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Hot Showers

January 28, 2008

Tom – I went to the Matara branch of Hatton National Bank this morning to withdraw some money.  They could not print the transaction on my savings account book because the branches outside of Colombo still do not have that capacity – so, they wrote it on a piece of paper for me.  It was Monday and the bank was crowded.  Even though they moved me right to the front of the line, it still took a half hour to get the cash.

I took a lot of pictures of our house this morning. I have also been taking pictures of the activities on our beach every time I see something interesting.  When I get back to the U.S., I am going to put together a slide show titled “Our Beach.”

Sumathipala (caretaker/security) returned from his vacation today.  He stays in a tiny room attached to the back of our house.  He also cares for the house next door along with Leela.  That will make us feel a lot more comfortable leaving the house.

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Helen – well, it’s Monday, Monday (mamas and the papas) and a new routine has begun.  First, our walk on the beach at sunrise.

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After our walk, I threw in a load of wash…the machine is an LG brand: has four water levels; has four commands for progress, water fill, wash, spin, no spin; then four more choices for the type of wash, FUZZY (at the top), economy, something else, and wool.  What is FUZZY??? I asked the lady at the hotel and she didn’t know either…so I used economy, set out my drain pipe and let it go to work.  It didn’t wash for very long (economy!!) and some of the little stains didn’t come out but they smelled better.  I can’t find a spray and wash pretreatment (had one in Colombo) in our Food City, so maybe I will have to look somewhere else.  You have to hang the clothes inside out because the sun is so hot; it would cause fading.  While the clothes were washing I did the breakfast dishes, then began to sweep the few rooms that we have.  The floors are tile so it is pretty easy, except the broom is pretty nasty.  Thank goodness one of the Fulbrighters who just left gave me some clothes pins and an iron.  They call clothes pins “pegs” and I guess she had a hard time finding them.  There was an iron on the pantry shelf that had spray and steam as well as duct tape on spots on the wire…you guessed it; it started to work and stopped so thank goodness for the spare.  There is no ironing board so I folded a thin sheet on the table next to the washing machine and ironed there…had to devise a new method for shirts and dresses but I am wrinkle free for a change!!

Here is a picture of our outdoor kitchen

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After all this work, I decided to go for a swim before taking a shower.  Is this the life, or what!!  Tom was inside working with the computer while I frolicked in the waves.  Still can’t believe there are no shells on the beach, though this morning I saw two hermit crabs walking on the beach carrying their houses with them.

Decided to try out the new hot shower… if you move the shower head just right, it doesn’t spray over the sink.  Trade off is that you have to smack yourself against the wall to get sprayed…but most of the water now tends to make the drain in the shower stall.  This water temp was heavenly for shaving legs!!

While I was showering, Tom drove to the bank, filled the car with gas ($30) and got four more phone cards for $40…these have been going fast!!!  I mentioned before that it is about $.15/min for the states and $.10/min here in the country.  We are trying to use the house phone for in country calls but people here keep calling us on our cells.

We went to the university dining facility for lunch today.  You have to call before 9:30 to make a reservation…main reason, we were the only ones eating today, so he cooked for just us, go figure!!!  It is a lovely facility at the conference center across the street from the university.  Tom forgot to mention about the spices and could only eat two of the five choices served with the rice.  Dessert was papaya, so ripe and delicious!

At the university, our office was ready for Tom with a computer hookup, but my computer was not there so I am back in the lab.  He is over at the computer center now trying to figure out what the problem is with Wittenberg and his email/files.  Thank heavens he prepared a PowerPoint presentation on his computer and will be able to go over it in the morning at the library to make sure everything is ready for 4:00.  He doesn’t have any idea how many are coming.

Tom – I met with the ITs again this afternoon at the University of Ruhuna.  It seems all my computer problems are related to their system (Surprise?).  I am still unable to tunnel into the Wittenberg server with VPN Client to get my files – they need approval from the Sri Lankan “Computer Learned Society” in order to do this!  The good news is that I can now access my Witt email after disabling the Ruhuna firewall.

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