I wasn't planning on writing, but today was so productive in little ways that I felt compelled to prove to myself that I'm a useful volunteer and human being. I got up pretty early, had my tea, and since it hadn't rained I started my yoga before 8am, which was very nice indeed. The air was cool, my hamstrings were sore and tight, and it was delightful to just relax and stretch. I started to read, but then kicked myself into cleaning off my side table, where I came across a bunch of papers to organize for the new PCV. Then I sat down to finally start writing this mythical document I keep promising to produce for her with information on the house, the village, helpful contacts, and a history of past projects Lauren and I started. There's even a whole list of project ideas, which kind of makes me feel guilty about all the things I didn't do, even though I do think the things I did do have been pretty successful. I know there's no way she'll do all the things on the list, but I hope it'll be helpful as a place to start.
This afternoon I went to get water at the CSPS before starting to work on a mural I'm painting at the despensaire. I saw Belem at the maternity and realized I could sort through the PAM papers while I waited, since there were too many patients waiting to be seen for me to move them to make room to paint. Belem said Sali hadn't been feeling well that morning, so we went over to check on her, then I settled back in with my 5 inches of paperwork. We have about 240 people in our program, a huge change from last year when we might have been lucky to have 100 at any given time. Major came over with his register and that sheet where we mark the ages and distances of everyone who came to the CSPS in the past month, so after I was done organizing our paperwork I helped with that too, reading off the data for him to mark (it went much faster compared to yesterday when I was trying to mark what he was saying).
It was getting kind of late, so Major told me I could stop to go paint my mural. Now I can successfully report that I have....a big white rectangle on the wall! Ok, it's not too exciting, but for now it's a step, tomorrow I'll grid it and draw the outline properly, then it's time to start mixing paint! I also gave Major my “Ou Est Jessica?” (Where is Jessica?) calendar outlining my travels the next 11 weeks. I cut out Bobo and decided to go to OHG for a few days instead before swinging through Ouaga at the beginning of November. I remember Kerry saying she was always in Ouaga for something or another right before COS, but I'm hoping I can get the entire month of October in with my village before leaving again. I'll be gone nearly half of September, the week of the camp and a week of VAC plus a side trip to Fada, home all of October with a quick visit at the end, and then leaving for good in November. I still need to write my DOS (Description of Service) and my recommendations, and take a look at that terrifyingly long check sheet. Today marks 80 days left in country, and I'm pretty solidly ignoring my feelings about this.
I'm reading a really good book right now, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It's a book within a book, and it's so creative and engrossing. The way the narrator talks about her love of books, the way she reads, why she reads, how her reading has changed since childhood and her adult reading is almost an attempt to recapture the way books felt and meant as a kid – it's like someone put me into words, it's amazing. I'm not a twin missing my twin, and I certainly don't like writing biographies, but I love how the main character just can't get enough of stories, and how this book manages to twine together some rather disparate threads in ways that somehow should come off as awkward but don't at all, they just weave in and out but you can still keep track of them as separate but together.