Things that I have become surprisingly good at.

Here’s a few things that I have become surprisingly good at while in country…


Completely bathing with a gallon of water (at most).

Somehow finagling a plastic bag out of every seller in market so I have them for home

The walk away method when I clothes shop. Works every time…always buy things for the price I want.

Getting away with wearing the same pair of pants for the entire week.  Clothes washing is hard work, and my clothes washer only comes once a week.

Calling someone’s bluff on prices in a market. I may be white, but I know that those onions are a quarter of that price.

Budgeting. I can live off of half of my living allowance comfortable, and saving the rest (for the time being)

Using my savings and the rest of my monthly allowance on clothes and vazaha food in Fianar. Um, who says no to pizza…ever?

Eavesdropping. Oh yea, I can both hear and understand you.

Making people on my taxi brousses laugh with just one sentence…so who has the cooked sweet potatoes, I’m hungry.

Bladder control. My kabone is one of maybe 10 in my village.

Walking and not falling. However I still do trip all the time and walk into walls and corners.

Getting out of the way of cows. They’re vicious. One of the volunteers in country got mauled by one because she didn’t move fast enough.

Finding shortcuts and back ways to and from my house. I would prefer to not walk through taoka market every day on my way a meeting or my destination. There’s only so much drunkenness you can handle.

Healing myself of my sicknesses without calling the doctors. Every week, something different, but a concoction of medicine from my kit and I’m good as new…until the next one hits. Except for this foot thing, what the heck. 11 months and it just relocates.

Cooking with charcoal. And effectively using it too. My neighbors are very impressed I cook with charcoal. Thank you, thank you very much.

Using my hands to convey a sentence or an idea. By far, explaining what the FBI does and what happened on September 11th have been the most used hand gestures since in country.


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