Friday, September 19, 2008

Strange Sights, Strange Things

I guess this was the first strange sight of our week and you have to agree, it is pretty strange! It was Kim's birthday and out here in the bush, a special occasion is only as exciting as you make it. So...we pulled out all the stops. The party kazoos (that's what I'm told they are), were especially fun. Their uses know no bounds. Just ask Kim who decided to use hers to blow out her candles. It was hilariously funny, but I think you had to be there:)
Here's another strange sight that wasn't nearly as funny.
In fact, it wasn't funny at all. Our desktop, which has been my lifeline since the loss of my laptop, somehow got infected by a virus, a trojan and a worm. At least that's my understanding of what was seriously "bugging" my computer, and me! I phoned a few people in the know (before I figured out what was wrong) and they thought the computer likely had a hardware problem. They suggested that I unseat then reseat the motherboard and, whatever else, I don't quite recall. I've never touched the inside of a computer in my life before so this was quite a big step for me. They also suggested I try to clean it out inside, which I did. I've cleaned before, so that was no big deal :P I managed to do all this without permanently damaging anything, but it only produced a temporary fix. Aaaagggghhh! Solution #2 was to solicit the help of our son, Russell. He recommended I download a different antivirus program (Avast) which located no less than 51 infected files on our system. The long and short of it is that even Avast couldn't permanently heal the infection, so Francois is helping us take more drastic measures like reformatting the hard drive. 

What I find really strange about all this is the fact that computers, like humans, get "viruses", are referred to as "infected", and need to be "healed". You'd think the computer geeks of the world could have come up with some more technical terms for electronic troubles! One thing is for sure, we can certainly all relate to these ones.
Centering the door frame in my future office was another challenge this week. That's because the doorway is situated at an angle across a corner. I'm sure that sounds confusing, but I decided to do it that way to #1 eliminate an otherwise imposing corner that jutted out into the front room and #2 because I thought it would look nice. It was a very confusing concept for the brick layers. Doors are supposed to go on flat stretches of walls. Putting one on a corner is just, well, strange. Thankfully, in Dwight's absence, Rick came to the rescue and got things on track again.

I was very excited to see this small part of our house nearing completion this week. It's the basement...sort of. We don't really have basements in Africa, so I guess that makes this an oddity in its own right. Because we built on sloping ground, the one side of the house needed alot of back-filling with dirt. This space is the area under a portion of the veranda and would have required around 35 cubic meters to fill! After some consideration, we decided that rather than try to move that much earth one wheelbarrow-full at a time, we'd just keep the cavity and finish it off as a little crawl space to use for storage.

Storage space comes at a premium here and you should see the line-up of boxes of used clothing, medical supplies, etc. waiting for this little room to be ready. A quaint little door has since been hung in the doorway, air vents are in place, next job is a coat of paint to help brighten things up and, voila! At least part of the house will soon begin to fulfill its purpose.

Awhile back, I blogged about a young man who was blind and in need of a brailler so he could keep up with his schoolwork once he started attending a nearby school. Someone graciously responded to this need and now he's in his element. Looks like his classmates are in theirs too. As we snapped photos indoors, throngs school kids jockeyed for best position to peer through the windows at us while those inside could hardly contain their excitement over the visit (mostly it was the presence of cameras). One group of boys even offered to dance for us but their teacher put a quick end to that bright thought. This was, after all, a school. There was schoolwork to be done.

I just had to throw this one in here because it's cute. Kim and one of the orphan children making friends.

I try to keep reptiles in the last paragraph, so here we go. This last picture is really the strangest sight this past week, even stranger than us all dressed up in party hats and masks. This is a pair of Twig Snakes, the Mozambican species, mating. I've never witnessed anything like this before in all my years here. Perhaps more disconcerting than the fact that they were superbly disguised among the twigs of this tree, is the fact that they were making more of their own kind! This is a very poisonous snake.

I guess I'll sign off here for this time. Dwight returned this week from a 10 day trip north holding leadership seminars. He returned with some exciting stories (click here) which he has written up. So if you read this before the link is in place, don't forget to check back.



Russoft said...

Cool, dad has a blog?

Gotta read.

Amanda said...

yuck, twig snakes are the WORST. I absolutely and completely detest them. It's the only kind of snake I've ever killed and I'm still quite proud of myself for it!
Oh, and I LOVE the birthday hats/masks!!!

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

My dear sister now you're becoming a computer tech!! I'm quite convinced that there isn't anything that you CAN'T do :/ Construction, electronics, nursing to name only a few, sheesh! I'm so in awe of you, you definitely got our dad's 'smarts' lucky duck :)
Love you,

ruth said...

your house looks nice!! why do you have to plaster/cement over the bricks though?? they look nice!

i could make some comments about the parallels between computers and people but i probably shouldn't.

royden loves the reptile files as per usual!