I've been perusing the fine video shops Kisumu has to offer. So many choices! You can get Delta Force 1 through 4, Missing in Action 1 through 3, and so on. The good news is that there's enough Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Jet Li to tide me through. And of course, there is always the Simpsons! Kim is less excited about this than I am...
A genuine positive is that I will be able to edit and copy stuff that I've taped on my video camera and send it out to ya'll.

So I think I've prattled on enough for this time.

As you can see, Iíve changed a couple of things around here. Obviously the appearance has changed a little bit. Iím still ironing out the bugs so it may not work the way itís supposed to. If you find a problem, please contact me. I've also decided to start archiving the opening page, since they seem to turn in to little journal entries anyway...look for them under Entries. I've also added some new links that are worth checking out. As far as adding more pictures and other substantial improvements, right now my hands are tied until they give me a memory boast...

'Til then...