Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's It Like???

There is no way to tell you. You just have to come do it. I can, however, tell you what I'm doing...

Let’s discuss bucket baths. So you get a bucket of water, maybe a sponge, your soap and shampoo…yeah, it’s not that hard a concept. The thing is that a bucket bath can be a quick rinse that dramatically cools you off, and it’s really nice under the stars and the palms. I was surprised about two things. First, the well water here is not freezing. It is a reasonable temperature even in the morning, although pouring it over your head will definitely get your attention. Secondly, you really can get completely clean without using a lot of water. Not to get all Greenpeacy, but in America we really do waste a lot of water, and it isn’t necessary. I still stand by the idea that if that’s what you want to spend your money on then so be it.

Time to talk about media. The media in my Host Family is mostly religious in nature. I did not know there were so many Togolese Christian Music Videos, and some of them go on for 15 minutes! The World Cup has started and that seems to be on every channel as well. Surprisingly quite a few Stagiares care about that. I do not. Such is life.

Did you know that there are seven categories of things that fall out of your butt? Yeah, I didn't either, but I do now. I knew they'd end up teaching me things.

Time for a few food notes. It was expressed to me more than once that people felt the food would be a great challenge for me. I admit that I had this same thought. I am not sure that I am eating common Togolese dishes at this point, but from what I have had with my host family the food is turning out to be more of a non-issue. Rice dishes, pasta dishes and fruit dishes. All of the dishes have sauces of some sort and most have meat. I have not been served anything that I did not enjoy, although it was a weird meal to have only plantains or only tapioca. My family has been kind enough to respect my dislike for breakfast and each morning serves me bread and water. Water is another thing…when they serve me water it is heated water with a lemony tasting herb in it. That is the norm in Togo.

I am in French class. There is a professor...and me. Try falling asleep in THAT class.

I recently learned how to wash clothes Togo-style. Three buckets, a giant bar of soap and plenty of insanity. The information that I was going to wash clothes had spread and I had more than a few onlookers. The resident expert (who incidentally is 12) showed me how to wash the clothes. Basically you rub soap on the piece of clothing you are working on, then rub sections of the fabric together roughly. No less than six people felt the need to re-show me how to do this right off the bat. It would seem that I was not rubbing them with enough force to be useful. You wash each piece three times in different buckets, rinse them and then hang them to dry. The drying has taken two days so far. It is very humid here.

Bye bye bye. Later!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! This post made my week at girl's camp seem like a luxury cruise. For the showers they did ask us to rinse, turn off the water, lather and then rinse again--but that was just to conserve the hot water. We do waste too much water. You must be having an amazing experience! So do you actually live with a family in their home or do you have separate living quarters? P.S. I'm glad you didn't die in D.C. when you broke the light bulb in your hand.:)