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April 23, 2010

What I need to remember for living in Congo

Thought you might like to read some notes to myself for when we return after coming home for a bit.

1. Bread dough only takes about 20 minutes to rise (never let it sit for a hour before checking on it, impossible to clean up)

2. Always add double the amount of water you think you need to cook dried beans in a pressure cooker. (again impossible to clean)

3. Always carry a safety pin when riding in a skirt, it can get windy at a moments notice (good thing I always wear boxer shorts under my skirts)

4. Always bring a water bottle with you when you leave the house, you never know what sort of sticky situations you may encounter (there is a fruit here that is called mock mango that is like super glue inside)

5. Always pay attention to how much water is in your purifier (cause if someone else fills it you will be mopping your floor again) This happens on a weekly basis (not always my fault)

6. Always pay attention to the water bottles filling at the purifier (the good news is my kitchen floor gets mopped often)

7. When moving said purifier remember to see if someone has filled it when it is supposed to remain empty for cleaning (sigh you get the picture)

8. Always carry French/English dictionary with you. You never know when you want to ask what it is you are trying to buy, that you think you know what it is and find out once you cut it open that you have no idea what it is you bought.

9. Always safety pin your panya or you may be showing off the basketball boxers you are wearing to people you would prefer didn’t see them.

10. Always keep a bucket full of water next to the shower so that when the water runs out you will be able to rinse the soap off of you and out of your hair, so that you don’t have to get dressed, and go outside with shampoo in your hair and pump one at the cistern.

11. ALWAYS know where your fly swatter is!

12. Keep roach biscuits fresh and on hand at all times!

13. Know where your matches are, and the candles and the flashlight at all times!

14. Write down and memorize how to tell the housekeeper that toilet paper is not for cleaning the bathroom

15. Write down and tape to the back door how to tell the people trying to sell smoked money heads that you don’t buy smoked meat (should have taken a picture cause it is creepy looks like a shrunken head)

16. Tape to door instructions on telling people no snakes!!!!!!!

17. Keep kerosene burners full at all times, somewhat hard to make dinner when they are dry and there is no husband around to refill said burners, and once you do fill them you also are once again cleaning your kitchen floor this time cause of something you only wish was water.

18. Don’t buy regimes of Bananas or Plantains that are fluorescent green (they never get ripe and then attract really really big black biting ants).

19. A dead ant is just extra protein, especially when dead on a sucker or piece of chocolate (you might not get another one for months)

20. Always wear clothes that won’t fall off when they get wet, just because it is sunny out now doesn’t mean it will not be a torrential rain storm in about 5 minutes.

21. If you are on your bike and it starts to get windy and black out, don’t kill yourself trying to get home before getting wet, it’s a lost cause.

22. Remember to flame your bread when you get it, need to get all the ants to come out so you can burn them off before eating.

23. If there are less then 50 live ants on/in your food it is fine any more then that you might want to rethink eating it, before picking them out, then it is fair game.

24. Always keep mosquito net down on your bed, praying mantises, geckos and other various creatures can get in if you leave it up and fall on you during the night.

25. Big brown flat spiders are your friend no matter how big and ugly they are.