Monday, June 13, 2011


So I have safely arrived in Africa. Contrary to expectations, the soundtrack to The Lion King does not play in the background on a continuous loop. In the three days I have been here the following things have happened:

1. My compound lost power once.
2. I consumed unexpectedly delicious food twice.
3. I was temporarily evicted from my house for several hours while a neighboring radio tower was dismantled after being damaged during a demonstration of used construction machinery.
4. I went to a great party thrown by some people from ICRC and the EU embassy.
5. Jabberwocky slew his first cockroach.

I'm still getting used to the house, which is large and sparsely furnished and sometimes echoes in a very lonely way. Must buy more rugs. It's also full of peculiar appliances that require wrangling with, including six dehumidifiers, a whole bunch of power converters, and a particularly intransigent iron that has prevented the dewrinkling of my work wardrobe. I also made and consumed the saddest bowl of pasta I have ever produced, having not thought to purchase garlic, red wine, parmesan cheese, salt, or pepper at the grocery store. I'm just so used to having these things all the time.

A period of adjustment is only to be expected, but despite some minor domestic inconveniences so far I'm having a fun time.


  1. I'm relieved to hear that your experience hasn't been overly traumatic. My pessimistic self is fearing the worst. This makes me feel a bit better.

    Any tips you can share for a smooth transition would be greatly appreciated. :)

  2. The first days are always the strangest and the longest, but are to be treasured. Enjoy the simplicity and new beginning. Life will take over quickly and fill your every waking moment. And welcome to Africa! We are looking forward to hearing more of your adventures as they come!

  3. I'm sure there will be things you find you need. Make of list and we can send them. Roach bait perhaps? Mouse traps? Let us know. (This is not to say that Jabbers can't handle the situation, but he does need a day off occasionally!) W.S.

  4. I hope the settling in comes fast for you. Those first few meals are always crazy. I can't wait to hear more of your experiences in the days to come.