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water & electricity...a luxury? uganda?

KENYA | Friday, 18 December 2009 | Views [823]

id never considered candlelight as anything other than an added romantic substance or a relaxing vibe for a massage session. but for the last month ive realized theres no luxury in 8boys and 2 girls crowded around a candle to read a book and eat your food under the only light possilbe. of course its great fun and i appreciate it, but ive been enlightened on this natural source of light. we dont have electricity so we cook our food on a jiko (a small charcoal burning metal stove) and sometimes a blast from the natural gas stove when we're in a rush. we then only use the candles after we cant see eachothers faces in the house anymore which is at about 7pm. we only used 2 electronic devices which are the radio run on battery, and our phones which are charged by my solar powered battery charger. i love this. i will admit i miss making smoothies but with 8 guys around to smash bananas who cares. plus with no refridgerators to hum loudly in the background, i save my sanity and it requires us to purchase fresh food every day. i love it!!! a downside is that often we have no water. together now we have 1 50 gallon drum, 2 25gallon plastic holders, and about 5 large basins where we can store water for drinking (after boiling of course) and bathing and cleaning. these work great for the most part. but now that we live with about 8-10 people in the house, water goes fast even when youre saving. recently the water was shut off for 4 days. by the last day we had about 2 gallons of water and no signs that the water would start back again. you never can predict when the government will choose to bless you with this natural resource so preperations are essential for existance...i was so thirsty. when we heard the dripping water from the faucet late wednesday night youd think someone had won the lottery as we were all so excited and happy. if things like water made everyone in the world happy just think how simple our lives would be. ive realized so much the preciousness of our earth just by being surrounded by this poverty which i now see as a beautiful lifes lesson. lets just say if the world comes to an end because we run out of supplies, africans will be the last breed standing as they know the true meaning off living on meager supply. i challenge anyone to just try this one day for fun and learning. get all your buckets, pots, pans, whatever can hold water and fill them up. then do not use a faucet until these run out. bathe, washe utensils, clean watever you use your water for only by getting the water from that which you have saved. this will teach you the amount you commonly use in a day or a week and also show you ways in which you can easily conserve like being able to bathe with a half bucket of water. it has really helped me to see the vision of simplicity. and really its kinda fun to see your footprint in our water table. i recently celbrated my 23rd birthday. we have celebration with about 20 people of all ages in the house. it was great fun filled with much food for all and many bottle of liquor for the drinkers in the desert section of the meal.i thought id go without a birthday cake since no one here actually has an oven and buying one would mean a loaded pastry made of sugar egg and milk. but then i discovered the wonders of african creativity in the kitchen. aunty zippy came over and i prepared a lovely vegan batter filled with coconut mylk and chocolate powder. then we took red hot coles and put them on the floor and and top of the pots lid (yes it was not a pan). these hot coles cooked the cakes within 20minutes. we covered the cakes in coconut frosting with smashed groundnuts and wow this was a luxury i never thought id have. my birthday was wonderful and i appreciated all the help and learning from that day. ive also hired some kids to teach me swahili. im learning fast and these kids are the best teachers. watu nenda basi, we travel by bus...jino lacko ni nani, what is your name...theyre great and this language is very wonderful. i dunno why its not considered a romance language as i melt every time i hear the rolling r's and sliding z's coming from these african mouths. hehe i think ill be heading to uganda soon. my visa end dec. 29th so im planning to hop a bus on the 27th and head west. however last night at 9pm i was givin a possible job opportunity doing massage in a hospital. i will find out weather or not this will work out for me by monday so i will get a ticket for the bus to uganda, or ill be extending the kenya visa for a year. ill let you all know where i am soon. check the map! love you all and have a wonderful remaning 10days of 2009!!! amani (peace in swahili) kena achieng

Tags: poverty, simplicity, swahili, uganda

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