The Daily WORD is MUDDLE

As in “muddle along,” my default mode. Measuring the orphans for clothes sounds like a straightforward mission. Anna’s driver would pick me up at 5, which means anywhere from 6 until tomorrow or maybe not.

I needed a tape measure. A trip to the bank that afternoon seemed a logical time to pick up a tape measure.  I was accompanied to the money exchange venue by Raju, the CDS driver (no English) and Abhay (limited English). Turns out it wasn’t a bank, but a travel agency. They were expecting me. Quite a ceremony with tea and head bobbing, a bit less overwhelming than carpet sellers in Morocco. I was probably cheated just as jovially, but was assured that the owner is a Christian. And so was the Grand Inquisitor.

On the drive back to work, I enquired for the fourth time about a tape measure. Abhay said for the fourth time, “We git.”

At 6:30, Anna’s driver, Pinto, (no English) arrived to take me to the orphanage.  Anna (good English) could not come. Abhay rode along. Driving out of town, Abhay and I exchanged testy words as we passed roadside vendors and ramshackle stores:

“tape measure?”

“We git,”


“We git”


“We git.”

As we drove down country lanes, I lost hope. We were a half an hour away from any store or roadside vender – or anyone who spoke English.

One hour into my visit with the children (no common language needed) Aloop (good English) arrived on his motorcycle with a brand new, boxed tape measure he delivered all the way from town. The petrol to make the delivery probably cost ten times what the tape measure did.

I found out today I could have bought the blasted tape measure at a store across the street. I have to buy one anyway so I can measure the clothes when I go shopping.

I just don’t git it.


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