My brother and our friend who is designing the new school for the village just left. Getting them to the airport was a challenge because of the snow.
If you want to predict what the suggestions of the local authorities here would be about anything, just ask yourself what do you think would Stalin do. Their ideas about the school basically were bulldoze the hill out, cut down all the trees, drown everything in concrete, build a concrete box with the smallest windows possible in the middle of that concrete desert, cover it with plastic on the inside and restrict the kids' ability to access as many areas in the building and around it as possible.
Yeah, we are going to do exactly the opposite of all of this though. The school will be build into the hill and around the trees, it will have a glass wall and not many walls and doors inside and a lawn on the roof for the kids to play on.
We are all about the snow here now. Over half a meter (1.6 feet) of it is expected by this weekend. And then an abrupt temperature hike on Sunday will cause rapid melting and possible flooding. It is already much warmer than it was in the beginning of the week.
We are busy feeding the storks who came back and got caught in this snowy freeze with all the lakes frozen and everything under a thick blanket of snow.
It is freezing here again and we are buried under the snow. It is very unusual to have this kind of weather here in March. And it is expected to last for about a week. Well if we must have it, it is better to have it now than in May like last year.
We played that game where we all pull each other's names out of a hat and have to recommend a book for the person whose name you pulled out to read. Nobody knows who their recommendations came from. I got "Athens and Jerusalem" by Lev Shestov, which I have just started, it looks interesting. I suspect that one of our Russian volunteers pulled my name out of that hat.
There was this overnight stag do in the neighbouring town that we were all invited to but the weather was really bad, it was dark, wet, cold, very windy, raining, very foggy, the roads are awful in general and they are almost flooded now (flood warning). It was hard and took some time to get the taxi drivers to agree to come and pick us up and it took ages to get there because at times we just could not see what was ahead of us and where to go at all with that wall of fog and darkness over a washed out dirt track road.
One of our volunteers:
- Wow guys, look at that weather, it is like an impenetrable wall of fog over a flood in total darkness under the rain. Maybe we shouldn't go?
My brother is here visiting us and we went to the next village to see the shepherd boys. They invited us to share breakfast with them as usual. It was simple and good as usual as well, each of us got one of these:
A bunch of asparagus and seven soft boiled eggs from their sister's chickens (there were seven I just had one before I took the picture) per head.
We have been pretty busy with the lawyers and child welfare and protection here but everything is going well.
Our man bun wearers settled in well, we found a good fit for them and they asked us to extend their stay, which we were happy to do. We are expecting our first large batch of volunteers to arrive in two and a half weeks. I am mostly interested in finding someone I can dump most of my work on (like I did with Elizabeth last season) right in that first group. That involves offering that someone a longer-term paid position with us.
Btw, Elizabeth is doing great and Hilda couldn't be happier to have her. She is taking the lead on a pretty large account and is joining Hilda on a business trip to Chicago soon. I talked to her on the phone when I was in London and she was super excited about how things were going.
We are taking on a lot this year again, so it is critical for me to find someone who will do my work instead of me so that I can start drinking at lunch and hang out shirtless with the boys between the villages all day purposelessly.