“So are you going to come with us?” Chelsi’s friend Mike asked about this evenings activities. Chelsi was seated at the long table in the sitting room of the Provincial house.
“I really need to tally up the receipts for the grant and prepare tomorrows shopping lists for camp.” Chelsi was in town for a few days, for the second time that month preparing for the youth environmental education camp, Camp TREE, that she would be hosting at her house in less than two weeks.
“Yeah, but you’ve worked hard today; you need to take a break,” Mike added patting her shoulder. “I’ll help you with your receipts if you just wait till tomorrow.”
Chelsi sighed, “Where are you going again?”
“Neal and I are going to the airport.”
“Remind me why again…”
“BECAUSE it’s the only pokestop in Solwezi!” Mike was walking into the kitchen. “And I’m out of pokeballs! And I really want to hatch this egg. I only have to walk like, four more kilometers. So we’re going to walk to the airport from Kyawama.” He returned with a knife.
“Then we’re coming back?”
“Yeah, or whatever,” he said placing the knife on the table and bending down to pick up a small box. “There’s that new restaurant, pub thing that just opened by New Shoprite. Remember we saw that woman walk out today with a pizza box. Maybe they have pizza there. We can go for dinner after the airport.” The box was plopped on the table with a clink.
Chelsi closed her eyes, rubbed her temples. She was tired; tired from the dust and the heat of town, and tired from running around all day in it. She was tired of diligently watching the bricks of cash that was her grant. Just one stupid mix up and I’m done with. Any money missing that was not was not accounted for by a receipt, she was liable for, to be removed for the volunteer’s readjustment allowance, the waiver of understanding had said. And she knew that the amount of her grant, though no more than a few thousand dollars, was two to three times as much as she would make in all her service.
Mike cut into the box with the knife, and peeling back the flaps revealed a cases of kijilijili; pint sized glass bottles containing cheap liquor of various sorts. This particular box was full of Ginger Sky, a local specialty, which Chelsi had recently learned was available only in the northwestern part of the country. The giddiness on Mike’s face was obvious, “can you believe, this whole box was only 80 kwacha?”
Chelsi reached in removing a bottle and studied the label. “It’s really that good?” she wondered aloud.
“It’s really not bad the way it is, but we’re going to take a few bottles with us to the airport, and there’s a bar there we can get cold cokes from.” Mike removed a few more bottles and fit them in to the pockets of his shorts.
“Are we going yet?” Neal asked, coming in to the room from the back porch. “Are you coming Chelsi?” He wasn’t looking at her, but in the box of Ginger Sky. “Do you have enough? Should we also bring the Castle in the fridge for the walk over there?”
“Yeah man, maybe three for each of us. And three for Chelsi, she’s coming too.”
Neal started for the front porch, “Chelsi, what did I tell you? you need to be downloading Pokemon Go right now!, so you can play with us.
The absurdity of her friends made Chelsi smile, “Well, there’s no way there’s enough memory on my phone, but grab those Castle for me. I’ll come with.”