I wake up and want to go running, but I don’t. I have too much to do. There’s a water shortage. We’re in quaresma, the driest part of the year. So I fill the bucket I have in the bathroom and two smaller buckets that I use in the kitchen.

I’ve been living in my house for a week and I still haven’t mopped yet. I can’t spare the water. Also, I’m not too interested in mopping. Washing the dishes seems good enough to me.

Manuela stops by. She’s 11 and one of my best friends in my community. I ask if Manuela wants to help me bring a birthday card and the chinola (passionfruit) bars (versus lemon bars) for Gioja’s birthday. I baked them last night with the help of Gioja’s son. She nods so we go to the colmado and get paper that we can wrap the treats in. After we bring the treats and the card to Gioja, Danna (my neighbor), Manuela’s half-brother and two other boys (one of whom once cut his penis on tall sharp grass when he was peeing! Ouch. I’ve never felt so sad for a little boy. He had to go to the hospital on a motorcycle. And you can’t imagine the condition of the road. Let’s just say it would be uncomfortable) stopped by to color. My house is running out of room to hang pictures. At least I’ve finally found a use for the thumbtacks I bought before I started college. After an hour or so they start to get restless so I send them away telling them I’m going to clean. I sweep the floor and run some chinola bars over to Nuris’. I walk in and Gioja is in the kitchen. The two of them abruptly stop talking and after an awkward moment they begin to laugh.

“We were talking about you!” Always exactly what I want to hear…Not!

“And what were you saying about me?” They told me I cook well enough that I can get married. Well that’s good to know.

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