Week 7: McCain/Obama Debates & Playing Guitar by Cell Phone Light

First off, I have redone the site.  I put a post after this one about the changes if you would like to read on.

I received my absentee ballot which is an empowering feeling to receive a ballot half way around the world.  It has been a very interesting political season for me because I really enjoy watching the Presidential Debates and the VP debate; however, Kenya is 8 hours ahead so in order to do so one must get up at 4 AM to watch them.  So, we did…  By “we” I am referring to the 8 other YAVs, the coordinator and her husband, and our spare, Blair, a YAV who is still here from last year.  The first debate was easy to watch because I was living in Westlands and had access to a TV with CNN.  The second debate and the VP debate proved to be more tricky however lacking CNN… but I had internet in an office that was locked up like Fort Knox at 4 AM.  So, I asked the key holder if I could borrow the keys because I wanted to wake at 4 in the morning so I could watch the Presidential debate.  I think in the States a Kenyan saying this would have received an unusual look or no, but a States person asking a Kenyan was greeted with a smile and an offer to leave some tea out for me.  So, I got up and unlocked all of the locks on the doors and set everything up for CNN.com and was ready to go.  The debate started and the same line kept repeating over and over because the internet was too slow.  So, I did the next logical thing.  I called my family on Skype, asked my dad to turn his web cam on and put his laptop in front of the TV so I could watch the TV at home.  It worked!  It was like I was sitting right there on the coach in our living room in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma!  The VP debate did not fair so well because apparently with 20 minutes or so left the Kenyan internet provider realized they hadn’t been paid yet and cut our internet off.  I decided for the last debate I would play it safe and go to Westlands where there is CNN and bread and tea from Phyllis our site coordinate at 4 in the morning.  Needless to say, when you wake up at 4 in the morning to watch all 4 debates you feel much more patriotic than when you just flip to the channel on accident at 8 PM back in the states.

I have come to AEE at a good time, but an unusual time as well.  In Kenya, the school year ends in November/December, so everyone moves up a grade at the beginning of the year literally.  The year coming to an end means that the 5 Foxfires I live with currently will be graduating and leaving at the end of Novemeber.  Furthermore, the schools which I have been going to everyday will end soon for the year as well.

The 2008 Foxfires:

From 10-22-08

Although this will be awkward in the short term, I believe it is the best possible way it could work out in the long run.  I will have been exposed to the program and understand how it is supposed to look towards the end of the year and will be able to help get the next group of Foxfires off to a good start and spend most of the year with them.  So, I am kind of in training right now and learning the ropes and then next year I’ll be ready to go.

It has been raining a lot this past week (example below: me trying to sleep at 1 in the morning):

Rain means that the power is going out a lot more than usual as well.  The power will usually go out for a short while every other day or so, but when it rains and its dark (so people are using power to light their homes) we just wait for it.  The power is out right now actually, I had forgotten because Macs are amazing and never die.

There are quite a few things I enjoy about the power going out:

  1. It usually happens when I am deciding whether I should go to bed at the right time or stay up too late and read or what have you.  The power goes out, decision made.
  2. I get to use my amazing phone.  When our supervisor bought us phones she walked up to the person at the phone store and said “what’s the cheapest phone you have” and the answer was “the Nokia 1200.”  I love the Nokia 1200 with a passion.  No flare or bling, just straight up functionality and the best feature…it has a flashlight.  So, the power goes out and everyone has their fancy phones, but whose phone do they turn to?  Mine, the Nokia 1200.
  3. When it’s not sleep time and the power goes out then I play guitar in the cell phone light which is becoming one of my new favorite past/present/future times.  Usually when the power comes back on I’m a little frustrated.  In Zambia, the power would go out right after the sun had gone down and it was always so pleasant for us because we had all usually just sat down to dinner and so we would have a candle lit dinner every other night.  I understand that this is a major infrastructure issue that needs to be addressed, but I believe there is something to be said about having everything that distracts you from people taken away and just focusing on each other instead of on each thing.

I hope everyone is well.  Have a great day!
Sincerely,
RTQ

4 Responses to “Week 7: McCain/Obama Debates & Playing Guitar by Cell Phone Light”

  1. Robert Thomas Quiring October 24, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    >The comments are now working. Sorry, new template trouble. Thank you Brian Christopher Dees for the fix.RTQ

  2. BCDees October 28, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    >Believe it or not, Kellie and I have that exact same phone here in Edinburgh. Crazy.

  3. Anonymous November 21, 2008 at 3:04 am #

    >Hi Robert! I am so excited that we have the same job! I can’t wait to compare high school counseling experiences! I looked into counseling opportunities abroad before graduating and didn’t find anything so I am glad to see that they do indeed exist. I will have to look into it again. Josh says hi! We love you! Tara

  4. Wendy November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    >It’s great that your cell phone has a flashlight. It reminds me of a Swiss Army knife I just saw with a flash drive in it. Amazing.

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