Taking a breather…

Its been nearly a week since I came back to Tamale from the village where I have my household surveys ongoing. This "nearly-a-week" has actually given me some breathing space (although breathing is becoming harder by the day literally due to increasing concentration of dust in the air as Harmattan approaches). In fact the day I left the village to come back to Tamale, I had sore throat, which got better after a day or two in Tamale. But, the breathing problem with stuffy nose (started with runny nose in the village, now its the opposite!) continues. All these minor problems have however made me rest a bit and give myself a breather after a month or so of intense work. The "broadband" internet at my friend's office is working like a charm thesedays, which means either before going to work (when working in the afternoon) or after work (when I'm working early mornings), I just come around and suck the juice out of this 256kbps "broadband" with BBC podcasts downloads and updating my computer software etc. It has also given me chance to play a bit more on facebook and chat with friends on IMs. And to top it all, I just had a nice conversation (via type-chat on Skype) with my supervisor, which means I won't have to write an email to update him on my progress for a week or so!

I think I'm having "bloggers block" (if this phrase has any similar meaning like "writers block") for the past couple of months. Although I start to write a new entry with so many things in mind that I think I should write about, after a paragraph or so, I just haven't been able to continue. This means, I now have more unfinished "drafts" on my ecto's post list than those that are actually published on my blog! Hopefully, I would be able to get over this BB and complete some of those drafts before I leave Ghana at the end of next month.

Okay, I must mention how happy I was to be able to use IMAP on Gmail this week! In fact, I use my own domain email on Google Apps more than my original Gmail email thesedays. So being able to use IMAP on my poudyal.net email on Google Apps was absolutely fantastic. This also means that the first ever online petition that I had signed a year or so ago (for Gmail IMAP) has come to fruition...effort that I put to type my name and press send didn't go to waste...hurray!

As I mentioned, I've been playing around with facebook a bit this week, and was surprised to find one of two friends who I haven't been in touch for nearly two years or so on facebook! I had just decided to let facebook's "friend finder" scan my Gmail contact list, and there they were - some of my out-of-contact contacts - on facebook...Great stuff!

Finally, this has been the first year since I left Nepal that I didn't know/realise when Tihar was. I was in the village with no electricity, no internet (GPRS was working on my mobile but to save the battery, the only functionality I was using on my mobile was the SMS!) and didn't even take my permanently-BBCWorldService-tuned radio to the field, so I had no idea what was going on in the world outside. In some ways, it was great to be doing the work I was there to do and be completely isolated in that village - eat local food, and live a simple village life. I only realised Tihar had already past when I saw a few Tihar-greetings on my inbox when I got back to Tamale earlier this week. Oh well, when you have no way of celebrating, its not too bad missing the festival altogether! I hope all my readers (those who celebrated Tihar) had a great time during the festival!

Well, this is all I'm going to write on this post...It has been a typical "random jottings..." entry, and hopefully this will help me get over my BB...I have been thinking of writing a couple of entries in Nepali, which hopefully I will be able to complete and post by the end of this week. Need to go to local Immigration Bureau to extend my stay permit tomorrow, which should be an interesting trip judging by my experience last time around (which unfortunately I didn't write about here...may be I'll write a combined entry covering my both visits!). I leave with a link to an interesting news piece from BBC...I hope these two people start talking to each other soon, at least for the sake of their language!