Monday, August 15, 2011

Moderate Makeover & Challenges

Extreme Moderate Makeover & Challenges

1) It’s rainy season. I don’t mean to make all you people in the heat of North America feel bad, but it does, in fact, rain here nearly every day.

That means that nearly every day, it rains….in my bedroom as well. I have a tin roof, not like all the thatched roofs around, so I needed more than a bundle of grass to fix the problem.

Our landlord sent someone to fix the roof, but alas…there were still buckets and towels all over the floor.

“Super Doug” crawled on the roof and in the attic and caulked all the holes.

Now the rain remains outside!

2) Most nationals I have met, really like their dirt yards to be swept clean every morning. Which, in turn, means that grass can never grow. And if it does, it is slashed with a machete-type tool which is really unhealthy for the grass.

But we like grass.

My feet like grass.

Anyway, we finally felt that we could ask Patrick and Jeremiah to sweep only once or twice a week, and it wouldn’t hurt their feelings. We also asked them not to slash the grass every week. Doug explained about wanting grass to grow.

Well, it’s working. There is grass in places where there didn’t used to be, and where there IS grass, it is very long and un-cut. PLUS, both guys have taken the initiative to go outside our compound, dig up grass/weeds from the side of the road, and come back in and transplant it in little clumps all over the yard.

It’s also having a good chance to grow because my kids aren’t around.

3) Every cartoon you’ve ever seen with a mouse in it, at one time or another, showed someone chasing that mouse with a broom.

Can I just say that Doug looks really cute chasing a mouse with a broom.

He saw “our friend” one evening, and he went for the broom. He followed the mouse into the wash room, beat the washing machine until the mouse ran out, and just grazed the mouse as it ran out the door, between his legs, into the hall.

We weren’t sure whether it ran into our bedroom or the girls’, but I guessed the girls because I had seen evidence in their closet that they had had a visitor.

The mosquito net was down, and it has heavy material sewn on the bottom, so I knew, more than likely, it didn’t get under the net.

But the closet was a black hole. (Girls, you really need to clean your closet when you get home!) “Our friend” was long gone.

Oh well, I’d do it all again to watch Doug with that broom :)

4) We got a freezer!!!!

And it’s hooked up to solar!!!!

And it uses less energy than a light bulb!!!

This means I had the privilege of collecting all my frozen food from two different houses, and I can actually store it in my own home.

This also means that we can have ice for the first time in a year and a half.

*When we didn’t have a freezer, I carefully packed away the ice trays so they would be ready when the time came….

Now, I can’t find them.

No ice yet!

5) Town power is now only running from 7pm-11pm. From what I understand, they don't think residential areas need more than 4 hours of power a day.

I want to thank all you people AGAIN who helped us with purchasing our solar panels and batteries. And here’s to Jack Dody who taught us how to operate it!

We still have town power hooked up to our house. It helps boost the solar batteries on cloudy days and it allows us to plug in items with heating elements (when the power is on).

Without town power, I can’t use a toaster, for instance. (that’s okay. I can toast my bread in the gas oven)

Without town power, I can’t use an iron (oh darn!)

Without town power, I can’t use a crock pot (I knew that ahead of time, so I didn’t bring one)

Without town power, I can’t use the hot water heaters for showers and baths (WHAT!!?????)

Yes, I live in Africa. And in dry season, I really like cool showers. But it’s rainy season here – their equivalent of winter – and I’m a bit chilled. My friends living in Serbia gave me a light jacket, and I’ve been wearing it every day! So…yes, I’m a bit spoiled from my days with constant hot water, and I do like my warm showers.

Isn’t God good! He lets the power come on at 7pm every night, so that by 7:30 I can have a warm shower.

Ahhhh….bliss! Thank you, Lord, and keep it coming!

(more on Girl tomorrow - and for those of you who asked, Girl is 11)

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