Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

October 23, 2010

pizza anyone??

Friday nights we have family night!  BUT, little snag, we had to go into town for a meeting late afternoon and then drive back at night......
Not to worry, i thought, we will "order" pizza at the newly remodeled padaria and then eat it in the car!
And we did just that - it didn't even take too long to actually make it (that must have warned me, but there i sat, blissfully unaware of what was coming).....i was very hungry by then and took a bite aswe drove out of town!  Yikes!  It tasted horrible!  There was something major wrong with the "pizza".
But being in Africa, you don't waste stuff like pizza, so we tested the cheese - fine, the tomoato - fine, i couldn't find a piece of chicken so that must have been fine too, and then the crust - NOT good!  It was as if they washed the pans with some deadly sickening liquid and then forgot to rinse it off!

But, once again, taking things in my stride and trying not too be wasteful, i just took off the topping and stuffed it into a bread roll - Calzone anyone??
At home we did the same and i even baked it in the oven, but sadly only my dear husband had supper....the rest of us ate popcorn with our movie.....
Ah, well we did enjoy the idea of going for pizza in town now for a few weeks, but i think next time we are back to toasted sandwiches!

October 21, 2010


Quite recently, i think the past month or so, i discovered i owned a TUMBLE DRYER!!  Yes, i know, even i didn't recognize it as such!  How do you own a tumble dryer when you don't even realize you have one??, you might as well ask.  Well, maybe "own" is not quite the right word, as such, just kind of "utilize"'s like this......the washing is on a line - outside  of course - and then the wind picks up speed, starts twirling around and voila!  the clothes are dried in an instant with warm air!  My own eco-tumble dryer!!  Ok, ok, dry and dusted!!  Others, the “half-empty-types”, might also call it whirlwinds.

Did you know bugs LOVE popcorn!  It’s like their favourite meal!  But so do we!!  And so, my latest clever invention is a way of removing these ugly looking bugs from the popcorn (although i must admit,  i have been influenced by medieval times) and this is how it works.....Take one big pot, heat up the oil (this is where the castle sieges-scenario comes in) throw in the popcorn AND bugs and now fish out dead (ie non-squirming) fried bugs, but QUICKLY, before the popcorn pops in your face!  And there you have it - a nice big bug-free pot of popcorn!

I also have a “winter” hair dryer!  Although I haven’t used it lately as it is summer now….You wash your hair at night, because there wasn’t water that specific morning, and then you fill a hot-water bottle with nice hot water and lie down on it!  Nice warm and dry hair in a jiffy (and yes, it does get that cold, even up here!)
Crying is a wonderful way to keep your eyes healthy and clean!  Salt water really works miracles here!  I have lately seen so many babies with eye infections.  Phew!  If it wasn’t for a good cry every now and then, I’m sure my patients’ germs would have spread to me too! 

The good thing of not having a real clinic or being a real doctor is that I have the medicine cupboard in our house – quite a distance form where the visitors/patients sit - and this gives me time to think what could possibly be wrong with this patient while I slowly walk back home to “go and fetch” some medicine.  I am also quite a quick reader and the “Where there is NO doctor” is always handy, as well as, for the more serious ones the “Village Medical Manual” or in worst case scenarios - time to email my good doctor friend (bless his soul!)
And that is kind of my point – the way you look at life makes the difference, doesn’t it?  Sure, some stuff will always be hard and will always be half-empty rather than half-full, but for the rest ….??  May I see tumble dryers and other wonderful opportunities to smile and see God’s sense of humour!

October 03, 2010


My fingers are just itching to write something, but my head is too full at the moment to sort out WHAT or WHAT NOT......but here i go anyhow......

We have been back in our village for nearly 3 months and have (sometimes literally) been bombarded by all kinds of cultural stuff - happenings in and around us. From funerals to feasts - not that one would be much better than the other - fasting, initiation, 40 days-after-the-death-meals, extremely sick people, drums at night - the works! The spiritual realm was probably in a traffic jam!!! All this to say that to work through all of this and observe, absorb and make sense of it all was (and is) quite exhausting! The fun of living in another culture.....

To find someone on the outside to understand and listen has proven quite impossible (at times)! I have found that if a person cannot hook it unto something familiar in his/her own environment, then he/she either discards it immediately or tries to downplay things. Some have even told me that it can't be all THAT difficult living here! Surely not, don't we have running water and who needs electricity anyway? Yes, well, if you are a career camper then you might be happy here all the time!! But then again, it is not about the physical stuff that one can see or wish you had - it is the things you are suppose to know or do, the things that everyone here understands - even the 2 year old - everyone, that is, except you!! It is the hard stuff that you need to work through, the suffering you see daily, your own feelings of inadequateness.....And so we plod on, hopeful that tomorrow might bring more enlightenment and encouragement - always the learner....

Sometimes the mischievous side of me really wants to take charge and write a newsletter full of this kind of stuff - just to see what kind of reaction i will get - but then again, i might get no reaction whatsoever!! THAT would be really bad! Talk about not being understood! :) (Iin a way i am doing it now, so don't be offended...just hear my heart??)

And anyway, it is not all bad, of course, it just gets a bit too much at times and it is then that i wish i could share AND be understood! I guess that, THAT is my lesson - i actually just read this morning:

"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots (haha) and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord."

Woe to her!! And so i let go of all my expectations on friends, even the cyber space variety, and turn to the Lord - He is the One who created all peoples and He is ultimately the One who understands the surrounding culture .......and me too, of course!!

Dear Lord, where do i begin........