Vegetable Soup and Dirty Feet

The cock actually crowed at 4:30am this morning, but I ignored him. The problem with African construction is that all the homes are made out of bricks and cement and the amount of insulation from outside noise that provides is very little. I fell back asleep until he crowed again around 5:30. I thanked him for the long snooze.

Our walk was enjoyable once again. The air is always cool and crisp in the morning, making our walks very comfortable despite the dry African summer. Today we spent the entire day in the office and munched on our leftovers from the previous evenings vegetable curry for lunch. One habit that we have picked up since living in Africa is that of drinking Milo all day long. In Africa everyone drinks tea, because the safest way to make sure your water is clean is to boil it. Since Andrew and I don’t drink the black tea that everyone enjoys here, we instead drink the malt “tea” known as Milo here.

I probably drink 5-6 cups a day, which is good because it keeps me hydrated. I usually use the restroom 5-6 times a day as well. Another habit I have picked up here in Africa is snacking on groundnut butter (what we know as peanut butter in the states). I could eat spoonful after spoonful of the delicious groundnut butter…and today that is exactly what I did for lunch.  

We worked hard until 5:00pm and then made the walk back home. When we leave at 5:00pm we get home right before the sunsets (around 6:00pm). Usually when we arrive home we spend some time in our room cleaning up before we go into the kitchen to cook dinner between 7:00 and 8:00pm. Just like in India, everyday I arrive home I find that any part of my body that was left exposed from clothing is covered in dirt. My feet are especially dirty and it takes several log deep scrubs in the shower to clean them off properly. Know I better understand the significance behind Christ washing the feet of all his disciples. Dirty, dry feet are not easy or pleasant to clean, even when they are your own. I can’t imagine how much effort it would take to wash a group of people’s feet.

Once again I pulled out my Malawian cookbook, and Andrew and I prepared a delicious vegetable stew with rice. We really have missed cooking, it is nice to be able to be in the kitchen again.

(Below: Andrew’s post)

Kylie and I have really come to enjoy our morning walks into the office. We find it gives us a nice long opportunity to chat, walk, and observe as life in Malawi begins.

Our morning conversations usually bounce between multiple topics. Anything from local food, to our dinner plans, to what new adventure we’d like to experience during our time here. 

I’ve come to treasure these conversations as I know once we start work life will be extremely busy for the two of us. To be honest I’m a little nervous what an intense work schedule will do to precious moments like these but… For now, I leave those thoughts for another day. 

Much of the day was spent in office working on our research. It’s pretty astounding to me that until now, no one really has been pushing for a post- evaluation. Without it CBF will have no idea the impact they’re having on the farmers they instruct. Maybe it’s limited resources, but I also think it’s just a new mindset people are learning here (accountability, prompt reporting, etc).

As we wrapped up the day, Kylie and I returned home to cook a delicious yam, carrot, cabbage and rice soup. If the ingredients sound similar, you’ve caught on that we’re using the same inputs as yesterday… Only in a different way. We hope that cycling through cooking styles will keep the same ingredients ‘new’ or ‘fresh.’ For day 2 seems to be working!

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