Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Warm showers, Mango chicken and Finding lights

I was told yesterday at the Internet cafe that the owners think I'm funny, because I'm the only person who ever sits here and smile at my computer screen. I can't help smiling when I get news from friends, or sometimes, when I write down some of the silly things that have happened to me.

Warm Shower
Like this weekend... While in South Africa, my sister Sanet gave me a solar camping shower so I can graduate from cold showers or bucket baths to taking warm showers. I was very excited to try it out, and filled the black bag to the brim. I put it in the sun for the suggested 3 hours and was very happy to feel that the water was indeed warm.

Then I had to go and hang up the bag inside the shower so I could actually use it...

The bag can take about 25 liters of water. That's 25 kilograms! (Or 55 pounds!)

Looking around in the shower, I noticed that the Rogers family had driven two strong nails into a roof beam. I figured it HAD to be for a bag of warm water. But how do short me hang a 55-pound bag of water high above my head??

I tried to simply lift it as high as I could. Didn't work. Keep in mind that this is a BAG of water, so it jiggles. Just when I thought "ah! Got it!" the bag would jiggle out of place.

I brought a chair into the shower, and very carefully got on top of the chair with the jiggling bag of warm water. As I lifted it with oomph, the simple little cap that you pop open to get water INTO the bag popped off and I promptly was showered in warm water!

I am so glad I have a good sense of humor. I decided that if anyone had been watching me, they'd be certain I'm crazy. I just laughed at the whole thing and then hung the bag on the tap, which meant that I basically had to kneel to take a shower. But the water was warm, at least!

Mango chicken
Last night was another opportunity to just smile at myself. I had spent the entire day in town working and hadn't had a thing to eat since breakfast. By the time I got home, I decided to make myself a nice meal. I had put some frozen chicken breasts in the fridge to thaw earlier this weekend. I had a can of coconut milk I had found in the local (Indian-owned) grocery store, and some fresh mangos.

I cooked the best mango/coconut chicken I've had in ages! Added some egg noodles and ended up with an amazing plate of food. I just smiled as I ate, thinking once again that my Kenyan colleagues will wonder what goes on in my mind if they were watching me!

Buying lights
Today, though, my colleagues didn't have to wonder at all what was going on in my mind. Our electrician, Raymond, came to town with me so that I could pick out my own light fixtures for my house. He had wanted to put in fluorescent lights, which is totally not my style.

We visited a number of hardware stores in town, and I had a whopping choice of about 3 ceiling lights or 3 wall fittings. I don't want wall lights. Didn't want anything gaudy, and 2 of the 3 choices were gaudy. (Go to your local Home Depot, look at the choices you have, and appreciate it!) I found something I'm happy with, though: Sunken lights, very, very simple. I'll have 2 in the main room (one above the kitchen, one by the living area), one in my room, one in my closet. Have to get a covered light for my mini-mini-bathroom.

Raymond kept trying to convince me that the fluorescent lights would be good, but I made it clear that it was not what I wanted.

It's a bit scary to think of what may be installed while I'm gone for the next three weeks... So we also went to pick out my bathroom tiles (had a few more choices) and my shower fixture. With the shower, I had a choice between two showers which looked exactly the same. One, I was told, was guaranteed to leak within the first year. The other one was guaranteed for 5 years. No sense in buying a shower that is guaranteed to leak, eh? So I chose the other one.

Now, I need to head back to our office to make arrangements for a photo shoot I need to go on tomorrow. Some community children (in various communities) have sponsors for their schooling through our ministry. I was asked to go and take photos of the children tomorrow. Pray that we're able to get to all the kids in one day! It's a matter of driving long roads, and then, in many cases, walking far to the people's homes to find the child. And then one has to hope the child is there... An adventure in and of itself, I'd say. I'll be sure to take enough drinking water with me.

Take care, and please keep in touch.


No comments:

Post a Comment