Good Friday was a school holiday, so the only thing on my schedule for the day was church in the morning. I was happy to have some time to keep catching up on all of the things that have been piling up since Peru. Even though I wasn’t actively stressed about them, I don’t like falling behind, and my to-do list was far too long for comfort.

Random fun fact of the day: there is a 99.9% chance that I’m currently using crepe paper as toilet paper.

The Good Friday service was the usual two hours of me understanding nothing, but this time it was slightly better because I have a friend! Her name is Anna, and she’s a teacher at another school in town. She and her mom go to our church, and Ruth introduced me to them saying, “this is Lara. She’s very lonely… be her friend.” Oh thanks. I guess I can’t complain though because now they’ve taken me under their wings, and I don’t have to sit alone anymore! Plus, during the service, Anna whispered what scripture passages were being read, so at least I could kind of follow along.

After the service, we all went over to the school to pray over the building, the students, parents, and teachers, and the school’s quest to become accredited. They’re been trying for five years now to get the official government accreditation, and they meet every requirement. The problem is that no one will pass through your application without a bribe, and Pastor Daniel refuses to pay. At some point, I’ll explain more of the background of the school, but the important thing in this situation is that a lot of kids are on scholarship. If a bribe is paid, that means less kids get to go to school. Not being accredited isn’t the end of the world. The school can still operate, and the kids can take the exams they need to go on to further education. With accreditation though, the school will attract more students, and with that, they’ll be able to give more scholarships to kids who need them.

I don’t know if you can read it, but the label on the muffins is “butter muffins”. I don’t know what that means, but I can’t imagine that they’re anything less than calorie-packed and delicious.

For the rest of the day, plus all of Saturday, I holed up in my room and got stuff done. It feels so nice to be able to cross things off of my list! Friday night, my third sister, Myra, arrived from boarding school in the south. She’s on holiday now for about the next month. With her came Pastor Daniel with a pile of baked goods for me, even though I said I didn’t need anything. At this rate, I’m going to roll home from India. Workouts start Monday!

Saturday afternoon was supposed to include a trip to buy me a bike, but that got scrapped when it started pouring rain. I’m really hoping it isn’t forgotten because I will lose my mind if I can’t go anywhere without a chauffeur for my entire trip. I’m working at the school in the mornings, and that’s fine because it’s literally across the street from the house, but there is another project I’m hoping to help with in the afternoons.

This is maybe like 1/5 of the books… I think they said it’s around 4,000 total

At the Bible college that Pastor Daniel started, they are cataloging and organizing a huge donation of library books. Since I’m now a professional library organizer, I said I could help. The college is about a 30-minute walk from the house, but I’m not allowed to walk anywhere by myself. So, currently, the only way I can get there is if someone drives me. That’s fine every so often, but it’s ridiculous to expect someone to do that every day (it also doesn’t help with my “don’t treat me like a princess” campaign). Chances are it will just mean that I can’t go half the time because everyone is busy, and the other half I’ll be wasting hours and hours waiting for rides.

I’ve been struggling a lot with the feeling of losing my independence. I can’t walk alone here because of safety and all that, and it makes me feel like a child. I’m trapped in this house. A bike is my ticket to freedom.

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