At long last. I have updated. And a ramble.

After a solid week, Charley has an update. Twenty updated cases. No added ones, no resolves — though certainly I’ve got plenty of both, they take too much energy.

By myself I reduced my morphine intake. I’m taking just one pill in the morning — 30 mgs — instead of one in the morning and one in the evening — 60 mgs. Since the pain does not bother me when I sleep, I can handle it. So far — it’s been just two days — I’ve been in a little more pain but have had a lot more energy. Hence today’s update. We shall see how things go.

I also read a collection of oral histories of old women from Montenegro today. That makes four countries covered for my around-the-world challenge in a week: Burkina Faso, Tuvalu, Moldova and Montenegro. And I’m working on Slovenia. I’m trying to find a better book for Moldova though. This was just a children’s picture book. But there isn’t a lot of choice for Moldova. Must keep looking.

As for Montenegro? Tragic place. They’ve got almost zero natural resources or arable land to begin with, so their people suffer much poverty and deprivation and always have, even now — it’s one of the poorest countries in Europe; there are places in Africa that are better off. Montenegro is also one of those geographically unlucky places: stuck smack between Italy and Austria and Turkey and Greece and so on, all those countries that are always at war with each other. Their armies have always been trampling poor Montenegro flat to get where they’re going, raping and pillaging as they pass through. The centenarians that gave the oral histories had every one lived through four or five such wars in their lives and lost sons, fathers, husbands etc. in all of them.

(Aside: on Monday I told someone — a nurse, that is, an EDUCATED person with a DEGREE — that I was reading a book about Burkina Faso and she said, “I don’t know who that is.” *facepalm*)