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Walking Class and Dinner with Germans

February 12, 2008

Helen – Tom had his usual busy Tuesday with the instructor’s morning class.  He really enjoys them but can never finish a planned lesson because they always stray from topic, plus he has to go slower just for them to understand him.  I did laundry (remembered the drain hose this time!!), washed bathrooms, took a quick swim, showered and had lunch ready by 11:45 because we had to go back to school for our afternoon classes.  Tom’s athletic student weight training class is going well and he has an average attendance of 20 plus the two male instructors who are learning how to teach this course.  I was a little hesitant about my attendance and decided that if the students didn’t show this time I would cancel the course and do a theory session instead for the instructors.

Class begins at 4:15 and I waited until 4:30 then I left with the two instructors Kanthi and Vini (Gnana wasn’t feeling well) explaining that they didn’t need me to lead them in walking and I could give them the material in a lecture.  We began our trek and walked at a medium pace while I lectured the lesson for that day.  It didn’t seem practical to lecture in the gym and then walk.  After one lap around campus we get back to near the gym and were taking pulses when four students ran to meet us.  They get out of class at 4 and have to run back to the hostels (I think they mean dorms) to change their clothes.  They continued walking with us.  I was so glad that they came that I said I would continue the class as planned with the smaller number and I would also start the class at 4:30 to accommodate their schedules.  The first day I had 17, but many were business management majors and could not make the time/days the class was scheduled.  So for whatever other reasons, I am down to three instructors and four students, these girls were the fastest walkers (14-14:20 minute mile) in the class and are really interested.

A note here about the facility, I understand that Ruhuna University was built about 25 yrs. ago…about the time the new gym was constructed at Wittenberg.  Though the gym floor space is good consisting of one full basketball court, three badminton courts, and two volleyball courts, all superimposed on each other, it is dark and dreary.  I mentioned earlier that it was the only space big enough to accommodate the large number of students taking exams and therefore, athletic/gym classes have to be cancelled during these times.  The locker rooms are really awful.  The three sinks are dirty, leaky, and partially functioning.  The next area is the three toilet stalls with no paper and water hoses for cleaning yourself and wet floors.  I think the most surprising was the three private showers…I don’t know how this compares to the men’s side but I know that I won’t even wash my hands on the girls side.

It was nice knowing that we were going out for dinner, so we rushed home to shower and then walked over to the Reggae “Uprising” bar/restaurant.  We were joined by three Germans who are building a beachfront house near ours.  They bought the property 4 years ago and this is the final construction year, hoping to complete it by April.  The woman’s name is Hiki, her father is Otto, and they brought an electrician, Robert, from Germany for three months to wire the house.  They wanted to be sure that it was done correctly.  She owns a roofing company in Nuremberg and they close shop from January-March because of the weather.  She figures she can spend three months per year here and do the paperwork via the computer; her father meanwhile plans on staying here 6 months.  After our stealing incident, she told her workers that Robert was installing a surveillance system around her house (he isn’t) so that if anyone thought of breaking in they would be filmed and therefore apprehended!

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Dinner was very good even though the owner had a problem that day.  They delivered the concrete blocks for the second story addition to his home and he had to work on that.  He was running behind and when we arrived, Hiki was helping him with the final touches.  He is an interesting man.  We don’t know what happened to his wife, but he is raising his two daughters, one in high school and the other junior high, alone.  There was also an older woman there (mother/mother-in-law?).  He grilled fish for us and chicken for the Germans.  We also had a huge vegetable platter consisting of sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, cabbage, and green beans.  Then there was a green salad and an angel hair pasta salad.  We all drank beer and after one glass my eyes were drooping.  The Germans were laughing and telling tales of other nights spent at this bar, they come most every night because there is no other place to go and they enjoy the music.  One night there was a very large black scorpion on the table, we asked them several times how big and their hands estimated that it was the size of a dinner plate.  Another time there was a million leg crawler about nine inches long which is highly poisonous.  They took a video of a large lizard grabbing it and then swallowing it whole.  YEP, pretty gross!!

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