March 29, 2005

tuesday, tuesday, museday, newsday

That just hurts. I accidentally hit the refresh button. Oh Blogger, you unforgiving beast. That's all right, my tone might have been a bit cynical, so now I have a chance to freshen up.

First, my apologies to "Egotripper" for the strong tone in the previous post. It is strange to have people you don't know, know your site, especially since I thought so few people were aware this site existed. Additionally, I was partly joking. In any case, my apologies; please keep reading.

Here, things go well. My wife and I had a trip to the doctor yesterday for an ultrasound. Do you want to know what sex it is? Maybe I'll tell you; maybe I won't. No, I will; just keep reading.

The ultrasound was moving. I couldn't help but smile, and I imagine this happens to most parents when they first see their child. First the head, then the belly, then the bunched up legs. The doctor had to point out some of the finer details, like the eyes, those strange black dots seemingly staring right at you. He also measured both femurs and the skull width. Looks like we are at about 19 weeks. We've got a really active kid on our hands as well (not surprising). During the 10 minutes of observation, the baby did a nice roll, kicked her legs a few times, and put her thumb up to her mouth. There, it appears. It's a girl. 70 to 80% chance. How did the doctor define it? Oh yeah, something like, "Well, I can't see any protruding extremities that would make me think he was a boy".

Apparently, he also asked ahead of time what we were hoping for, but this all took place in Amharic, so I didn't know. Also, apparently I didn't know that my wife was hoping for a boy and I was hoping for a girl. I guess I'm happy. Either way I would have been glad. I thought it would be great to have a girl because, given all the boys in our family, we probably wouldn't have a shot at having a girl. So, I'll be glad with that. She is going to be a feisty little devil and make her parents very proud.

In other news, I had my first day at a consultancy today. It's a Behavior Change Communication organization that asked me to design an activity book for a community mobilization project. What a mouthful. In laymen's terms, thay want me to put together some health communication materials for a project taking place at the neighborhood level in southern Ethiopia. No problem.

Actually, it was pretty fun and I was able to exercise my creative energies. I actually laughed out loud at myself a couple of times with the ideas running through my head. It made me wonder what my uncle must feel like, given some of the strongly inane material he comes up with. He must be laughing all day. It's nice. A job where you can make yourself laugh. If you can make money doing it, all the better.

So that's what I'll be up to for the next week or so. They asked me to try to incorporate a narrative and pictures. The narrative I can handle; the graphics not so much, but there's an illustrator at the organization that I will be working with. I already settled on a couple of characters to act as narrators/guides for the book. An old man, slightly ambitious/competitive, but good natured, and his more practical, scolding wife, who finds her husband's approach to community mobilization somewhat exasperating. We'll see if this is the final story we go with. For now, it seems good.

In final news, we watched an excellent pirated VCD last night, "Friday Night Lights". Great movie about football in Texas. My wife found herself in mild disbelief on a number of occasions at Texan attitudes towards football. She asked at one point if people in the community truly gave more support to football players or kids who do well in school. I'm sure that's profound on a number of levels. All I could think to respond was, "Honey, it's Texas". But I don't think that is quite accurate. It's true in a lot of the U.S. Living here, where the values are reversed, I am starting to look with a little skepticism on our approach to athletics. I find myself talking about the values you learn, etc. Then I think to myself, couldn't those same values be learned competing in school. Are there additional values that can only be gained in an athletic setting.

Maybe teamwork, though you could work collaboratively on a high school physics project and develop teamwork skills that way. Sports, to me at least, are largely more fun. They are probably also better in terms of fitness (thank you swimming). It's still something to think about. I'm somewhat succumbing to peer pressure here in imagining the path my kids will take. Probably at home, I might have imagined great success through athletics, but here, I think I'll be more inclined to focus on academic prowess. We'll see.

Anyway, the movie was great, but it cut out with about 25 minutes to go. They were at the big game; it was half time and the quiet player who hadn't said a word all year, had just finished berating his teammates. Then, it went dead. I imagine there was a heroic finish; otherwise, why make the movie. But, we still didn't see it, despite all our efforts to make at least one of the movie viewing programs on our computer display the movie. Write and tell how it ends, if you know. Did they lose, but gain some good life lesson? Did they win, a la Rudy, the Natural, and a number of my other favorite sports movies?




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