This day is just not as good as some others in the recent past. Around 2AM I found myself battling the feelings of a head cold with backed up sinuses, a dry throat, and eyes that were slightly burning around the lids. I hate that feeling, more so on a warm night where the temperatures forgot to dip down to the low 70s like they had been doing for the last month. Rolling around trying to will my cold away did me no good, and the fact that this was a Monday morning meant that I would be up in just a few hours to get ready for the 6:30 assembly.
That is a bad start to a day if I do say so myself.
I battled the snooze alarm until 6AM when I knew I had better be taking my shower in order not to be late to the chapel. It was the first time in a long while that I was not shivering while the water dripped down on top of my head. It was warm in the house and the slightly-cool water actually felt nice instead of like diving into a pond three weeks into the new spring season. Again, this was not a good sign. I had spoken to a volunteer right after I arrived and asked him how Harmattan was for heat at night. His response was that there were cool nights and warm days up to a point, but he just laughed and informed me that it got warmer. This may be the stage where things get cooking.
The students are now fully dedicated to taking their exams. The assembly belabored several points about what constitutes legitimate and illegitimate behaviors. At the staff meeting following the assembly the same protocols were announced and debated as to the invigilators, those who look over the students shoulders and ensure that no one is looking at another's work. One full hour later and everyone was off to their duties. Except me. I am not to be doing the work of invigilation for the probable reason that this is paid work for the staff, and I am apparently a volunteer not collecting a pay check from the school. No matter, I could just go to the computer lab and whittle away the hours.
Yet I was still stuffy and feeling lethargic from the lack of sleep. So something had to give and I retreated back to the house for a few naps. That helped the lethargy, but it didn't help the cold so far as I could tell. With little else to do, I figured another outing would be good for me.
I got dressed up and headed back to the lab to let students surf the web for a bit. At least, that was my plan. I met a fellow teacher who asked if I was going to see the renovation work being done to the lab. “Work?” No, there wasn't any work being done that I was aware of, just the windows that were installed over a week and a half ago. Sure enough though, I approached the building and I could hear the pounding. A new tile floor is being installed over top of the poured cement floor. All the computers were moved out, and the computer desks were everywhere. Presumably the modem and router were disconnected but I did not even bother to check.
No computer lab and no internet, a sun that keeps on shining through a thick haze of dust, and a head that is remembering that it is winter back home and ought to endure the season with a nice head cold. It wasn't the best day. With that out there, I am incredibly thankful that this may be what I call a “low day” on the scale of serving here. Many other volunteers have had bouts with actual sicknesses where they are worried about where things are going. They are posted to far more remote places where the weather is a heck of a lot more stifling than here, and the fully-functional air-conditioned computer lab with internet access just doesn't exist.
So what if I have the sniffles? I have a lot of things that are going well. This post was just typed out to remind me of that. I hope your January 24th has been a good one!