A Day In the Life Since most of my days are unremarkable, I decided to document one. This is my average Tuesday; 4:00 wake up from the roosters, roll over and go back to sleep 6:00 actually wake up 6:15 get out of bed, boil water, and add water to the filter for drinking water for the day 6:30 eat breakfast of oatmeal, green tea, and an apple 7:00 yoga 8:10 take my 20l bucket to fill at the tap for water 8:30 heat water on the stove for a bath, brush teeth, wash face etc then take a bath-by bath I mean kneeling over a basin while splashing lukewarm water around 8:50 walk to charge my computer 9:00 2 more trips for water 9:15 laundry-hand wash with a bar of lye, dump the water, rinse, and hang to dry outside, repeat until everything is clean 11:00 cook lunch of rice and lentils 11:30 eat lunch and read for a little 12:00 wash dishes 12:30 walk to get my computer back 12:45 read prep material for a workshop on Friday 13:00 sit outside with my host siblings 14:00 visit my neighbor who had a baby last week 15:00 prep and pack for grass root soccer practice tomorrow 16:30 make and eat dinner of instant soup and popcorn 17:00 read in my hammock until the sun sets 17:30 suns down-in for the night 18:00 put on a movie and knit until bedtime captions: sunset on the hammock typical lunch
In my training village a couple homesteads over there were puppies, and I bought one before I left. My tishela had offered to take her while I moved in etc, and he would drive her to me. Well, that never exactly worked out so I had to ask a couple weeks in a row if I could pick her up. Finally, after a lot of harassing him he agreed to bring Daisy to Manzini for me and I arranged transport from there with a neighbor. I met some friends in Manzini and our teacher came to meet us. He gets there and does not have the dog. After all of the hassle and prodding to get MY dog I was a little frustrated. I had to give him cab fare to go back to his house and get her and bring her back later in the day because he didn’t want to bring her on the bus. Instead of waiting he brings her back immediately and I spent the rest of the day walking around with a dog in a box. Luckily my friends watched her while I went to get rope and made a leash, which she hated. We waited in a park for my neighbor to be done working and she seemed really overwhelmed and not her usual boisterous self, but finally we got her home and all set up in my room.
The next morning Daisy slept all day, and I thought it was just adjustment to the new surroundings. I was finally moving that day so the guy came to move the burglar bars and I waited outside. As we were sitting there I noticed Daisy was wheezing a little so I called my friend who used to work at a vet’s office and tried to ask my babe if there is a vet or someone who could look at her. Being a Sunday, there were no busses out of town that day. While I was trying to use my poor siSwati to communicate I needed help, Daisy died. It’s pretty lonely living where you can hardly communicate with most people so I had been so excited to finally get her back, and it was devastating. I had no idea how to tell my babe, or what to do with a dead puppy in the middle of nowhere. I felt utterly helpless. Had I been in the US or even in Manzini I could have found someone to look at her, and maybe fix it. That was the first time I realized how stranded people are in my community. I lost my dog, but there are also no emergency services for people. I don’t know what I would do if it had been a child sick on a Sunday instead of a pet. I sometimes forget because we as Peace Corps volunteer have insanely comprehensive health care while here, everyone else that lives with me has issues I will never face no matter how long I live here.
The only saving grace of that day was I moved to my new house that afternoon so I actually got to sleep, and didn’t have to stay in the room Daisy died in. My family was so nice and supportive about everything, even if I can’t speak siSwati that well, it was comforting. They helped me move my things into the new house and I distracted myself with unpacking and organizing everything.