01 March 2011

Random Facts About my New Life in Niger

  • I wash my feet at least four times a day (minimum).
  • I have fallen in love with my daily siesta when it's just too hot to do anything but lay still (and they tell me it's only going to get hotter).
  • I don't care if my clothes get wet . . . it actually cools me down . . . at least for the 45 seconds before it all evaporates.
  • I find myself switching back and forth between English and French without noticing it. . . even when it's just in my head.
  • I have to bleach my fruit and vegetables before I eat them.
  • Beef shows up freshly slaughtered on the back of a motorcycle.  It then has to sit a few days in the fridge to kill any eggs that may be growing inside.  After that, I have to cut away all fat, fascia, and tendons before slicing or grinding (last night that process took me two hours for roughly 3lbs/2.5kg!).
  • The hospital housekeeping staff and the guys in the workshop have made it their personal mission to teach me Hausa.
  • When I meet anyone new, after asking my name, where I'm from, and why I'm here, the next question is always 'How long are you staying?'  When I tell them 2 1/2 years they smile widely and always say 'OH THANK YOU!'
  • I am still having a bit of a difficult time with the accent here . . . sometimes I can't tell if someone threw a Hausa word into their French or it's just their accent.
  • My wardrobe now consists of skirts, skirts, and more skirts . . . with a few African zani's thrown in.
  • I feel like a pirate (minus the eye patch, peg leg, parrot, and hook) whenever I have a scarf on my head.
  • I've never experienced so much dust in my life!  I wipe down my kitchen counter in the morning before I go to work at 7:30, by the time I come back for the 10am break, it has a gritty coating already!
  • My trash is either composted, burned in a metal drum or reinvented into something else (tin cans make wonderful desk top pencil holders, sand-filled door stoppers, and telephones for the electricity goes out).
  • My commute is less than a minute and there is NO traffic (except when the guard between the inpatient and outpatient ward is being particular).
  • I drink more water than a fish.
  • My fridge and freezer both have locks on them . . . not sure why.
  • I can hear the call to prayer from the m0sque across the street in my bedroom.
  • I make really yummy yogurt from milk powder.
  • The secret to going to church in Galmi: get there on time so you get a seat under the fan!

6 comments:

Beth said...

I'm so with you on this list...especially the foot washing thing and the getting to church early so you can sit under the fan! :)

Sarah said...

Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your new life! I'm especially thrilled that you're switching between English & French - way to go!! :-)

heidibelle said...

I was looking for the link that said, 'relate to 90% of what you are saying'! Sounds like you are adjusting great to all of this. You are a brave and strong woman... do you love all your new space? I'd love to see photos of your place. Has to be bigger than your last home!

Anonymous said...

I really wish that I could be there... experiencing all of this firsthand and sharing it with you!!!
§.

Anonymous said...

I really wish that I could be there... experiencing all of this firsthand and sharing it with you!!!
§.

Beth said...

I'm so with you on this list...especially the foot washing thing and the getting to church early so you can sit under the fan! :)