Stops and starts

We have two cars again – it took a lot of time and much money to get the second car, the one that will give Axel his freedom to move around. And then it immediately broke, that is a pin in the gearbox snapped and so Axel had it towed to a garage. But it is fixed now and hope for the best. We did not buy the car our dealer had available even though it seemed in better shape: it was 2 years younger, 20.000 miles further along but also nearly 3000 dollars more. You get what you pay is the motto of course. We knew this.

I keep going to work as if I have a fulltime job but I am still mostly running on vacation time. The balance between vacation and work time (that is billable to one budget line or another) is subtly shifting as I get more work. My eight hour today was up to half vacation and half work, a first.

We completed much of the discard phase of our re-settlement into our own house. I brought several bags full of Africana to MSH and was happy to see how most of it has been absorbed into various offices. The IT team has the large mud cloth with a village scene (from Mali) draped over its receptionist’s desk and my colleague Mamadou got the red leather amulet, one of several – appropriate as they are both from Senegal.

Liz has the painting from the Eastern Cape on her wall; a gift from my one-time squash partner who I met through a notice on the hotel message board. Sandra who does gender at MSH has the tiny ceramic Lesotho rondavels and the bronze men from Benin. She already had a relationship with them that is worked into her daily routine. It is nice to see things that were living in boxes out in the open on my colleagues’ shelves and desks and enjoying a second life.

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October 2011
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