I woke up from my nap at 3:30 to find that Andrew had swept and mopped the entire apartment. He's cool like that. We rushed around to get out the door and to the church so that I could look for my hymnbook and so that we could clean the permanent marker off the whiteboard before Patrick got here.
When we got to the church, Hussein wasn't there, which is understandable since it's the first day of Ramadan. Instead we phoned the Bartons and borrowed some keys from them.
We rushed over to their apartment to pick up the keys and rushed back to the church. Rachel and I went into the chapel to sift through hymnbooks and Andrew ran upstairs to get to work on the whiteboard.
I found my hymnbook in no time flat. It's about the same size as the English hymnbook but a much brighter shade of green. And it's in Russian.
Rachel and I quickly made our way upstairs to help Andrew with the whiteboard. Scribbling over permanent marker with whiteboard markers really does take permanent marker off (thanks, mom). The only problem was that Andrew had drawn all over the board and it was taking us quite a while to scribble over everything. Things started to go faster with both of us working.
It is like an oven in the upstairs of the church and we were both dripping sweat so we decided to click on the air conditioner for a few minutes while we worked, which felt wonderful. Two minutes after turning it on, however, the power went out.
Rachel, who is never very far from being underfoot, leeched onto me.
"Oooh! Power went off!" she said, "Have dance party!"
Dance parties are one of our go-to power outage activities. I open up iTunes on my laptop and we dance until the battery runs so low that the computer goes to sleep. It's kind of sad that we have such an awesome repertoire of power outage activities, but such is life. We explained to Rachel that we couldn't have a dance party because we were stuck in the dark in the church without any way to play music.
Andrew found his way to the window and opened the shutters and we started scribbling like mad again. The board could use a good cleaning still, but I don't know where any spray stuff is. At least all the permanent marker is off.
We made sure we had turned off all the lights we had on, which was tricky because the power had gone out so we had to do it by memory, and then locked up the church.
Andrew and Rachel headed home to be there in case Uncle Patrick arrived. I went to the Bartons to deliver the keys.
When I got to the Barton's building I immediately went to the elevator--they live on the seventh floor, which means you have to walk up eight flights of stairs to get to their apartment--and noticed that there were no lights on in the hall or the elevator. Their power was out, too. I pushed the call button just to double check and, yes, the power really was out. I looked at the stairs and gulped.
The first three flights were alright. Tiring, but alright. I phoned Andrew and told him the power was out while I was trudging up the stairs.
"Have fun," he laughed at me, "Don't have the baby or anything. I'll turn on the air conditioning for you if we have power at home."
He's so caring.
When I hung up the phone I was about at the point of darkness where I could use a flashlight. It took me a few minutes to remember that my cellphone has a built-in flashlight. I used that to make it up the next few flights of stairs. I was really feeling the burn when I reached the seventh floor and had to take a few deep breaths before ringing the doorbell. And then I stood there and waited, while trying to look comfortable, fit, and cool. No one came to the door. I rang the doorbell again and remembered that doorbells are electric. I knocked.
Brother Barton opened the door. "Oh, no! You had to walk up all those stairs!"
Apparently I didn't do a very good job at looking comfortable, fit, and cool--but I didn't have the baby or anything so I think it evens out in the end. I handed Brother Barton the keys and began the descent, which was so much nicer than climbing the stairs.
When I got home, the air conditioning was on, as promised, and Andrew and Rachel were having a dance party (to make up for not having one at the church). I feel my Friday has been absolved, at least a little bit.