30 June 2014

things i never thought i would say.

Moving to Tanzania has taught me a lot about the kind of person I am. It has pushed and stretched me, revealing the good, the bad and the ugly.

And it has caused me to say things I never thought I would say.

Here is a look at some of the verbatim surprising and humorous words that have come out of my mouth these past few months.


"This cabbage is so good."

Seriously? Since when can I even stand the thought of cabbage, let alone enjoy eating it? This came off the heels of living at language school in Musoma where we tasted little vegetables. It was surprising how much I felt my body craving some greens after three months of barely tasting any. Now cabbage is a regular item on our grocery list. What has happened to me?


"I am going to go clean up lizard poop."

We have lizards. In our yard. In our home. Lots of them. And they poop like mad. Everywhere. They poop on the floor. They poop on the wall. They poop on the ceiling. They poop on our furniture. It clings to anything it lands on like a honey badger on its next victim. We are that victim, only the predator is lizard poop.


"Noli, stop eating electrical wiring!"

Noli is our dog. We have a love-hate relationship. I love how she scares away strangers and falls on her back to have her belly rubbed. I hate how she destroys everything she encounters by eating it to pieces. Her diet includes plants, garbage, bugs, and various dead things and their insides. When electrical wiring was tossed to the ground by absent-minded electricians, she ate that too.


"I am just so happy to see broccoli."

Yep, I was't just swooned by cabbage. Broccoli got to me too. Just last week I saw and tasted broccoli for the first time since last December. That was six months ago. I don't know where this broccoli came from or how it landed on my plate. Sometimes it's best not to ask too many questions. I just ate it and loved every morsel of it. So weird.


"I will turn off the fridge and move the dairy products to the freezer."

Electricity is terribly unreliable in Tanzania. It cuts out all of the time, and when it is on, the power is constantly fluctuating. Light bulbs are frequently dimming and brightening. Fan speeds slow and accelerate. Despite being so lousy, the electricity is quite expensive. Since we are on a limited budget, we keep our refrigerator and freezer on the least cool setting and completely turn them both off every single night. We move the milk, butter and cheese to the freezer to prolong the freshness of those items. This means the already delectable powdered milk we make is slightly less appealing in my morning cereal because it is also right at about room temperature.


"Is that a half-eaten dead rat on our doorstep?"

Noli was at it again. Did I mention her diet includes various dead things? Well it also includes various living things that become various dead things because of her jaw. She thought it'd be sweet and adorable to leave her prized half-eaten dead rat on our doormat, which I just about tripped over on my way outside early in the morning to say goodbye to our night guard. I promptly carted the rat carcass via the doormat out of our yard. Pretty sure Noli just found it again the next time she got out and continued to eat it. Gross.


"I have malaria." "Me too."

Life in Tanzania is tough. I mean it's tough for us, but really we have it pretty good. Life can be especially tough for locals with far fewer resources than we have to protect themselves against things like malaria. But even with the right tools, it's nearly impossible to avoid malaria. Ashley got malaria after being in Mwanza for just a couple of weeks. Then I was diagnosed with malaria a few days after her. On some level it was kind of romantic that we both got malaria at the same time. We are fine now.


So there you have it. Just a snapshot at some of the unexpected things I have heard myself saying these past few months. May need to come back with another update on this topic in the future.

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