Published: February 27th 2008February 27th 2008
This is potentially the last time I give a top 10 food update, as I think that this now covers the full extent of our culinary delights in Asossa, this is not a complaint, the food is (mostly) incredibly fresh and you can buy it straight from the family who produced and picked it, or if it’s packed or processed from a little local shop - which is a shack or a little cabin, and they are all over the place, on every corner. There is a couple of ‘supermarkets’ but these are for the feureunj (foreign) contingent really, they have a small selection of imported goods - a lot of Arabic imports which cost quite a bit, but it helps us to remain sane - yes this is where we get the Laughing Cow, Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise from. Maybe I will move to the top five of food we fantasised about this week in my next entry. The Good, the bad and the lovely
1. People helping to make life a bit easier - Marta and Mulatu. It’s quite common to employ seurateunya (workers). Marta helps us out with washing clothes and having a little clean around
the house to keep the levels of red dust from mounting up and cooking us some food. It’s a huge help, because most things we do take us about 5 times the amount of time any normal person would take. Gone are our washing machines, radiators, cookers, cleaning fluid, cleaning cloths and sponges, hello to a bowl and a bar of soap, a washing line in the sun, one ring or kerosene stove and a grubby well used and well washed tea towel. The sun goes down quickly here and the evenings don’t seem to be long enough so we really couldn’t manage without her. Mulatu is a very bright 15 year old who helps us out a couple of morning a week (he goes to school in the afternoon) buying shopping from the market whilst we are at work and also helping us keep the garden under control.
2. The VSO Community. How lucky we are to belong to a community of people who will bend over backwards to help you out, show you how things work, feed you, direct you, advice you and share in the adventure and experiences in Ethiopia
3. Smiley Children Part 2 - who
run up to shake your hand and ask you how you are on your way to work and on the way home.
4. Mango Trees - the perfect spot for some shade when you’ve been for a long walk on a Sunday morning and aren’t sure which direction you should be going.
5. The birds - tiny weenie little birds, there like mini-me birds, some are a beautiful red colour, otherwise it’s scrawny chickens.
6. The Radio - Al has set up the Satellite radio that we bought from a volunteer in Addis who is returning home, I’ve never been a great radio listener, mostly just in the car on the way to work, but it’s really nice to hear news from all around the world (World Service) and also some familiar music you can sing along to (VirginUK). Occasionally we get to hear about some traffic jam or late running trains which makes us smile (a little smugly I admit). See I’m not missing the TV at all.......
7. Films and TV - OK, the radio is good, but every now and then a dose of bad American TV is a good thing, I’ve got the new series of
Our last night in Addis
Clark Kent is hot, I’m trying not to watch it all in one go, I stopped at two episodes on Friday. I’m also watching all of Dawson’s Creek again (thank you Kerry) it makes me very happy! Last night we started catching up with Heroes. I’ve going to have to make a little TV guide so we have 1 programme
a night we can watch and not over indulge all in one go. So from here on Friday is Smallville night, unless someone can sync me up with programming
8. Emails from home - are really keeping me entertained and in good spirits, thanks guys! I need at least one a day to keep me going otherwise I will feel neglected.
9. The toilet still smells, but we’re getting used to it and the smelly candle really helps. Fingers crossed the water doesn’t run out. The Shower is still cold, but if you have one in the evening it is a couple of degrees warmer I’m sure.
10. The grill at the top of the window - it seems like a good idea and keeps the temperature of the house nice and cool at the moment,
The Back Garden
Lots of washing and cats
but it also lets in all the red dust and the howling wind at 3am. Food
1. Eggs - Tiny, tiny little chicken eggs, with really hard shells, at the moment making out tummies a bit odd, but we have to keep trying, so we can have egg and chips one night.
2. Cake - I’ve found cake, ow, ok it’s the most plain sponge cake you can imagine, but it’s cake.
3. Mayonnaise - a little imported dairy treat from Holland, just adds a little boost to our lunchtime sandwich especially when the cheese runs out.
4. Beer - Bedele and Bedele Special, it tastes good, but the man at the corner shop keeps track of how much you’re drinking, we’re going to have to start using different shops!
5. Wine - here in Ethiopia they mix it with coke, I’ve tried it but I think I’ll just stick to straight up Ethiopian wine, it’s OK, although there can be quite a lot of difference between the bottles in terms of taste, don’t worry I’ll keep trying.
6. Pasta - macaroni and spaghetti, excellent for those unadventurous nights, but not great quality so a bit full of
starch, by the time I’ve finished it’s more like a solid pasta cake.
7. Fruit - Green oranges and brown and green bananas but they taste great and the mango season is on its way. I can see them in the trees not quite ready yet - can’t wait!
8. Keuzkazza Leuslassa - cold soft drink anyone! My favourite afternoon break beverage, Mirinda (orange) Pepsi or 7up, just what you need on a hot afternoon at work to pep you up as you sit out in the sun around the coffee hut with your colleagues.
9. Marmite - we brought a pot from home, at one point I though we’d never get it open, arrrrrrggggggghhhh, no no don’t worry, luckily it just needed to be stored in the fridge. It’s a bit odd without margarine (I haven’t found any yet), but it’s not bad on bread with a slice of processed cheese. It would be better with a big lump of butter and some wholemeal toast.
10. I’d really like some baked beans and a pizza, they could be together I don’t care and some quorn sausages might be nice too!
Bit of a long one, but here ends
the retrospective. I will try and keep things up to date from now on, well....... up to datish.