09 March 2010

Enjoying a break

It's been great having a few days off school. Yesterday was less productive than I hoped, mainly because by the time I got to school at 9am we had no electricity and it didn't come back on again until 7pm last night. I went for a swim, and then got some maths papers graded, and a little planning done, but by 2.30pm I decided it was time to head for home, where at least I could put a fan on. I had a pile of Social Studies portfolios that needed to be graded (at about 15 min each), and they were at home, so that was the plan. Instead I baked a cake, surfed the internet, wasted time on Facebook, and eventually got about 4 done before I went to bed.

That's it, I decided. They have to be done, and I'm not going anywhere until they are. So I set up a table in the bedroom (air-con in there), and by 12.30pm they were all done. I had some lunch and pottered around a bit, and headed out to school by about 2pm for 3 hours. Checked e-mail, and eventually did a little planning. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Fortunately I only have two days to plan for, but I've really got to get some stuff ready for writing report cards this weekend as well. Hopefully we'll have power for most, if not all of the day, and I'll be able to be productive. Not much I can do about that.

This evening I met up with a friend who is visiting from Poipet for a few days of meetings. Lucky her. She's not that excited about the meetings, but it's a good chance to catch up with folk in Phnom Penh. We enjoyed dinner at a coffee shop across the other side of town, that I wouldn't usually go to, but where I'd been given some gift vouchers for by a grateful parent. We both enjoyed our meal, and I even came home with some dessert treats for tomorrow. We travelled by tuk-tuk, as I just couldn't face the peak hour traffic tonight - wanted to enjoy myself, and enjoy conversation on the journey, so that was good too. I arrived home just 3 minutes before it started to rain! Thanks Lord. Unfortunately it didn't last long, and the humidity is now about 90%, well it feels like that anyway. However, it's official. Today was cooler than yesterday and the day before (by 1 degree!).

Last night, as I sat peacefully at home, I kept hearing lots of sirens. I wondered what was going on, since that many sirens usually means either someone really important is around, and they are closing roads and moving them through as fast as they can, or ??? It turns out it was the ???. There was a big fire in an area along the railway line, and near one of the temples. According to news reports 158 homes plus 5 or more monks rooms were destroyed. It seems that one of the recent traffic calming strategies created a big headache for the emergency services, as the direct road into the area is now only accessible from one side of the main road. There is another route into the area, but it is very round about, and narrow roads. To access from the main road required road blocks a substantial distance away in order to create safe passage for the emergency vehicles.

So why was the access route blocked in the first place? I'm not totally sure, but it does mean that traffic now has to continue in one direction without trying to turn left across traffic, and so it does make things flow more smoothly. Previously a number of drivers, like in any big city, would take the back route to avoid an intersection that regularly gridlocks, and then created a new headache about 200m from the gridlocked intersection as they either crossed the main road, or tried to turn left onto it (for those Aussies reading this, think right hand turn on Australian road). I've taken 30 minutes to get through the intersection that no longer exists at peak hour! And that's on a moto, so it might be 60 minutes for car drivers.

Well, the night is progressing and it's time I went to bed, but I want to finish by mentioning a few of the things I'm thankful for today.
  • E-mails from friends
  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Air-conditioning
  • Finishing the Social Studies portfolio grading
  • Good food
  • Friends to share it with
  • A safe dry place to live
  • Fans
  • A God who cares for me, every minute of every day. He knows everything about me, and He still loves me! He has every day of my life planned, and is in control, especially when I feel like things are out of control.
  • Refrigerators
  • Thunderstorms
  • Rain in Toowoomba's catchments - Dam levels area up to 16.1%. That's the highest they've been in a number of years.
  • Family
  • People who pray for me, and enourage and support me in many different ways. Thanks guys.
Good night.


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