Patio cleaning

There is a long table near a wall, perhaps there are windows on the wall, and there is a bench against it. Some are sitting against the wall.

We are guided round the facilities; I thought we’d manage with one or two rooms and I find having to learn the floors and stairs and halls uphill. So much effort to learn it when we will only be here for a few weeks, maybe four?

One of the girls is put “in charge” of communication with the nun who guides us. There is a patio and have a party; people like Wallem Bexclare, come, on their bikes. The . whole yard gets full of rubbish. We have used plastic cups. Finally one day I start to clean, or at least to remove cans, glasses, etc. I try to separate the garbage, but I put a few corks and a bottle in a bag that already contains some plastic cups, all nicely sorted and well placed, so I take that shit out and put it, the cork with the garbage and the bottle with more bottles.

A girl who looks very much like wallem is sort of starting off what I think is her bike, I look at her to start talking and tells me in perfect Arabic, no accent: ‘hello’. But that is not enough to see that it is not wallem and I speak to her in English, I think to ask her to take out some garbage bag already filled, or to tell me where I take it. She answers me in English but with and Arabic accent, and her voice is different of course. I try to stop and interrupt her so she talks to me in Arabic if she wants but she keep talking in English, very slow and with and accent, and I look at her more and I realise that’s it, she looks like her but she is clearly not Wallem.

I’ll go out to put the garbage in the bin and I find the representative and other girls sitting next to the stairs, and the nun. I go past them and we greet each other all normal. The representative sais: “Umm, so soon” and the bad vibes start. We have been here two weeks. And I say, surprised, do you think so? Because I have not seen bad feelings in the greeting. And she explains that in two weeks we have not cleaned the stairs or anything in the building. And I start thinking that maybe that is the reason why they let us use the whole building, to have us clean it all … because we don’t need the whole building at all.

The result is that I now feel embarrassed every time I see this nun, and I think, shall we just clean and that’s it?

I don’t sweep the courtyard at all, I have just removed plastics and bottles but that alone makes it look like a different, another patio.

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