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Final Cow Saga and Paradise Lost?

February 11, 2008

Helen – I don’t know about you, but I am confused with my own diary…mainly because Tom has to edit it and then I never know where I left off (in fact, I had begun #8 with this paragraph and you know who edited).  This could be another reason why you get more than one copy of something (like  #7 since I wrote it once and then added to it, the first copy was sent out by me, the addition (about the cow) was sent to the blog…but because you know us so well…you know what to expect and I am sure you will bear with us.  I am also sure that Tom and I will eventually be able to work together before this trip is over and the blog should help tremendously. 

Did I mention that I have been trash picking at our curbside???  This is no small accomplishment because you wouldn’t believe what is at curbside after the dogs and other animals have gone through it.  However, I did manage to rescue some clay flower pots which I had to boil in hot water and Clorox to get them clean and now I use them for vegetable containers on my window sill.  I had them stacked outside the front door in the driveway and the care keeper moved them under some bushes…I guess he wasn’t too impressed with my find. 

Final cow saga (I hope). Sharon (friend from Oregon) said I should have titled the cow episode, “…and a cow jumped over Helen.”  I wish that I had thought of that!!  I have finally had it with the cows especially after the mama incident and the stacked poop in my garden area.  It seemed that I just could not get it across to anyone including the owner (whom we finally met this past weekend) that the cows could stay if someone would pick up daily and remove said product from our yard so we didn’t smell like a dairy.  So this morning, it was laundry day and the cows were pooping under my clothesline, I moved the cows over to the owner’s yard across the road where they are staying for a few days.  In fact, not only did I move the cows, but I also took over several buckets of poop – in case they wanted it for fertilizer.  I thought that was the end of it!!  That night the owner came over one more time before returning to Colombo to go over the ground keeping duties and security.  We talked about the cow incident one more time.  He said that Leela came over in the afternoon and removed the leaves and poop.  He  laughed about the cows and said; ” You know that they don’t belong to us.  A man up the road asked if they could graze in my yards because we had so much grass.  He is a poor man with three children and needs the milk.”  I’m thinking “oops!!”  But the cows were still in his yard this morning so I don’t feel like such a bad person after all.  Why didn’t someone think about the owner picking up the poop in exchange for the grazing??? 

Well, I guess that I got myself pretty worked up with the cows because when I loaded the washer, I forgot to attach the drain hose to the PVC pipe to empty outside and flooded that area!!  I was down at the beach cleaning up and Tom was in the office area working with the blog pictures. 

Paradise Lost?– I never would have believed that we could or would become disillusioned with our beach.  After several heavy rainfalls last week, we noticed lots of garbage (broken plastics, hospital refuse, shoes, tooth brushes just to mention a few) piled on the beach during our morning walk.  When we first arrived, we thought it was messy people (don’t we wish!) but no, it has to do with the current flow from the big river in the center of town close to the hospital and dump.  They dump into the river which empties into the ocean and then the current, especially during storms, brings it down to our beach.    Crocodiles love the hospital wastes; in fact there was a croc on our beach before we came.  He died several days later because of the salt water.   When we visited other beaches we did not find the trash that is on ours.  Also the sand has a black soot worked into it which we think is oil.  Yesterday morning we noticed yellow foam and big bubbles at one end of the beach.  Thinking it was also something disagreeable, I didn’t want to swim in that area; though today it moved in front of our house.  This morning I borrowed a wheelbarrow (really rough compared to ours) from a neighbor (with dreadlocks and owner of a small bar/restaurant next to the hotel) and cleaned our section of the beach.  Funny how all the men watched me with interest as I struggled up the hilly road but didn’t offer any assistance.  Tom took several photos of the garbage on the beach which is such a contrast to our previous photos.

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Tom said I was in a foul mood all day. When he came home for lunch I decided to return to the university with him in hopes of sending this diary out.  Wasn’t to be!!  It took me two hours to go through the email and about 3:30, when I began to write the diary on Microsoft Word (I learned not to write directly on email because when the power goes out I lose everything), I had the first three paragraphs done when the power went out for the first time.  Luckily, most of it was saved, so I retrieved it and continued saving as I wrote.  The power went out again at least three more time in a matter of a few minutes.  It takes quite some time to reboot the computer and get back to the document.  Finally, I was getting pretty upset and decided to send what I had to Tom’s email so I could work on it at home.  I could not even get to the point of copying the message before it crashed again.  After three more tries, I went over to his office which is in another building…angry and frustrated.  Kanthi, has an office next to Tom’s, heard me and came to my rescue.  She went back to the lab with me and copied the document on her flash stick and transferred it to Tom’s computer.  I was ready to go home.  Tom had a meeting with the landlord while I worked on the diary and then he took me out for dinner to a fast food place downtown where we can point to our three curry choices and rice.  Out total bill including a coke was less than $2.

Our granddaughter, Leva – Here is a picture added by our daughter Stacy from their Florida trip –

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