Friday, July 30, 2010

Sponsor and Driving

When you join a ‘Mission Community’ you are welcomed by a Work Sponsor and Social Sponsor. The work sponsor is usually from your own agency and there are a bunch here… and just to name a few. CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Peace Corps, APHIS (Plant and Animal Services), Agricultural Affairs, and well the whole Alphabet Soup of agency acronyms you can imagine. I can’t even keep up… and I get a dull blank look when someone tells me where they work… in letters and promptly forget.

Lea and Jan, Piecemakers
The work sponsor is out of our control, of course. But I took matters into my own hands quite by accident, before we even left the states. We were of course copied on the Mission newsletter, and I noticed a group of quilters/crafters met regularly. So I emailed the contact person and began correspondence. Her name was Jan and her husband is a Colonel in the military. They have lived all over Africa, (and other places abroad as well).

Jan has been instrumental in maintaining my sanity here. She calls every few days and we make an appointment to go out and about at least one day a week. Between that and the Quilting Bee (Piecemakers) she started; that meets on Fridays, I have 2 day of interaction.

Yesterday I picked Jan up in “my” car, (she said she would be willing to ride with me as I gained more experience driving on the right). So I did the driving yesterday. It was a very good day!!! I picked her up at her house at 9, I was early… in case I got lost… and from there she took me to the market that will try and order in some American foods. They keep a shelf stocked with some Old El Paso Mexican foods, some Campbell’s soups and some cereals. I know there are more foods, but we weren’t shopping so I don’t remember others. I think I will go back and see if I can get a case of Cranberry Juice. That would be 6 gallons. I have only been here a month and I miss it already! I find the fruit juice here too sweet. Most are combined with a grape or apple juice, even the orange juice is a blend. I miss the fresh tart tangy taste of unsweetened Cranberry Juice!

After that we went over to a small hardware store and a small nursery for plants. I have large yard that has minimal landscaping, so need to add some plants. We then drove out of the city limits to a much larger nursery that has a gift shop and a café on the premises. Very nice and decent plants for sure.

We then came back into town and went to the Brooklyn Mall. A very nice mall with some nice shops. It is an upscale mall with some of the better stores to shop in. Before we left I came home with a grater!!! And some groceries, I have mentioned in the past that most of the Malls, indoor with escalators and elevators have grocery stores in them too.

Jan and I also needed to visit the nurseries, because Jan will be going home soon, back to the states, and she has offered me all of her potted plants (both indoors and out) so I will have a huge jump on plant-scaping the house. I do miss plants and maybe they will help to take some of the noise sting out of a concrete and tile house that echoes every sound.

So when I had a chance to return Jans hospitality, I jumped on it. She has a dog, that needed to see a Veterinarian that is sort of out there in the country and you feel like you are in the wrong place going there. I have already had the pleasure of visiting for some dog food for Axel. His Canine Dermatologist Dr McKay in Chicagoland had already established contact for us. So when Jan had to take her dog Ozzie in today I offered to go along and be her navigator. So we dropped Ozzie off and on the way back stopped at a new mall and killed a couple of hours window shopping and stopping for a cappuccino break.

Jan has been indispensible as a sponsor. She is willing to share all her knowledge and tricks for making the transitions totally painless, and she said my driving wasn’t bad either!!! All in all a nice way to spend the morning for everyone, except Ozzie.

More Later- Beth


Trish said...

Yay! New friends! Glad you're getting out and getting adjusted. :)

Jean Etheridge said...

Well, Ozzie the dog probably was happy to spend time with you in the car anyway. (Our Ozzie the pug is off to the kennel since we are getting away for a day tomorrow. He's happy to go, it seems.)

Groceries in the mall. I don't know, seems like it might be a smart concept. I'm glad to hear you have someone to spend some time with and someone to do something with. I had lunch with a friend today, and it just brightens up everything.

What kinds of plants? Familiar things or not? I have scaled back on potted plants because I have decided I'm just lazy. Indoors, we don't have great light. Is your house bright?

Good to read your post,

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky to find friends quickly. It will make your experience in Africa all the better. Keep us updated. Your tales and descriptions are bee-u-tee-ful.

Meg said...

Ha Ha Ha.. brave woman to drive with you.. just kidding.. I have to be a brat... it's in the contract!!

It's good to hear you are doing good... and making friends.. Like I ever doubted you would... we have the friendly gene in our pants...we can't help it.. thanks MOM!

Love you an miss you.. When will you get REAL internet so we can skype?


Anonymous said...

cut the fruit juice with some sparkling water-

john in nc