Thursday, October 04, 2007

How my life may be different from yours

In my ongoing quest to show you more of what my life is like here, I thought it would be fun to list some things that are different about it. So here goes:

1. I make my own tortillas. One store sometimes sells them but they are VERY expensive.
2. We can't drink the water from the tap, we have to filter it.
3. It is very important that we take de-worming medicine every 6 months. (When someone in our family is having stomach problems, invariably a friend will ask, "when is the last time you de-wormed?)
4. Anytime we start running fever or getting sick we go get a blood test for Malaria.
5. I can see the Indian Ocean when I look our my bedroom window.
6. Sometimes I cook with substitutes for things like buttermilk, baking chocolate, crisco.
7. When I drive across the city at least 15 people will walk in front of my moving vehicle.
8. I drive down streets full of potholes.
9. I make almost all desserts from scratch.
10. There are ants in my kitchen almost every morning when I arrive to make coffee.
11. I get to experience many different species of ants.....from the so tiny you can barely see them to the large ones that look like they could carry away my dog.
12. There are bugs, ants, and spiders in our house all the time. We are never surprised by this.
13. My daughter plays with most of them, including the millipedes the size of cigars. ugh.
14. Some nights the fruit bats outside our windows eating the mangoes from the trees keep us awake.
15. I regularly see people eating from dumpsters or garbage
16. I rarely hear English spoken when I'm out shopping or running errands in my city.
17. There are THREE good places to buy hand-dipped ice cream in our city. (One of their ice cream flavors is "multivitamin". I didn't try it but my friend says it tastes like St. Joseph's Children's aspirin. Remember those?)
18. My husband waits in very, very long lines to pay our utility bills, often taking a book to read while he waits.
19. We have to cross a border to go to another country to shop at a mall.
20. There is a mall being built in our city, it's just not finished yet.
21. There is at least one person, but usually more, begging at every stoplight and outside every store.
22. No one speaks English at my church.
23. We dance during our worship services.
24. It's usually about 100 degrees on Christmas Day here.
25. In stores here I can't buy things like Cool-Whip, Dr. Pepper, DiGiorno frozen pizza, honeybuns, pepperoni, Reese's cups, or dryer sheets (or a whole host of other things!)
26. I can (and do) buy fresh fruit and vegetables from vendors who come right to my gate (including bananas, strawberries, grapes, pineapples, oranges, mangoes, papaya,cucumber, onions, potatoes, carrots)
27. In stores here I can buy: cheeses, ham, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, fresh bread, pasta, flour, sugar, yeast, canned vegetables, cookies, chips, coke, Coke light, sour cream, cottage cheese, Nutella (yum), detergent, crackers, fresh vegetables, margarine, boxed milk, yogurt, frozen meat and chicken, chicken feet and chicken beaks, candy, nuts, paper products, a limited supply of hair care products, toothpaste and toys!
28. At the local fish market I can get fresh shrimp (in all sizes!), fish, crab, octopus, and other strange sea creatures.
29. We only have air conditioners on our bedrooms, even though the average summertime temperatures here hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
30. All medicines in this country are sold over the counter including antibiotics and medicines with codeine!


Linds said...

Mozambique prawns (shrimp) were once the best and biggest in the world. I love them! Crayfish (lobster) is something we used to dive for when I lived in SA. And I spent most of my Christmas days in the pool until we moved here. My mother in law nearly had a heart attack when she saw a bobbejaan spider, and gecko in the bedroom when she visited, and de-worming was routine. I have told my friends here, and they just look at me in horror! I love going barefoot, and no matter where you are, it is probably sensible to de-worm if you run about outside with no shoes, I suppose!

I love reading about the differences, Angie.... you could make it a regular monthly post!

Kecia said...

That is so fascinating. Some things are not so different from my life, some are hugely different. I make my own tortillas, but from a mix, out of choice. I would love to see some praise dancing at church! I really need to come see you...

mer said...

So interesting. I love these glimpses into your life in Africa.

Bugs...ugh. Don't know if I could handle that. And how do you survive without air conditioning?

I love that you dance in your worship. The group from our church who went to Rwanda this summer came back and shared how they danced in worship over there. It was beautiful, and such a gift to my heart to see their freedom and joy!

Blessings to you!

CrownLaidDown said...

Wow...I am completely and utterly in awe of you. No kidding.

Praying for your family, Angie!

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

Let's see...

I can relate to #'s:

2, 8, 11, 12, 27, 28 COMPLETELY

4, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29 PARTIALLY

1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 30 NOT AT ALL

Doesn't look like I'm roughing it compared to Africa! Bless your sweet soul!

april said...

This was indeed a great post. I love hearing about your life. I think the scariest thing you said was that you could see the Indian Ocean out your window. That terrifies me...I am a land locked person, not meant to be by large bodies of water.

I think I probably have as many bugs as you, but they still freak me out.

L.S. Alves said...

What is your interest in portuguese?