Countdown: 4, 3, 2...

So who knew it was hard to find time to post when you are preparing for a big trip? Who could have known?

As I write this, the power has gone out. It is 6:30 in the morning, but the sudden silence (the fans are off) means that the kids will wake up and won't go back to sleep. Ooop... there it is, back again. Maybe they didn't notice. Nope, there is Leafy.

Those were just a few of my thoughts in realtime for you. You're welcome.

Okay, so our last few days went a little like this, although I've forgotten almost everything. (Sorry.)


Monday was the YaYa Sister's birthday! She is seven. SEVEN!

I drove to Mapusa, a town about 40 minutes away, to get ingredients for YaYa's birthday dinner and cake. I bought imported (!) cream cheese for her carrot cake, and picked up some roses from the outdoor market.

Drove back, found I had a sunburn, made the cake in WOW a really hot kitchen. Jaya made mushroom, cauliflower, spinach and potato pakora. (Breaded with garbanzo bean flour and cumin and fried.) She also made raita and mint chutney and I boiled some corn on the cob. FEAST.

Wrapped presents, scattered roses on the rooftop to decorate, and made our traditional scavenger hunt to find presents. It's pretty easy to do, and they LOVE it.

Then we had the party, a little one. Chinua wasn't feeling so well, but he still played songs for the birthday games. "Reggae Simon Says", and "last one dancing is out." YaYa twirled and swooped. She was delightful. Our friend Darius garlanded her with three garlands.

Then I drove Jaya home.


We ALL had to go back to the capital to finish registering with the police. It was a very hot day. When we got to the police station, the Foreign Registration Office guys said that they hadn't started on our files yet. We would have to come back another day. I'm used to this now, though. I leaned over and said. "We can't come back. We have driven a LONG way. We need them now."

So he started working on them. I hovered. They shooed me away. I kept coming back so they wouldn't forget about me. They are very busy.

I've been thinking lately that I should just start going down to the FRO to watch people. Most of the people who come to Goa have to come to the FRO, and it is such an interesting foam of cultures.

The smart ones resign themselves and work within the system. The system means: Wait a long time, make copies in triplicate by hand, don't bother yourselves about what you see as inefficiency, and keep up a gentle pressure or you will be forgotten.

One Russian man who was there was losing it toward the end. We were waiting to pay and the government worker was filling out receipts for each family member of mine, very slowly, by hand, and the Russian man exploded. He had a very young baby.

"What is this? I don't need this! I just want to pay my hundred rupees."

Because he yelled, the man took care of him first. Then he told him he actually needed TWO hundred rupees. The Russian man leaned over and said very seriously, "You know that the world is going to end in 2012, don't you? Finished."

I looked around. All the police officers were laughing at the man. They were holding their sides, laughing quietly.

This is why I want to hang out at the FRO more often.

ANYWAYS... Highlight of the day: Fish Curry Rice at my favorite Panjim restaurant. OH MAN, that's good.

Low point: Solo getting his fingers stuck in a strange glass door at a shoe store.

We came home and packed and packed. Then I started to get sick. My face hurt more and more. My throat hurt more and more. I realized I had a sinus infection. I lost it. I had myself a good cry, and my husband was an angel, taking care of me. I fell asleep in my clothes.

WEDNESDAY: Woke up still feeling rough. I dosed myself with Vitamin C.

And then we worked all day. Washing clothes, packing them away, or in our backpacks. I decided NOT to take the K'nex. Too heavy.

Two trips to the recycling place on the scooter.

All the garden workers showed up. During these last two days they are putting all the plants and the grass in. The ladies (who are beautiful, with small face tattoos and big gold rings in their ears and noses) braided YaYa's hair. They love her hair, they do it every day.

It's interesting, doing this with all the garden work going on. Encouraging, because it looks BEAUTIFUL. Difficult, because of the extra dust and dirt.

The kids played with their friends.

Chinua and I dusted and packed and sorted. There is always more than you think there will be.

At the end of the day we watched an Office episode as a reward. It was rewarding. We lay around like sick seals. We congratulated ourselves. The only way out is through.

Pictures I owe you:

YaYa garlanded three times.

YaYa in her dress. (For Eleanor)

Garden before and afters.