Uneasy week

Across the street

We were free to move about again starting last Sunday, but the government took down cell phone and Blackberry service. We didn’t want to be without communication, so we ended up staying home anyway. We had a flurry of emails and phone calls about whether or not our local staff would be able to get to work on Monday, since there had been so much violence in Rawalpindi this weekend (they did).

The week was pretty quiet, but there were lots of protests planned on Friday. The local staff stayed home, we canceled visa appointments and only the Americans came to work. I don’t think the protests were as big as they expected; when John and I drove home at 6PM, the roads were clear and everything was quiet. Thank goodness!

I’m still working on getting my friend Danielle’s cats back to the U.S., so yesterday morning I had a driver run me over to the vet’s office to pay him, give him some paperwork, and buy larger cat carriers. This morning, the cats were dropped off at my house; I plan to take them to the vet later today and he will ship them back to the U.S. in the next few days. The cats won’t be happy for a few days, but eventually they will make it back to Danielle and be much happier.

I had my Spanish lesson on Monday night and a school board meeting Wednesday night. John and I went to an office happy hour last night after work, but otherwise things were quiet.

The cats at work are starting to use their feeding stations, so they are not as big of pests as they were while humans are trying to eat. It’s still an educational process trying to get folks to not feed them at the tables, but we’re making progress. Our efforts were the cover story for the Embassy newsletter this week, which was some nice publicity.

I’m not really sure what all is tied to the bike in the photo above. It’s extremely common to see people with huge bundles of sticks, limbs and twigs tied to bikes and motorcycles or being carried. People are constantly gathering up fire wood to heat their homes and cook. Amazing in such a country where the wealthy are very wealthy, but they can’t supply basic needs to their citizens.

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