Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Family, Friends and Frustrations

Had a fantastic time with our first set of visitors. We used them as guinea pigs for a tour of Sri Lanka. Apart from a daily mishap or two, it went swimmingly. Most of these were par for the course of living in Sri Lanka. For example the fan belt breaking 15 mins out of colombo on our 'tour' (a hire car) The 'rescue team' bringing the wrong sized part, being lent a 'substitute vehicle with NO seatbelts at all, and taking so long sorting it out that we had to drive to Nuwara Eliya in the dark. This town is at an elevation of about 6000ft . Very twisty rds, adn driving at night never a gd idea on Sri Lanka's mad, bad rds. These sort o fevents were daily bu tI won't bore youwith the details. Suffice to say it gave our friends plenty of diary fodder for the entirety of our trip. For us it was just great to have friends see where we are, and what our life is like here.

My brother in New Zealand, has just had his 1st baby, well his wife did, on 1st Oct. Called Max. He's very cute. My brother is so funny. Aged 37, a dr, but of course completely bowled over by the experience. He says he understands 'neurotic' new mums now as a GP much better.... ! I don't know when I will get to meet him, hopefully before he becomes a stroppy teenager. At least I can see him alive and wriggling on skype. 3 days later M's brother had his 2nd whom I will at least see in the summer I guess.

I also missed a friend's wedding, a guy we have waited 20 yrs to see married. And also 2 friends' 40ths (one of whom was my bridesmaid and I lived with her at uni.) Then this yr I will miss a friend's 80th birthday bash. I am rather feeling the loss of being out here and missing these events. I love gatherings/parties anyway and I find it hard missing such landmarks.

My daughter is still refusing to be potty trained though has perfectly good bladder control. When I put her in pants she just saves up till her nap time and does it all then. Nursery now reckon they have 'trained' her, but she won't do it for me! Just wets herself and says 'oh dear never mind, doesn't matter. Can you get me some clean pants mummy?'

Her current favourite expressions are "oh man!" and "I don't think so" (usually when asked to do something!) She is getting better from the Terrible Twos but instead does a lot of eye rolling in a disaffected teenage kind of way.

Our son is much better at school now, much more settled and really enjoying it, though still no best friend. In his class there are only 4 other boys (so the odds are stacked against him finding a similar boy...) and 8 girls.

He has compiled a wish list
1. To be able to fly
2. To be able to go invisible
3. For his soft toys to come alive
4. To be SuperBoy
5 To own one of those sit on snowplough/digger type things

I can relate to those, though obviously I would rather be Wonderwoman.........

M is back to working 14 hr days. He leaves the house at 7 a.m, taking our son to school, then is home between 9 and 10 most nights. It's not really what we went into development for. We are also finding that the nature of this life is that contracts are usually short term, and families are very expensive so NGOs don't want them. Also we are gathering that a lot of countries really dislike foreigners and resent the fact that they need to bring in people with expertise or experience that they don't have. This insecurity with not knowing where the next job is coming from, which country it will be in, taking ages to sort out etc, is also typical. Ho hum. I don't think I'm really cut out for this lifestyle. I conjecture too much.

Recently our NGO, amongst others, appeared on a Govt National Security website blacklist as supporters of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers). It's complete nonsense of course, but that doesn't matter, Joe Public believes the papers. It reminds me of my time in SA during the apartheid yrs and state of emergency etc. My boyfriend, at the time, was refusing his conscription on Christian grounds, because of the nature of the war the South African Nationalist government was asking him to fight, and the smear campaign against him was equally unsubtle, outrageous, personal and underhand. In a similar way to then though it makes you laugh it is so ludicrous. Makes the tabloids back home seem positively nuanced and subtle in comparison.....

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