Friday, 29 May 2009

a trip to town

Yesterday I went to town.

The day before Glen waited from 12:30pm until 2:00pm on the side of the road for a transport before giving up and returning to the house.

Yesterday morning I decided we really really needed to do some shopping and I would go to town.

12:00pm  Sophie and I leave the house and head out to the road. We hear a transport coming and run. We make it but it is full of people and produce for market. It doesn't stop for us.

12:20pm  Another transport comes. It also is full and doesn't stop for us. Sophie is doing well chatting to one of the students also coming to town.

1:00pm  a group wanders past to go into the bush to cut wood to make a bench for peole like us waiting for a transport. I joke that if they get working I'll have somewhere to sit before we get a transport. Set a deadline of 2:00pm, after that I will return to the house.  Sophie says we should pray.  We do.

1:20pm  Another transport goes past full of produce for the market and doesn't stop. This time I am sure we would've fit on top of those copra bags.  Sophie plays on the soccer field.  She yells that she has prayed again.

1:45pm  The students return with the wood. Sophie complains about being bored.

1:50pm I'm wishing I hadn't set myself a dealine so I could return to the house and have the afternoon nap I don't have if I go to town.

1:53pm  An empty truck turns up, stops, we climb on the back. This one has wooden benches to sit on so the ride is relatively comfortable.

2:45pm  We arrive in town. I have 45 minues until trucks begin to leave town for the south (where we live) at 3:30, an hour 45 until the goverment offices shut (4:30) and just over two hours before it will be very difficult to get a transport home (at about 5pm).

We go to the supermarket.  I place an order for our bulk purchses, grab a snack for Sophie and some panadol for some lack-of-fibre-in-the-diet-related-discomfort.

We go to offices to handover the cheque for the staff superannuation (on Glen's request as he is acting bursar).  There is a queue although there seem to be clerks free.  I wait.  After ten minutes I leave.  It is 3:00pm.

We hurry to the post office.  I have some urgent letters to post.  There is a long queue at the western union desk and only one worker.  This means the post office turns into a western union office.  We wait about 15 minutes.  Sophie is bored.  I give her a scrappy piece of paper and pencil I find in my bag.  The officer in charge of customs sees me and takes me into their store room to help with the box of commentaries on John by Ngewa that Glen ordered for class this term. It is very heavy but we put it on the trolly. She also gives me all the mail and parcels for people at Talua.  I don't want to carry them.  I don't want to be rude.  I take the mail and sort through it for the parcel slips.  I decide not to take the parcels, except the  box of commentaries.  The class Glen wants it for has already started.  The cardboard box is broken.  We find a new one.  It isn't big enough.  I put the rest in my back pack along with the rest of the mail.  I sign out the parcel in the customs book.  Then I wait for the ordinary post office person (not the customs officer) who is still doing the western union work.  Eventually I get to send my letters and we leave.  I will have to come back for the books in a taxi, the box is to heavy to carry.  It is 3:40, now too late to go back to lodge the superannuation.

We go to the stationers to but blu-tak.  This is exciting!  We've not been able to buy it before.  I buy one for Glen.  He uses it for ear plugs when there is lots of noise at night.  I buy one for school.  I also buy cardboard.

We go to the butcher's.   This is the store that has (for the first time) been supplying wholemeal flour.  There is no more.

We hurry to the Pharmacist.  It is 4:00.  They are closed.

We go to the supermarket.  We do our shopping.  There is no more brown rice which I saw for the first time two weeks ago.  Where is all my fibre?  They are really helpful and kind.  It is 4:20 and I have to get back to the Post Office before it closes.

I go outside and find a taxi.  We fetch the carton of books.  We pick up our boxes from the supermarket and go to the "depot" from which trucks leave for the South.  It is a space outside a store next to the bamboo hotel.  There are large clumps of bamboo.  We call it "bamboo".  We unload our goods and the student who came with us is there.  She looks after out things while Sophie and I go to the market.

I go in search of fibre.  Grapefruit and Paw-Paw.  I find a lady selling grapefruit.  We fill up a huge coconut-palm-leaf basket with all her grapefruit.  The student turns up.  There is a truck ready to leave.  I race through the market quickly purchasing corn, beans (a foot long), cucumbers, avocados and paw-paw.  No time for anything else.  Sophie wants a coconut.  I tell here there is no time.  I remember she hasn't had anything to drink all afternoon.  My hands are full.  We manage to get some money and she goes back for the coconut.  The lady helping me carry the grapefruit is waiting to cross the road.  I go with her.  I put the produce with our growing pile of goods.  There is no truck.  The student says they decided to go back into town for something.  They'll come back.  Sophie is trying to cross the road.  The helpful lady is helping her.  I go to help, too.

We wait.  It is getting onto 5:00.  I hope this truck will pull through otherwise I don't know how we will get home.  I don't fancy staying the night in town.

We buy ice-creams and some flour.  White.

The truck returns but it is now full.  Our largish pile of goods is working against us. 

We see another from the south.  We talk with the driver.  When he sees our goods he says they are full.

There is an empty truck parked on the roadside but no driver.  We find the driver.  He is happy to take us.  We load on the goods.  We climb on board.  There is a wooden board on the floor of the truck-tray which is surprisingly comfortable.  Some school girls climb on too.  They live in a village near us.

We wait.

The driver comes and we go.  The student realises she has forgotten to buy a newspaper for one of the staff.  We pull over for fuel.  She runs inside for the paper.  All is well.

It is dark when we get home and after dinner time.  Sophie delivers the goods we have purchased for friends.  I make dinner.  I am too tired to clean up.  I will do it tomorrow.


Karen said...

Wow! I'll pray that God gives you the patience and good humour to keep doing the everyday things.

Raeline said...

Dear Rachael,

I can just picture all that and also feel the
frustration! No college bus???

Love Mum Raeline

Rachael said...

Thanks Karen, for your prayers. I really feel encouraged that people pray for us and God has sustained us in ways I wouldn't have expected. I doubt we would still be here if it weren't for prayer.

Raeline, there has been no bus for a long time and no truck for all of this year. We do have a new one coming soon... which will be WONDERFUL!

Jean said...

Oh, Rachael, your story made me laugh and cry at the same time! I can almost hear Him say it: "Well done, good and faithful servant". Hang in there, in his strength.