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a short work day

Posted by on June 5, 2011

Friday morning Tanya wasn’t feeling well, so I went running alone. I should explain a little bit about where I run because it’s pretty interesting. From where we live, you can run to the ocean in about seven minutes. There are several roads that all lead to the same place by the beach and I’ve run down all of them now. The main roads, which are paved, are maintained by the government so they are pretty decent. The smaller roads that come off the main roads are not really maintained by anyone, however. So although I run past splendid, huge, ornate houses, the roads are packed dirt and have huge craters in them. A car must go so slowly on them that you can pass a car on your bicycle.

There is also no sewer system on the island at all. That means when it rains (which it has been doing a lot) water just collects on the road or in ditches on the side or anywhere else and it just stagnates until it evaporates (which could take days). A perfect mosquito breeding ground.

All of the nice houses around here have walls or fences around the property so it is hard to get a proper look at them from the street. Some have signs warning of electric fences and most places have guard houses. Overall though, I would say security is higher than in Berkeley, but lower than in Cape Town.

Work on Friday was pretty short. I spent most of the time doing data entry of all of the malaria cases that came in earlier in the week. There were more than 50 questionnaires to enter so that took several hours, even at a good pace. Meanwhile Tanya finished organizing our mapping activity for Saturday. That mostly involved getting Makame to verify things, which was much harder than what I was doing.

We left work around lunch time, when all of the men went to the mosque for Friday prayers, and in the afternoon went down to the pier/beach near our house. We swam a bit then rested and talked. I read my magazine and we swam again. It was very peaceful since no one else was out there, but for me it is getting a bit old already. I do have a pretty good tan going on despite wearing SPF 50 sunscreen constantly.

In the evening we went out to dinner with Tanya’s friends Paulo, Mortiz, Ranil, and Amee. Mortiz and Ranil wanted to watch the French Open so we went to basically a sport’s bar that had two large, flat screen TVs. I wasn’t much into the tennis, but I enjoyed the grilled calamari and chips I had for dinner. Paulo, who lives close to us, was very nice and picked us up and brought us home so we didn’t have to get a taxi, which was an added bonus. Tanya’s friends are nice and it’s great to have other people to hang out with, but it’s not the same as having my own friends around; I miss you all!

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