Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Angola Kairos #49 Part 2

My sister called and told me she had joined our prayer vigil. I saw that 70-something slots were open before I left for school that morning. One of the brothers from new Orleans called and asked me if I'd noticed that some of the times--mostly on Thursday--had been doubled. I thought there were more than usual! I had another short list of people to write in after I got to the hotel so I was hoping that would fill it. By the time I got to print it--and the printer froze a few times--the count was down to about 20 which was perfect for the write-ins. So all blank speace were taken care of. YAY!! It always works!

There were several things going wrong, like with the printer. But also, the Internet connection at the hotel was lousy. I never expect it to work in the conference room and my Kairos sister, Cyndi told me she was having trouble connecting in her hotel room. I disconnected my netbook (AKA "Baby Laptop, as my things have names) from the printer and took it to the breakfast area, where there the WiFi usually is. The operative word here being "usually."

Eventually, I was able to get on line in my room and download the prayer vigil chain, right before the Internet connection shut off again. I pasted it into a Word document so that I could number the pages. It came out to sixty-one pages.  I finally got the printer gods to smile on my teeny printer. Everything that didn't print the day before printed first after turning it off and rebooting Baby LapTop. All of this took a number of hours so that by the time the guys returned from the prison, Cyndi and I were still working on cutting apart the prayer chain links and making a paper chain of them.

My mantra by this time was, "I will not be up past midnight. I will not be up past midnight." Just then, one of the first guys to return from the prison came to Agape Central gingerly hold a Kairos name tag. "Um, they said to come to you with name tag changes," he said.

OoooooooK. The problem with that was that while we were having Saturday formation meetings, I'd asked the leader if he'd need help with name tags. They'd all been made for team members for the meeting so he said he had it covered. Well, having it covered came to mean that if there were any changes to be made at the hotel, it would be on me. Not cool. I was hot. There were about eight changes to make, including three team members who'd taken theirs home and forgotten them. We never let the team members take their name tags home if we wanted to have all of them during Kairos Weekend.

So...I left Cyndi cutting and stapling the prayer chain while I tried to get a name tag template. I had some card stock. The leader's wife also had a laptop and tried to log on in her room. The Internet was out again. She asked the desk employees about it and they stretched an ethernet cable across their check-in desk to her laptop while I looked for a rainbow Kairos logo to put at the top of the name tags so they'd looked like those that were previously printed.

Although the Internet still didn't come up, she located the template already installed in her laptop. We both had the same version of Windows, so she showed my where it was on hers so I could find it on Baby. I only had a blue and black logo on Baby so we were just going to make blue logos. "They'll just have to be different," we both agreed.

Then she remembered that her husband had snet her a PDF with the logo and it was on her laptop. "Can you copy a logo from a PDF to a Word document?"
"YAHOO! Why sure you can!" I laughed. We were making it possible.
We got the print the same size and the logo cut and pasted. And since the cardstock was not perforated like the paper that comes with the name tags, I held an old name tag up to the light, matched the print, so I could draw he lines for the edges of the new name tags and cut them out.

The guy's meeting was long over and they had slipped off to bed. The ladies who'd worked in the kitchen were hot and tired as they dropped off an evening meal and gone to their rooms. The mantra had been useless. The three of us were up past midnight.

I was still rather hot. It's much asier to be so when you've been up since 4:30 AM, gone to work, picked up a car, packed--in other words when you're exhausted. I'm far from the most organized person and I'm most disorganized when I'm overwhelm with many things on my plate. However, this was a result of not thinking things through and being organized. That comes for from trying to think and do too much on your own and not delegating the small stuff. My husband was still half awake and I vented that before he went to sleep. I was too tired to unpack my clothes, so I just took out my contact lens juice, washed up and went to sleep.

The next morning, my husband was up and dressed when I awoke. He'd made coffee and set aside a cup for me. "Ugh! Pink, stuff!" was all there was for sweetening my coffee from the world of artificial sweeteners. I liked the blue stuff better.

"Hunnee, I'm gonna slip on some clothes and get me some blue stuff and  couple of muffins, " I said.

"I think you should wait a while. I wouldn't go there right now if I were you," he warned.

I thought I'd just get my sweetener and come back to the room, have coffee and muffins and get in the hot shower.

I was ambushed at the lobby entrance with "Did you bring my name tag? I need my name tag." "I need you make me a name tag this morning before we leave for the prison." "I have two more inmate name tags."

Baby Laptop said, "Sorry, I'm sending the message to the printer but Li'l HP is saying he ain't hearin' that!"

I had a labeler and printed he names with that. Then we stuck them over the names that needed correcting. "Here's a temporary solution. Use these and when you come back this evening Li'L HP will have heard the print message and printed your name tags."

The muffins were hard by the time I got to them. Fortunately, Ms. Linda, the breakfast lady was looking out for me and went to the back to get me some soft blueberry muffins.

I finally got back to my room for that shower when my sister called from Denver. We talked for about 30 minutes. I had not talked with her for a few weeks so I called Cyndi to let her know I wasn't lost. Cyndi sounded like she hadn't had a good sleep. He legs were bothering her the day before so she was talking to me in one of those twilight stupors that say, I'm talking to you but my eyes are closed. Poor thing. She needed to rest and I was not going to call her back to wake her.

I checked on Baby Laptop and Li'l HP to see if they were talking to each other. They were friends once again. On the empty name slots I typed names I made up like "Downenda Treme" and "Fidnta Blow." I could put those in my own name tag and change out every few hours. Linda came to check on me from her breakfast bar and we talked for a while. I went to the dollar store and started on the agape bags.

By that time, Cyndi was up and ready to work. She was apologizing for not coming down from her room earlier. Her legs had hurt her all night long. I told her there was no need for an apology and that when I'd called her I could tell in her voice that she wasn't actually awake.

We had  no resident list or table family list, so I couldn't put names on the cards on the bags. I had that "it's gonna be another late night when the guys get back from the prison" feeling. I used the name tag template and some photos from the team formation meetings. I lightened the photos about 50% so they'd make a nice background for the names which would be printed with the label maker.

We had no children's agape brought in by the guys. I couldn't believe that! That has never happened before. Later my mother and my daughter came up to help. My mother brought some craft material and some leftover items from Bible School. My daughter and Cyndi helped make some book marks. Then I found a plastic envelope full of agape leftover from the previous Kairos weekend. There was enough for each of the thirty-two bags to receive about three letters from children.

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