Day Two - Sunday, January 27th, 2002 - Fajara - Safari Garden Hotel

Breakfast was followed with a bit of work on the computer where I prepared some pictures I had taken yesterday on my digital camera to send to people by electronic mail at the local Internet café. They are a bit “touristy” – me at Westfield with Jane, Jane and Usha at the hotel…Hum. The Internet cafe also gave me a chance to check my bank account to see if I am not seriously in debt (well, actually, at ALL in debt). This was followed by a relaxing time at the pool as it got warmer and we talked to the owners about their Burn's evening last night (it was very good though they looked a bit worse for wear after the alcohol).

Lunch (of a salad) was followed by a trip to the beach at about 2:00pm. The schedule was a bit light today. A few of us went for a walk down (south) the beach a bit but Christine headed off on her own, returning about one and a half hours later (she likes walking and seemed to avoid the “bumsters” quite well). We were bothered a bit by “bumsters” as we walked along the beach – these are local people who hassle the tourists for money, “friendship” (many want a ticket to the west – England, US or Canada – and are willing to do ANYTHING for it), etc.

The ocean was cool but a lot rougher than yesterday as we made our way back to Leybato. Over the afternoon our group got a bit bigger as people from VSO, other volunteer agencies (such as the Peace Corps which is quite big here), and their friends showed up introducing themselves (don't ask me anyone's names!). It got progressively warm but under the trees and in the shade we were quite cool and enjoyed the conversation for most of the afternoon - wandering from hammock to gazebo to ocean…

VSO and Peace Corps rugby is a rough sport. Every Sunday afternoon the two groups get together for a match on the beach. In the past few months there have been a number of casualties including a fish bone through the foot, blood, bruises, etc. Considering it is supposed to be “touch rugby” they seem to do more than simply “touch”. It is a bit of a joke amongst us though…

Eventually we managed to get ourselves together and return to the hotel where I was able to catch up on some of the material we were supposedly reading today before dinner at 8. Tonight it was fish pie with aubergine fritters (both very good) along with a papaya desert “drink” with lime juice (VERY tart and a bit much for most of us).

It was good to further the lizard “kabab” jokes from last night – I can see this is going to be an on-going joke with Jane and myself. Someone suggested I “should be a comedian” – hum…

The power went out tonight briefly and the compound generator cut in as soon as they powered it up.

Before I went to bed it was great to hear from mother who called me after I e-mailed the phone number of the hotel to her in Canada. The staff called me to the phone since there is only one at the hotel (this is NOT a Holiday Inn – no radios or TVs either). I had felt guilty that I had been unable to call her after I had arrived due to the fact that phones are not all that common around this area (and are difficult to use – payment is a bit of a problem since it is so expensive – you have to get a “katcha” card for long-distance phone calls, you CANNOT call long-distance phone numbers directly by pay phones).

⇒ Continue to Day Three - Monday, January 28, 2002 - Fajara - Safari Garden Hotel