Friday, January 29, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another busy, hectic and maddening day in the mission office. Problems with IMOS continue to cause havoc. Checks aren’t getting written on time, electronic transfers aren’t being authorized on time and venders aren’t getting paid on time. By noon Hna. Johnson was frustrated and exhausted. She exclaimed, “I need a Coke”, I brought her a cold bottle of water from the frig instead. She looked at me with pleading eyes; I think she really wanted a Coke.

This evening the FedEx truck arrived with a surprise. I received a package from Costco with my hearing aid. (See Nov. 29, 2009) It is a replacement of the one I lost two months ago. I’ve been using one hearing aid all this time for my right ear. But even that hearing aid developed a problem a month ago. It stopped receiving commands from the remote control which is the only way I have to change programs or increase the volume. Tomorrow I will use the packing materials the left hearing aid came in to ship the right one back for repair.

Last time the hearing aids were shipped to me (See Sept. 9, 2009) they cost me over $200.00 in Customs fees, tips and bribes to get them released from the holding facility at the Santo Domingo Airport. The reason they were “held for ransom” was the declared value was way too high, as if they were new hearing aids, not used ones. This time the Costco hearing department manager put a much lower value on them and they bypassed Customs at the airport and were delivered right to my office door. That was a huge blessing.

Although my hearing aids have caused me a lot of problems over the past 6 months they sure do help me hear and all the effort it takes to get them both working properly is worth it.

This afternoon I had to drive to the east side of the capital, well inside the boundaries of the Santo Domingo East Mission, to deliver documents to a Major General in the Dominican Army relating to our shelter in Jimani (See Jan. 22, 2010). On my way there I drove along the “Malecon” coast road. The entire coast road is on lava rock cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is a beautiful drive and spotted several “Blow Holes” caused by high winds and surf. They were great.

This afternoon our “Dueña” (landlord) had a plumber come by our apartment and replace our hot water heater. It has been leaking for several days and had to be replaced. The plumber must not have had much experience working with PVC pipe. When I got back to the apartment he had already finished his work and was gone but his PVC joints were leaking! Hna. Johnson and I were sitting on the sofa when we heard a loud pop and the sound of gushing water. The glued PVC joints failed and water was spraying everywhere. By the time we got the main valve turned off we had a lot of standing water on the floor of the apartment. It was a mess to clean up.

When I talked to the “Duaña” she said she couldn’t reach the plumber and that a different plumber would be out to repair the pipes tomorrow morning after 9:00! Then she said she was sorry she couldn’t do any better than that and hung up. Well… we weren’t going to spend the night without running water so I was off to the hardware store to buy the parts and do the job right. So I did… and it was. We had running water by 8:00pm.

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