Monday, January 5, 2009

Home after Christmas

I survived yesterday's 71-km ride back to Chipata with the help of
Trevor's pep talks, Tootsie Pops, and a Diet Coke that managed to stay
cold for two hours nestled among frozen water bottles. Thanks to a
mainly cloudy day, we arrived with a minimum of sunburn, mainly
concentrated in the areas we never think to apply sunscreen (backs of
the knees, sliver of thigh between where bike shorts ended during the
last trip and where they rode up this time).

It's lovely to be home except for the dozens of leaks that sprouted in
our roof and the moldering smell that accompanied it. Luckily we
covered most of our stuff in tarps and even leaned up the mattress
against the wall, so it only got mildly soggy when rain dumped down
just before we went to bed last night. This morning's project was
covering the roof with giant sheets of plastic we brought back from
Chipata. I only wish we had bought twice as much.

We were finally able to check for mail, and I'm happy to say Santa
found us via the US Postal Service! We got Christmas cards with
newspaper clippings and pictures from Trevor's excellent army of aunts
and Hava now of Baltimore; and parcels from the Terra Novans, John &
Gennie, and Trevor's mom, who wrapped every single thing, so we're
going to take it home and have a proper gift-opening while sucking on
candy canes. My most Christmassy feeling yet came when I pulled the
reindeer-covered tin out of John and Gennie's box, knowing it would
contain homemade deliciousness. Peanut brittle!! My favorite. I'm
picking it out of my teeth at this very moment.

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