Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stuff You Might Find Interesting . . .

- We boil the sandy brown tap water and then filter it or use bottled water in cooking. Simple things like not boiling water are causing disease and death here. I try to remember that when I get frustrated that the filtered water drips out rather than flows.

- I brush my teeth with bottle water as well. We go through a lot of bottled water.

- Sleeping surrounded by a mosquito net is strangely comforting. Reminds me of camping out in my bedroom as a kid under a sheet.

- "Squatty potties" are the norm. We have them at work and they are at most businesses. The guest house where I stay has one Western toilet and one with standing room only!

- Radios and TVs are rare. Our only connect with news is the Internet and English newspapers. If you haven't read the headlines on MSN or AOL in a while, you should do it. Read with an eye toward what folks who aren't from the U.S. might think of us. One thought has to be that we are worshiping at the feet of Britney.

- Most homes and businesses have grates at the door for you to scrape the 2 or more inches of red mud that will cake on your shoes walking from home to work or the market or wherever after a rain.

- The mud is really more like clay and many, many houses are made out of mud bricks. I'm assured the rain doesn't affect the stability of these homes. Still it's an odd sight to see mud houses and folks walking everywhere with cell phones.

- The average life span in Tanzania (due to the child morbidity rate) is 47 years old. Yet some can't get their pensions until 55. (I told you that you might find this stuff interesting!)

- I learned last week that probably all the staff I work with has malaria. I was then assured without even a pause for breath that it was mostly likely in my blood by now as well. Seems the biggest killer in this country just doesn't discriminate even if you take your meds and sleep under the nets. We as the informed ones simply sleep easier knowing that those meds are available. For some ... probably too many ... they're not. So that's why I'm here ... to insure that more and more become part of the informed.

1 comment:

Vegan-Me said...

With water filtering, squatting, sleeping under netting - backpacking does have its benefits.