day 385 (y2, d20):  while yesterday was a full day of visiting and touring, today was a relativley relaxed and slow-paced day.  i felt bad for not being a better host to karla, but she seemed okay with a little downtime.  the schedule of PST is pretty grueling, so spending one day at a leisurely pace can’t be all that bad.

all the new volunteers were given google tablets before they left the states.  karla hadn’t figured out how to use hers yet and wanted to contact her daughter in the states via skype.  so, we spent a good deal of the morning working on that.  i have to confess that once you get used to one type of computer system (apple versus PC), it becomes difficult to maneuver the other.  but, after some online searching, we figured out how to change some settings, installed skype, figured out her account, and she successfully spoke with her daughter.  there was much transfering of skills today…

in the afternoon we ran some errands, including the vegetable market.  i remember as a trainee being simply amazed at the variety of the fruits and vegetables available outside my village, and karla’s experience seemed to be no different.  we had a lot of fun visiting two of my favorite vendors.  the 2nd is a greek woman who just seems way too excited when i stop by.  she blows me kisses and usually throws in an orange or a little extra of whatever i am buying.  whereas, the couple with whom i shop the most regularly are far more sedate.  they always greet me with genuine kindness, that i can’t stop going to them even when their selection isn’t always the best.

karla had not figured out the cell phone offers situation yet.  so, we made a stop by my closest vodafone store and we got her phone situation situated.  i have flashbacks to how confusing the whole system seemed back in training.  in the states, you sign up for a “plan” and pay each month for it.  it is automatic, as long as you pay your bill.  here, you have to go into the store and put money on your phone (in your phone’s account), then add your “offer”… you can buy offers for a day, week or month.  and, you can’t add your next offer until your current one runs out.  and, i have found it is always a little surprise when the offer runs out exactly (meaning on the day that it expires).  some vodafone stores won’t add your money until your offer expires (lawrence consistently had that problem in elbasan)… although i’ve been lucky that after the initial month or two when they would try to tell me it wasn’t time, and i wouldn’t leave until the money was added, that now it goes smoothly.  so, i just hope that the tutorial we had today, made the whole system seem a little less scary for karla.

we made one last stop at the supermarket then returned home.  amber gave me a recipe last weekend for a quinoa dish.  i decided that i would make it tonight, and it turned out great.  the recipe is technically vegan but i added cheese to the top, per amber’s suggestion.  it was super easy to make and delicious.  check it out here.

connor and karla hung out at connor’s while i skyped with the fam.  it was good catching up with them.  after that, connor, karla and i ate the concoction.  it was a unanimous success.

highlight of the day:  successful new recipe.  productive day.