Friday, February 11, 2011

Two Strikes

The past couple weeks have been quite busy for me as I recently acquired a second babysitting job. Do you remember the students we met on our layover in Trinidad? One of those students is married, and he and his wife have a two-year old boy, and another one on the way. His wife will be leaving Grenada at the end of this month, and asked me if I would watch her son for a few days each week so she could have some uninterrupted packing time. They live just a couple minutes from campus and are right next to a resort, complete with pools, a beach, and a playground. So I have spent several mornings with little Rayden and absolutely love him! We swim, play in the sand, and chase lizards (well, he chases the lizards . . . I chase him).

Today, I spent most of the day with Rayden as his mom went downtown with a friend. I got home a little before 3:00, rushed to the grocery store with Ryan, and then prepared dinner as he taught his review session. I planned to do a couple loads of laundry while baking chicken. Normally those two things are pretty easy. But for some reason, living in Grenada got the better of me tonight.

A little background about our laundry faciliites . . . We live in a small "dorm" with 10 rooms (4 married and 6 singles). There is a washer and dryer near the stairs in our building. The school has had problems in the past with University workers or off-campus students using the washer and dryer because they are free, so they now lock the laundry during the day, and it opens each night at 5pm. This is much better than last year, when they only opened the laundry on the weekends, and we had to sign up for a 3-hour time slot.

So this evening around 5:30, I took the sheets off our bed and stuffed them into the hamper along with the towels in our kitchen and bathroom. I grabbed my key and the detergent, and lugged everything to the laundry only to find the door still locked. I dragged everything back to our room and called security, as they are responsible for unlocking the door. I was informed that the laundry will not be open today due to a water issue and that it might be open tomorrow but he couldn't promise anything. Of course there was no emailed warning or notice posted. So, I was left with no choice but to put the sheets back on our bed and hang up the towels again. I did shake the sheets out on our balcony (a necessity due to the amount of dirt and sand we track inside everyday). Definitely not ideal, but there wasn't much else I could do. If there's one thing I've learned living in Grenada, it's flexibility. Things often do not happen when you would like them to, and it's best just to go with the flow and make the best of the situation.

By the time I finished with the laundry, it was time to start dinner. I bought some fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and decided to bake them in the oven. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil, then drizzled them with olive oil and put them in the oven. I have made this dish more times than I can count (as it is very healthy and easy to prepare) and have never had any trouble. Today, my little toaster oven decided to be hotter than usual, and pretty soon I started smelling smoke.

One more piece of background information . . . you may remember from a previous post that there are no outlets in our kitchen. So I have the toaster oven sitting on my desk next to the bed. It is not directly in my line of sight while I'm in the kitchen. I heard the olive oil sizzling, but it has done that before. Fortunately, I decided to go check on the chicken, and was quite surprised to see little flames sparking in the oven. I quickly unplugged the oven and kept the door closed until things calmed down. Since I was already using our one skillet to saute summer squash, I had no choice but to cook the chicken in the oven. I transferred the chicken to another pan, drained off most of the extra oil, and put it back in the oven. Thankfully, that seemed to take care of the problem, and dinner was ready on time with no permanent damage.

I put the chicken, squash, and brown rice in a tupperware container for Ryan to take with him to his study group. He's spending most of the evening with a couple friends studying for their Parasitology exam on Tuesday. (I purposefully do not ask him for specifics about that class.) This will be his first test of the semester, so please pray for him next week.

I think the safest thing for me to do the rest of this evening is watch a movie and work on my latest knitting project.

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