I will say that one should not embrace my line of work if one likes to have all his ducks in a row and the ability to plan more than, say, six months in advance. People always ask us, how long will you stay in the Middle East. The question itself is absurd. How long would we LIKE to stay here? Now that's something I can reasonably talk about.
Anyway, what brings this to mind is that I have a short visit to Scotland to plan for in a month or so, and the normal place where I stay is not available. So what do you do? Funds for ten nights at a hotel are there, but in good conscience I just can't spend so much on something like that. So a hostel? I could do that, I have stayed at hostels numerous times. But they are hardly the kind of place you want to stay at if you are (like me) trying to work on research, reading, editing, and writing.
So what do you do? E-mail local Christians whom you know, perhaps not that well, and just ask for help. It is humiliating a little, but as Mother Theresa said, the only way to learn humility is by being humiliated. From a Western point of view it is, I think, more humiliating than asking for money--why is that? So you humiliate yourself and ask for help. Just sent out the e-mail to a few people and we'll see what the responses are.
I like this day, it's the Feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux.