The last two weeks have been strange, after Katie left I was alone for the first time and I suddenly had nobody around to distract or entertain me. This meant that I had brief instances of loneliness followed by productive days. Week 59 was a bit of a surprise, although the official Ramadhan had ended there was an optional extra week of fasting. This meant that the shops in Makunduchi remained closed, even though only about a quarter of the people in the village were fasting.
I spent most of week 60 sorting out my pictures from previous trips, which had been sitting on my computer for up to seven years without being looked through properly. As I completed each trips pictures I uploaded them to replace the old pictures and cleaned up the ‘Travel Stories’ page for each one. I have finally got up to the start of this trip but decided to give my self a break before taking them on. Towards the end of the week Rihana, my employer, came back to the village, so I spent a few days helping her. My teaching work should start again in the coming week, I’ll be teaching in the hotel and will teach IT to a group of teachers in the evenings. I should be getting a class or two from the school when they start up again from the holidays. Then yesterday (Monday) I found out there is a problem with my visa.
Basically, I was hoping to get my visa renewed through the Ministry of Education, but because of Ramadhan it was taking too long, so my visa ran out last Wednesday. I decided the best thing to do was forget about the Ministry of Education and just go into town to get another tourist visa. When I arrived they said that I had over stayed and so I had to pay a $600 fine. I tried to explain that it was due to delays with the Ministry of Education but they just said that I shouldn’t be going into schools when I only have a tourist visa. They said I needed a visitors permit which costs $200. After some discussion they agreed to drop the $600 fine and said that I just need to get a visitors permit for the remainder of my stay here. So I had the forms and will sort it all out over the next week or so.