Since we have come to Kapsowar we have learned to appreciate many things we have at home as well as things here that are different from home. You know how I love making lists so here goes:
Things from home I now appreciate more:
1. A dishwasher! We did not have a dishwasher when we lived in Edmonton either and when we moved to Chilliwack it was one of my criteria for our new house. I think that I really overused the dishwasher in Chilliwack putting everything that I absolutely could in it (yes this included several wooden cutting boards that I ruined) and usually ran it twice a day. This is quite a feat when you consider that there are only two of us in the house (not necessarily something to be proud of) but we did have a lot of people over.
2. Space. While we have a lot more space in our house than we were expecting and are VERY happy with it, it is very hard to entertain with a smaller house, especially when you have 25 people over. Here is everyone packed like sardines into our living room the other day for the weekly fellowship meeting.
3. Non-flat cookies. Today Juliana and Chara came over and we baked chocolate chip, cornflake, oatmeal cookies. We had a great time (I love these girls!) but our cookies turned out extremely flat. The interesting thing was though that with each progressive batch they did get a bit puffier. I sent home the first batch with the girls so they have FLAT FLAT pancake cookies. The other cookies I have made here have also turned out like this. I am blaming the altitude (which can be blamed on a lot of things here right Rob?) but maybe there is another explanation.
4. No bed bugs. I woke up yesterday with a few very itchy bites and woke up today with even more. Here is a very blurry picture of some of them. They are located in a spot I don’t usually show to the world so that is the reason for the tiny picture. I am not sure how we will get rid of them, maybe ironing our sheets. Marc has none but they website I read this morning said that some people don’t react at all. I always react very poorly to bug bites. When we were in Uganda before all my mosquito bites swelled to three times normal size and started pussing and oozing. None of the locals believed they were mosquito bites and I think were afraid they would catch some weird disease from me.
5. Hot water right out of the tap. This seems like quite a novelty to me right now. I think when we get home I will probably go to boil water for the dishes quite a bit and try and work my showers around letting the hot water heater heat up for two hours.
Things from Kapsowar I would like to take back home:
1. Greetings. It is very important in Kenyan culture to greet people that you see. This means shaking hands and saying “Habari?” (How are you?) and then having a conversation with that person. This is something I really think we are missing in the west because of constant “on the go” culture. People here take the time to talk to other people and get to know them.
2. Lack of media influence. It is so nice to walk around and not see billboards, to not be bombarded by commercials and to not walk by all the magazines by the checkout stand telling me how much weight I need to lose and what the perfect woman looks like.
3. Little things like mini marshmallows. Because people here have less than we do in the west they are more appreciative of the little things. For Chara’s birthday we gave her some mini-marshmallows that Marc’s parents had sent. In Canada if we had given this gift I think we would have been laughed at but she was so happy with them and talks about how she had “coloured marshmallows in my hot chocolate !”
4. The beautiful scenery unmarred by buildings and wires. I realize I cannot take this home with me but it is so beautiful here. Here is a picture from our walk on Saturday.
5. The people. (Yes I still love you Canadians and realize I cannot take the entire Marakwet population home with their scenery but I would love to.) Everyone here has been so welcoming and friendly to us. I especially love the lady who helps me with laundry. (And no it is not just because I hate laundry, those of you who have read this blog for a while will remember my many laundry laments last year). She is so charming and friendly and so happy you cannot help but like her. So many of the people here are just like her and we will miss them so much when we leave. No we are not leaving anytime soon but I sure find it hard to believe we have been gone from Chilliwack for almost three months! How time flies.