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GPzMike Abroad

Monday April 23, t+7

HAITI | Wednesday, 25 April 2012 | Views [373] | Comments [1]

Yesterday was my day off. Laid around in bed until 8 or so then had some Peet's and hooked up with Andy. He was heading home early and I hopped a ride with him to SM Mall which is on the way to the airport.
Andy is a really nice guy of 73. As he put it, his mind still says he's 28 and can go to a steamy hot country and work with the young guns...but his body started saying differently. He was hacking and coughing from the smoke, dust, and pollution in the air and he was not acclimating to the weather well either. He felt he it was better for him to head for home and make room for someone better equipped to do the work. I think he was a bit heartbroken - as anyone would - to hit that age-wall where you've got to give up some or many of your concepts of yourself as 'capable' and 'adaptable' and start taking seriously the age of your body when you consider tackling something.
You realize that you have fully entered the downside of the bell curve of life. 
I am not looking forward to that day. I am a physical being. Everything I do is directed by what I can do physically. How will I cope with that moment when I know that I shall never again slalom ski with gusto, carry 100lbs of concrete and be able to run back to the truck for another, pick up a sheet of 3/4 plywood from the top edge, help a friend move by loading my truck to the gils, or just hop on the mountain bike and take on a 25 mile ride just because I feel like it...or go to the Philippines and help people rebuild their life after a typhoon?
Anywho...back to our regularly scheduled drivel: so I went to the mall and ate calzone at Yellowcab Pizza, bought a bit of frozen yogurt, and bought a cellphone with qwerty keyboard for $20 or thereabouts, and stopped by the Ace Hardware (!) in the mall (!!) and picked up a package of rubber feet for the bottom of my computer. I did look for sunglasses that had built in bifocals but although I hit perhaps 5 places selling eyewear nobody carried them. From there I headed back to the camp via taxi (where I was once again asked about my wife and kids...lol) and read and catnapped the rest of the afternoon away. I was a very nice day off as there was basically nobody on the base - for a while it was just me! Oh the luxury of it!
As Andy was, so to am I finding the breathing here a bit difficult. Been coughing up a lung today. It was a - I hope - terrifically smokey/smoggy day today and this is not a chronic thing I'm going to be doing battle with for the next 5 months. I've had a very pronounced tickle on the left side of my throat for a couple of days and it seems to be gone today. Perhaps I am sick and this is the progression of it. Katrina and I shared a water bottle by accident and she was feeling terrible. Better a passing ick than a chronic cough.
Today was back to work day and I again ran around putting out fires as any good middle management type must do. "Mike, we are out of pipe", "Mike we are out of paint rollers", "Mike we are out of water", and so on and so forth. I am glad to put out the fires, and there will always be fires to be put out no matter how good a system we create for the builds, but I am looking forward to putting some procedures into place that will help mitigate the need for us to always be operating from a place of emergency and reaction.
Okay, well...lol...this won't be posted for at least a couple of days since some bright minded individual decided to steal the fiber optic wire for the area for it's copper wire content.
Uh. Yeah.



Well...I finally found you. You know me and looking on the internet. It was so good to catch up on your newest adventure. I am done working and Barb and I are packing like hell. Next week is the big move so I might be out of touch again for a while. Please take care of yourself and I will be following your stories. Keep up the great work and spirits Bob.

  Mom Apr 26, 2012 10:43 AM

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