I have realized when I am in a grumpy mood, I can go up the hill and visit Hywät at the Italian food restaurant, and before long I’m laughing.

I’ve got her trained so that when I put my napkin on my shoulder, she needs to come see what I want.  The first time I did this she probably thought:  What’s with this idiot now?  It works well, only to a point, because she’s still not fully trained.  As soon as I get through eating, she takes away my napkin.  Right off my shoulder.

The other day I reminded her that her birthday is coming up. (March 17th)  I asked her how old she will be and she stated 20.  I said, I thought you were 26!  She had this ghastly look on her face like she found that offensive.  Gee!  If someone thought I was 26, I’d be elated!

The last time I was there, Terese stayed home.  So to get a conversation going with her, I start asking about her medical schooling.  She dragged a big book from behind the counter and showed it to me.  The cover had a bunch of Ethiopian writing on it (an alphabet with over 200 characters and in existence before 3000 BC).  It was her Pharmaceutical textbook.  I looked it over and there was only one other book I’ve seen in my life that was more confusing, –  a book titled, 20,000 Chinese characters and their usage.  (The only thing in English was the copyright page)

I asked her if she understood all this and with a big smile she replied Yes!  The only pictures in it – something I can relate to – were drawings of tissue cross sections and molecular diagrams.  I said, Hywät, I’m an electrician and I can’t understand any of this because it has no wiring diagrams.  She pointed to some complex molecular structure and said, These are my wires!

She has still yet to deliver her first baby.  Something she has to do to graduate, and she’s dreading it.  I told her when she does, we will give her a gift, because she helped bring a new life into the world.  Then I told her, when she does deliver one, tell the mother to give it my name.  She didn’t react at all, like she’s beginning to know when to ignore me.

In a few weeks, I will have to go into Nigeria to do some work.  I will fly in and out of Lagos.  That airport is one of the most disorganized airports I have been in.  I transited through it last year on my way to Niamey, Niger.  My incoming flight arrived late and there was some character walking though the airport yelling something which made no sense.  He walked right past me, before I realized he was calling my name for the next flight.  I realized years ago, my name does not come out very clear when some people say it.  It comes out as “Wannolt”.

More later.  Kick butt and don’t stop.

Mister Wannolt