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Farewell John

Posted by on October 30, 2011

Few businesses are open on the weekends in Zimbabwe so there’s not much to do workwise. I tried to sleep in but woke up in the middle of the night after a strange dream and couldn’t really get back to sleep.

I checked out of the hotel after breakfast and John and I made plans for the morning. We only had one meeting but had to go to the bank before John had to go to the airport at 11:30 for his flight home. We also wanted to take my stuff to my new place so John could see it.

The bank trip was successful today (unlike the night before) and we were early to the meeting for once. We talked to Colin, who runs a non-profit research institute that aims to train young researchers and provide lab services to other organizations. He was great to talk to and will be a big help to us in getting supplies and providing some of the equipment we lack right now. He was really impressed with my background and asked me to train his employees in some molecular biology protocols. Although I’m trying to get away from that aspect of research I think it will be very good to help build capacity here in any way I can.

After the meeting, John and I drove out to my new house and looked around. I think the situation will work out really well once I figure out how to get to the office every day. John had to check out of his room so he left shortly after that and I was left to get settled in.

Mr. Morales has two sons that live in California (one in San Diego and one in SF) so he got out some maps and had me show him where I live and work and where John lives and works. Then he showed me pictures of his kids and grandkids and showed me houses he has designed (he’s an architect). I think he’s been pretty lonely since his wife passed away last month but he seems to be doing pretty well.
I also met the guy who lives in the apartment above the garage. Victor and his sister have been here for three months and they work at an NGO in the city center. We chatted for a bit then Victor had to run some errands. Mr. Morales invited me to a neighborhood gathering tonight where there will be karaoke apparently.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that I discovered that there’s rock climbing in Zimbabwe! I found a blog from the Zimbabwean mountain club and contacted two board members. They got back to me straight away and they go hiking every Saturday afternoon and a group goes rock climbing at a quarry every Wednesday at 4:30 and to other places on the weekends. I’m going to go to both things next week and will hopefully meet some nice people to hang out with and do things with on the weekends.

I spent most of the afternoon getting settled, working on a paper I’m writing, and reading. It was very nice to relax for a few hours but it did get a bit lonely. The week finally caught up with me and I got very tired around 7 pm so I didn’t go to the neighborhood get together; I just went to sleep at 10 pm.

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