(This was meant to be posted yesterday.)
I woke up early this morning, not from the heat but because I felt the need to pull a sheet over me. It was ever-so-slightly chilly, and it made me very, very happy to see gray clouds in the sky and feel a cooling breeze. I thanked God for a cool morning.
Then I remembered that as I lay there feeling cool in my bed, our new president would be sleeping in the White House. It made me happier. I thanked God for President Obama. When I finally got out of bed, I thought, What could be a better start to the day than feeling cool air and knowing Obama is finally our president?
Then I went into town to buy a friend some bus tickets to Maputo and Nelspruit. It took HALF AN HOUR. I would have been really annoyed, but there was another girl waiting who struck up a conversation with me. And I understood her. AND she told me I spoke really good Portuguese. I’m often very self-conscious of my Portuguese, so it was a well-appreciated compliment.
Then, as I was rushing to the office, which didn’t make me sweat like it would have yesterday, I glanced, as I always do, at the row of shoes for sale along the curb near the open-air banana, pineapple, and mango vendors. I noticed a pair of Chaco’s. I made a beeline for them. Women’s Chaco’s in MY SIZE. I tried them on, just for show (already knowing they would fit and that I’d be buying them), and asked how much they were. The vendor asked for 780 meticais ($31). I got him down to 500 ($20) and probably could have gone lower had I been a little more strategic. But I was in a rush. The entire interaction, from beeline to bagging, lasted about two minutes. Chaco’s! From a Mozambican market! I hope they’re not stolen goods.
Then I only ended up getting to work about three minutes late in the end. I’ve been participating in a leadership training this week for managers within our office. It’s been in both English and Portuguese, and it’s been really useful. This afternoon we practiced fundraising presentations and public relations scenarios. I was challenged to do mine in Portuguese instead of English, which freaked me out, but I did it!
Then in the late afternoon I went for a swim, which I haven’t done in about a month. And it was GREAT. Even though the water was lukewarm and kind of murky, it was still refreshing and felt so good to exercise again. Then I got out of the pool just as an enormous red sun was sinking into the sea.
Then we had a friend round for dinner. And he brought Cadbury chocolate from Australia. None of this South African, weird-texture Cadbury. We ate it while we drank tea. Hot tea, and I didn’t sweat!
Sleeping with a sheet, Obama in office, speaking Portuguese well – twice, finding a pair of Chaco’s in the market, swimming at sunset, good chocolate, not sweating…how is that not a really happy day?