Weathering the weather

One week into my 64th year I am settling in to a long routine, uninterrupted by travel. As it stands now my first trip is to Ethiopia at the end of January which I will precede or end with another overnight in Holland, this time at my oldest brother’s new home. Some of us are entering new stages in our lives; moving towards 64 doesn’t seem to be much of a new stage – I am not retiring and not moving.

The Ebola swat and swot teams are taking a considerable amount of my time. I am learning why Uganda, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal have been successful and avoided the many wrong turns that Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia took. 18500 contacts were traced in Nigeria – a lot, but apparently still doable – and the progress of the disease was halted. After years of investing in health systems in those countries it was good to find out that something worked.  It is also good to focus on what has worked as opposed to the finger pointing and blaming that gets picked up by the media.

I am back home from a ‘weather horibilis’ ride in, and then 10 hours later back home, from work. It has been raining cats and dogs, accompanied by heavy winds and icing early in the morning. It is the kind of stressful drive that makes one understand snowbirds retiring in the southern states. What makes it worse is that the otherwise soothing classical music that increases my tolerance for traffic challenges, is interrupted constantly by requests for donations to the member-supported station while the news is, if not distressing, then at least boring and repetitive if one’s commute is longer than one hour.

When I finally emerged out of the car, exhausted and stiff, I requested a stiff drink which Axel, my chief cook, bottlewasher and mixologist promptly produced: a sake martini which I am now sipping as I come back to myself and watch him prepare part 2 of the evening, a roasted garlic chicken with vegetables and fettucini. I am so blessed.

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