It looks as though Daniel will be going! Richard has managed to book (provisioinally) flights with Emirates Air, going via Dubai, at reasonable prices. Dan's drama teacher took him to the hospital, negociated his way through the complex system of chaos to find the nurse who does vaccinations, and he has had a tetanus/diphtheria booster - which he was due around this age anyway - and also the vaccination against yellow fever which is compulsory for entering Tanzania. He also now has an official yellow international vaccination record. So far the cost has been £8.80 which I'm sure is less than traveller vaccinations in the UK would cost. He has to go back for a polio booster a couple of days before he flies, and his drama teacher's sister will get hold of the others he's supposed to have: typhoid, meningitis A&C, and hepatitis A. Oh, and we need to find some anti-malarial tablets too.
There's no Tanzanian Embassy in Cyprus so we just hope and pray he can get the tourist visa at the Dar Es Salaam airport when he arrives. That's supposed to be possible but it's a bit worrying not to have the visa in advance. It's too late to send his passport to the UK to get it there.
Well... after she reappeared on Wednesday, she spent about half an hour sitting under my desk, then she went to sleep on Tim's windowsill for a while. I gently wiped her eye and removed some dirt; it didn't look particularly bad once the dirt was gone, and she purred when we stroked her. After a couple of hours she went out again... and we haven't seen her since. I'm not so worried now; I guess she's just found a comfortable place to sleep and will pop in again when she feels like it. One of our neighbours commented that our cats like eating snakes, so perhaps she's found a good supply of food and is content without us.
Still doing well. Eating just three meals a day, grooming themselves well. Unfortunately they have rather a lot of fleas and are too young for most flea treatments; I've sprayed the place where they sleep with Biokill and brushed some herbal non-toxic flea repellant into their fur, and manually caught and killed several fleas. I guess there's not much else I can do. We keep saying that we MUST get round to getting in touch with the sanctuary in Paphos but they're still no trouble and are so cute....
When we first came here, we were shocked to find that having a film developed and printed cost about £7. Sending a film back to the UK, by contrast, cost about £3 and included a free film returne with the prints. So for seven years we've used the Directfoto Express film service, which is reliable, good quality, and takes about ten days to two weeks to return photos to Cyprus.
A couple of months ago Richard found an old (but good) camera left by another organisation, which nobody wanted. Daniel has been getting more interested in photography, and had said he hoped he'd get some good pictures on the Doulos. So Richard suggested he have this camera, which has fully manual exposure and other complicated stuff which I don't begin to understand, and much better zoom than Dan's current camera.
So he's been taking a few photos, and we were going to send his film away to be processed, just to check that the camera was actually working. It hadn't been used for about fifteen years, probably.
But as he's now going on the Doulos in a fortnight, we didn't want to send the film back to the UK as we couldn't be certain it would arrive in time. So he took it in to a local developing place, and I thought we'd just have to pay the £7, or maybe more by this time.
To my surprise, the cost was only £5. What's more, he got not just the photos but an index print, a free mini photo album AND a free film. All that and four-hour processing....
So suddenly I think we might be getting our films developed here after all. Supporting a local firm is all to the good, and it's much nicer to have prints back immediately. Of course I take most of my everyday pictures on the digital camera now, but when I want prints I use my real one. If I can get them processed locally and inexpensively, I may take more in future.